Monthly Archives: March 2015

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry ~ Ride on… Ride On… In Majesty! Henry Milman (1791-1868)

Ride on, ride on in majesty! Hark, all the tribes hosanna cry, thy humble beast pursues his road with palms and scattered garments strowed. Ride on, ride on in majesty! In lowly pomp ride on to die, O Christ thy triumph now begin o’er captive death and conquered sin. Ride on, ride on in majesty! The winged squadrons of the sky look down with sad and wondring eyes to see the approaching sacrifice. Ride on, ride on in majesty! Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh; the Father on his sapphire throne awaits his own anointed Son. Ride on, ride on in majesty! In lowly pomp ride on to die; bow thy meek head to mortal pain, then take, O God, thy power and reign. Henry Milman (1791-1868)

JESUS, GOD’S ANOINTED ONE!

Jesus’ ministry was brief but potent! He was born to die. But before Calvary, Jesus made sure that Israel was exposed to their REAL DELIVERER. Signs and wonders, along with powerful teaching, were His calling cards. Woven into the fabric of His Messianic among the lowly of society, Jesus touched Israel in a profound way. He made Isaiah 61 come alive throughout His homeland. He healed the sick and He raised the dead. Who was this Miracle Worker? His works were His Father’s proof that Divinity had arrived with their deliverance in His heart! But what would be His next move? More signs and wonders or withdrawal? From Matthew 16 it appears that Jesus was set not only upon going to Jerusalem but also to deepen the understanding of the Twelve. This He did. Matthew 16:21 reads (NLT) From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead. 

Matthew 16:21 presents a prelude to Jesus’ most bold conversations with His men. Yes, the time had come… as Luke 9:51 says, “He set His face to go to Jerusalem.” But in the interim, what did He say? His words were direct and troubling for His small band of men. He grabs their attention! He tells them of His pending appointment with Israel’s religious elite. They would judge Him and they would make their accusations stick! Ultimately, their chorus of “Crucify Him” would ring throughout Jerusalem and touch the ears of Jerusalem’s power brokers. JESUS WOULD DIE! They attacked their Messiah… they rejected God’s Anointed One! Ultimately, every sign, every miracle and every message only lessened the chances of Israel’s most religious from coming to salvation; from coming to their Deliverer!

Matthew 16 ~ The Truth Comes Out!

The Pharisees and Sadducees were stuck! It appears that they enjoyed seeing miracles. On top of that, Jesus was quite the show if  they were looking for that. For going on three years now they had observed Jesus at work! At first glance one might conclude that these religious pros were close to salvation. Sadly, this was not the case. As a matter of fact, it appears that they were further away from the Jesus they needed, than they realized! Just a quick read through Matthew 16:1-12 proves this to be the case.

When we arrive at Matthew 16:13, Jesus begins to unfold His agenda for the next six months or so. Far be it from Jesus to mention suffering or death! But, when least expected, He does just that! On the back edge of Peter’s confession of Jesus as The Christ, Jesus unpacks some heart stopping news. He not only is going to suffer, He is going to die! Overwhelmed, Peter slides between Jesus and the other disciples and whispers some gut wrenching words into the ears of his Christ! Earlier Peter and the other disciples appear closer to understanding who Jesus was than ever before. With Peter’s rebuke, things go into an abrupt reverse!!! Within moments of Peter’s rebuke, Jesus offers His own rebuke. He’s been here before! Previously, Jesus had used His rebuke against His adversary the devil, and now it is owned by His lead disciple, Peter. Matthew 4:10 reveals it, “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

Incredibly enough the reels continue to roll. Within a few short months Jesus enters Jerusalem to find His reservations secured for His cross! While Jesus’ body is being desecrated as though He was a common criminal, Peter and the others run for their lives. They hide, scared for their lives… lives they had previously promised to Jesus. This sounds so much like us, doesn’t it?

