Shelby G. Floyd

Our lesson today is one of a series from the book of James. You can prepare to learn more by reading this very practical book each week.


In almost every area of life things must be tested before there can be any benefit to the human family. Medicine is one example where much testing must be done before it is made available to the public. These wonderful drugs are often tested for years to see if they will do what they were designed to do. Aerospace is another area where repeated testing is done to see if planes, rockets and missiles will do what they were designed to do by the engineers.

The same thing is true with computer products. Software companies test these products for months before they are marketed to businesses and the private sector of our economy. Even after much testing often the consumer will discover that the product has a “bug” that must be corrected.

Even nations are not exempt from testing. Our country was severely tested on Sept. 11, 2001 like it has not been tested for some time. This tragic event tested our people to see what we are made out of and to see if our country will do what it was designed to do—live in liberty and have justice for all.

In like manner God has chosen to test your faith and my faith. God does not test our faith for his benefit, but for our benefit to see if our faith is genuine. This testing is to see if our faith will do what it was designed to do. Scripture says, “Without faith we cannot please God” (Hebrews 11: 6). Faith is therefore the basis of our hope of eternal life and heaven. We may think that our faith is strong, but until it has been tested we do not really know for sure. We may say, “I will survive anything that comes my way.” But we do not know until we have come through the various trials that come our way. Continue reading “THE TESTING OF OUR FAITH”

Oil Press


Shelby G. Floyd

old abandoned olive press - Anavargos _Large_

After our Lord ate the last Jewish Passover with his twelve apostles (Mark 14:17), established his own Memorial—the Lord’s Supper (Mark 14:22-25), then they all sung a hymn (Mark 14:26). To the Mount of Olives with Peter, James and John, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-33). Jesus went there to pray and to encourage his apostles to watch and pray lest they would enter into temptation (Mark 14:32, 38).

Gethsemane means “oil press,” no doubt a place where the olives were pressed out to become the oil that was a staple in that ancient economy and way of life. “Oil Press” then is symbolic of the “press” Jesus would be going through mentally, emotionally and physically in his cruel death on the cross.

We see something of the emotional press that Christ underwent on this night in Gethsemane. He took the “inner circle”—Peter, James and John deeper into the garden and said unto them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Mark 14:34). Mark describes his emotional state as “deeply distressed and troubled” (Mark 14:33). John describes his “oil press,”

“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say?’ Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:27, 28).

When we are going through troubled times, let all of us trust God and always seek to do his will. As in all things, Christ is our example. That we should walk in his steps (1 Peter 2:21).

Copyright © 2014 Shelby Floyd All Rights Reserved


Shelby G. Floyd