Monday, April 14, 2008

The Galilee Road

Psalm 5:1-12; Mark 1:35-39 / Psalm 116:1-19

I. Jesus Began with Prayer

A. Jesus, Who could do whatever He wanted, chose to begin the day in protracted solitary prayer. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (Mark 1:35) “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:6) Luther prayed three hours every day.

B. Jesus prayed at the start of everything He undertook. “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” (1 Timothy 2:8)

C. When He was baptized, Jesus prayed. “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,” (Luke 3:21)

D. When He was transfigured, Jesus was praying. “And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.” (Luke 9:29)

E. When He prepared to select the apostles, Jesus prayed. “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12) In the last hours before the betrayal, the trial, and the murder, Jesus prayed. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:” (John 17:1)

II. Important Business Demanded Attention

A. People were always watching Jesus; God’s people live in a watching world. “And Simon and they that were with him followed after him.” (Mark 1:36)

B. People who genuinely mattered to Jesus implied that there were more important things for Him to do than pray. “And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.” (Mark 1:37)

C. Having prepared, Jesus set off on His heavenly assignment; He preached to the people. “And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.” (Mark 1:38)

D. God’s Messiah came to reveal grace. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

E. People who love the Bible should expect Jesus to be like Moses. “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;” (Deuteronomy 18:15) “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (John 1:45)

III. Prayer Is the Foundation for Faithfulness

A. Galilee experienced the power of a prayer-filled life. “And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.” (Mark 1:39)

B. The power Jesus displayed in prayer and prophesy caused fear in those who did not turn to Him. “If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” (John 11:48)

C. Evil hearts are unable to benefit from the ways of grace. “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25) “An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.” (Proverbs 9:27)

D. If Jesus could find time for payer in all situations believers can find opportunity for prayer in all situations. “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Among the greatest monuments of what can be accomplished through simple faith in God are the great orphanages covering 13 acres of ground on Ashley Downs, Bristol, England. When God put it into the heart of George Muller to build these orphanages, he had only two shillings (50 cents) in his pocket. Without making his wants known to any man, but to God alone, over £1,400,000 ($7,000,000) were sent to him for the building and maintaining of these orphan homes.

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