Our Humble King

On the next day many people who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet Him and cried, “Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord!” And Jesus, when He had found a young ass, sat thereon, as it is written: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.” (John 12:12-15, KJ21)

The ride into Jerusalem was an upside down event with a king riding on a donkey. This Messiah King was not going to lead this nation but die as the Son of the Living God to save the people that had turned their backs on Him. This ride on the donkey wasn’t for show or to give attention to a King but to come to Jerusalem to be the Lamb of God who would die for the thousands upon thousands of lambs that had been inadequate and incomplete at taking away the sins of a chosen people.

Here is a humble king and he rode on a humble animal. You can approach a man on a donkey but a man on a horse is high above you. This is the Savior … that would forever meet all who would come to Him, for he said, “Come to me … He is the Messiah to the world.

He will love any that come to Him. He will save any that call upon Him to save them. He will forgive any sin that has been committed and any sin that might be committed in the future.

This is the Good News … is there anything like this anywhere else in the world. All religions have great books, and holy men, and holy ways of living but what religion, what faith has a Messiah King, who in love … lays down His life for sinners like us and in grace secures our salvation now and forever more. There is no faith, that comes humble reading on a donkey and no faith where the King dies for the poorest of poor in all of the kingdom. There is no King, that not only dies for every one of His subjects but gives each one a set of keys to His heavenly palace.

Rejoice and say, Hosanna, Hosanna … Lord, Help me, I pray. Lord, Save me, I pray. Thank you … Jesus the King, who died for us.  Thank you, … Jesus the King who died for me.  Alleluia … Alleluia … Amen

Suggested Reading … Palm Sunday Accounts in Matthew 21; Luke 19; John 12


The Only Secure Place for our Trust

“It is better to trust in the Lord, Than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord, Than to put confidence in princes” (Psalm 118:8-9).

To trust is to have confidence is something or someone. We can rely on the security found in that confidence. We can trust in good relationships whether they involve families, friendships or even business relationships because of the love, integrity, honesty, dedication and committed components inherent in those relationships. We can see trust evaporate like steam from a tea kettle in any relationship when any one of the many key components for trusting someone begin to falter or wane in certain situations. If our trust suffers great disappointment or complete disregard for the values inherent for having confidence in someone, we may have a very difficult time trusting in the one that has broken our trust.

Confidence in material or mechanical things can be trying at times as our confidence to trust can be lost in a moment’s time when something breaks or literally falls apart. The Scriptures warn us about even trusting in our human heart because it can fool us through fallacies through our emotions, lusts or even deceiving us with false hopes and aspirations (Jeremiah 17:9).

It is also truly amazing how many people really trust in the political world. They are so passionate about their leaders and yet their leaders may or may not keep their promises. They may or may not stay true to their own ideals and they may or may not go any contrary direction at any time. The greatest of all leaders is still human and subject to failure. Many trust in the systems of commitments, promises and in grander scale in treaties between governments and entities but all these systems and promises can be corrupted by dishonesty and human failures.

So where can we put our trust? There is a secure place for our trust. There is a place not affected by changing ideas and interests or by human failures or frailties. There is a place that is not subject to things breaking down and becoming obsolete or systems becoming cumbersome or unworkable. This place will always stand distinctly different from us as human beings, the things we make and the systems we trust in. The only place where we can securely put our trust is in our relationship with the Everlasting God.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17, NIV)

Suggested Reading … Psalms 118

Going Out to Deeper Waters

Now when He was through speaking, He said unto Simon, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draft.” And Simon answering said unto Him, “Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing. Nevertheless, at Thy word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes, and their net began to break. (Luke 5:4-6, KJ21)

Our ears hear the words. They come into our mind as bits of a sentence somewhat structured as a recognized thought or idea. If the thought or idea has meaning and significance, we might contemplate it longer. As we contemplate the thought or idea, it might resonate with other beliefs to form support for the more important values that we hold dear. At this point we might make extra efforts to retain the thought or idea. We may memorize the thought or idea. We may make a notation in a journal and we may share the idea or thought with others as an important insight we have learned about life.

Generally statements and words about faith are often like that. We hear the thought and as it rolls around in our mind, we begin to contemplate its significance. When we finally realize and see the significance and meaning in the thought or idea, we will make every effort to retain the words.

