Category Archives: Strong in Our Weakness

Let Us Give Thanks to YHWH With All Our Heart

Let us give thanks and sing praises to YHWH. Let us bow down before him and submit our lives to him. Reflect on his lovingkindness toward his people.

Psalms 138

Thanksgiving for the LORD’S Favor.

A Psalm of David.

     1I will give You thanks with all my heart;
I will sing praises to You before the gods.

      2I will bow down toward Your holy temple
And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.

      3On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.

      4All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O LORD,
When they have heard the words of Your mouth.

      5And they will sing of the ways of the LORD,
For great is the glory of the LORD.

      6For though the LORD is exalted,
Yet He regards the lowly,
But the haughty He knows from afar.

      7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.

      8The LORD will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

We Must Deal With Our Sin Before We Will Experience Victory In The Lord

Joshua and the Israelites faced defeat against Ai, as recorded in Joshua 7, due to sin and rebellion in the camp against YHWH. The sin of a single man led to defeat for Israel. Joshua dealt with the sin according to YHWH’s instructions and was once again directed by the Lord to continue taking the promised land. He then did as the Lord instructed, and those around him did as well, and the Lord granted them victory.

In a way, this serves as a blueprint for us in our everyday lives. We can not expect YHWH to give us victory while living in rebellion against his word or the Spirit. We must deal with our sin, the sins of our family, and even the sins of our nation if we are to experience full victory on the Lord’s path. That does not mean that we as individuals can not have strong relationships with the Lord even in a sinful nation… we can. However, do not expect him to grant great and lasting victory to a nation that rebels openly against him.

Joshua 8

The Conquest of Ai

     1Now the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear or be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. 2“You shall do to Ai and its king just as you did to Jericho and its king; you shall take only its spoil and its cattle as plunder for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city behind it.”

      3So Joshua rose with all the people of war to go up to Ai; and Joshua chose 30,000 men, valiant warriors, and sent them out at night. 4He commanded them, saying, “See, you are going to ambush the city from behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready. 5“Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out to meet us as at the first, we will flee before them. 6“They will come out after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing before us as at the first.’ So we will flee before them. 7“And you shall rise from your ambush and take possession of the city, for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. 8“Then it will be when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do it according to the word of the LORD. See, I have commanded you.” 9So Joshua sent them away, and they went to the place of ambush and remained between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua spent that night among the people.

      10Now Joshua rose early in the morning and mustered the people, and he went up with the elders of Israel before the people to Ai. 11Then all the people of war who were with him went up and drew near and arrived in front of the city, and camped on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between him and Ai. 12And he took about 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. 13So they stationed the people, all the army that was on the north side of the city, and its rear guard on the west side of the city, and Joshua spent that night in the midst of the valley. 14It came about when the king of Ai saw it, that the men of the city hurried and rose up early and went out to meet Israel in battle, he and all his people at the appointed place before the desert plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 15Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 16And all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were drawn away from the city. 17So not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who had not gone out after Israel, and they left the city unguarded and pursued Israel.

      18Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” So Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. 19The men in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it, and they quickly set the city on fire. 20When the men of Ai turned back and looked, behold, the smoke of the city ascended to the sky, and they had no place to flee this way or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wilderness turned against the pursuers. 21When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned back and slew the men of Ai. 22The others came out from the city to encounter them, so that they were trapped in the midst of Israel, some on this side and some on that side; and they slew them until no one was left of those who survived or escaped. 23But they took alive the king of Ai and brought him to Joshua.

      24Now when Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field in the wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them were fallen by the edge of the sword until they were destroyed, then all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword. 25All who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000—all the people of Ai. 26For Joshua did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 27Israel took only the cattle and the spoil of that city as plunder for themselves, according to the word of the LORD which He had commanded Joshua. 28So Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a desolation until this day. 29He hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening; and at sunset Joshua gave command and they took his body down from the tree and threw it at the entrance of the city gate, and raised over it a great heap of stones that stands to this day.

      30Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, 31just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones on which no man had wielded an iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel. 33All Israel with their elders and officers and their judges were standing on both sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, the stranger as well as the native. Half of them stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had given command at first to bless the people of Israel. 34Then afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them.

