Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Sunday April 30
“He…prayed…‘Not my will, but yours be done.’”
Lk 22:41-42 NIV
WHEN JESUS PRAYED (5)
Jesus prayed before He faced the greatest crisis in His life. The Bible says: “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place… He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared…and strengthened him” (vv. 39-43 NIV). Jesus didn’t wait until the hour of His greatest crisis before He prayed. For three and a half years during His earthly ministry, He had built a life of prayer. Before He raised Lazarus from the dead, we read, “Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me…that you always hear me’” (Jn 11:41-42 NIV). Jesus had such an intimate relationship with His Father that in times of pressure and pain He could go to God, confident He would receive His sustaining grace. Can you do that? Until you do, you’ll be vulnerable to people and situations beyond your control. Consider this question: Do you think Jesus prayed so much because He wanted to, or because He thought He should? The answer is—He wanted to! And if you want to follow in His footsteps and enjoy God’s richest blessings, you need to move from “should” to “want to.” Here’s a truth that people who pray know: The less you pray, the less you want to pray. And the more you pray, the more you want to pray. The power behind Christ’s amazing success in life was the power of prayer. Starting now, commit to praying each day.
Monday, May 1
“Each part…helps the other parts grow.”
Eph 4:16 NLT
YOU’RE CALLED TO A “SPECIAL WORK”
Paul writes: “As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body [church] is healthy and growing and full of love.” There are two kinds of growth—symbiotic growth and parasitic growth. Symbiotic growth is a give-and-take relationship in which both sides benefit. Parasitic growth is when one side feeds off another but gives nothing back. So when you come out of church and say, “I didn’t get anything out of that service,” you may be practicing parasitic growth. Parasitic growth is characterized by such words as “pray for me, preach to me, counsel me, help me, but expect nothing from me.” Symbiotic growth is characterized by such words as “yes, I have needs, but I’m willing to give too because everyone needs to benefit.” Your body is made up of systems. These include the nervous system, circulatory system, muscular system, lymphatic system, skeletal system, immune system, etc. These systems rely on one another. They are interdependent. So when one of them goes down, the rest of the body is negatively impacted by it. Instead of saying, “I’m going to church,” remind yourself, “I am the church.” Paul writes: “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ…and God has put each part just where he wants it” (1Co 12:12, 18 NLT). God wants you to be a fully functioning part of His church. And if you’re not sure what your “part” is, ask Him and He will show you.