Sunday, 24 March 2013

Clap your hands all you people. Shout unto GOD with a voice of praise! "'They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!”' ~ JOHN 12:13 (NIV)

I worship you Lord! You did not enter your holy city Jerusalem on the back of a war horse, but humbly and on a donkey. You knew that you were surrounded by murderers, yet you came in peace, and by your sacrifice you would utterly conquer death before the week had passed. You, oh Lord, are blessed and worthy of my praise. You have saved your people. I say, "You are my king!"... I long to live in the city where you sit on the throne! Establish your Kingdom, so that your people can live in peace. Jesus, I bow before you, and I will sing your praises until your Kingdom comes and is established, and forever after. ~ David Maddalena ~ Today is Palm Sunday, the sixth and last Sunday of Lent and beginning of Holy Week. It commemorates JESUS' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. "'Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: "Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey's colt." "His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when JESUS was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and [that] they had done these things to Him."' ~ JOHN 12:14 -16 (NKJV)..."'that at the name of JJESUS every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to the glory of GOD the Father."' ~ PHILIPPIANS 2:10-11 (NKJV)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

"'Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification."' ~ ROMANS 14:19 (NKJV)

The world will provide you with stones every day; what you build out of it is your outlook – A Bridge or a Wall. "'Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the LORD: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of GOD; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;"' ~HEBREWS 12:14-15 (NKJV) Are you Building Bridges or Walls? There once was a carpenter who visited one of two brothers who had recently grown embittered with each other over a misunderstanding over the farm they had managed together for the past 40 years. The carpenter was in need of work; or so he said, and he asked the one brother if there was anything he might do to help him out. “Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor. In fact, it’s my younger brother! Last week there was a meadow between us. He recently took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence, an 8-foot fence – so I won’t need to see his place or his face anymore.” The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.” The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day — measuring, sawing and nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There wasn’t a fence there at all. The carpenter had fashioned a bridge… a bridge that stretched from one side of the creek to the other, handrails and all! And the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, hand outstretched, meeting them in the middle, “You are quite a fellow, you know; to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.” Then hoisting his toolbox onto his shoulder, the carpenter departed. “I’d love to stay, but I have many more bridges to build.” That’s just like the carpenter, isn’t it – that is the carpenter from Nazareth, our Lord Jesus Christ, who would tear down the dividing walls of hostility, not just between us and God; but between us and others too? It’s just like our Lord who bridged the gap of sin with His cross, and gifted us with His love that we might love one another more like Him. It’s just like our Lord who has spoken elsewhere of how he dispensed His Spirit so as to make “some into prophets, some into evangelists, and some into pastors and teachers so as to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, becoming mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12). It’s just like our Lord to remake us, to recall us to such service, to restore us to the spirit of respectfully using our God-given gifts for His agenda and not our own. It’s just like our Lord who continues to build His church today by this same Spirit’s reviving through His Word. By Karl Eckhoff