I also find it interesting that at the end of a great victory, Joshua reads the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, to not just Israel, but to the strangers living among them. It is another indication that the law of YHWH was not meant only for Israel, but for all who came to join Israel and dwell among them. One law for all, not separate law for Jews vs. Gentiles.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Prayer of Supplication And Trust

A beautiful prayer… pray with me for other yourself, other followers of Christ, and the nations.

Psalm 86

A Psalm of Supplication and Trust.

A Prayer of David.

     1Incline Your ear, O LORD, and answer me;
For I am afflicted and needy.

2Preserve my soul, for I am a godly man;
O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You.

3Be gracious to me, O Lord,
For to You I cry all day long.

4Make glad the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

5For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.

6Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
And give heed to the voice of my supplications!

7In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You,
For You will answer me.

8There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord,
Nor are there any works like Yours.

9All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And they shall glorify Your name.

10For You are great and do wondrous deeds;
You alone are God.

11Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.

12I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And will glorify Your name forever.

13For Your lovingkindness toward me is great,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14O God, arrogant men have risen up against me,
And a band of violent men have sought my life,
And they have not set You before them.

15But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.

16Turn to me, and be gracious to me;
Oh grant Your strength to Your servant,
And save the son of Your handmaid.

17Show me a sign for good,
That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
Because You, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

For more Biblical examples of prayer, and for personal prayer requests, please visit our Prayer Requests page.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Give Thanks To The LORD, For He Is Good; For His Lovingkindness Is Everlasting

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Psalm 118

Thanksgiving for the LORD’S Saving Goodness.

     1Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      2Oh let Israel say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

      3Oh let the house of Aaron say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

      4Oh let those who fear the LORD say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

      5From my distress I called upon the LORD;
The LORD answered me and set me in a large place.

      6The LORD is for me; I will not fear;
What can man do to me?

      7The LORD is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.

      8It is better to take refuge in the LORD
Than to trust in man.

      9It is better to take refuge in the LORD
Than to trust in princes.

      10All nations surrounded me;
In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

      11They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me;
In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

      12They surrounded me like bees;
They were extinguished as a fire of thorns;
In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

      13You pushed me violently so that I was falling,
But the LORD helped me.

      14The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.

      15The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;
The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

      16The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

      17I will not die, but live,
And tell of the works of the LORD.

      18The LORD has disciplined me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.

      19Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the LORD.

      20This is the gate of the LORD;
The righteous will enter through it.

      21I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me,
And You have become my salvation.

      22The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone.

      23This is the LORD’S doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.

      24This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

      25O LORD, do save, we beseech You;
O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity!

      26Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD;
We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

      27The LORD is God, and He has given us light;
Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.

      28You are my God, and I give thanks to You;
You are my God, I extol You.

      29Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Lord Is A Loving Father, A Provider, A Protector

Our Lord is the Creator of the entire universe in all its magnificence, in all its grand size and scope, in all its infinite detail. He is all powerful. He is all knowing. He is present everywhere at all times. Yet He loves us as His children. Who are we that He should be mindful of us, but He is gracious, loving, and kind towards us.

Let us devote ourselves to Him and come before Him with supplication and thanksgiving as we would a loving father.

Psalm 116

Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death.

     1I love the LORD, because He hears
My voice and my supplications.

      2Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.

      3The cords of death encompassed me
And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;
I found distress and sorrow.

      4Then I called upon the name of the LORD:
“O LORD, I beseech You, save my life!”

      5Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
Yes, our God is compassionate.

      6The LORD preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.

      7Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

      8For You have rescued my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
My feet from stumbling.

      9I shall walk before the LORD
In the land of the living.

      10I believed when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted.”

      11I said in my alarm,
“All men are liars.”

      12What shall I render to the LORD
For all His benefits toward me?

      13I shall lift up the cup of salvation
And call upon the name of the LORD.

      14I shall pay my vows to the LORD,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.

      15Precious in the sight of the LORD
Is the death of His godly ones.

      16O LORD, surely I am Your servant,
I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid,
You have loosed my bonds.

      17To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And call upon the name of the LORD.

      18I shall pay my vows to the LORD,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people,

      19In the courts of the LORD’S house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD!

