Holy Week Continues…

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It’s Holy Week, so we are following the journey of Jesus into Jerusalem on His way to the cross and reading about him teaching the people before his death. Keep in mind Passover is a festival that every Jewish family would do their absolute best to attend… you didn’t miss The Passover celebration! So the crowds are bigger than normal and the air is buzzing with a spiritual climate more real than most weeks because this is a week everyone comes to Jerusalem to remember that God delivered them from their bondage and slavery in Egypt.

The readings today have some rich stuff and it’s hard to pick just one… this is a blog after all and multiple stories lead to longer posts : )

I’ll hang out in Matthew 23:1-12. Jesus addresses the crowds just after he asked the Pharisees a question about who the Messiah’s father is. Right after they answer that The Messiah will be the Son of David, Jesus turns to the crowd and the disciples and says, “2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

Do you see the picture here? Jesus is talking with the Pharisee’s about David and The Messiah, and then he turns to the crowd and points a finger at the Pharisees and basically says, most of you are following these men and they are leading you into a ditch! He goes on to say they only do what they do to be seen and not because they are truly interested in loving and pleasing God. He ends this section with this statement, “the greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

I love that. He is teaching everyone with the negative example of the Pharisee’s. Do NOT seek to lift yourself up, rather humble yourselves and serve like Jesus has shown us to live. Phil 2 comes to mind…

Philippians 2:5-11

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Ok, I love this one too… “In your relationships with one another”. Combine these two things together and what you have is Jesus saying that the Pharisees are the ones who have “exalted themselves” over everyone else. God didn’t give them their position, they gave it to themselves in a human endeavor.

So this week let’s make an intentional effort to humble ourselves in our relationships with one another. Seek to serve and not to be served. Seek to lift others up in love and encouragement rather than lift your own heart up. You might just find out that the words of Jesus are true. When you humble yourself and honor and lift others up He will exalt you and lift your heart and life up!

Happy Holy week

Peace

What A Week!

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Holy Week… It’s just like any other week in the 52 per year, but it doesn’t have to be!

Sunday March 20th started the week leading up to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Many people all over the world attend church on Sunday, even if they don’t go to church very often…

Easter is a big deal for churches, because it’s a big deal for the world!

This coming Sunday we will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus which is the single most important event in human history, but the week leading up to the resurrection is really important as well.

Today commemorates Jesus being at the temple in Jerusalem and teaching some great things to the disciples and those who would listen. I love the teaching in Matthew 22 about the Wedding Banquet. I specifically love verse 9 when the king tells his servants “go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you can find. 10 So the servants went into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bas as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.”

Jesus made it clear that the invite into the Kingdom of God is extended to everyone. Everyone included the people that had been neglected by the religious establishment… in fact the religious elites were invited to the party, but their cold, dead, religious hearts kept them out of the wedding celebration.

This week is not about a religion you practice, it’s about a savior named Jesus Christ who came to invite men and women into a relationship with God that produces all of the things your heart really desires… all of those things can be wrapped up in one word… LOVE!

Receive Love, Be Love!

Happy Holy Week my friends. Attached it a timeline you can print out and read with family and friends in preparation for Easter Sunday

Peace

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Overcome…

This weekend at One Community Church was amazing… I was overcome with emotion… It was Easter… but that’s not the only reason I was overcome.

We did cardboard testimonies this weekend and several times I found myself emotional. Emotional because the people wrote some amazing things about who they used to be… An Addict, Fearful, Hateful, Prideful, Lonely… and overcome by who they had become in the wake of Jesus In their life… Addicted to God’s Grace, fulfilled by Christ, Full of Love, and the testimonies went on and on. When they walked off the stage after giving their testimonies, they placed the side describing who they used to be on the CROSS!

I was overcome because many of the people giving these testimonies have come so far in such a short period of time. The evidence of Jesus in their life is more than on a piece of cardboard… its on their hearts, its on their faces, and its in their hands and feet!!

I was overcome because I couldn’t be more proud than to call myself their brother in Christ, their friend, and their pastor.

I was overcome because Jesus didn’t just give us resurrection 2000 years ago… Jesus is in the business of resurrection and resurrection HAPPENS… and these people are living examples of resurrection!

May we all experience a resurrection today. Whatever your going through, failing at, worrying about… may you come to rest in the life and death of Jesus so that HE can bring the resurrection into your life and situation today!

Peace