Yet there is a more powerful aspect to faith. For our faith to be alive, faith must also come against the things we see and hear and it may illogical and irrational. Faith is not just seeing and hearing things significant to our faith but seeing and hearing things far beyond what we can see, hear and feel. Faith shouts in the face of what we see and feel and demands trust and obedience to do what makes no sense to our minds. Faith shouts above our reality for us to take specific actions and often we shout back our responses in the form of reasons, arguments and whys and wherefores for not following in faith. New life will always be in the listening to the call of faith and not in the resistance, rejection or shrinking back from the action that faith demands.

Everything in the mind of Peter resisted the request of Jesus, as nonsense. Every muscle in Peter’s tired body rebelled at any effort to repeat any attempts at fishing again after such a useless night of trying for a catch. Jesus was demanding faith from Peter, from which would come a reward beyond all reasonable expectations. Faith in Jesus was like that for Peter and faith in Jesus is like that for us. Jesus was Peter’s Savior and Jesus is your Savior. Listen to your Savior and trust him in obedience. Go out to the deeper waters, requiring deeper faith. Cast out your nets again in the sea of life and see the amazing catch … Jesus has in store for you.

 Suggested Reading … Luke 5

God is greater than what we think, feel or understand!

“We must love God in more than just in our thoughts about Him or in what we say about Him, we must trust Him and His steadfast love in all we believe and do! We know His Spirit moves over His Word to steady us and guide us and upon this truth, we can rest completely assured in our faith. Our hearts may reel and labor as they fuss and agonize over all we cannot control but is the Almighty God not greater than all we feel … does He not know all things?” (1 John 3:18-20, Paraphrased – srm).

As human beings living on this God-given earth … we mostly live, function and respond to what we see, feel and think we understand. It is the human default position to basically trust in our own human capacities to see, feel and to trust as we react, plan and function in our daily living. Thus we shift between times when we are thoughtful and purposeful and times when we are swamped by our feelings in the unexpected and the things out of our control. Some people are more orderly and do much better in planning and directing their living while others function are more fluid and are more apt to live in a spontaneous responsive way.

Whether we as individuals rely on more on our thinking processes or more on what we feel, we will all at times be at a loss in understanding events, situations or the predicaments that we find ourselves in. Some these events, situations or predicaments happen because of our poor choices and lack of planning but some just happen to us. We can become overwhelmed with anxiousness in these times as we are in a quandary, not knowing what to do or being pushed directions that we would rather not chose to go. We can be consumed with emotion and feelings in these times of heaviness as the burdens of uncertainty and unknowing threaten our capacities to live and function. If the predicament comes from our own choice, we can be immobilized by guilt and regret.

Where do we go in these times? As people of faith, we must live and abide in our faith. We must trust in our God who is greater than all the things we are facing or dealing with. Faith can and will carry us through and beyond these times of uncertainty, emotional straining, doubt, and our inability to understand, direct or control the possible outcomes, Our hearts may reel and labor as they fuss and agonize over all we cannot control or understand but we are “Children of God” and our Heavenly Father is greater than all we feel! We are His children, now and forever! He works in the things that do not seem possible in our seeing, feeling or understanding. We can secure our hearts and minds upon the rock of His steadfast love. Pour out your heart to Him, appeal for guidance through His Word and trust in the grace of Christ which sufficient in all ways and for all times. His grace will carry you through this day and all the days ahead.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1, NIV)

Suggested life-giving words from the Bible … I John 3

He comes in the crushing, the crashing, and the covering!

For the waves of death encompassed me, torrents of destruction assailed me, the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears. (2 Samuel 22:5-7, ESV)

The walls of the adversarial distresses around me push and pressure my mind and my soul. Who and what are these tormenters? Why do they have so much strength and where can I find relief from this excruciating agony and pain? I am being crushed by all that is around me. Their words taunt me as they assault me and I am close to surrendering to their brutal and continuous onslaught.

The sheer power of the emotion in my heart comes and goes like waves beating upon the rocks. There are moments when I gather some strength by resolution and determination in my mind only to have that slight edge taken away by the crashing power of the raging emotion. I am drenched in my best efforts as I try to maneuver my way along this treacherous rocky shoreline I find myself negotiating.

I am having such a hard time seeing anything around me in the invading darkness that covers my sight and my way. I am floundering here in the turning and looking and I cannot see any path upon which to venture that will lead my out of this place of uncertainty and despairing night time.