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Yeshua Can Set You Free From Addiction

Many struggle to deal with drug or alcohol addiction and to break the addictions and recover to enjoy the life that God intends for them. All too often recovery centers or organizations completely ignore the power of God and faith in recovery. I have identified a few online that indicate a strong focus on Christian faith as part of recovery. They each have a contact phone number to reach people who can talk to you and help you start on your path to recover. While I have not fully vetted these centers, I would encourage people to check them out and consider them. If you know of good Christian rehab centers or organizations, please let us know so we may add them to the site. You can reach us at the Contact Us page.

No matter what program you consider, come humbly before God and ask for forgiveness and help. Submit to Jesus Christ and seek Christian fellowship and study and support to help you along your way. God has the power to truly set you free and restore your joy.

  • Christian Drug Rehab, at ChristianDrugRehab.com: Faith centered treatment solutions. Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction and need guidance to finding a treatment center that provides Christian-focused treatment? You’re not alone. We help many individuals find the right Christian drug rehab center that will relieve their addiction struggles both physically and spiritually. We can locate a treatment center that works with your specific spiritual beliefs.
  • Valiant Recovery, at ValiantRecovery.com: Programs are based around each Client and their individual needs, with programs ranging from 8 to 32 hours of 1on1 counselling. We treat the Roots behind Addiction not just the Surface Problems.
  • Three Strands Christian Drug Therapy, at RecoveryPlace.com: Three Strands is a truly differentiated treatment option for Christians in recovery. Whereas many Christian alcohol and drug rehab programs are essentially a “track” within a standard treatment program that offers an occasional Celebrate Recovery® group or transportation to a local church, Three Strands is a fully integrated faith-centered program for men ages 18 and older who would like to enrich their recovery with spiritual guidance and support.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

YHWH Has Power Over All Creation

YHWH is unlike any other. He is all powerful yet still loving and kind. His power toward those who follow Him can not be matched. He is able to help us overcome any difficult circumstance. We should humble ourselves before Him and seek His will to lead our lives. Trust in Him rather than man or even ourselves.

Psalm 114

God’s Deliverance of Israel from Egypt.

1When Israel went forth from Egypt,
The house of Jacob from a people of strange language,

      2Judah became His sanctuary,
Israel, His dominion.

      3The sea looked and fled;
The Jordan turned back.

      4The mountains skipped like rams,
The hills, like lambs.

      5What ails you, O sea, that you flee?
O Jordan, that you turn back?

      6O mountains, that you skip like rams?
O hills, like lambs?

      7Tremble, O earth, before the Lord,
Before the God of Jacob,

      8Who turned the rock into a pool of water,
The flint into a fountain of water.

Yeshua Is The Bridegroom for the Church

There are some parallels we can draw from Song of Solomon about our relationship with Christ as our redeemer. Yeshua is the bridegroom and the church is His bride. One thing in particular that stands out for me when I think about my relationship to Yeshua in this way is that I should be passionate rather than stoic in pursuing relationship with Him. He comes as my savior! The church should be passionate about Him rather than indifferent. He should be a top priority, not one of many… just as we would expect a husband and wife to pursue one another. Yeshua has already done much in showing His love for us in that He came to dwell amongst us and died on the cross for our sins. He has made a way for us to reconcile to YHWH at great personal cost. We should each ask ourselves if we are doing the same for Him in how we live our lives.

Song of Solomon 3

The Bride’s Troubled Dream

     1“On my bed night after night I sought him
Whom my soul loves;
I sought him but did not find him.

      2‘I must arise now and go about the city;
In the streets and in the squares
I must seek him whom my soul loves.’
I sought him but did not find him.

      3“The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
And I said, ‘Have you seen him whom my soul loves?’

      4“Scarcely had I left them
When I found him whom my soul loves;
I held on to him and would not let him go
Until I had brought him to my mother’s house,
And into the room of her who conceived me.”

      5“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field,
That you will not arouse or awaken my love
Until she pleases.”

Solomon’s Wedding Day

     6“What is this coming up from the wilderness
Like columns of smoke,
Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
With all scented powders of the merchant?

      7“Behold, it is the traveling couch of Solomon;
Sixty mighty men around it,
Of the mighty men of Israel.

      8“All of them are wielders of the sword,
Expert in war;
Each man has his sword at his side,
Guarding against the terrors of the night.

      9“King Solomon has made for himself a sedan chair
From the timber of Lebanon.

      10“He made its posts of silver,
Its back of gold
And its seat of purple fabric,
With its interior lovingly fitted out
By the daughters of Jerusalem.

