“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak,” [Matthew 26:40-41]
“Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me,” [Psalm 51:11-12]
I've always heard that “almost” doesn't count –except with horseshoes and hand grenades. But when it comes to eternity, almost certainly won’t cut it. I truly believe that the more we learn, the more we become in awe of Almighty God and realize just how little we know, proving the old proverb, “The more you learn, the less you know.” Solomon kind of summed up his search for meaning by saying that the best you can do in this life is:
1) Acknowledge that God created you –and He created you to search for Him in eternity.
2) Live a good, honest life, seeking to please God
He was also the man who said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” Put no confidence in your greatness and humbly accept that all that you are and all that you have are a gift from God. We like to boast of all that we can do –but God esteems our might by how much we acknowledge His Might. As Paul said, “I consider everything [I have accomplished] a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things…” Jesus shared a marvelous paradox with us: “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”
Mary understood this. Mary was Martha and Lazarus’ sister. Overcome by the goodness and mercy that Jesus had shown, she broke open a very expensive type of perfume and poured it on Jesus. At that point, she lost all sense of her stature as a member of a rich family. She knelt down on the floor, poured the perfume over his feet –a very humble act, but she didn't even bother to fetch a towel –she wiped his feet with her hair. In a moment of complete humility, she honored Jesus by saying, “I put no confidence in my own life… I put all of my confidence in you…” When people in the room argued over how foolish it was that Mary wasted such expensive perfume by pouring it over Jesus’ feet, Jesus took that moment to life her above her onlookers and said, “She understands. And she will use this perfume for my burial.”
If only all of Jerusalem had the feeling that Mary had at that moment! She knew that Jesus was really so much more than anything this world has to offer –and she didn't care what people thought of her. She was willing to stoop down very low –she wasn't going to miss this perfect moment to express how deeply she loved him. Her gratitude had firm control of her –grace had captured her heart. And there wasn't anything that she would want to hold back from Jesus –not even a very expensive gift. Jesus didn't need expensive gifts, but He treasured the gift behind the gift –a willing heart that wasn't ashamed to express how truly great this man is. She couldn't help herself… grace got hold of her.
Life just isn't life until Jesus enters. And where Jesus is… that’s where life really happens! And now we can approach the throne of the King of kings, the throne of grace, with great confidence, because our King knows us very well. He has hurt like we have hurt –in fact, more so. He has been tested like we have been tested –in fact, more so. He has suffered, He has been spit upon, He has been tortured more horrendously than most of us ever will be. And He died a horrific death. But for Him, it was all worth it. He loved us too much to put too much confidence in His own flesh. What He might have wanted didn't matter. He considered it too important to save us to be selfish. He died for us. But by humbling Himself to death on a cross He gave us everlasting life. And He’s not ashamed to call us “friend,” “brother/sister,” or “beloved.” And He loves it when we want to talk to Him.
Pray with confidence,