Preparing with Hope April 2, 2023

disciple: someone who follows Jesus and leads others to do the same.

This week we begin focusing on heads and our hearts on Easter and what God has done for us.  Prior to Jesus' death our sins separated us from God.  But because of Jesus we are made clean.  Made new.    This week we're going to be focusing on Matthew 21 when Jesus cleanses the temple before giving himself to God.  We hope you can take some time to study Matthew 21 and prepare your heart for God's presence in your life too.


Every week we prepare our hearts by sitting in silence before God.  We allow Him and His loving-kindness draw us into repentance.  Take time this week to sit before the God that loved you so much that He sent His son to die for you.  My tendency is to run from God when He reveals my sins.  Don't run.  Rest.  Knowing that God has already paid for your sins completely.  Allow God to sing over you.  Hear Him declare His delight in you!  It might be a little uncomfortable at first, but take your time.  God enjoys spending time with you.  Enjoy spending time with God.  


Read through this week's Bible verses, Matthew 21:1-17.  Read through it all.  Don't rush it.  Take your time.  Enjoy every Word of God.  Allow your heart and mind to wonder.  Be amazed that God is speaking to you.
Now read it again.  Why did Jesus ride a donkey?  What does it mean that he fulfilled what Zechariah prophesied?  Would you have done what Jesus asked like the disciples?  What do you think Jesus felt when the crowds were praising Him?  How do those feelings contrast with how Jesus felt when he entered the temple courts?  Who are you more like?  The blind and lame?  Or the chief priests and teachers of the law?  Do you have any other questions?  Write them down and allow God to speak into your wonder.


While answers are wonderful.  Allow God to sit with you in your wonder.  Allow yourself to pause and reflect on the questions that I asked and the questions that you have.  Don't rush.  Don't rush to answer any of them.  Don't rush to discover application.  It will come.  But be willing to sit in the wonder with God for a moment first.  


Read the Bible verses again.  Choose a different translation.  Ask God to reveal how He wants His Words to change you.  To change the way you think or act.  Or both.  God loves us so much that He doesn't leave us where we're at.  Spend time and listen to what God is either doing or wanting to do in your life.  And be willing to let Him do it.  

Get ready for Sunday.

Alright, the time to get ready for Sunday begins today.  Begins with you.  You letting God begin to get you ready for whatever He wants to do in your life this Sunday.  Come Sunday expecting to encounter God.  God, who created everything.  God, who gave His life for yours.  God, who loves you!  Are you ready?  Time to get ready begins now!  

Matthew 21:1-17

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Jesus at the Temple
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[e] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”  14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.  16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.  “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” 17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.


Suzanne Charity - March 29th, 2023 at 7:35am

The prophecy said Jesus would come gently riding a donkey. A horse would be more like a charge. Jesus wasn't coming to force anything. He was coming gently with a gift for us to receive from Him. I myself probably would have been concerned that they would think I am stealing the donkey. But as far as Jesus driving out the greedy from the temple and the children praising Him, I would have been comfortable with. God doesn't like people using the prices on things to a point where they are being greedy to make a huge profit for themselves and to also make things unaffordable to people who may have a need for the product. I had a thought come to me about Jesus driving the greedy out of the temple could be a picture of Him driving all the sin out of His temple, the church. (In 3 days He will raise this temple up.)

Suzanne Charity - March 31st, 2023 at 4:31am

Jesus fulfilled the prophecy from the Old Testament when He road the donkey. He probably felt that He as God was being respected as God by the people. When He walked into the temple He felt they weren't respecting where they were, God's house.