I am alone and I am used up. I call to my God. I wait and tears leak from my eyes.  At last, I feel my God come and by His everlasting strength … a relief comes by His sheer might to push back against the crushing pressures around me. The Almighty God hears and He comes … lifting me up from my frail unsteadiness and the insecurity of this treacherous unpredictable place; to a refuge of encouragement and assurances by His loving presence. Finally My Savior comes with the penetrating light of His concerning love to show me … my first feeble steps away from this dark place and the pathway of His grace that will guide me forward in the days ahead. Thanks, be to God for He has come in the crushing, crashing and the covering. My heart begins to fill with thanksgiving for my God, for He is now again and again … my rock, my deliverer and my light.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer, my God, … my stronghold, and my savior … He drew me out of many waters … and my God lightens my darkness … This God – his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for those who take refuge in him. (Selections from 2 Samuel 22, ESV)

Suggested Bible Support and Strength … 2 Samuel 22

To these dear women and my young nephew  … Betty, Louise, Michele, Joanna, Pam, Mary, Carol and Elijah.  They are separated from us by their deaths which came much too early, but they are treasured deep in our hearts.

My photograph in this post was used previously … see story below.


Kiss the Son

Jesus Christ is more …

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 2:12 ESV)

It sometimes happens to the greatest realities of life … they get reduced to mundane statements that are known in a recognizable superficial way but not in the power infusing life giving manner where they were first realized. These same realities are also sometimes regulated to a certain seasonal place in our daily living or a type of headline classification fading away over the intervening months of general activities.

Jesus Christ is more than just a nice and holy man or a baby that brings Christmas cheer and goodwill. He is the mighty Savior and He brings the powerful redemptive, restorative, and abiding gifts that come from the Savior and King of Kings. He is worthy of our complete and lifetime devotion not a superficial notation of His existence on special occasions. The gift of our precious salvation is not something to be set aside but a living relationship with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

Look up in worship to Jesus Christ your Lord and ask yourself on this day, is He my “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace?” Is He my Shepherd in every moment of life? Is He my Savior of every facet of my life in addition to saving my life? He is more than a designated perpetual seasonal baby in manger; He is the Lord of all things and of all time! We need Him for more than a season. We need Him all the days of our lives and that is why all of our days are His!

We need to fall at the feet of this Eternal King with devotion and affection. We need to kiss His feet like the “Blessed Woman” who washed His feet with her hair and her tears. Is this King that lifts us up and grants us the privilege of becoming not simply His child but an heir to His eternal kingdom; deserving of anything less? Give your Savior the honor that is due Him. What other King throughout all of history has ever died for the poorest of His subjects and given them the keys to His kingdom now and forevermore? There is no King like King Jesus. Kiss the Son who saved you and loves you like no other.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  (Isaiah 9:6 ESV)

Daily Reading Psalm 2 & Isaiah 9


Ironic Blessings

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12, NKJV)

Irony usually pops out unexpectedly in conversations or in the interruptions of seemingly unconnected events becoming somehow twisted and tied together in a strange connectedness. The irony that we see or find in moment, a phrase or even in an event usually comes out after the event through reflective pondering, although we can at times sense the irony in something just before us as well.

We tend to think of the blessings in our lives as some kind of due reward and recompense for our doing the right thing and we expect those blessings to make life easier and more joyous in the time and moments surrounding the granting of each particular blessing. We thus speak of being blessed with children, contentment in the home or in our marriage and having the blessings of not lacking things or finances. These are blessings and they come to us as both, both gifts of grace and the result of our working endeavors and dedication.

In the “Beatitudes,” our Lord foretells of blessings coming our way that will be both ironic in how they feel and how they will be delivered. These blessings will come in our persecution, these blessings will come as evil and lies are being heaped upon us and these blessings will be great. These ironic blessings will come to us, simply because we are following our Lord and living as He wants us to live. The ironic blessings are not in the events and the pain but in the relationship we have with the Lord both here on this earth and in the life to come. Enduring these uncomfortable, painful and even dangerous situations will not be smooth, uneventful or easy but we will be blessed in and through them. Our Lord delivers on His promises and He delivers His blessings freely and with an abundance of grace for every situation even if they look and feel very ironic. The blessing and joy of the Lord, is never found in the irony or normalcy of the given situation but in the love and grace He will bring to us by His presence with us in the situation.

Suggested Reading … Matthew 5

Being Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9, KJV)

How is peace secured and how is peace given? Sometimes much is required to secure peace and much has to be given up for peace to come to particular situations. Christ is our peace and He secured our peace by bringing each of us who were far off in our sin and secured our position as a peaceful place as “Children of God” (Ephesians 2:14). It is in this living and vital relationship as a “Child of God” that we live with an unlimited access to His peace and an endless gifting of the “peace that passes understanding” (Philippians 4:7). He is and will always be a peace readily available in the midst of any discord, dysfunction, disease, disruption and disaster that we may encounter I our lives.