      11“Go forth, O daughters of Zion,
And gaze on King Solomon with the crown
With which his mother has crowned him
On the day of his wedding,
And on the day of his gladness of heart.”

Though I do not hold that any particular commentary can replace our seeking to understand the Bible directly, with God’s help, I do believe that we can leverage the thoughts of others who went before us and then test that against scripture to see if it helps us gain potential insight into the word. I have selected one for more comment on today’s scripture.

Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

3:1-5 It was hard to the Old Testament church to find Christ in the ceremonial law; the watchmen of that church gave little assistance to those who sought after him. The night is a time of coldness, darkness, and drowsiness, and of dim apprehensions concerning spiritual things. At first, when uneasy, some feeble efforts are made to obtain the comfort of communion with Christ. This proves in vain; the believer is then roused to increased diligence. The streets and broad-ways seem to imply the means of grace in which the Lord is to be sought. Application is made to those who watch for men’s souls. Immediate satisfaction is not found. We must not rest in any means, but by faith apply directly to Christ. The holding of Christ, and not letting him go, denotes earnest cleaving to him. What prevails is a humble, ardent suing by prayer, with a lively exercise of faith on his promises. So long as the faith of believers keeps hold of Christ, he will not be offended at their earnest asking, yea, he is well pleased with it. The believer desires to make others acquainted with his Saviour. Wherever we find Christ, we must take him home with us to our houses, especially to our hearts; and we should call upon ourselves and each other, to beware of grieving our holy Comforter, and provoking the departure of the Beloved.

3:6-11 A wilderness is an emblem of the world; the believer comes out of it when he is delivered from the love of its sinful pleasures and pursuits, and refuses to comply with its customs and fashions, to seek happiness in communion with the Saviour. A poor soul shall come up, at last, under the conduct of the Comforter; like a cloud of incense ascending from the altar, or the smoke of the burnt-offerings. This signifies pious and devout affections, and the mounting of the soul heaven-ward. The believer is filled with the graces of God’s Spirit; his devotions now are very lively. These graces and comforts are from the heavenly Canaan. He, who is the Peace of his people, the King of the heavenly Zion, has provided for the safe conveyance of his redeemed through the wilderness of this world. The bed, or palanquin, was contrived for rest and easy conveyance, but its beauty and magnificence showed the quality of its owner. The church is well guarded; more are with her than are against her: believers, when they repose in Christ, and with him, though they have their fears in the night, are yet safe. The chariot here denotes the covenant of redemption, the way of our salvation. This is that work of Christ, which makes him loved and admired in the eyes of believers. It is framed and contrived, both for the glory of Christ, and for the comfort of believers; it is well ordered in all things and sure. The blood of the covenant, that rich purple, is the cover of this chariot, by which believers are sheltered from the wind and storms of Divine wrath, and the troubles of this world; but the midst of it is that love of Christ which passes knowledge, this is for believers to repose upon. Christ, in his gospel, manifests himself. Take special notice of his crown. Applying this to Christ, it speaks the honour put upon him, and his power and dominion.

I encourage each of you to study and pray as you seek to understand all that God’s word has for you.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

 

The Lord Is My Shepherd

I want the kind of relationship with YHWH that David reveals in Psalm 23. I ask the Lord to help me draw near to Him so that I may have that in greater and greater portions. I have seen so much of my life transformed since fully submitting to YHWH through Christ. I find more peace indeed and more reason to rejoice, even when things are bumpy. I am more content. But I know I have farther to go…

Psalm 23

The LORD, the Psalmist’s Shepherd.

A Psalm of David.

     1The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.

      2He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.

      3He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

      4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

      5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.

      6Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

I encourage you to pray for this kind of relationship with YHWH and this kind of world view. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Follow Yeshua’s Example of Prayer and Submission

Yeshua sets the example for intense prayer. We have a hard time living up to His example. No matter what we face, however, let us follow His example and come before the Father in prayer. Let us submit to the Father’s will and trust in the Father’s wisdom, even if we have an opinion or preference which is different. We may even pray for the Spirit’s help that we would not fall into temptation.

Luke 22:39-46

The Garden of Gethsemane

     39And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. 40When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 44And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. 45When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, 46and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Let us model ourselves and our relationship with the Father after the example of Christ, whether we face big situations or every day small ones.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.