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classroomThe Friday before Easter is called “Good Friday” by most Christians worldwide. In a way, it really makes clear how far short words fall in trying to describe the goodness of God. If there were a word for the greatest moment in all of time, that would be the word that replaces the word good in “Good Friday.” This was the day that the greatest sacrifice ever made by anyone at any time was made — the sacrifice Jesus made for us. He endured the most grueling experience anyone has ever experienced and He did it purely as an act of love for any and all man — even those that hated and despised Him. Mankind will never fully understand what that day was like or what it meant until we are all one day before God and He brings us into full revelation of it.

Jesus was able to obey God and put Himself in the position to follow through and let His body be beaten and destroyed in the face of fear for two reasons and two reasons only. First, because He loved His Heavenly Father so very much. And secondly because He was a man of prayer. No one can consistently obey God much less know what God is requiring of them unless they are given to prayer. Man cannot find the courage or strength to do what God wants us to without praying. This is one of the most important lessons Easter could teach us. Jesus succeeded because He loved God and prayed.

You would say you love God. So would I. You would say you want to obey God and be used of God. So would I. But, we have to come to grips with our inability to live out our walk in God — even at the most simple level — our day-to-day activities of being a spouse, a parent, a good boss or employee and more. Think about how often you feel like you fall short of the mark.

Peter loved Jesus more than words can say. There was no doubt. In his heart, he believed that he would do anything for Jesus including giving up his life. We see this in Matthew 26:31-35. On the way, Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered…” Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.

Even though Peter loved Jesus just as you and I do, it wasn’t enough. Later Jesus warned him to pray. In Matthew 26:41 Jesus told Peter, “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Jesus knew he was about to face the greatest temptation of His life — to not follow through with the crucifixion. He knew He had to seek His Father’s strength. Even though Jesus warned Peter, he and the others didn’t know they were also going to face their greatest temptation — to not flee Jesus’ side in fear. They just didn’t get it. Consequently, Peter and the others were tired and slept instead of praying. All the disciples did. And they all did just what Jesus said they would. They scattered when the time came for the soldiers to take Jesus. Jesus prayed. Jesus fulfilled God’s will. They did not pray. And they abandoned Jesus and scattered.The lesson of Easter we all need to learn is that thinking we love Jesus is great but not enough — not if we want to be used of God the way God would like to use us. As Jesus requested and modeled — we must pray!

Never has this nation and Christians in general needed revival more than we do right now. I say this not to make any of us feel guilty. I say this to say that we really do need more of God in our life. Examine yours. You know it’s the truth. If you aren’t praying, start by praying that God will help you pray. If you do pray, pray for God to strengthen you to be a vessel unto honor! Pray to intercede for revival. Pray to make a difference and be a light!
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
(2 Tim. 2:20-21 20)
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tim Burt
Web site: Todays Fresh Manna
Pastor Tim became a part of the leadership team at Living Word Christian Center in 1984 and served as Associate Pastor from 1989 to 2017. He and His wife Renee, also a Pastor at Living Word, resigned, feeling impressed by God to pursue the tremendous growth of their ministry "Fresh Manna," as well as teaching conferences and seminars, and increasing their involvement on the mission field through Tim & Renee Burt Ministries.

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