Monday, July 23, 2018

Redeem One Hour

Redeem One Hour
July 23, 2018
Matthew 26:40  "Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. 'Couldn't you men keep watch with me for one hour?' He asked Peter."

Jesus was about to face the worst physical part of His human life, the crucifixion on the cross. He knew it was coming; He foresaw it and He understood what was going to happen.  He went out to pray and asked His disciples to pray as well, to keep watch and pray. Jesus asked them to keep watch while He prayed because He knew the soldiers would be there to arrest Him. Danger was coming and the disciples needed to be vigilant. Praying and watching were the instructions, because Jesus knew that a state of prayer would be required if and when the soldiers approached while Jesus was off in the woods praying. Jesus knew the disciples needed to be in a good spiritual state should the soldiers arrive when Jesus wasn't looking. He did not want the disciples to be caught off guard and respond in a fleshly manner.  The instruction could not have been more clear and yet the disciples failed Him in that one hour of request. They could not do it.

In effect, Jesus was asking the disciples to redeem one specific hour, to dedicate it to helping Him, most importantly in prayer. This hour, the one the disciples fell asleep during, was not necessarily an hour dedicated to anything else. It was an hour they could have spent doing anything and they used it to fall asleep. He was not asking them to skip work or family or any other productive activity. They had nothing better to do and He asked if they would give Him that one hour. They used that hour to fall asleep.  Falling asleep is symbolism for being lazy and complacent in the Bible. The analogy of falling asleep, in some instances, is also akin to walking away from Christianity. Jesus was asking the disciples specifically to focus on their Christianity, and instead they were lazy and took a nap.

The ask from the Lord is unique to each of us, however I do know collectively He has asked us to pray. When you pray, however, is completely between you and the Lord. In keeping with the parallel to the disciples, if we have nothing better to do, and we could pray, we usually take the lazy way out and fall asleep as well. Look over at all the minutes in your day and sum up all the time you spend surfing social media or videos, when you truly are surfing without any specific intent other than to waste your time away. We all do it, and likely waste so many opportunities to redeem that time for the Lord in prayer. Surfing the internet, without intent, is akin to the disciples falling asleep when they could have been praying. When you get to heaven, and the Lord reminds you of all the time you wasted just scrolling on your phone with your thumb, are you going to be pleased or disappointed you could have spent some of that time dedicated to the Lord, more intentional with your life, possibly in prayer?

Try redeeming some of your time. Try to be intentional and put down any distracting device when you are truly just wasting time and redeem it for the Lord. Spend that time in prayer, when you are driving, or waiting for a conference call, or standing in line. Every chance we can waste, if we do not attempt to redeem it, we are falling asleep.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Matthew 26:36-46

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