So how do we bring peace to others? We must learn to live and abide in the peace of Christ before we can ever bring His eternal peace to bear in any situation or to give His peace to anyone else. His peace will not be present in any of our actions coming from the determinations and demands originating g from our own human hearts. The default position of the human heart is not about peace but about selfish desires and intentions.

Those who work for peace are truly “Peacemakers,” when they desire and work for a peace beyond their feelings. The peace that God blesses is the peace that Christ brings. For Christ’s peace to be present in any given situation, requires the release of our will to His. Our devotion to Him and His will becomes a path for His peace to be released into the situation. We become His peacemakers as we are living in obedience to Him by being at peace with those around us. When we abide in Christ’s peace and desire and bring His peace into every moment, we will be called “Children of God.” Being a true and peaceful “Child of God” will always be a satisfying and peaceful place to live out the days of your life!

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18, ESV)

Suggested Bible Reading … Romans 12

Thankfulness is the beginning of all blessing!


Attributed to Pieter de Jode, NGO Image, National Gallery of Art, Public Domain

And it came to pass as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” And when He saw them, He said unto them, “Go, show yourselves unto the priests.” And it came to pass that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them when he saw that he was healed, turned back and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks; and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are none found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” And He said unto him, “Arise; go thy way. Thy faith hath made thee whole.” (Luke 17:11-19, KJ21)

Everyone in the group of outcasts knew the sting of rejection. Everyone in this band of disease ravaged men had been declared untouchable by their families, for they had leprosy and this deadly disease required separation by law and practice. Every one of these ten men hobbled along the dusty dirty road as best they could with their physical diminishments and handicaps. They was an odd mix to this group of men, for there were nine of one faith but the group also included one man from a faith, the nine despised. We cannot gather why this one man, a Samaritan was included with the clan of Jews. Maybe he just tagged along or maybe he was simply allowed to wander with them as prejudices had lost their power in bleak landscape of their existence. They were also wandering along the border of the land of these two faiths as if to acknowledge both their terrible predicament and their lack of a home because of the issue of their disease.

The bleakness in the lives of these men brightened as the Great Healer passed by them on his way to Jerusalem. The lepers cried out and the Messiah had mercy upon them and a great healing came upon them in a few glorious moments. The miracle come all ten men but only one man gave God glory in thankfulness. This one man, a Samaritan returned to the source of his new life with a thankful heart.

The Samaritan’s thankfulness brought him a blessing the other nine men did not receive. Salvation, wholeness and an encouraging faith that would sustain for a lifetime … we do not know all that the Master gave to the man along the road but we do know that his thankfulness was the beginning of great blessing. What great healing have we received from our Master that we have barely acknowledged? What great blessing have we missed in our failure to be thankful along the dusty road of our lives?

Suggested Scripture Reading … Luke 17


The purity of an honest heart.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8, NASB)

A valuable but slightly tarnished object is given to you and it lies before you on a table. As light is directed and shines on this object … the quality, makeup and nature of the material in the object is revealed and some slight flaws become noticeable. In the light, a true assessment can be made about the value of the object and if the flaws can be removed, repaired or polished to reinstate the original luster of the object.

A focused and directed honesty is absolutely required in the assessment of the object and in the effort needed for the restoration of the valuable object in your possession. Our lives are of great value and they are of precious substance since they were created in and by the purposeful intent to be in the image of God. Yet we have some flaws in us by the marring that has come about by our selfishness and sin.

God can polish and correct all the imperfections in us, but only when we allow by our honest assessment … His masterful removal, repair and restoration of our lives. The purity of our lives cannot totally come from some kind of masterful ascetic and devoted intention, although we are encouraged to live purposeful holy lives (1 Peter 1:19). In a deeper way, we must allow the light of truth to shine on our hearts and we must claim our shortcomings. This awareness allows our hearts to be purified through both the recognition of our created substance and the failures in our living. We will then see God as both the Creator in our makeup and purpose and the Restorer beyond all the marring that has come through our sinful failures. In this place of humble awareness, we will see our constant and ongoing desperate need for God. It is the honest heart that is purified. It is the honest heart that stays pure and it is the honest heart that sees God.

O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:8, NIV)

Suggested Scripture Reading … Psalm 62