The Garden of Gethsemane

Unanswered prayers often leave us wondering, why has god forsaken me?

James Greer
Apr 14, 2019    29m
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In this sermon Pastor James Greer explains that although unanswered prayers often leave us wondering why has God forsaken me, but God will not answer the prayers that don't fit in his plan for your life. Jesus felt this way in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was asking God to find another way to save the sinners without him going on the cross, but his father did not answer him. So he went through with the greatest sacrifice of all time. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: 00:00 Morning Journey Church. Hey, look, welcome Alexandria campus. Amen, whoo, and our online campus. Hey, I want you to know, remember also this coming Wednesday night, we'll be celebrating the Lord's supper before Easter. So I want to invite you, and the Alexandria campus, and those that are online, you come and make yourself at home. Amen?

James Greer: 00:19 Hey, if you notice, there's five invite cards. But listen, we want you to more than invite, we want you to bring five people with you. In fact, they're saying, it says focus on five. Well, this coming Sunday is Easter Sunday, it's kind of the super bowl of all Sundays, and it's the greatest opportunity that you'll ever have to influence somebody to further God's kingdom. And the reason I said five, five is a number for God's grace. If you notice, there's five loaves of bread in the Bible, and without God's grace it was not enough to feed. But with God's grace, it fed 5,000, and then some. Amen? So we need God's grace in our life and you're going to find people all during the week, if you'll be available and you'll be sensitive to the power and the presence of God, that need God's grace and you need to invite them to come. Amen? You do.

James Greer: 01:16 There was five brothers of a rich man, and the rich man, he died. And he was in torment, and then he said, please, please send Moses and the prophets to tell my brothers that they don't come to this place. But see, he said, no, no, no, it's too late now. And when the brothers were in torment. See the brothers, without God's grace, would spend the rest of their life in torment. And you don't want your loved ones, and your brother, to spend the rest of their life in torment. You Need God's grace, and this coming Easter, you have the opportunity to come and invite them to Journey Church. And they will hear about God's grace, they're going to hear about a new start, a new beginning. There's a lot of people that need fresh starts in their life. Amen? You invite them, invite five people. Don't invite five people, make a commitment to bring five people with you.

James Greer: 02:13 There was a lady in the Bible that had had five husbands. She'd been married five times, she was living with lucky number six. But without God's grace, men just could not meet her needs. She had gone from one man, to another, to another. She met Jesus Christ and she found God's grace, and she not only found what she had been looking for, her needs were met. She became so excited she wanted the rest of the city to have what she had, she went back and brought them to Jesus Christ. And what I want you to do is to bring at least five people to church with you next Sunday. Amen?

James Greer: 02:52 Jesus had been inflicted with at least five wounds at the death of the cross, six after had died. But do you know what? Five wounds to the death of Jesus Christ without God's grace, would just be a dead man in the grave. Five wounds and the grace of God is, Jesus isn't dead, but he's alive. Five wounds and the grace of God is he has victory over death and the devil, five wounds in the grace of God. Somebody that you invite, and bring to church, could have victory for the rest of their life. I need you to invite at least five people.

James Greer: 03:39 There were ten virgins, five of them had oil, and five of them didn't. The five of them when Jesus camp come back, they said they were ready, they were prepared when Jesus returned. You want your five friends, five people you know, you want them to be prepared when Jesus returns. Amen? So what I want you to do, whether you're here, or you're at the Alexandria campus, wherever you're at. I want you to bring five people with you next Sunday. They're more receptive during Easter, than any other time in your life. Wouldn't it be something if Jesus came back, and you went to heaven, and he said, how many people did you bring to him? And you said zero. See, I used to take evangelism was nothing but saying witness to Him. One of the greatest evangelism tools you can do, is simply invite people to come to church with you. I want you to do more than invite, I want you to bring five people with you during Easter. Amen? Amen.

James Greer: 04:32 All right, let's get to the message, because this message is so, so important. And it's so important, that I want you to really focus in. Because what happens every single Sunday, the word is preached, and the devil tries to come and steal the word from you. And see, this message is probably about the greatest example of anxiety, and pressure, and problems, and struggles that anybody goes through. This message is about the Garden of Gethsemane, and it teaches about some of the greatest anxiety, stress, and pressure, and problems you'll ever face. But not only does it teach us, it gives you some of the greatest insights. And it picks up in Mark chapter 14 verse 32, and it starts and it says this, "And then they." Jesus and some of the disciples. You're going to find out Jesus had favorites, and so do you. And they came to a place that was named Gethsemane." Man, you all that are going to go on the Israel trip, I went there, it was great. When I went there, the guide said, let's sit down here, and he let me read this very story right there where it took place, it was like the Bible in three dimension. If you've never been there and you want to go, you need to go or you need to send your mate.

