But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Some people doubt that God could love them because of some of the things they have done, but God showed us all just how much He loved us when He sent Jesus to die for us on the cross. Jesus Himself said that there is no greater love than one who gives His life for another. He then demonstrated His love by going to the cross in our place. He died to take the punishment of our sin. Because of this we can be acceptable to God if we accept that Jesus died for our sin.
Thank You Jesus that You loved me enough to die on the cross for my sin. Please forgive my sin and help me to turn from them. Please be my Lord and Saviour. Help me to live for You. Amen.
I have posted a short Good Friday message on my sermons page. I hope you find it encouraging in the lead up to Easter. You can find it here.
I was asked the question “What is Palm Sunday and why do Christians celebrate it?”. Today I thought I would share an answer from GotQuestions.org…
Palm Sunday is the day we celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, one week before His resurrection (Matthew 21:1–11). As Jesus entered the holy city, He neared the culmination of a long journey toward Golgotha. He had come to save the lost (Luke 19:10), and now was the time—this was the place—to secure that salvation. Palm Sunday marked the start of what is often called “Passion Week,” the final seven days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Palm Sunday was the “beginning of the end” of Jesus’ work on earth.
Palm Sunday began with Jesus and His disciples traveling over the Mount of Olives. The Lord sent two disciples ahead into the village of Bethphage to find an animal to ride. They found the unbroken colt of a donkey, just as Jesus had said they would (Luke 19:29–30). When they untied the colt, the owners began to question them. The disciples responded with the answer Jesus had provided: “The Lord needs it” (Luke 19:31–34). Amazingly, the owners were satisfied with that answer and let the disciples go. “They brought [the donkey] to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it” (Luke 19:35).
As Jesus ascended toward Jerusalem, a large multitude gathered around Him. This crowd understood that Jesus was the Messiah; what they did not understand was that it wasn’t time to set up the kingdom yet—although Jesus had tried to tell them so (Luke 19:11–12). The crowd’s actions along the road give rise to the name “Palm Sunday”: “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road” (Matthew 21:8). In strewing their cloaks on the road, the people were giving Jesus the royal treatment—King Jehu was given similar honor at his coronation (2 Kings 9:13). John records the detail that the branches they cut were from palm trees (John 12:13).
On that first Palm Sunday, the people also honored Jesus verbally: “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!’” (Matthew 21:9). In their praise of Jesus, the Jewish crowds were quoting Psalm 118:25–26, an acknowledged prophecy of the Christ. The allusion to a Messianic psalm drew resentment from the religious leaders present: “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’” (Luke 19:39). However, Jesus saw no need to rebuke those who told the truth. He replied, “I tell you . . . if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40).
“So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ.” Colossians 1:28 NLT
This verse is found in the section of the Bible which has the heading “Paul’s work for the church”. In many ways this could be his mission statement. His job was to tell others about Christ – who He is, what He is doing and what He will do. His goal was that people would come to Christ and then grow in their faith and knowledge of Him. Paul’s desire was that when the people under his care stood before God they would be mature in their faith. He wanted them to be strong in their faith and strong in their relationship with Christ.
Lord I pray that I can follow Paul’s example. Help me to lead people to Christ and then disciple them to follow Jesus wholeheartedly. I pray that I can help people be mature in their faith and knowledge of You. I pray that they will have a strong personal relationship with You. Amen.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9 NIV
This is the Apostle Paul speaking to the church at Philippi and asking them to follow his example in how he did things. I like the four words of example that Paul used. He said whatever you have “learned, received, heard and seen” in him, to put into practice. It was not just about what Paul said, it was more about modelling a way of life as he followed Jesus. This also reminds me 1 Corinthians 11:1 in which Paul also said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Paul was very confident in his walk with Christ. He was confident that if others followed him, then they would be on the right track.
Lord I thank You for the Apostle Paul’s example that we can follow. Thank You that he modeled the right way of living so that people could put into practice what they had learned, received, heard and seen in him. I pray that my life would also be an example. I pray that others can learn what it is to truly follow You by looking at the way I live. Amen.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 NLT
I really love the promise of God to keep working in us until He is finished. It is normal to sometimes feel as though we aren’t making progress in our spiritual life? But we can be assured that when God starts a project, He completes it! As with the Philippians, God will help you grow in grace until He has completed His work in your life. When you are discouraged, remember that God won’t give up on you. He promises to finish the work He has begun. It is a great promise from the King of the universe. It has a warranty that will never run out as it is eternal. Be encouraged by this today!
Thank You Lord that You promise to continue to work on me. Thank You that I am growing in grace, knowledge and understanding of You. I also thank You that I am being made into the image of Christ in the way I think, act and live. Amen.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 NLT
All things work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes. This is a great promise from God. This means when bad things happen to us or those around us, ultimately good will come from it. When I suffered terribly from crippling Rheumatoid Arthritis for many years it was very hard to bear. I never thought it would end. Now it is better I have learned and grown a lot through this experience. I can now help others struggling with this terrible disease. Good has come from it. So now if bad things happen to me I know God is in control and good will come of it, no matter how bad it seems now. If you are going through an uncertain or difficult time, keep looking to God and a time when “good” will come from it.
Thank You Lord for this great promise that all things work for good for them that love You and are called according to Your purposes. I pray that when I go through hard times I will keep looking to You in hope and faith. I pray that You will sustain me and help me to look forward to the good that will come from it. Amen.
“Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”
Hebrews 7:25 NLT
This verse is speaking about Jesus and two of His major roles. The first is His ability to save us completely for all eternity. He is the only one throughout history who has had the power to bring us salvation. His did this through His death on the cross for us. John 14:6 tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by Him. Jesus is the way, the only way to salvation. The second part is the role of Jesus as intercessor Priest. The Bible tells us that Jesus constantly intercedes for us before the Father. That means He is pleading our case just like a lawyer who intervenes before a judge. Jesus is for us and is on our side. He is our Saviour who died for us and our intercessor who pleads on our behalf.
Lord I thank You that You are the only way to salvation. I thank You that I know that I am saved because of what You have done. I also thank You that you are constantly interceding for me before the Father. It gives me great peace and comfort to know that I am saved and that You are on my side. Amen.
“I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.” Psalms 130:5 NLT
As Christians we can put our hope fully in the Lord. He is trustworthy and He is reliable because He is eternal. We can count on Him. One of the key ways we count on the Lord is by putting our hope in His Word – the Bible. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to us and it explains His unfolding eternal plan for our salvation. God loves us all and He wants to be in relationship with each and every one of us. This is the central theme of the Bible. In many ways the Bible is really God’s great love letter to all mankind. In it we find God’s love and salvation, and also a great hope for the future. Because of what God has done and is doing, we can trust what the future holds. We can trust that He holds the future because of what is written in His Word.
Lord I thank You for Your Word – the Bible. I thank You that it reveals who You are, how we can know You and that we have a great future with You. I pray that as I read the Bible my hope in You will grow stronger each day. Help me to live this life by the power, love and principles found in Your Word. Amen
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10 NLT
These words were spoken by Jesus. His heart is to give us a rich and satisfying life. He wants what is best for us. Jesus knows that for us to have this rich and satisfying life we need to be connected to Him, have our sins forgiven, be assured of our salvation and given new hope and a new life purpose. This is why Jesus came. He came to show us God and die on the cross for our sin. This opens the way for us to approach God and experience this abundant life.
Lord I thank You that You desire a rich and satisfying for us. I thank You that You died on the cross for us to make this available. I pray that I can know this rich and satisfying life which is found in You. Help me to live in You and for You. Amen.