Before I point you to a time of worship this morning, please allow me to make an announcement. We know for sure that the Stay at Home order we are under will extend to at least the end of April. That creates a challenge for the church, namely, the giving and receiving of tithes and offerings. Even though the church building is closed, we still have bills to pay. Would you please help us stay financially afloat by writing out a check for your normal tithes and offerings and mail them to us at Siloam Spring Baptist Chapel, 438 Benton Ave., Excelsior Springs, MO 64024. Thank you.
Psalm 113:1–9 (ESV)
Praise the Lord, Praise O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised! The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!
This morning I want us to begin by entering into a time of praise. Praise is essential when you love God.
Think about it. What are the things in life that are most important to you? Don’t you express to others the enjoyment those things bring to you in life. It is your nature to delight in praise what you enjoy.
In telling everyone to praise God, the Psalmist of Psalm 113, is doing what all men do when they speak of what they care about. They offer praise about it.
I don’t know about you, but the Lord is most important in my life. He brings me joy. Therefore it is spontaneous for me to praise Him.
C.S. Lewis explained it like this: I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with.
Your satisfaction of God is incomplete until you have expressed it in praise.. Wow! Lewis is right on target.
But, there is another aspect the Psalmist brings out for us. The aspect that makes praise essential. Praise will always bring you face to face with the greatness of God, His omniscience, His omnipresence, his mercy and His grace—suddenly all the trials and tribulations of the world begin to fade away . . . because of who and what He is.
Make sure your volume is up . . . click on the arrow . . . and sing along in praise to the Lord!
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty (Live) · Keith & Kristyn Getty Live At The Gospel Coalition (c) 2013 Getty Music Label, LLC
Offer God your love . . . tell Him how much you adore Him . . . give Him thanks for His mercy and grace that He has freely given to you . . . ask Him to overwhelm you with His presence and speak to your heart during your worship time today . . .
It is Palm Sunday. For me that makes this stay at home order all the more surreal. I think I am not alone here; there has never been a time in my life when churches had to close their doors for Palm Sunday and Easter (well, maybe for a snow storm, but I can’t be sure of that either).
Just because the church building is closed, the church is not! Just because the church building is closed our Great Commission and Great Commandment are not. Right now, we find ourselves in the midst of people who are searching in a way that they have not in a long time . . . they are searching for answers to why all this is happening . . . they are searching for someone or something to save them. We Christians, have the opportunity, in our social media posts, in our telephone calls, with cards or letters, even in the limited face to face contacts we will have, we have the opportunity to display the qualities of good disciples. And in doing so point them to that someone—Jesus Christ.
Typically on Palm Sunday, we consider the Gospels’ recordings of Jesus triumphal entry in to Jerusalem on the Sunday before He was crucified. And, we consider most often the fulfillment of prophecy, and Jesus’ actions that prove He is Messiah.
For this morning, I want to look at that same event, but this time, let us focus together on Jesus’ disciples, noting the good qualities they demonstrate. Qualities that you must employ to carry out your Great Commission and Great Commandment.
FIND YOUR BIBLE, AND READ . . . LUKE 19:28-40
It is easy to be critical is it not? Very often we will read about Jesus and His disciples in the Gospels and we will notice the disciple’s unsureness, or their tendency to say or do things that are not right. The reality is, if you were to walk the same mile in the same sandals that they wore, you would say and do something very similar; and, your sureness would likewise have a tendency to wane.
At other times one may read about all that they went through, the positions they found themselves in, and marvel at their resilience even when it may not have been totally clear to them what was or was about to happen. That is more than just a passing realization, it is a reality. In his Gospel John, one of the disciples reminds us; “His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered these things had been written about him and had been done to him” (John 12:16 ESV).
There are lessons to be learned from the disciples. I suggest to you, that if you slow for just a moment, and consider their actions at given moments in time you will recognize some qualities that are worthy and perhaps even essential to being a follower of Jesus Christ . . . His disciple . . . being, after all, a Christian.
THREE GOOD QUALITIES CHRISTIANS MUST EMPLOY
In the passage we have open before us, we can identify 3 good qualities that we as Christians must employ in our walk of faith. We must have ears to listen, a will to obey, and lips that proclaim.
Before we get there let’s pause just briefly and take the passage in its intended context. Luke has a point to make in retelling of the Palm Sunday events. That point is Jesus the long waited Messiah has arrived just as had been prophesied. He is pulling from the events of the day actions taken, and things said that are proofs of Jesus’ Messiahship. Though he does not quote directly from passages such as Zechariah 9 as the other Synoptic Gospel writers do, he pulls from the day’s events circumstances and actions that fulfill such prophecies and support the overall theme of Luke, Jesus is King. The King of King and Lord of Lord’s is here!
It is interesting to consider the disciples in the midst of it all. Again, though the disciples may not be fully aware of the fullest implication of everything that is taking place, surely they have more than a passing inclination. Their own testimony on that day, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord? Peace and glory in the highest” is proof positive that they believed Jesus to be Messiah.
Likewise their willingness to listen, their eagerness to go, their readiness to obey and their eagerness to proclaim Him support their faithfulness to the Lord as well. Consider those qualities with me
Ears to listen.
This first quality is not so much directly mentioned in the context as it is inferred. One has to wonder if the disciples didn’t wonder in their mind why Jesus needed the colt that he asked them to go and get. On the other hand, surely they were aware of prophecy, and so when he asked them to do it they understood why.
Based on John’s insertion (John 12:16) I think it was the later. Their minds were awhirl about “why do we need this colt of a donkey?” Nevertheless notice what they did. They listened intently to his instructions. Look at it . . . verse 32 “those who were sent went away and found it just has he and told them” . . . AND . . . when questioned they repeat the instruction verbatim.