James Greer: 05:41 But then "They went to a place, it was called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, sit here while I pray." I want you to focus on that word pray, because towards the end I want to talk a little bit more about it, because I want to tell you about it. It's listed at least four times, but I want you to know you need to be prayed up, you need to be confessed up, before you have to be stressed up or stressed out. See, I think it's so important, and you'll talk about later on, that you need to be prepared every single day before you face the stresses that you have. If you don't have a place called Gethsemane, if you don't have a place that you can go on a day to day basis, that you can be prayed up, you need to find one. And see what you're going to say is, no, no, no, I'm too busy. No, you're too blinded. Everybody needs someplace that they can go a few minutes and be alone with God every single day before they have to face the day. I always say, you need to be with God before you're ever with people. You're not too busy, you might be too blinded, and then you start blaming, and then you become burdened. That's the process every single day. If you say you're too busy, you're too blinded,, you begin to blame, and then become burdened.

James Greer: 06:58 Verse 33, "And then he (being Jesus), he took Peter, James, and John with him, and he began to be troubled in deeply distressed." Or anxiety, or stressed out, and Jesus brought his favorites with him. So Jesus had favorites, and his favorites were Peter, James and John. I want to tell you something about favorites. First of all, everybody needs those special people in their life. Amen? But everybody will come to have needs in their life, even their favorites can't help them in life. See, I believe one of the reasons we come to the point that we're so stressed out, we're under so much pressure and so much anxiety. That we have to come to the point that we realize even that our best friends, even the ones we love the most, can't give us what only Jesus can. And see that's what happened to him there. He brought the best friends with him, but you're going to find out they disappointed him. There'll be times that you can find out, it's only you and Jesus alone. Until you come to the point that you understand, first of all, Jesus said he'll never leave you or forsake you, and that you'll understand that there'll always be somebody that will disappoint you, you'll often look to people, for what only Jesus can do for you. In fact, I think one of the number one problems in society today, including church, people continue to look to people to get what only Jesus can give to them, and then their anxiety grows bigger and bigger because that person cannot give to them what only Jesus can. There's husbands that look to their wives, there's wives that look to their mates, and there's kids that look to their parents, and there's employees that look to their bosses, and I'm going to tell you, just like these people could not stay for Jesus, and they could not meet Jesus' needs. There's only one person that will never leave you or forsake you, and that's Jesus Christ.

James Greer: 08:50 Verse 34, here's Jesus, he's pouring out his heart and, "Then he said, my soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch me." You know what he didn't say? He says, stay here and watch, he didn't say, stay here because I'm going to get some more people to help me. He says, stay here and watch because he was about to go be with the father. But you know, I preached this for 35 years, I never really understood when he said he was in deeply distressed and extremely sorrowful. I didn't understand if you translated that, what it really meant. He said, I'm filled with horror and dread. He was still in the human body, and he was saying, I'm horrified about what's going to happen. I'm horrified that I'm about to be hung on a cross. But he said, what's fixing to be poured out is God, my father, his wrath and his judgment. See, God's wrath and judgment for our sins from the past,listen, the present, and the future, we're about to be poured out on Jesus Christ as he hung on the cross. Not only his wrath of the past, present, and the future, he was going to then be separated from God. God's wrath and anger and judgment is going to be placed on the son, and Jesus knew it was coming. And he was saying, man, I'm horrified in the flesh about what's fixing to happen, and he's pleading with the father what's going to happen to him. But yet, I want you to understand because of that insight, I want you to know that Jesus understands what you're going through. He not only understands what you're going through, he wants you to know that he can help you. Don't ever, ever believe that Jesus doesn't understand what you're going through. Now in the flesh, because the flesh is willing, we might say, there's no way Jesus can understand what I'm going through. The real truth is you can never understand what Jesus went through, he can understand what you did.

