The suffering Jesus endured in the Garden of Gethsemane is impossible for us to fathom. It may have been more than a human could endure. Hebrews 5:7 indicates that at some point Jesus prayed to be spared from death, and His prayer was answered: "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.What premature death could this verse refer to?
Simon had a dinner in honor of Jesus. He had plenty of food for all the guests, but he had forgotten the one thing Jesus wanted more than all else. Christ wanted the worship of Simon's spirit--not simply his service.
In The Lost Art of Disciple Making, Leroy Eims told of a missionary who noticed that the churches that were miles away from the city in which he lived seemed to be more dedicated, active, and growing than the church he ministered in regularly.
A couple weeks ago I was wondering if I should continue a certain fast I've done for years. I prayed and thought about it questioning its important. Then I read in the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus promised a reward for fasting. Those words renewed my desire. I know His reward will be of much greater value than what I give up.
I enjoy thinking about Psalm 119:162: "I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil." The psalmist is not saying he is rejoicing because the battle is won, but because He believes a promise from God. Great spoil speaks of the wealth taken after the battle. When we believe God's Word, we have the same joy we would have after the battle is won.
We tend to think of our enjoying God's communion as simply His gift to us. But, amazingly, He says our time with Him is first of all for His pleasure! Before the priests could eat the shewbread, it was to be offered to God for six days. "Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times," God instructed Moses in Exodus 25:30.