Church, they demonstrate for us that they were willing to listen to the Lord even though they may not have fully comprehended all that their instruction meant, or why they were doing what they were doing.
They understood what Jesus had said to them earlier. That many people’s hearts are “hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes—so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to Me and let Me heal them. But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.” (Matthew 13:15-16 NLT)
We certainly find ourselves facing uncertain times. Just as the disciples did on Palm Sunday so many years ago. And we find ourselves with instructions from the Lord that we may not fully comprehend at the moment. Nonetheless, it is imperative that we have ears to listen. Ears that must be tuned in not to the world, but to the Lord. There are a number of ideas that may seem right to the world in the complicated days we find ourselves living in. But the Bible says that what seems right to man often will lead you down a path of destruction. Instead we are called to listen to the instruction of God. Found in His Holy Word. Friends if you are not daily in the Word of God, you are not listening!
On that Palm Sunday so long ago, these two disciples had ears that were tuned in to Jesus. May we be eager to have ears to listen to His instruction for us, instructions that are as applicable to day as they were when he first spoke them.
The second good quality you must employ is:
Will to obey.
Being obedient is the hardest part of Christianity, isn’t it? I admit, this is very elementary. Even so, the most elementary aspects of life are often the hardest to achieve.
Obviously we don’t have every word that was spoken and every thought that was thought written down for us. There is a chance that one of Jesus’ two disciples might have asked why? Or what do we need that for type of questions. But, at the same time, the context here strongly implies that was not the case. They had already traveled a lengthy distance without a colt, but we don’t see them asking “why do we need it now?” Jesus instructs them and they obey. And note this—they don’t cut corners in obeying.
Jesus’ disciples follow his directions carefully. The task given to the tow was to go and secure the colt, which may have seemed a small task at the time. But it was a task that was essential to our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Fetching the colt was extremely important if Christ was to be proclaimed as King before the people.
They could have gone and gotten any colt. You know, grab the first one they came to and take it back. NO. They did exactly what the Lord instructed them to do. Their message to the owner was even word for word to that in Jesus’ instructions. Why? Because they had a will to obey. They had a real faith. Faith without obedience is not really faith at all!
These disciples were already demonstrating what Jesus will teach them during the last supper, just days away: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments . . . Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." (John 14:15, 21 ESV)
Friends that includes the commandments that don’t fit the lifestyles so popular in many worldviews today. Jesus said that His word, which includes His commandments, is applicable for all time.
The third quality that the disciples display that you must employ as a Christian is:
Lips to proclaim.
I want you to look really close at verses 35 through 38. Notice very closely what they do here. When they bring the colt back, they do something that we do not see included in Jesus previous instructions to them.
They throw their coats on the colt. Are they making a saddle for Jesus to sit on? No. This is an action that demonstrates they are aware of what Jesus is about to do. He had not said to them that He would ride the donkey into town. None the less, they perceive His intention. Perhaps knowing they were going to Jerusalem for the Passover, having heard Jesus instruct them to get the colt, their minds immediately go to Zechariah’s prophecy: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9 ESV)
My point here is . . . you, at times, can testify to the world what you believe about Jesus without saying a word. The way you treat others in public should reflect that you love Jesus enough to treat your neighbor as you would wish to be treated.
Today, we find ourselves stuck at home, unable to meet together because the government has told us we cannot. Some push back at that and defy such orders because it infringes on their religious liberty. For others including me believe that is not the case. We have not been singled out just because we are Christians, we have been included in the order. But beyond that we do what the government asks because it is Biblical to submit to governmental authority, and equally import we have the command to love our neighbor as ourselves. Loving our neighbor means that we will not do anything that could compromise, endanger or weaken our neighbor. Even though I have a strong belief that I am not infected with COVID-19, and am not a danger to anyone else, I stay-at-home and employ a silent message to my neighbors that says I love you that much. And doing so has not stopped for one minute my ability to worship God. If anything, it has caused me to be more diligent about practicing the Christians disciplines of prayer, Bible Study and meditation.
There are so many ways that we can in or day in and day out lives, speak of our love for the Lord and for our neighbor without ever opening our mouth.
BUT, they did open their mouth didn’t they. On their way down that mountain, while still on the road going into Jerusalem “the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" See that there in verses 37 and 38?
“They praised Jesus as King, citing Psalm 118:26 . . . [openly recognizing Jesus’ glory] . . . He was more than the babe of Nazareth or the Galilean rabbi. He was more than a miracle worker. He was a royal figure entering the royal city down the royal road. He came as God’s representative, God’s chosen king. He showed that the hopes of Israel are being fulfilled. God has sent the messianic king to bring peace, a peace that only heaven can establish, and a peace established in heaven that cannot be negated on earth. This means that the angels who rejoice over one sinner who repents now see all the heavenly glory of God’s plan of salvation brought to fruition. As earthlings praise the king on a donkey, so heaven glories in God’s great work of salvation” (Butler, 319, [bracketed comments inserted for context]).[i]
I love what it says in verse 37, they rejoiced and praised God with a loud voice. That should be our result every time we encounter Jesus—every time we come face to face with God’s Mercy and Grace in our lives. We should not be timid, we should be eager and spontaneous and give Him the praise He is due.
This Palm Sunday, we might be stuck at home, but the message of Palm Sunday is still true. Jesus is the Messiah who came to save the world from sin. And as his disciples we must have ears to hear, have feet to go, and lips that proclaim He is Lord.
NOW WILL YOU TAKE TIME TO PRAY
Begin with this video
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