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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Palm Sunday Promises

Jesus’ triumphal Jerusalem entry holds blessings for your life

By Thomas Lindberg
March 21, 2010

A celebration took place 2,000 years ago that changed the history of the world and the lives of billions of people. It was the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a young colt. We call it Palm Sunday because crowds of people lined the roadway and waved palm branches to honor the Lord Jesus.

Though many in that same crowd would call for Jesus’ death only days later, their initial welcome was a prelude to the day when Jesus will reign as King of kings. He came to Jerusalem to fulfill God’s great plan of salvation, and He will one day return to earth to forever see that salvation fully expressed.

Jesus never did anything just for show. He had a purpose for every word He spoke and each move He made. So why did the Lord Jesus ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday? What life lessons does Jesus desire to teach each of us through the events of that original Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday shows Jesus has a clear plan for you.
Matthew 21 records the true account of that day. Verse 4 informs us Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem was a fulfillment of prophecy. Just as God had a clear plan for His Son’s life then, He also has a good plan for your life today.

Polls tell us more than 40 million people in America read their horoscopes at least twice a week. Imagine, trying to plan your life around some charlatan’s predictions based on the date you were born and the positions of some stars and planets. In contrast to that, when you confess Christ as Savior, here’s what happens: He moves into your life, He forgives your sin, and He establishes an incredible plan for your life. (See Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28,29.) Forget your horoscope. The very One who created the stars and brought about your birth has a wonderful plan for your life.

There are times I wonder where God is, but that’s due to my lack of faith, not God’s lack of faithfulness. Please remember there may be times when you don’t know where God is, but there’s never a time He does not know where you are.

Before my two sisters were married, they shared an apartment in Colorado Springs, Colo. From their kitchen table, they could look out and see Pikes Peak, all 14,000-plus feet of that towering mountain. On foggy, cloudy days, the giant mountain was totally shrouded from view. But people in that city didn’t go around saying, “Oh no, where’s Pikes Peak? I wonder if it’s gone?” Of course not. Although the mountain was blocked from view, nobody doubted it was still there.

So it is with God. There are times you won’t see Him, but I promise you He always sees you.

Palm Sunday shows Jesus desires real purity in you.
When the Lord Jesus entered Jerusalem that first Palm Sunday, where did He go? He went into the temple and looked around. What He saw appalled Him. Jesus saw a place that was designed for prayer and purity, but unholy people had turned it into a place of merchandise and impurity. The next day He returned, driving out the moneychangers and their unholy activities.

When you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus, God desires purity in your life as well. Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers and asked them this pointed question: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19, NKJV).

When I was a boy, my mother canned tomatoes every September. Do you know the first thing she did? She took the jars and sterilized them in boiling water. Mother didn’t want to put her prize tomatoes in unclean jars. God doesn’t want to pour His precious Holy Spirit into dirty lives either. Just as Jesus cleansed the temple that first Palm Sunday, now He wants to cleanse your life in 2010.

Not long ago a man said to me, “I want to be a better follower of Jesus, and I want Him to use me more. However, I know there are things in my life that displease God, and I have some priorities way out of line. What should I do?”

I reached in my desk drawer and pulled out a small calculator. I said, “Suppose I want to add some numbers, but I enter a wrong figure. Can I correct my problem? Sure, because there’s a red button on the keypad marked ‘C.’ It stands for ‘clear.’ When I push it, I have a fresh start.”

I continued, “When you fail, and impurities get into your life, there’s a red ‘C’ button. It’s called ‘confession.’ It’s red because the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin (see 1 John 1:9). Can I pray for you right now and ask Jesus to help you?”

He wisely agreed, and God began cleaning up his life that day. My friend, what God did for him that day, He can and will do for you today.

It is not God’s will that you live in some twilight zone of unholiness. Right now, ask God to cleanse you. Holiness in your life is important to the Lord Jesus, and it’s found by trusting Him more than trying to live a holy life on your own.

Palm Sunday shows Jesus can release His power to you.
In Matthew 21, crowds of people were asking, “Will Jesus come to Jerusalem for Passover? Is He the Messiah or not? Will He perform another miracle?” Then, suddenly, Jesus appeared and rode into the city on a donkey. Matthew 21:10 says, “All the city was moved.” From the Greek word translated “moved” we get our English word seismic. Today we would say the city rocked. Jesus’ presence that day released so much divine power that it was as if a spiritual, seismic earthquake occurred.

Is God’s power real? Well, ask Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead just days before the first Palm Sunday. Lazarus would quickly and personally tell you Jesus has real power.

Not long ago I read through the four Gospels and was amazed again at the life and supernatural power of the Lord Jesus. No disease was greater than His touch. No demon could stand up to His authority. No disaster was beyond His ability to rescue. Not even death could out-muscle the Lord’s might. You can be absolutely certain that Jesus had genuine power in His day, and He retains that same divine ability in our day.

Do you need Jesus’ supernatural strength in your life and home? It’s available! Peter was an eyewitness and close friend of Jesus. He said, “We were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw His majestic splendor with our own eyes” (2 Peter 1:16, NLT). Palm Sunday was a powerhouse event, and the Lord has not lost one ounce of His divine ability.

I want to encourage you right now. Instead of focusing on your problem, focus instead on Jesus’ promise and power. Remind yourself today that everything over your head is under His feet.

Palm Sunday shows Jesus deserves praises from you.
Normally, the Lord Jesus avoided attention and praise from people during His ministry. He often silenced it. But that original Palm Sunday was altogether different. On that day He both accepted and encouraged the praise from people. What a lesson for us today.

Let me ask you a question: What’s your home address? God’s home address is P-R-A-I-S-E. The Bible says the Lord dwells in the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Let me illustrate it this way: Moisture is everywhere. But when conditions are right, moisture distills as dew. In the same way, God is everywhere. And when conditions are right (when you offer Him your praise), His presence seems to distill.

Is God receiving your praise? I ask you, as Palm Sunday approaches, to make a commitment. Say, “O Lord, as for me, I will give praise to You.” That’s a commitment the Holy Spirit will enable you to keep, and you’ll be glad you made it — I guarantee it!

Dr. THOMAS LINDBERG is senior pastor of First Assembly of God of Memphis (Tenn.).

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