Olive You

Daily Reading: (Matthew 26:36-39):

 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Jesus was preparing by prayer to be pressed/crushed for our sins at the place known as the olive press (Isaiah 53:5). “He was crushed for our iniquities.” Jesus was at the oil press ready to display the greatest demonstration of love at the cross as He was crushed for our sins. It was the greatest demonstration of love. Olive You.

And at the place of the press, Jesus pressed on toward the cross. He pressed on because He knew it was the will of the Father and because by faith, He knew that He would have great joy on the other side of the suffering.

Jesus pressed on at the press (Gethsemane) as He prayed (Matthew 26:39). When you are going through a trying time, a time that is pressing I want you to remember the symbol of olive oil, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the victory it has given you over your pressing situation. In this way, you can have joy in the most trying times.

Olive oil is only produced under great pressure and it brings joy to those who produce it [Psalms 45:7, Isaiah 61:1-3, and Hebrews 1:9]. The place “Gethsemane” was pointing to what Jesus death and eventual resurrection would produce eventual joy. The symbol for olive oil is the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1–13).

We have been given a gift of joy after the press, the Holy Spirit. “Our Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you” (John 14:26 AMP). How does the Holy Spirit produce joy in our lives? “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13).

Why would Jesus be troubled to the point of death (Matthew 26:38)? Because being troubled in His soul was nothing new. In fact, Jesus’ soul was troubled on the same account six days before, (John 12:27), but he was now also sorrowful. The reason is that before he was afflicted by men, but now he about to be bruised, and put to grief by his Father (Isaiah 53:10-11). Why would Jesus be troubled to the point of death (Matthew 26:38)? Because being troubled in His soul was nothing new. In fact, Jesus’ soul was troubled on the same account six days before, (John 12:27), but he was now also sorrowful. The reason is that before he was afflicted by men, but now he about to be bruised, and put to grief by his Father (Isaiah 53:10-11).

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). To us this might not seem like a big detail that “Jesus fell with his face to the ground and prayed to God” – The Jewish law that Jesus came to fulfill did not allow one to pray this way unless the One who was “to fall upon his face”, knows in himself that he is righteous, as Joshua (Matthew 26:39). Jesus is the Only worthy sacrifice for sins that would suffice.

God’s Presence is Blessing

Daily Reading: Hebrews 13:5-6:

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”

What do you and I have in common as believers in Jesus Christ?  We have God as our Father which makes us brothers and sisters in Christ. Be content with having the very presence of God. Another way to look at this and the reason I believe it is connected to money is it draws the perfect contrast. We can be tempted to see the blessing and forgot the Blesser or put stock in the love of stuff, but the real blessing is God’s presence. Being with God is the greatest blessing there is.

The message is not that we shouldn’t be content with the blessings we have- but the message is don’t use any of our material things as a contentment barometer. We can be content with no thing because we already have everything when God is with us. Our contentment is not in things.

In Hebrews 13:5 the word “being content” is arkeō which means to ward off- defend, raise a barrier.

God has promised you His constant presence but are we conscious of His presence every day? Raise a barrier, ward off the love of money when you are conscious of His presence every day, you will experience a peace that gives you rest, joy inexpressible in your spirit and a power that nothing in this world can offer. In fact, you will begin to be peaceful and powerful like Jesus. You will speak and behave like Him. This is because you cannot be in God’s presence without His beauty, love, peace, power and glory rubbing off on you.

The presence of God finds its greatest expression in Immanuel, God with us. God himself comes to save. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, entered human history to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). In his grace, God buys us back in the most unimaginable way possible: God in Christ became a man, walked among humanity, and died for his people.

In this merciful act, Christ reconciles us to himself and re-opens access to the Father so that those who were once exiled from his presence might again draw near to God (Hebrews 4:16; 7:19).

The purposes of the church are tied to the presence of God.

The New Testament calls the church a temple for a reason. The church is the instrument the Lord uses to disseminate his presence to a lost and sinful world.

To be a joyful Christian is to know God’s presence.

A day spent in God’s presence where you are satisfied by His grace is better than a thousand spent elsewhere (Psalm 84:10).