Todays readings.. 1 Chronicles 12, Ezekiel 25, Luke 22
This is an intriguing statement by Jesus; it would seem they are his last words to his disciples before his arrest. We read them today in Luke ch. 22 v.46. We are not told whether the disciples put them into practice? Surely the words of Jesus are applicable to us today!
It was not the first time Jesus said these words to his disciples. When “they went as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. Earlier in the chapter we read, “when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” .[v.40], he then went and knelt down and prayed.
This repeated request to make a specific prayer is surely a lesson for us, especially how the challenges of our godless world close in more and more – surrounding us!
How real the surrounding power of God needs to be to us in these last days. Let us take into our hearts the wonderful words of Paul. He told the men of Athens about the one and only true God they worshipped as “unknown …that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’.” [Acts 17 v. 27,28]
We must meditate in awe at the reality on what Paul means! Our thoughts go to Psalm 66, presumably by David. Is this not a hymn to be used in the kingdom age!? Surely true believers can use it now to some degree. “Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power.” [v.1-3]
Then in v.8-10 we are encouraged to pray, “Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. For you, O God, have tested us” And so the disciples were tested – and Peter, for one, failed the test; for the moment he failed to “Pray that” he “may not enter into temptation.”
Let us apply the lesson to ourselves, especially as our world is becoming so utterly godless and is now hemming us in on every side! May our minds and hearts be fixed ever more firmly on the words of Scripture – such as the closing words of this Psalm, “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!”