“You will fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” – Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” – Mark 14:27-30
The struggle is real! How many times do we declare our faith and fall short? Jesus knows our earthly struggles. Peter was told by Jesus that in the very same day he would disown Jesus three times. God has seen humans fall short since the Garden of Eden. As I read through Mark 14 even in the presence of the Lord, the disciples fell short in submitting to God’s will. There are times when we do as well. But in these stories of the disciples falling short, Jesus leaves hints of how to stay connected to Him. His word is packed with promises for today and tomorrow.
The visual I see of sheep scattering is a perfect image of what I can be like sometimes when trials come my way. A quick reflex, eyes wide open, with arms flailing in an opposite direction, possibly stumbling, trying to get up so I can get away.
Jesus lets us know He goes before us. That even Peter, who believed he would never deny Him, did so in the same night. That we can’t rely on ourselves to get through hard circumstances. We have to call on Him and trust.
Jesus provides us some reminders as we read Mark.
Prayer – Mark 14:35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” All things are possible through prayer. All things can be included in your prayer life. Most days I will pray to be more prayerful? It’s when I think I have I have it under control the Lord has His way of saying, Why are you not asking me?
Mark 14:38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Psalm 145: 18:19 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.
- Stay Awake – It’s easy to get caught up in schedule that has you looking into the end of the week as we worry about the things to be wrapped, this gift to find, the party you have to attend, or these things at work that need to be done. It can be the problem that still hasn’t been solved that is now growing and leaving you half-minded. Be aware of God’s presence right now in your life, waiting for you to call Him.
Mark 14:41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
1 Thessalonians 5:6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
- Don’t do it alone – Having and realizing God is with us all the time is amazing. It God always being with us, do life with others. I think of our small group and how many circumstances in our lives we have walked through together. I think of the many brothers and sisters in Christ I have been able to talk with and hear timely words of wisdom from when there was no way at all I was going to figure out that problem. Sharing your struggles with others can provide you with the additional blessings and strength you may need. Same with you and others, we supply that same blessing and prayer. Together we provide strength and growth towards Christlikeness. Thank you to all of you that have made such a difference in my walk with the Lord. Please always know I’m here for you too.
Romans 15:5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Hebrews 10:24-25 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
God wants us to stay close to Him, instead of falling asleep or denying Him, draw closer. We celebrate and praise the birth of a Savior who came for us, and who loves us. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Bible Journal Family and Friends. David, Jennifer, Jackson, Marshall, and…7/11/18:)
Psalm 138:7-8 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.