James Greer: 10:55 In fact, he tells us in Hebrews chapter four verse fourteen, he explains, he wants us to know that, "For we, (me and you) we don't have a high priest who is Jesus Christ. Who cannot sympathize with our weakness." In other words, he can sympathize with it. "But was in all points tempted as we were." In other words, he's gone to everything we have without sin. In other words, he did it, and he went through it with victory. "Let us therefore come boldly." God says, listen, I want you to come boldly, he doesn't want you to come timidly. And when you're going through the stress, anxiety, the worst times in your life, he said, Jesus Christ has already gone through it, he had victory over it. And I want you to come boldly to the throne of what? The throne of what? Hey, you all know there's a story coming on tonight, there's a movie coming on. It's called, there's a movie, and it's going to be called the Game of Thrones. You all know what that is, everybody being innocent. There is this movie that takes place tonight, it's called the Game of Thrones. And the Game of Thrones is these powerful people, and their kingdom is ruling. Amen? But I'm going to tell you, there is no greater kingdom then the throne of grace. The throne of grace. is where God is, amd it's the presence of God. And he's saying whatever you're going through in life, he said, I want you to know, my son Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand. He's already been through whatever you've been through, he had victory over it. And now you have the present to walk in to the throne of grace, where the king of kings is, and I want to help you. Brother James, that is good, and that's powerful. That we may obtain mercy, and we may find grace, to help in time of need. In other words, he said, you're going to have time of need, he said, but I know you can go in the council room. Do you know he's actually saying, he's inviting you to the council room of God.

James Greer: 12:43 Let me read it in another translation. "Jesus said, I understand every weakness of ours." You know I said ours? Because he went through it, he's gone through everything you've gone through. Don't ever say he doesn't understand what you're going through, the truth is we don't understand what he went through. Because he was tempted, he went through every pain, suffering, and stress that we do, in every way that we did. He did not sin, what he meant is, he had victory over everything that we went through. Not that he didn't suffer because of it, because he had victory to it. So whenever, doesn't matter if it's daylight, doesn't matter if we're young or old, whenever we're in what? In need. That we should come bravely, boldly before the throne, the throne of grace, the throne of his mercy of God. When you see the mercy of God, God's saying, listen, I want to give you what you need, not what you deserve. And you say, man, I'm going through all this stress, all this pressure, all these problems, because I brought it on myself. Sometimes the problems in our life is because of what we brought on ourselves. Amen? If we didn't sin, listen, if we didn't sin, Jesus wouldn't have had to go to the cross. I sin, you sin, what? We all sin. Now I'm not telling you, I'm not glorifying sin, but sometimes the reason we have problems is because we see sin. And he said, even then come to the throne of grace, come to the mercy of God, get what you need, not what you deserve. Huh? There we'll be treated, and understand undeserved grace, you can find help.

James Greer: 14:23 Did you understand, no matter what you're going through in life, sometimes God lets us come to the point that nobody can help us but him. And we get to that point, and he said, I'm always there to help you, I understand whatever you have gone through in life. Something else I found when I studied in this that I didn't understand, so many times when I was young, even after I was in the ministry, even after I was saved. I would think maybe I did something and now the wrath of God was upon my life. Now I believe God chastens us, or disciplines us. I do not believe, after you're saved, that I ever have the wrath and judgment of God upon my life. You know why? Because Jesus Christ took the wrath, and the judgment, of God upon the cross. And so I falsely would believe, maybe I did something and then the wrath and judgment of God was upon my life because of what I did. That's not true, I'll never be able to pay the wrath, and judgment, and anger of God, Jesus already paid it for me. In fact, listen to this, you ready? God will never allow anything in my life, that he can't turn around for the good of my life. It doesn't matter what it is, God wants us to come to him, to the powerful throne room of God, where he can help us. Like I said, some of you have heard of the movie, The Game of Thrones, if you've not, you'll see they're talking about tonight. But there's no greater throne then God's throne, God's throne of grace, that we can personally invite to be a part, and allow the King of Kings to help, and to fight with us and for us.

James Greer: 16:13 Verse 35 you're ready? All right, "Jesus went a little further and he fell on the ground and he prayed again." Prayer is a very important part of taking care of stress and anxiety. "That if it were possible that this might pass from me." Now listen, prayer, or communion, relationship with God is one of the most important things you can do during the greatest stress of your life. Are you all ready for an important question? Is it always possible for God to remove the suffering in our life? Don't answer. Is it always possible for God to remove the suffering in our life? The answer is yes and no. I really struggled with that this week. In fact, I wish I understood this years ago. Here's where we learn the profound truth about the power, and the problem, of prayer.

