Newsletter #257 - March 2000 - By Shepherds Chapel - http://www.shepherdschapel.com/

Are you willing to serve your Father? Our English World willing is translated from the Greek word "prothumos" (proth'-oo-mos). This word is often translated in the Bible as ready. One of the primes of this Greek word means passionately ready to serve our Father. He will only utilize those who are passionately ready to serve Him in accomplishing His plans. The choice is yours. Father wants you to choose rightly so He can bless you. Let's begin our study in Matthew.

Matthew 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, "Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder." 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

The sons of Zebedee were James and John. Jesus was distressed about something.

Matthew 26:38 Then saith He unto them, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me."

It is important to differentiate between flesh and spirit. It was His soul that was sorrowful, and His instruction to the 3 disciples was to watch.

Matthew 26:39 And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt."

Many people don't differentiate between flesh and spirit. They are taught and believe that Christ was sorrowful and distressed because His flesh would soon be crucified. That isn't the case. The cup Jesus is praying to Father about is the cup of God's wrath that Christ must pour out on the disobedient upon His return at the 2nd advent. His soul was sorrowful for the disobedient.

Matthew 26:40 And He cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, "What, could ye not watch with Me one hour?

This one hour is a type for the hour of temptation written of in Revelation 17. This is the period of time in the future that antichrist will be worshiped by millions. Will you watch, or will you be deceived.

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

The spirit is passionately ready to serve God, but the flesh is weak.The flesh is easily sidetracked. We must learn to strengthen our spirits to overrule our flesh. It is your spirit that is willing to serve God. It is the flesh that causes distractions Don't go to sleep on your watch.

Matthew 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

There is nothing wrong with praying for the same thing more than once; however, if what we are praying for doesn't happen, we must be mature enough to realize that it wasn't God's will and move on.

Matthew 26:43 And He came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And He left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

This Scripture is the reason you have often heard me say to try things 3 times. Don't be a quitter, if your 1st attempt fails. Pray about it, and make necessary adjustments. If success evades you after 3 attempts, you know it wasn't God's will and move on to something else.

Matthew 26:45 Then cometh He to His disciples, and saith unto them, "Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray Me."

He that will betray and deceive many is at hand, that is to say antichrist. Don't let him catch you sleeping. Be passionately ready to stand for the true Messiah. We are going to turn to 1 Chronicles for another example. David has been told by God that it will not be he that builds the Temple, but that it will be Solomon. David gives his, and God's instructions to Solomon with the following verses.

1 Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever.

We are to serve God with a perfect heart and a willing mind. This could be translated, "with mature flesh and a willing soul". Don't ever try to con God. He knows your heart, and He knows your spirit. Seek Him, and you will find Him. Forsake Him, and He will cast you off forever. The choice is yours. Control your flesh, and have a passionately ready spirit to serve your Father. You will do fine. God will see to it.

1 Chronicles 28:10 Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it." 11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,

Solomon would follow the instructions and successfully complete the Temple. Was Solomon perfect? No, but guess what, neither are we. Let's skip to verse 21.

1 Chronicles 28:21 And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.

Here is another important lesson for us to absorb. Not only will God use willing servants, He needs skillful servants, as well. How do we grow skillful? By studying His Word. Discipline yourself, and set the example for others. Let's turn to Hebrews. God doesn't only expect us to be willing, He is also willing.

Hebrews 6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself, 14 Saying, "Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee."

When God swears by Himself, you can count on it.

Hebrews 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.

The children of Abraham are as numerous as the sands in the sea.

Hebrews 6:17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath:

Immutability means unchangeableness. You that are heirs to the promise can rest assured that God doesn't change His mind or His Word.

Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

God is willing to do this for you.

Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

God is willing to give both the promise and the covenant. You can anchor your soul to the fact that our hope, Jesus Christ, entered within the veil of the holy of holies and is their as your intercessor. You have access to God, if you seek Him.

Hebrews 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

God is willing. He is passionately ready to serve His promise to those that serve Him, and He never changes His mind. We should be passionately ready to serve Him. In conclusion, let's turn to 2 Peter. We pick it up with what the scoffers will be saying in the last days. We are going to compare God's willingness to man's willingness.

2 Peter 3:4 And saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

They are willingly ignorant of the fact that there was a world age prior to this one and that there will be one that follows. They choose to be ignorant. Thank God that you have eyes to see and ears to hear. There is absolutely no way that one could understand why they are here in this earth age today without understanding what happened in the 1st earth age and 1st heaven age.

2 Peter 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

The ungodly men will face the judgment of the consuming fire which is our Father (Hebrews 12:29). They will perish in the lake of fire.

2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

One of God's days is equal to 1,000 years on man's calendar. How long is the Lord's day? The Lord's day is 1,000 years on man's calendar. This is the 1,000 years of Revelation Chapter 20.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Longsuffering means patient. I don't know about you, but I am surely thankful our Father is patient. God is not willing that any of His children should perish. That is God's will. He wants all of His children to come to repentance and love Him. Will they? No! Many are willingly ignorant rather than willing to serve. I am thankful that many of you choose to be passionately ready to serve your Father.

In His service,
Arnold Murray