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A BOY WAITS FOR THE BUS
There's an old story of the boy who stood on a sidewalk, waiting on a bus. A man walking by spotted the boy, and gave him some gentle instruction. "Son," he said, "if you're waiting on the bus, you need to move to the street corner. That's where the bus stops for passengers."
"It's OK," said the boy. "I'll just wait right here, and the bus will stop for me."
The man repeated his argument, but the boy never moved. Just then, the bus appeared. Amazingly, the bus pulled over to where the boy stood, and the child hopped on. The man on the sidewalk stood speechless. The boy turned around in the doorway and said, "Mister, I knew the bus would stop here, because the bus driver is my dad!"
When you've got a family relationship with the bus driver, you don't need a bus stop. If your mother is a US Senator, you won't need an appointment to slip into her office. If you've given your heart to the King of Kings, you're in a royal family of unspeakable proportions.
(From a sermon by Fred Markes, Fix Your Eyes upon Jesus, He is King of Kings, 8/30/2011)
Young Harold had a really bad case of Attention Deficit Disorder. On Palm Sunday, Harold’s Sunday School teacher sent empty plastic eggs home with each of her students. Mrs. Wilson told them to bring something back in the eggs next Sunday to represent Easter. She really didn’t expect Harold to bring anything, because he never listened in class. The next Sunday her children brought their eggs back. Susan had a pretty spring flower inside her egg. Joey had a little cross in his egg. Jackie had put a plastic butterfly in her egg. But, just as Mrs. Wilson suspected, there was nothing in Harold’s egg. She was surprised that he even remembered to bring it back! She had praised each of the other children for what they brought, but she didn’t say anything about Harold’s empty egg. Harold looked at her with anticipation and said, "Mrs. Wilson, you didn’t say anything about my egg!" Mrs. Wilson said, "But, Harold, you don’t have any reminder of Easter in your egg." Harold replied, "Uh-huh! It’s empty just like Jesus’ tomb!"
A woman was driving home one night. The weather was really nasty. Rain was coming down in buckets and visibility was very poor. Seeing taillights ahead of her, she followed the car in front. Not being able to see, the car in front seemed to be going in the right direction. So she stuck with it. All of a sudden the car in front of her came to a stop. She began to wonder what had happened; perhaps the car in front had hit a deer or some thing like that. She began to feel uncomfortable; thinking being stopped in the middle of the road can often lead to accidents. Much to her alarm the car in front of her turned off their lights. Her concern was now growing as well as her anger, and she was then startled by a knocking on her window. She looked up and there was a man standing in the pouring rain wanting to speak to her. She cracked the window open and asked the man what the problem was. The man replied by stating that that was the question he was going to ask her. She retorted that she wasn’t the one who had stopped in the middle of the road and then turned off the car lights. The man’s reply was that they were not in the middle of the road, but in his driveway Obviously, this woman had chosen the wrong leader to follow. She had chosen a leader who would not take her to where she wanted and needed to go. She had chosen the wrong leader and the wrong road.
WHAT IS YOUR COLT?
Bill Wilson pastors an inner city church in New York City. His mission field is a very violent place. He himself has been stabbed twice as he ministered to the people of the community surrounding the church. Once a Puerto Rican woman became involved in the church and was led to Christ. After her conversion she came to Pastor Wilson and said, "I want to do something to help with the church’s ministry." He asked her what her talents were and she could think of nothing---she couldn’t even speak English---but she did love children. So he put her on one of the church’s buses that went into neighborhoods and transported kids to church. Every week she performed her duties. She would find the worst-looking kid on the bus, put him on her lap and whisper over and over the only words she had learned in English: "I love you. Jesus loves you."
After several months, she became attached to one little boy in particular. The boy didn’t speak. He came to Sunday School every week with his sister and sat on the woman’s lap, but he never made a sound. Each week she would tell him all the way to Sunday School and all the way home, "I love you and Jesus loves you."
One day, to her amazement, the little boy turned around and stammered, "I---I---I love you too!" Then he put his arms around her and gave her a big hug. That was 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon. At 6:30 that night he was found dead. His own mother had beaten him to death and thrown his body in the trash......."I love you and Jesus loves you." ....Those were some of the last words this little boy heard in his short life---from the...
A little boy was sick on Palm Sunday and stayed home from church with his mother. His father returned from church holding a palm branch. The little boy was curious and asked, “Why do you have that palm branch, dad?” “You see, when Jesus came into town, everyone waved Palm Branches to honor him, so we got Palm Branches today.” The little boy replied, “Aw Shucks The one Sunday I miss is the Sunday that Jesus shows up”
The crowds cheered and waved their hands. Many stood upon their tip-toes hoping to catch a glimpse of their deliverer as he processed by. "He's the one! echoed throughout the streets. Many praised his name with hands and fists held high. Was it true? Had "the one" finally come some as some truly dreamed? Many hoped; and many believed. Many perceived he was a new kind of leader who was sent to set the captives free.
