Daily Devotional

September 14th 2018


Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told His disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.”—Matthew 26:36 (MSG.)

Are you having a Gethsemane experience? All of us will experience moments in our lives that will define who we are and what’s most important to us. And how we respond to those moments will determine our eternal destiny. Gethsemane is not the same for all of us, but we all will have a Gethsemane experience.
So, what should we know about Gethsemane? First, Gethsemane is a lonely place; we must go to Gethsemane all by ourselves. Jesus took the disciples with Him to the Garden, but He had to face Gethsemane all by Himself. It reminds us to not look to people to help us through Gethsemane. People will tire of us; people will fall asleep on us when they are supposed to be helping us; people will make promises to us in the daylight, but they’ll deny that they know us when darkness comes.

Second, Gethsemane is a dangerous place. It is the place where Satan will be at his strongest and we will be at our weakest. When our spirits are down, when we’re weary of our race and we feel like we can’t go any farther, that’s when Satan will bring everything he has against us.

In Gethsemane, Jesus knew that mankind was balanced on the scales of eternity— salvation on one side and damnation on the other. Jesus asked His Father to take this cup from Him. This cup contained the sins of the world. Suffering, humiliation and death was in this cup. And in that dark hour, Satan used all that he had to try to make Jesus by-pass His cup. It wasn’t easy for Jesus to conform to God’s will. He didn’t want to suffer or die. He stretched out on the ground, turned His face to the earth and with sweat like drops of blood pouring from His brow, He cried, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.”

Finally, we can be encouraged that Gethsemane is a strengthening place. Help came to Jesus in Gethsemane. In His Gethsemane, Jesus decided, “No matter the cost, I’ve got to conform. For mankind to be free from sin, for souls to be healed, for hope to be fulfilled, for faith to have its fruition, I must conform to the Father’s will. I don’t want to die, but I do want to be obedient, even if obedience brings Me to death. And so, I say not My will, but Thy will be done!”
Jesus was ready for Calvary because He conformed in Gethsemane. Gethsemane got Him ready for everything else. And if we would conform in our Gethsemane, the Lord will help us to deal with Calvary.

Prayer: Lord, as we go today, help us to be prepared for our Calvary experience by conforming to You in our Gethsemane. As we deal with periods of spiritual darkness—of spiritual weakness—it is our desire to be submitted and surrendered to You. We know that our strength comes from reliance less on self and more on You. Thus, like our Christ, we pray for a spirit that says, “Not my will, but Your will be done.” In the name of Jesus, we pray. AMEN!

(We invite your comments. Feel free to share this devotion with your friends and invite them to subscribe by forwarding their email address to the Pastor at: fredjeffsmith@cox.net.)

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