Matthew 16:18 – “I love the church” Derek Thomas

WHAT A BLESSING ARE THESE WORDS! I love the church. I love everything about the church. I love the services; I love the quaint things about the church. I love the idiosyncratic members of the church, and that includes myself! We are truly, as Peter says, a peculiar people! I love the worship services, I love the prayer meetings. I love that schedule, that program that every week is the same: that Wednesday night is prayer meeting. It’s like a refuge, it’s a sanctuary. The Lord’s Day morning and evening, and Sunday School–it’s part of the way God builds us up; it’s part of the way God disciples us and grows us as Christians.

I’ve not always loved the church. I didn’t grow up in a church. I never went to church for the first eighteen years of my life, apart from maybe half a dozen occasions that I would rather blot out of my memory, they were so bad.

I love the church. Every Christian should love the church. It’s not something that we can pick and choose; it’s not something that we can decide is for some Christians and not for others. Jesus tells us here He is building His church.

This is my testimony as well… I wasn’t raised in church either. I can’t imagine not being able to attend church! THANK YOU AGAIN DR. THOMAS… THIS BLESSES ME!!!

MISSIONS~ Ralph Winter

Ralph Winter on MISSIONS…

America today is a “save yourself” society if there ever was one. But does it really work? The underdeveloped societies suffer from one set of diseases: tuberculosis, malnutrition, pneumonia, parasites, typhoid, cholera, typhus, etc. Affluent America has virtually invented a whole new set of diseases: obesity, arteriosclerosis, heart disease, strokes, lung cancer, venereal disease, cirrhosis of the liver, drug addiction, alcoholism, divorce, battered children, suicide, murder. Take your choice. Labor-saving machines have turned out to be body-killing devices. Our affluence has allowed both mobility and isolation of the nuclear family, and as a result, our divorce courts, our prisons and our mental institutions are flooded. In saving ourselves we have nearly lost ourselves.

How hard have we tried to save others? Consider the fact that the U.S. evangelical slogan, “Pray, give or go” allows people merely to pray, if that is their choice! By contrast the Friends Missionary Prayer Band of South India numbers 8,000 people in their prayer bands and supports 80 full-time missionaries in North India. If my denomination (with its unbelievably greater wealth per person) were to do that well, we would not be sending 500 missionaries, but 26,000. In spite of their true poverty, those poor people in South India are sending 50 times as many cross-cultural missionaries as we are! {1}

[1] Ralph Winter, “Reconsecration to a Wartime, Not a Peacetime, Lifestyle,” in Perspectives on the World

Give us this day our daily bread ~ Prayer by Matthew Henry

Father, we ask not for bread for a great while to come, but that we may have this day our daily bread; for we would learn (please, Lord, teach us) not to be anxious for tomorrow, what we shall eat, or what we shall drink, or what we shall wear, but we cast the care upon you, our heavenly Father, who knows that we need all these things; Matthew 6:31-32(ESV) who feeds the birds of the air, though they neither sow nor reap, and will much more feed us, Matthew 6:26(ESV) who are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31(ESV)

We do not pray for daily bread for ourselves only but for others also: O satisfy your poor with bread. Psalm 132:15(ESV) Let all who walk righteously and speak uprightly dwell on the heights: Let the place of their defense be the fortresses of rocks, let their bread be given them, and let their water be sure. Isaiah 33:15-16(ESV)

Matthew 6:10 Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

This third petition “Thy will be done, on earth as it in heaven” is where we reverently fall before our LORD with a lifestyle of obedience and reverence for HIM! This reverent yielding acknowledges our Heavenly Father, as holy, as honored and as worthy of our obedience and reverence! This means we surrender ourselves to our Sovereign Father! PRAYER bears fruit when we get beyond ourselves! Getting past ourselves, getting over/beyond our meism and individualism is a tough battle, a lifelong fight! WHY? It’s ongoing… it’s a struggle… a clash of wills! KEY: The human will cannot overthrow itself! SURRENDER is initiated and energized by God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit provides the enablement; Jesus provides the example!!! Jesus taught His disciples to yield themselves to HIS WILL in everything! Our bent is to be NUMBER ONE… At the front of the line. If we are going to pray as Jesus taught us to pray we must surrender TO HIM and TO HIS WILL FOR OUR LIVES!