Still, others scoffed and snarled; they simply refused to believe. "Look how the whole world has fallen for him!" they clamored like gongs ringing loudly in the ears. Still, what could they do, but shout even louder against "the one." They stridently decried, "He's nothing but a heretic. He is not 'the one' who will bring the light and deliver us from our prolonged fright."
Okay, let me ask you. Who's "this one" of whom I speak? Many of you might answer, "Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ the King." And while your answer most certainly could be right; "the one" I spoke of was not Jesus, God's only begotten Son. Instead, the one in this story was elected two years ago, millions of whom thought would lead this nation into the dawn's morning light.
Sadly, we want a religion that doesn’t ask us to sacrifice, not even for a moment. Bob McFall, was a 39 yr. Old bachelor suffering from Aplastic Anemia. He needed a bone marrow transplant. A search was conducted among his family and they discovered that his first cousin was an ideal match to donate so Bob McFall could live. But when the first cousin was asked about donating, and the explanation that there would be no harm to him whatsoever, he refused to give any bone marrow. So Bob McFall sued his first cousin, and took him to court. The trial went on and on and finally a verdict was reached. While the behavior of the first cousin was considered reprehensible, the court ruled that it could not force him to give any bone marrow. Bob McFall died 3 weeks after the trial. Sacrifice is not in our vocabulary.
JUST TO BE NOTICED
Every spring, hundreds of Hollywood “stars” gather for the Academy Awards. Very few “slip in the back door:” instead, they make an entrance. They walk down the long red carpet, smiling at the cameras and waving to the people in the stands (who, by the way, all had to apply and go through extensive background checks), showing off their clothing (and undoubtedly a bit more), chatting with the reporters. Some will go to great, great lengths just to be noticed.
Contrast that with Jesus: to the man healed of leprosy in Matt. 8, He said: “See that you don’t tell anyone.” To the two blind men He healed in Matt. 9, He, “warned them sternly, ‘See that no one knows about this.’” And in Mark 1, a demon possessed man in Capernaum yelled out “I know who you are – the Holy One of God!”, to which Jesus replied “Be quiet!”
Jesus often chose not to be in the limelight. In fact, most of Jesus ministry happened outside of the capital city of Jerusalem, away from the big pomp and ceremony of the Temple, in small towns and villages along the way.
Until today. Until the e...
THE GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS OF PALM SUNDAY
John and his friend George went golfing together one Saturday morning as they had for 24 years. They were fanatics about their golf game. Later that day, John returned home completely exhausted and plopped down in his easy chair. His wife was quite concerned since he was more exhausted than usual after his Saturday golf game.
She asked him if something went wrong with the game. He replied, "No, hon, I had the best game in years!
As a matter of fact, I started out the first three holes at 4 under par, including a hole-in-two on the 3rd." "So why are you so worn out?" she asked. "Well, George had a heart attack and died on the 4th hole."
"What!? Are you so exhausted from trying to save him?" He said, "No, honey, it was quick and there was nothing anyone could’ve done. BUT AFTER THAT, IT WAS JUST HIT THE BALL, DRAG GEORGE, HIT THE BALL, DRAG GEORGE..."
The good news is: John had a great game of golf! The bad news was George-- Dead and dragged all over the golf course!
The good news was Palm Sunday and the big celebration! The bad news was Monday and what was going to happen to the next week. In a sense, the scene was about to shift from celebration to condemnation.
SOURCE: Steve Shepherd in "Only One More Week:" Matthew 21:1-11. http://www.sermoncentral.com/
Imagine you are on your way to church one Sunday morning. You have had a more difficult week than normal. You are physically, emotionally and spiritually drained. You realize that you are running on fumes and are looking forward to getting your tank filled up so you can face the world again Monday morning. You are particularly excited about the worship service because you know we will be observing the Lord’s Supper, which is always a special service. But when you pull into the parking lot you quickly notice that it is already full, and you have a difficult time finding a place to park. But even though you have to park over in the field you are still excited about being here and are looking forward to what God has in store for you today. You notice that there are a lot of people standing outside on the steps and you wonder what is going on. When you get a little closer you realize that a couple of tables have been set up outside and that people are waiting in line for some reason. You also notice that people are writing checks and converting them and the paper money they have into silver coins. You wonder what is going on and ask the person in front of you what up. They inform you that the members of the Finance Committee recently made the decision to have everyone start using a new type of Church currency for the tithes and offerings. You wait patiently in line and sure enough when you finally make it to the table you are told that you need the new church currency in order to make an offering. So you take out a $20 bill and lay it down on the table and the person at the table takes your money and gives you a $10 church coin in return. When you finally get through the front door you immediately notice more tables and more lines. At one table you notice some people are buying hymnbooks, while others are simply renting them. At another table you discover that they are selling communion bread for $5.00 and a cup of grape juice for $7.50. The longer you stand there the madder you get. You make a vow right then and there to never miss another business meeting again and to do your best to see that heads would roll over this. If you can imagine an experience like this and how frustrating it would be, then you can relate to how Jesus must have felt when he entered the temple courts during Passover to worship the Heavenly Father. Let’s read this passage of Scripture together.