New Apostolic Church USA

Come Back to Jesus

District Apostle Kolb's introduction letter from the Spring 2020 Vision Newsletter

When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray… (Luke 22:45)

Dear brothers and sisters,

This verse is from the time of Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane. The Lord took John, Peter, and James with Him and asked them to pray. What did they do? They were so sad that they slept. Sleeping from sorrow may have come from a number of reasons. Surely, they were sorrowful by the announcement of Judas’s betrayal (Matthew 26:22) just hours before. And they were troubled about what Jesus had predicted in the past days. Perhaps, they were uneasy by the ominous atmosphere that suddenly surrounded them, and even confused by the course of events. At one time, Jesus preached and fed thousands, and now, being only a few, they experienced the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed…

Alas, all these feelings came to bear on that night in the darkness – sorrow, uneasiness, confusion, overwhelmed by the circumstances. And yet, this was the time when the Lord Jesus needed them the most! Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? How sad the expression – friends asleep, but enemies awake…

Perhaps, we too find ourselves in similar circumstances, even now being alone during the outbreak of the pandemic. We could become overwhelmed in our circumstances, standing helpless and not understanding anything anymore.

Even further, we may become sorrowful - when our ideas are not being used, over a conflict with our minister, or during the many issues we have to confront.

There is the danger that one gets tired and has no more courage and doesn’t take their faith so seriously. The “sleep” may exhibit itself in the temptation to draw back, withdraw from activity, from taking on more or any responsibility. “If I don’t do it today I will do it tomorrow, and if I don’t do it then, someone else will do it, and if it is not done, perhaps, it was not that important after all…”

Let’s come back to Jesus! This is the time when He wants us to help Him! Not because He could not do anything without us, but because He called us. Can we say that everything has no value and no purpose? It is normal for us to be affected by the difficulties we encounter, but our sorrow must not prevent us from answering the Lord’s call. It is precisely now that He is counting on us! He called us today and we want to serve Him.

Here we can understand more clearly the words of Jesus - The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Mark 14:38). Inwardly, the disciples believed and wanted to follow Jesus and yet, perhaps the part of them that clung to their visons of what could be, power and glory, was not strong enough to follow the lead of the spirit.

We may, at times, have thought, “If only I could have been there with Jesus, listening to His words and seeing His activity.” Now it becomes clear that the physical proximity of the three disciples to Jesus, experiencing Him in the purest manner, did not make it any easier to follow Him.

Dear ones, let’s remain alert and allow the Spirit within us to be powerful and dominant in our lives. Let’s join with Christ in His love for all by serving each other. The victory of Christ is our strength, especially in these extraordinary days!

With loving greetings,

LR Kolb

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