As Jesus approached Jerusalem on the day we now call Palm Sunday, He wept over the city. The Prince of Peace saw the city of peace and was overwhelmed with sorrow. Why? Because they did not have peace with God.
They did not recognize the specific day that God had come to them to give them peace. And sadly because of their rejection, destruction came when the Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem.
Have you recognized Jesus coming to you to seek and to save that which was lost? One day, we will all have to stand before God alone. He will inspect your heart to see if you have peace with God. Do you know the things that make for your peace?
If you don’t know and haven’t received Jesus, the coming destruction will be eternal—eternal separation from God. But it doesn’t have to be that way! This is why Jesus came—to save you from destruction.
You can ask Jesus today—right now—to forgive you of your sins, to fill you with His Spirit, and to make you a brand new creation in Christ. Cry out to Him and He will save you! Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as the Lord of your life.
Palm Sunday is the day we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. A day foretold by prophets, a day for celebration, and day for weeping. It was a day that Jesus was concerned—not for Himself, but about us. In this study, we considered what Jesus was doing and what was happening one week before His resurrection and a few days before His crucifixion.
Reconcile—it’s a big word with a beautiful meaning. In the Greek language Paul used to write this letter, it means to change—not just a minor change, but a thorough change. A complete change.
Because of sin, every one of us is estranged from God. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s best. Sin has left us at odds with God—there needs to be a change in our relationship to Him and our relationship with Him.
It is only in and through Christ that your relationship to God is reconciled, changed, restored. There can now be friendship with God in Jesus rather than hostility with God in sin.
Jesus made that possible on the cross when He became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Are you reconciled to God? Or are you still at odds with Him because of your sin? We implore you on Christ’s behalf—be reconciled to God! Ask Him for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as the Lord of your life.
When reading Paul’s epistles, there is often a lot going on that can touch on a number of different topics. We see that in 2 Corinthians 5, where Paul writes about the right motives for ministry. He wrote so well about this topic because his motives were often scrutinized.
You see, Paul had his number of critics in Corinth. Many tried to discredit him and his message. Now there were a number of ways Paul could have handled this situation, but he chose the most direct way—by addressing the criticism head on.
So in this portion of his second letter to the church in Corinth, Paul writes in a way that helped this church—and us—see the right motives for life and ministry.
Watch or listen to our study as Pastor Allan Benson led our time in 2 Corinthians 5.
Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” —Mark 1:40
Leprosy made this man unclean—physically and spiritually unacceptable and unaccepted in society. Unclean was what he shouted to warn others of his condition. It’s no surprise that he desired more than physical healing—he wanted to be made clean.
So he went to Jesus and fell at His feet—sick, forgotten, and forsaken—full of leprosy…and full of faith.
Jesus knew all about this man—his struggle with the disease that alienated him from his community. This man knew about Jesus—how He was able to heal, yet he wondered whether or not Jesus was willing.
Like this man, you may be frightened of the disgusting effects of the spiritual leprosy of sin in your life. You may be afraid of Jesus getting too close and finding out just how rotten you are. You may question if Jesus is really willing to make you clean.
Oh, He is! He is not only able to heal you of the sickness of sin, He is willing to put His hand upon your your very soul and speak a word of power to cast out sin and it’s ugly hold over your life!
And when the power of sin is broken, you are not only healed spiritually—you are clean—completely and eternally.
Have you enjoyed this healing and cleansing from sin? Just ask Jesus! He is able and willing to cleanse you today!
Grace, authority, power. These are the qualities of Jesus we’ve observed so far in the Gospel of Mark. In Nazareth, people marveled at His gracious words. In Capernaum, people were astonished at how Jesus taught with authority. And He demonstrated His power when He healed Peter’s mother-in-law.
He is able to do everything with all power and authority. And He is also willing to do it with all grace. Not just for those in Nazareth and Capernaum. He is willing to heal YOU and cleanse YOU of the debilitating, disfiguring, and disgusting effects of sin.
All He has to do is say the word and you will be clean. And yet, as we see in our study, He is willing to do so much more.
When you know that you are loved by Jesus, you start asking Him for anything—big things, little things, impossible things—everything! As you start a life of asking, you’ll begin to notice that He is responding.
Often, His response is asking something of you. And when you obey Him, you realize just how awesome His is and notice what He is up to in the world.
That prompts you to love Him even more—and you realize how much He loves you, which prompts you to ask Him more, which prompts Him to ask of you more—and the cycle continues.
This rhythm is the life Jesus intends for His followers to live—a life of asking, obedience, and love.
The beginning to this life is easy—just ask!
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to hear Jesus teach and preach? Have you ever imagined what it would have been like to be in the same small synagogue with Him or on the Judaean hillsides while He would teach and proclaim God’s word with authenticity, authority, and simplicity?
Loud or soft; fast or slow—while we don’t know the volume or the tempo with which Jesus spoke, we do know the content and the style. Thankfully, we have many of Jesus’ sermons recorded in the Gospels—and His message was clear.
He would often teach about the kingdom. He would emphasize the need for a new start—a new birth—as the only way to enter into this kingdom. He would talk about holy living as the evidence that one had been born again and was a genuine citizen of this kingdom. And He would illustrate all of this in the simplest of ways using everyday life and everyday things like seeds and soil and farmers and flowers.
Most importantly, His message was always rooted in Scripture—not in someone’s opinion or oral tradition. His sermons were full of direct quotations from the Old Testament. He really believed what He was saying—and said it with awe and childlike wonder concerning His Father.
We would do well to follow in His footsteps. Remember—all believers are ambassadors are representatives of His kingdom. Like Jesus, you can proclaim God’s word with simplicity, rooted and grounded in the word, and saying it with awe and childlike wonder.
He has given you a message—proclaim it!
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends