Pastor Jim Pence: Stay watchful, alert, sober and on our guard. | Existence

A U.S. Army teacher advised of the distinction in his pupils from two totally different eras as he taught them at artillery faculty in Fort Still, Oklahoma. From 1958 to 1960, the angle was so lax the teacher had a tough time preserving males awake throughout his lectures. During the 1966 to 67 courses the identical primary materials was being taught however the college students had been very awake and taking copious notes.

What made the distinction? These younger boys knew that inside six weeks they’d be going from the classroom to the rice patties and jungles of Vietnam to face the enemy.

Alertness. Watchfulness, particularly in prayer was on Jesus’ thoughts the evening he was betrayed and when he went to the backyard for prayer time; to be alone with His Lord and wrestle in agony over the duties that had been earlier than Him—the one He got here to earth to satisfy.

He was hours, not weeks away now, from His sacrificial loss of life on the cross and right here he pleads with the Father that if there be another method this may occur, let him reveal it now, in that hour. But however, he prays, not what I’ll however what you may be carried out. This was the center and angle of Jesus simply hours earlier than He was to go to the cross and die for the sins of the world, for you and for me.

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Luke exhibits us the agony and the depths of agony Jesus went by way of whereas he merely commanded the others to remain awake, to maintain watch, and to wish with Him. We see it in Luke 22:39-46 as we ask the query what it actually means to be a individuals who “keep watch and pray?”

First it means to maintain watch, to be sober, to be alert. In verses 39-40 we learn, “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’”

The very first thing we see is that this was a behavior of Jesus. It was his traditional customized to exit at evening and to wish within the backyard of Gethsemane, referred to as the ‘olive press,’ which was about half a mile exterior of Jerusalem. It was a spot of Olive timber, an Olive grove traditionally, and eight of the apostles observe Him, and three: Peter, James and John, observe a little bit nearer as He goes out to wish.

Despite realizing, maybe as a result of he knew, Jesus saved that point of prayer even realizing this was the evening Judas would betray Him. The traditional method of praying was to face, and Jesus kneels displaying what an intense wrestle he had inside him as He confronted this decisive hour.

The second factor we see is Jesus warning the disciples to maintain watch and to wish that they don’t fall into temptation. They can be tempted to fall into ethical cowardice, they usually did after Jesus is betrayed and arrested.

This was what that they had want of praying towards. At least one commentator believes that had they been alert and saved praying they’d not have fallen into desertion. Prayer prepares. To pray earlier than one thing will get dangerous is vital and it’s a part of being watchful and sober and vigilant within the process of prayer Jesus offers us.

I Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Verse 19 offers us a plan, “Resist him, standing agency within the religion, as a result of you understand that the household of believers all through the world is present process the identical type of sufferings. “

The satan has a plan; Jesus says we’d like one, too. And that’s to stay watchful, alert, sober, and on our guard.

James Pence is minister of Pleasant Grove Christian Church of Martinsville.

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