WEDNESDAY 12TH APRIL 2017
TOPIC: SPIRITUAL PREPARATION
TEXT: Matthew 26:18 “And he said, Go into the city to such a man and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples….”
Have you ever run a marathon or entered a cooking competition? If you’ve done any of these things, you know they require a great deal of preparation and training. Running a marathon without training or preparation is a surefire way to get injured or cramp up. Entering a cooking competition without planning your meal and practicing its execution and plating is a recipe for disaster. The same thing applies to your spiritual walk!
If, like Paul, we liken the Christian life to running a race, we can see that running this race requires a great deal of preparation, training, and endurance. We can’t just walk forward, say a prayer, and that life will now be a stroll through the park. In fact, Jesus told His disciples ” In the world you will have tribulation ” (John 16:33). Truthfully, this race may be the most difficult and trying race anyone can ever run because it requires us to completely adjust our focus, go against our nature, and have a change of heart. As is typical of our Lord, Jesus gives us the ultimate hope in the latter part of the verse when He says, “But be of good cheer, I overcome the world, ”
And having overcome the world, Jesus provides examples of ways we can run the race with endurance; things like PRAYER (Matthew 26:36-56)
STUDYING THE WORD (Luke 2:51-52;4:16-20) SOLITUDE WITH GOD (Luke 5:16), SERVING OTHERS AND EVANGELISING (Matt. 20:28; John 13:1-17, Matt. 28: 19-20), FASTING (Matt. 4), and more.
No doubt, Jesus, knowing what was to come, spent a great deal of time mentally, physically, and emotionally readying Himself. In Acts, the apostles and the early church similarly endured a great deal of tribulation and difficulty. They suffered through persecution and torment, and many lost their lives for their faith. How did they get through it? How did they survive and thrive in the work God had tasked them with? Through the power of the Holy Spirit and with much spiritual training (Acts 1:14,2:42, Just like Jesus and His disciples, we can prepare ourselves each day for whatever obstacles the world can throw at us. Always remember, all the training and preparation means nothing if our heart is not seeking after God’s heart (l Chron. 22:19) and our will conformed to His (Luke 22:42). It also doesn’t hurt to have training partners (Philemon 1)
MEDITATION: Acts 2: 1-4
Lev. 16; Ps. 19; Prov. 30; 1 Tim. 1