Sunday, March 29, 2015

Choose Him....

In Biblical times, Palm Sunday would have been known as "Lamb Selection Day." 
The day families would go and select their lamb, similar to the way your family heads out to select your Christmas tree. (Minus the kids faces glued to their iPhones and the perfect family tree pics posted on Instagram. 
You know the is never gotta pick just the right one...
It was on this day, the week of Passover, Jesus came out of the wilderness on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives (just as the prophecy said the Messiah would come). 
This date and time had been fixed since the foundation of the world.

People spread cloaks and palm branches on the road before him. Then the disciples "Began, joyfully, to praise God in loud voices 
for all the miracles they had seen" ~Luke 19:37. 
The crowd began shouting, "Hosanna." This was a slogan of the ultra-nationalistic Zealots, which meant, "Please save us! Give us freedom! We're sick of these Romans!"

What's Up With The Palm Branches?
Palm branches were very symbolic to all people back then. they were found on Jewish coins. They were not a symbol of peace or love, 
they were an expression of the people's desire for political freedom.

Jesus knew exactly what they wanted and how they wanted it.And it caused Him to weep.
Take that in for a minute....Jesus Wept. Out. Loud.

His response to them.....was tears....and lots of them
He grieved for the hearts of His People.
He knew they wanted a warrior.....someone to give them "freedom".....little did they know they were face to face with the only One who can offer true freedom...
it just wasn't what they thought it would look like. They weren't remotely interested in a Messiah who offered forgiveness and deliverance from sin.

Jesus came to them....and to you and to The Very Lamb of God.
Jesus, the sinless Messiah who would die on humankind's behalf, appeared on the very same day that people were to choose their spotless Passover lambs! 

It's as if God Himself, was yelling to the entire world,
"Here's My Lamb. Will you choose him?"

This Palm Sunday He listens for your answer and for mine...
as He once again asks....this very day....

Will you pick Me...Will you let Me be your Lamb?
Thank you God for offering Your Only Son on Lamb Selection Day. I choose You.

In His Dust,

Monday, March 23, 2015

Love God, Love People...

I got into an insightful conversation yesterday with someone on Facebook who was looking for a new church...
It involved several people who thought they had the answer. 
Including me.

My gut instinct was to sell how wonderful MY church home is....
To prove that is was the best fit for could she possibly like somewhere else better???

Which was a great concept until I noticed everyone else had the same thought.
except, they weren't all from MY church. 
That's when I realized, I agreed with them...they all went to great churches!

I was quickly reminded of some wise words from Bob Goff.... 
"When people ask where you go to church....tell them 'OUR'S!' 
Because when it all comes down to it....WE ARE THE CHURCH."
Jesus spent His last hours here on Earth praying for those who remained and those that would come (US), to be known for our love for one another.
In this way we can best show Him to others. 
(This includes different churches and different denominations)

"Jesus said, 'The first in importance is, 
love the Lord God with all your passion, prayer, intelligence and energy.' 
And here is the second: "Love others as you love yourself.' 
There is no other commandment that ranks with these." ~Mark 12:30-31

 "Our legacy is the trail of breadcrumbs we leave leading towards Jesus....
make it look like you worked in a bakery." ~Bob Goff

God, Thank you for such simple instructions to Love you and Love others. 

In His Dust,

Monday, March 16, 2015

Walking Out Of Fire....

Let's start with....I am so glad these names are not still not "trending."
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up. 
But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference
We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” 
~Daniel 3:16-18

So the story goes, King Nebuchadnezzar, gets furious...."his face purple with anger",
throws them in the fire, after he turned up the heat 7 times hotter than usual.
the men that carried them in the fire were killed while the fire itself went nuts  around Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
King Nebuchadnezzar freaked out at what he saw. 
“I see four men, walking around freely in the fire, completely unharmed! And the fourth man looks like a son of the gods!”
Nebuchadnezzar got closer to the fire and yelled, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the High God, come out here!”
At this point, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked right out of the fire."

After thorough examination by all of the upper muckety-mucks in town....
it was unanimously declared.... 
"The fire hadn’t so much as touched the three men—
not a hair singed, 
not a scorch mark on their clothes,
not even the smell of fire on them!

What does this have to do with you and me today...March 16, 2015?
The Very Same God that protected these three bizarrely named men....protects us.
No matter what type of fire you might feel today....
whether you are looking at someone else's....or feeling the heat on your own skin....
Remember, Our God is in it with us and enough to rescue us from it.

Thank You God for bringing us through all of our fires, big and small, without as much as the smell of smoke on us.

In His Dust,