Holy Week Reading Plan Day 4: We must surrender to God’s perfect will for us

“They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, ‘Sit here while I go and pray.’ He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’

He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. ‘Abba, Father,’ he cried out, ‘everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.’” Mark 14:32-36, NLT

Note from the New Believer’s Bible

For every believer there comes a Gethsemane, a place where obedience overrules personal desire and where spirit becomes more important than flesh, a place where the glory of God becomes more important than the believer’s glory. Jesus promised, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it” (Matthew 10:39).

Each of us must come to the point where we say along with Jesus, “I want your will to be done, not mine.” So don’t be afraid to pray, “Abba, Father”—a term of endearment and tenderness, like a child calling her father “Daddy”—and then surrender yourself to his perfect will for your life.

Look inside the New Believer’s Bible

The Beginning of it All

Article from the New Believer’s Bible

“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:1-5, NLT

Eventually every child gets around to asking the question, “Where did God come from?” And there is no easy answer for that, except to say, God has always existed. He is self-existent. He already existed in the beginning. God has no beginning, nor does he have an end.

It is worth noting that the Bible never tries to prove the existence of God. It just says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). You can’t go back any further than that! Now, certain people would like to eliminate the major player here. They’d rather the verse read, “In the beginning, the heavens and the earth . . .” But if we eliminate God, then we have a big problem. In the beginning . . . what?

Some would say, “In the beginning, a mass of gases was floating in space.” But that’s not the beginning. Where did the mass of gases come from? Where did space come from? The Bible simply says, “In the beginning God.”

The Bible doesn’t tell us when the beginning was; it just says God was already there. And here, John tells us that the Word, Jesus Christ, already existed in the beginning with God ( John 1:2). He was with God, he was God, and God created everything through him ( John 1:1, 3).

Sometimes we speak of God by describing his attributes: omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, sovereignty, truth, righteousness, holiness, and love. While these descriptions can help, if you really want to know what God is like, then look at Jesus—God in human form. Jesus did not represent God as a glorified man; he was God himself among us, the Messiah in human flesh, God with skin on. God has a face. Jesus, who embodied all of God’s attributes, walked our planet as a man and breathed our air and felt our pain. He was so knowledgeable he could predict future events, so humble he could get on his knees and wash a friend’s dirty feet, so powerful he could calm the wind and waves with just a word, so approachable that children laughingly climbed into his arms. In Jesus, God spelled himself out in language that every one of us can understand.