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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Sermonette - Gesthemane Prayer

When most of us think about Jesus's prayer in Gethsemane, we think about how He prayed so fervently for "this cup" to pass Him by, referring to the horrible pain and suffering that the next several hours would dish up to Him.

But did you notice that when He came back to talk to Peter, James, and John, He said He had earnestly prayed that they wouldn't fall into temptation?

These three were probably the ones He trusted most and felt the closest to. The ones probably least likely to "fall into temptation." What kind of temptation do you think He meant?

He already knew Peter would deny Him, so that might not have been what the Lord meant. Or maybe it was.

I view temptation as a deep, dark pit, one that is difficult to climb back out of. Yes, Peter denied Him and felt overwhelming guilt--but Peter quickly climbed back out and with deep repentance again followed the Lord. Judas fell in and also felt the deep sorrow, but he didn't climb back out.

Maybe Peter's fall wasn't as far as Judas's fall? Or is repentance different from just being sorry you did something you shouldn't have?

Repentance indicates you intend not to make that mistake again. Sorrow might just indicate you regret you did it but realize you might just do the same thing again, should the opportunity arise.

I'm not privy to Peter's and Judas's minds, so I don't know. All I know for sure is that Peter grew stronger after his repentance. Judas? Well, Judas gave up.

Where do you fit? Will you use your failures as stepping stones to being a better Christ-follower, or will you sink deeper into the pit? It's pretty much up to you.