People

Hosanna!


stdas0760[1]

Jesus’ triumphal Entry into Jerusalem:

(Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19).

It was only one week before the historic Passover and the city of Jerusalem was crowded with pilgrims who had come there for the annual Passover celebration.

Jesus and His disciples would soon come to Jerusalem to take part in the festivities. They had been travelling for months; connecting with the towns and villages of Palestine. Everywhere Jesus went He preached the Kingdom of God and healed the sick.

As they journey to Jerusalem, Jesus warned His disciples that the time is come for Him to die, but after three days He would rise again.

So, as they came near Jerusalem, Jesus told two of His disciples to go into a nearby village and bring a donkey that would be waiting there. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Crowds of people spread their coats on the ground in front of Him. Some waved branches of palm trees, a sign of victory. The people shouted,
Hosanna!
Blessed is the one
who comes in the name of the Lord.

What does it means to follow Christ?


Empty72813-2-051

In Luke 9:23 Jesus gives us a preview of what it means to follow Him. “… If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and pick up his cross daily and follow me”.

Although taking up your cross involves denying self, the main focus is about following Christ. The cross or burden we carry has to do with the choices we make with our will, the responses we have in our actions, and the attitude we carry in our hearts.

Our cross means that we are putting to death every decision, every response, and every attitude in our life that is not consistent with the love of Jesus Christ.

What if you gave God total control of your life ?


81413PD010-1


Life could be much more interesting than it is, if we would yield the Master’s call and allow God to chart a course and direct our steps. It is well documented in Biblical history that those who had surrendered control to God lived more prosperous and meaningful lives than those who did not. Even so, most of us scoff at the idea, because we like to take all the glory for our achievements. We are like the leader of the pridethe thought of giving up control or sharing power makes us nervous.

So, even after we have confessed our sins and promised to follow Jesus, we still hesitate to give Him total control. It is only when our backs are up against a wall that we entertain any idea to give up control, but only temporary. Therefore, as soon as we have crossed the Red sea or the Jordan, or survive the storm we are back to business as usualrebellious and disobedient..

Giving God control of your life means you are part of a team. God now becomes  team leader and director; you become a follower. Unfortunately, this is where the problem begins. Most people do not see themselves as followers. They think it is demeaning. In one of the most tightly contested presidential primary, a Journalist suggested that one of the candidates settle for running mate. The candidate replied with this: “You will never see me running for vice president”.

My friends, you can rest assure; there is nothing demeaning about following God and surrender  total control to Him. The prophets and the Patriarchs and the apostles did, and after more than 2000 years we are still talking about them.
Still, like it or not, God is already in charge, but He refuses to act until you ask Him to. The Psalmist David in one of his dialogues writes the following: “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusted in him”– Psalm 34:8.

Are you ready to meet with the Bridegroom?


imagesng3cik3l1.jpgJesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 7:21). Even so, one would have to search long and hard to find a professing Christian, who does not think he or she is ready to meet the Bridegroom. 

The truth is, Just like unrepentant sinners; many people who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior–are in danger of getting shut out of the banquet hall when the Bridegroom returns. Not that they are bad people, but humans like to do things their way and not God’s way. The prophet, Isaiah, talking to his country men and women, declared: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).

Surely, many of us have intentionally detoured from the path that Jesus walked. We have turned to our own way. Then, we convince ourselves that we can get back on the right path in time to meet the Bridegroom. In fact, the five foolish virgins who went to buy oil for their lamps also thought they could get back in time to meet the Bridegroom. They were wrong..

Of course, one could argue that the five foolish virgins were not bad people. On the surface, it seems they did all the right things, and they were just as excited about meeting the Bridegroom, as the five wise virgins. However, they came up short when it matters most.

There is only one way to prepare for the Bridegroom, and that is, Follow the step-by-step plan that Jesus has laid before you. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Therefore, friends, If one walk as Jesus walked, rest assure that a seat awaits you at the banquet table when the Bridegroom returns.

111013hartbw-5682

There is power in the Name of Jesus


Acts 12:1-11

New Living Translation (NLT)

James Is Killed and Peter Is Imprisoned

 King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.

Peter’s Miraculous Escape from Prison

The night before Peter was to be placed on trial; he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.

So Peter left the cell, after the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.

 Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”

images394QYPS1

Are you afraid to talk about racism and discrimination?


Racism and discrimination are undoubtedly significant problems in America; yet still, many people including Christians pretend these evils of society do not exist. No one wants to tackle these problems in any meaningful way.

imagesJ5NHIR1L

Even some of the most celebrated, Religious leaders who assumed duties as moral compasses, and who, of course never minced words when it comes to talk about abortion, gay rights, contraception and other hot button political and social issues are silent on racism and discrimination.

Why? It is hard to say. However, I do not think it is unfair to assume these people are either afraid or are part of the problem.

Still, racism and discrimination are age-old problems. Jesus was a victim of discrimination too. The only reason His people rejected Him was because He was different.

Unlike today’s Religious, Jesus was never silent on the problems of race and discrimination. When He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” He was speaking directly to the racial problem that existed between the Jewish people and their Samaritan neighbors; and when a pesky lawyer said, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus responded with the parable of the good Samaritan.

Behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25, ESV)
Jesus asked him to repeat what the law says, and the man responded: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27, ESV)

Pressing further, the lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
In parable form, Jesus told of a man (a Jew) travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho. Robbers attacked him, took his possessions and clothes, beat him, and left him half dead.

A priest came down the road, saw the injured man, and passed by him on the other side. A Levite passing by did the same.

A Samaritan, from a race hated by the Jews, saw the hurt man and had compassion on him. He poured oil and wine on his wounds, bound them up, then put the man on his donkey. The Samaritan took him to an inn and cared for him.

The next morning, the Samaritan, gave two denarii to the innkeeper for the man’s care and promised to repay him on his way back for any other expenses.
Jesus asked the lawyer which of the three men had been a neighbor. The lawyer answered that the man who showed mercy was a neighbor.
Then Jesus told him, “You go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37, ESV)

 

Face your giant head-on–Don’t cower.


At times the problems we face get so big that they seem to tower over us like an aggressive giant. In the midst of trouble, fears stirred, understanding becomes darkened, and joy evaporates. Yet, rather than look to God for solutions, one leans on his or her own understanding; and as a dark shadow looms over us–we either run away or cower and fold.

In fact, if we learned to face problems like young David confronted the giant Goliath, no one would become paralyzed by fear,  and cower just as the Israelite soldiers did before Goliath and the Philistine army.

On the whole, it was David’s faith and trust in an all-powerful God that allowed him to view his opponent in a different light. Therefore, instead of seeing a giant, David saw an uncircumcised Philistine, whom he defeated.

In Psalm 121 David writes the following:

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore