Summary: This sermon is based on the text of Mark 11:1-17 and gives you 4 things you can do to welcome the presence of the Lord into your life.
4 Steps to Welcome Jesus into Your Life 3/20/05
1) Be willing to let the Lord use what you have
As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany, on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 2"Go into that village over there," he told them, "and as soon as you enter it, you will see a colt tied there that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ’The Lord needs it and will return it soon.’ "
4The two disciples left and found the colt standing in the street, tied outside a house. 5As they were untying it, some bystanders demanded, "What are you doing, untying that colt?" 6They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it.
Jesus soon saw a great crowd of people climbing the hill, looking for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, "Philip, where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" 6He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
7Philip replied, "It would take a small fortune to feed them!"
8Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9"There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?"
10"Tell everyone to sit down," Jesus ordered. So all of them—the men alone numbered five thousand—sat down on the grassy slopes. 11Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and passed them out to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate until they were full. 12"Now gather the leftovers," Jesus told his disciples, "so that nothing is wasted." 13There were only five barley loaves to start with, but twelve baskets were filled with the pieces of bread the people did not eat!
Even if you only have a little to offer, God can use it in miraculous ways. It’s absolutely amazing what God can do through a life that is yielded to Him. You don’t have to have a lot of talent or money. You just have to be willing to surrender everything you have to be used by God.
‘If God intended man to live on bread, why didn’t he create a bread tree?’ And the answer, in effect, is that God could have created a tree that produced crusty loaves of bread, but he prefers to offer us a grain and invite us to buy a field and plant the seed. He prefers that we till the soil while he sends the rain. He prefers that we harvest the crop while he sends sunshine. He prefers that we grind the crop and knead it and bake it while he gives us air in our lungs and strength in our arms. Why? Because he would rather that we become partners with him in creation.
—Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch, The Shaping of Things to Come: chapter 10: 273 in galleys
Warren Wiersbe said in his autobiography, Be Myself, “If life is to have meaning, and if God’s will is to be done, all of us have to accept who we are and what we are, give it back to God, and thank Him for the way He made us. What I am is God’s gift to me; what I do with it is my gift to Him.”
2) Cultivate a Heart of Worship and Praise
7Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it, and he sat on it.
8Many in the crowd spread their coats on the road ahead of Jesus, and others cut leafy branches in the fields and spread them along the way. 9He was in the center of the procession, and the crowds all around him were shouting,
Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
10Bless the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Praise God in highest heaven!"
When we forget about the problems of our own life and turn our attention to the Lord in worship, it is an extremely powerful experience!
2 Chron. 20:14-25
the Spirit of the LORD came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph. 15He said, "Listen, King Jehoshaphat! Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. 17But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’S victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out there tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!"