James Greer: 17:14 First of all, the power of prayer is there's nothing too hard for the Lord. Amen? That's the part I love, man. I just love to claim that, there's absolutely nothing too hard for God. I believe there's nothing too hard for God, I believe in the miracles of God, I believe God can do anything I believe God takes a worst things, and turns them around to something good. I believe in the power of God. Amen?

James Greer: 17:35 But, I believe there's a problem with that too. I believe there's still some prayers that God will not answer. I believe God will not answer prayers that are outside the will of God, even if they're his son. I believe there's some prayers that God will not answer if they're outside his will, even if there were for his own son. I didn't understand that years ago, and I wish I would have, because there was a time that almost devastated me. There was a time I gave up on the ministry because I believed God could do anything. I believed if I'd just had enough faith, God would have done that. And there's some times that God didn't answer, and I blamed myself for that, and just gave up. But there's some times that God doesn't remove the suffering, he didn't do it in his own son.

James Greer: 18:38 Remember even this, God has emotions. You said, yeah, God's emotional, God has anger, God has love. But with God's emotions, God has grace, which is the power to override his emotions to do what's right. You better stay with me cause this is so important. God has emotions, love, anger. God has power, grace, his power can actually override his emotion for what's right. He'll override his emotions to do with right in the long run, God is more concerned about the end game. God can see past the moment, are you all ready, to the future. You can't. There's going to be some suffering in life, that God will not remove in this life. It won't be because God doesn't love me or you, it's because God knows what's best in the long run. God knows what's best in eternity, for the end game. It's only God that knows the beginning and the end, not me and not you. He's always working for the end game, he's always working for what's best in the long run. There's going to be things that we don't understand and never will until eternity.

James Greer: 19:56 Verse 36, "Jesus still cries out, now he's crying out, Abba, father." It's now it's a personal, I'm crying out like it's my daddy. It's like he taught us to start praying. "All things are possible for you." I've read this, I don't know how many times, he would say father if it's is possible, if it's possible, if it's possible, if it's possible. Now in Mark 14:36 he said, "My father, it's you dad, all things are possible. Take this cup from me, (but then he says) nevertheless, not that I will, but your will be done." So he's crying out to the father, and now he said, father, all things are possible for you. Even in the midst of his suffering though, he said, not my will be done, but your will be done. You know, see, it might be that Jesus understood that hey, God can do anything, but he won't do anything outside his own will. I believe one of the only reason Jesus could endure such great suffering was because he knew the end game was best.

James Greer: 20:55 And then he kind of sums it up, and he says, verse 37 he says, "And then he came and he found them sleeping and he said to Peter, Simon are you asleep? And could you not even not watch for one hour?" And 38 says, "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." The flesh is weak. The flesh, you've got to get every single day, the flesh is weak. The flesh is weak, pray is powerful. That's why you've got to understand, there'll be a time in your life and my life, there'll be only one person that can help you and that's Jesus Christ. Until you understand that there'll be one that can help you, and nobody else. That the Bible says in First Corinthians 2:5, "That's your faith should not standing in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God." It means the mighty strength ability, the miracle working God, the one that gives you the ability to go into the throne room of grace, and get the counsel of God. That can be with you to give you the help to get through anything and everything you need, but that does not always mean to remove the suffering. But it means, I'll never leave you, I'll never forsake you.

James Greer: 22:10 And then he sums it up and I'll give you some insights. 39 it says, "Again he went away and he (did what?) he prayed. And he spoke the same words again. And he said this, and when he had returned, he found them sleeping again and their eyes were weary because the flesh is weak, and they did not know what to answer him. Then he came a third time, and he said to them, they're still sleeping and resting, is it enough? And the hour was come, behold the son of man is being betrayed unto the hands of the sinner."

James Greer: 22:42 Let me give you some insights, are you ready? So how do you get through all of this? Number one, be prayed up. Now, when I say be prayed up, I'm talking about be prepared before the time's come. See, the greatest problem in the Christian life is we're not prepared for the times to come. When I say be prepared, I'm talking about what it talks about in Matthew 7:24 it says, "Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of mine, and then does them." It would be like, hey, I want you to come to church. Amen? Because I like to preach to people. But you know what's more important than just coming to church? It's doing what you hear. It says, "Whoever comes to church, and hears the word, is like a wise man who built his house on the rock." In other words, you can come to church, come to church, come to church, come to church, and your life is never transformed. It's coming to church, and doing what you hear, and you build your house upon the rock. Who's the rock? Jesus Christ. You're starting to get prepared every single day. The rain descended didn't it? Yes, it did. "The rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew, and then beat up on the house. It didn't fall." Why? Because the foundation was a rock. Then the same thing happened again, "But everyone who hears these sayings, and does not do them, it's like a foolish man." And God's saying, that have you ever noticed the same people come to church, and they're two different people, two different families, two different individuals that have the same exact problem. And one walks through it, through the power and grace of God, and the other falls apart. It's the same problem, same church, same people. One hears the word and does the work, one's preparing beforehand, one isn't. God says they're foolish. They built their house on the sand, upon emotions, how they felt that day. "The rains descended, the floods came, the winds blew, and beat on the house, and great was the fall."

