Setting the Theme
Think about a recent house project that didn’t go particularly well. Share that project and what didn’t go so well. Did it finally get done?
Approaching God’s Word
Pray that God would open our hearts and lives to His Word.
Read Romans 5:3-5
Engaging the Message
Either in Wednesday evening worship or by YouTube, engage the message for the week. The space below is intended for your personal notes and reflections.
Listen to the background of the Garden of Gethsemane.
- Gethsemane means “olive press.” To get olive oil the olives have to be crushed. In Gethsemane, Jesus prays in the garden of the olive press. Jesus was pressed and felt crushed. He sought strength for the pending darkness he knew was coming.
- Why did Jesus pray in such a place?
- What words from Luke 22 describe the pressing/crushing of Jesus?
- How is Jesus strengthened?
- What do you think about the gardener image? Am I over stepping the story to add a character not mentioned in Scripture?
- What encouragement do we receive from the Garden?
Discuss one or more of the following with a friend or family member:
Note the sequence that Paul shares in Romans 5:3-5. How does he express pressing and crushing? What is the outcome of the crushing?
Do you think what Paul shares is realistic? When you are pressed, how do you react? Like Paul suggests or in a different way?
Joseph, Jacob’s son (Old Testament), is another Biblical character who was pressed. He was thrown in a pit, sold into slavery, imprisoned, and finally made second in command in all Egypt. Even through 20 years of slavery and imprisonment where Joseph didn’t know the outcome, what was always very clear to him (Genesis 45:4-7)? How do you identify with Joseph?
What was the result of all the pressing and crushing Joseph experienced? How does that give you hope as you face your own challenges?
Ultimately, Paul, who endured the crushing and pressing in his life could say that he is more than a conqueror through Jesus (Romans 8:31-39). How does the promise of being a conqueror through Jesus make you feel?
Talk about one or more of the following with people who can point you back to Jesus and His love for you.
Who can you invite to help you see the bigger picture of what Jesus is doing in the midst of suffering when you are being pressed and crushed?
What can your home group, friend, or family member pray for you about as you hold onto Jesus’ promise to give you his strength in the middle of your challenges?
Who can you thank this week for being Jesus’ gift as you have walked through life’s challenges in the past few months? How will you thank them?
Daily / Word
Sunday: Luke 22:47-53
Monday: Luke 22:39-46
Tuesday: I Peter 5:6-11
Wednesday: Phil. 3:12-14
Thursday: Romans 5:3-5
Friday: Gen. 45:4-7
Saturday: Romans 8:31-39
Prayer for the Week
Dear Jesus, You went to Gethsemane to pray and be strengthened. You knew what was coming and there in deep emotion you seek strength. The oil press of Gethsemane was pushing you down but you would rise up and destroy the press of hurt, pain, and separation.
Give us strength as we struggle with our own crushing stuff. Give us all assurance that you are with us in the midst of all the pressing circumstances that would crush us.
We ask all of this in your name. Amen