Tuesday, March 27, 2018

What's the deal with Palm Sunday?

In my circles there has been talk of something called Palm Sunday recently...
It is on more traditional Churches and expressions of christian faith calendars, remembering a moment in history, where Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.

It is recorded in Luke 19:28-42 that just before his crucification, Jesus rode into town and people laid palms, some even their cloaks on the rode before him. They also worshiped as he rode by.
What an amazing scene if you take the time to think about it!
In literally a few days this same man they are going out of their way to honour, is going to be brutally murdered. And yet in this moment there is giving, joy, celebration, peace...it would be a very beautiful and spiritually powerful time for those participating.

In all my pondering this occasion I couldn't help but wonder what that means for me here in 2018?
What does Palm Sunday say to me if anything?
Can my time leading up to Easter be as possibly meaningful?
Can it have an impact on my life as it no doubt did for this in Jerusalem that day?

Here are the two questions I have myself...
What can I bring?
And when I ask myself what I can bring, I am actually am asking myself what of value can I lay down for Him to honour Him.
Those people didn't lay down a spare cloak they no long needed. They laid down their cloak, maybe the only one they had.
They laid down something that cost them something.

How can I worship?
Faced with the occasion and action they took, another heart response poured fourth.
They choose to worship Him with song, with words of adoration and faith. There was no way they weren't going to let their hearts bust out in praise.

Something to think about...



Wednesday, March 21, 2018

You are not alone...

I has personally discovered that making a stand, giving of yourself for God, can on some level feel a little lonely, leave you potentially feeling vulnerable...but are you really as you feel?

What about when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were thrown into a fiery furnace for their stand in faith? 
I wonder if they felt a moment or two of vulnerability or the fact the whole known world was against them? In the end their feeling didn't dictate the result and they found themselves in the middle of the worst their enemy could do to them, Jesus beside, and came through completely unharmed.

What about the prophet Elijah who felt like he was the only one who was really trying to live for God? 
He wasn't the only one, as God had 'kept a remnant for himself'.
When we was tired, down and wanting to give up, God supernaturally supplied what he needed to be restrengthened again.

Today if you are feeling a little on your own can I encourage you with these words?
You aren't alone!
Jesus is with you. A great crowd of witnesses are cheering you on. You have people around you who are praying for you.
You aren't vulnerable!
Jesus is right beside you. God has sent angels to minister to your situation. Let who God puts in your life encourage you.
You aren't without hope!
In fact we have all the hope we need when we look to Jesus.

Something to think about...

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

#blessed 05

Jesus actually taught on how to be #blessed.
Sitting on a hill and speaking to anyone curious enough to listen. Little by little, sentence by sentence, step by step, He paints a clear pattern and picture for us today.

"Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy."
Matthew 5:7 niv

Jesus words so well match the many others found throughout scripture....
"whoever refreshes others will be refreshed". Proverbs 11:25
"A man reaps what he sows". Galatians 6:7

There maybe will be a time for each of us where we will desperately want others to show us mercy?
You can prepare for that day by living for it today.
Showing mercy to others, whether they deserve it or not.
It is the Jesus thing to do. From the women caught in adultery to the lady at the well and the many "sinners" He choose to give the best of himself for...His life and ministry reflected His heart of mercy.

Could you show some to someone else today?

Something to think about...

Monday, March 12, 2018

Are you like this guy?

Each of us can reach that moment...
Where we are tired, worn out, sometimes from even doing the right things for a protracted length of time. As someone rightly said years ago, we are 'human beings not human doings'.

- If you find your thoughts are tilting towards more negative that positive...
- That your conversations with God are more about what is wrong than praying for what could be right...
- If deep down your know your heart has become weary...
- Maybe your mood is darker. Your nerves a little frazzled...
Can I share something from scripture that I discovered recently?

Elijah the prophet has just had a major victory! (1 Kings 18)
After what was arguably one of the most demonstrative battles between faith in God and another god, a battle between one man and nearly a 1000, God shows up and answers in the most dramatic and miraculous way.
And yet within a short space of time you see Elijah venting to God about how much he wants to die! (1 Kings 19)
Shouldn’t this be a moment to savour in victory?
Shouldn’t he be riding a wave of ministry euphoria?
Why can’t this be a momentum moment to springboard his ministry to a book deal, speaking tour and more?...

He is tired.
He is worn out.

What is Gods advice to him?
Rest and Eat.
Seems too simple doesn’t it? Maybe that is why people like me actually struggle with it.
I naturally want a supernatural importation of strength, a shundy bundy moment.
While they are awesome, maybe God wants to do it different for you right now?

God wanted him to rest and eat, because there was more to do.
Struggling on in his own strength was clearly never going to work. And it was going to stop him from being more effective in the kingdom.

So today how does this simple thought find you?
Emotionally, physically, spiritually well or maybe the opposite?
Has the weight of ministry and serving in your current finally got you a bit empty and flat?
Come on and rest and eat.
I give you permission to let God minister to your very soul...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

#blessed 04

Jesus actually taught on how to be #blessed.
Sitting on a hill and speaking to anyone curious enough to listen. Little by little, sentence by sentence, step by step, He paints a clear pattern and picture for us today.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled."
Matthew 5:6 niv

I actually have come to believe you will find what you are looking for...
Not some new age, woolly woofter kind of thing, but you will get what you go for in life and in faith.

If you are hungry, maybe even desperate to find God...
To see Him move in your life...
If you pray for and expect Him to answer prayer...
If your hope is firmly rooted and established in Him, it will never be left wanting!
Jeremiah 29:13 tells us we will find him if we seek Him. Meaning for me that God is not hard to find and is actually keen for us to seek Him out...

On the other hand, if you are tired and even cynical...the world and your faith we seem the same.
If you think the world is out to get you and there is no hope, you will probably be right. You are actually being prophetic over your life in a negative way.

My other observation here is that Jesus seems to be alluding to something related to eating, drinking and the natural order of sustenance?
In the natural and the spiritual things can be mirrored for us, so what are feeding yourself on today? Hope, faith, love and a healthy expectation of an amazing Father in Heaven or the opposite?

Something to think about...
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