James Greer: 24:39 What I want you to do when I say, pray up, I want you to prepare beforehand. I want you to be doers of the word. How do you do that? I want you to take at least fifteen minutes a day, and be in the word, and under the word. Fifteen minutes a day, at least, can help keep some of the stress away. Don't tell me you're too busy. If you're saying you're too busy, it's because you've been blinded, then you blame, and then you're going to be burdened. Fifteen minutes a day, helps keep the stress away, When I say pray, I'm talking about if you take medication, don't raise your hand. Who doesn't take it, but don't say anything. I'm fixing to do a video warning, warning, warning for people that give medication, and people would take medication. If you take medication, make sure you're doing meditation on God's word, right? I do not think it's fair to God, or you, to take medication without meditation? I don't believe that. Joshua 1:8 says, "Meditate on the word day and night. Whatever you do shall prosper, and you should have a good success." He says, meditate, meditate, meditate, then you'll have prosper, then you'll have good success. And then after you meditate, then he says, "I commend you to be strong and courageous, don't be afraid, don't be dismayed because God is with you." He tells us to meditate, then medicate, and then we'll be strong. Amen?

James Greer: 26:10 Second of all, second of all, ask God to remove the problem, and then remember that God understands what you're going through. So we're preparing, right? We're meditating, we're asking God to remove the problem. We remember that we can go into the throne room of grace, that God said, I'm there to help you, he's the right hand of God. Remember when nobody else is there with you, God is there. Jesus Christ says, he's inviting you. He said, I've been through everything you've been through, I'm willing to help you, I want to help you. You have to the greatest power in the world, and I want to give you godly counsel to come in, I want to help you when you're in need. He said, come into there, come into there, come and participate, and then anticipate.

James Greer: 26:56 And then, are you ready? Don't ever think delay means denial. Don't ever believe delay means denial. It looked like that God was not answering Jesus' prayer. No, no, no, that delay did not mean denial. It meant he had a greater answer, it meant he had a greater truth, it that meant he had a greater promise. The enemy of faith is time. The Bible says, hey man, God has great things for you.

James Greer: 27:25 As we get ready to close, Trey, if you'll come, I want you to remember something. I want you to make a commitment, say, I'm going to start being prepared. You're going to give 15 minutes a day. If you're taking medication, you're going to give meditation equal opportunity. You're going to ask God to remove the problem, you're going to understand that you have access to God. You're not going to let delay discourage you, you're going to let it say, hey, that doesn't mean denial, tomorrow maybe God's going to be there, maybe God's going to be there. And then you're going to say, hey, I don't, you ready, I don't know of a better place in the world to enter into the throne room of grace, than right here this morning.

James Greer: 28:13 So would you stand and let me pray for you? God, you're a great God, an awesome God. Man, I thank you for the Throne Room of Grace, and God, I think it's right here this morning. God, I pray whether it's anxiety, whether it's problems, whether it's pressure, whether it's individual, whether it's relationship, whether it's financial, God, whether it's first off it's somebody that doesn't know you as their powerful personal savior. I pray today, they'd do it. Whether they need to join the church today, God, whether they just need to find peace in your power and your presence. God, there's absolutely nothing too hard for you unless it's outside the will of God. And God, there's one thing that's not outside your will, that they'd walk into your presence and that you'd help each and every one of us, no matter what it is. God burden us for those people that are lost, that are dying, that might spend eternity in torture and torment. Begin to put their names on our heart, and on our minds. Begin to open the doors, God, help us to bring them with us next Sunday. God, help them to be receptive, help us see them ushered into your kingdom. But now, God, help us to think that we're in your presence, the Throne Room of God. That there's absolutely nothing we can't bring to you, that you actually encourage us to come to you for help. God, that you've already been through whatever it is they're going through, and you've got the answer for it. It's in your name we pray. Amen.



Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360
318-640-1273