Sunday, April 2, 2023

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Faith or Fickleness

Today we celebrate Palm Sunday, the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly, riding on a donkey, while people laid palm branches and cloaks on the ground, shouting "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Mark 11:9-10, NLT). This event marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most important week in the Christian calendar, leading up to Easter, the celebration of Christ's resurrection.

Palm Sunday is not just a historical event that we remember. It is a reminder of the importance of welcoming Christ into our lives, our homes, and our communities. When the people of Jerusalem welcomed Jesus with palm branches, they were acknowledging him as the Messiah, the one who came to save them. We too, as Christians, need to welcome Jesus into our lives as our Savior and Lord.

The story of Palm Sunday reminds us of the importance of humility. Jesus could have entered Jerusalem on a horse, as a conqueror, but he chose to ride on a donkey, a symbol of humility and peace. This shows us that true greatness comes not from power and might, but from humility and service. As Jesus himself said, "Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else." (Mark 9:35, NLT). This is a lesson that we need to remember in our own lives, as we strive to follow Christ's example.

Palm Sunday also reminds us of the fickleness of human nature. The same people who welcomed Jesus with palm branches, shouting "Hosanna!", would later turn against him and demand his crucifixion. This is a sobering reminder that we too, as human beings, are prone to change our minds and betray those we once loved. We need to be vigilant against the temptations of the world and remain steadfast in our faith, even in the face of adversity.

It is so easy for each of us to quickly turn from being faithful followers to hateful, disobedient children. A recent Wall Street Journal survey showed that thirty-nine percent of respondents valued religion as important. This was down from sixty-two percent just twenty-five years ago. When we get our way and everything is wonderful, we are faithful followers. However, when things turn bad, we tend to blame God for giving us the problems and walk away from Him. 

We don’t want to make any sacrifices or deal with trials. All we want is the nice and easy things in our lives. People often ask me about the change in our society when it comes to religion. I have given it much thought and came to the conclusion that it is because of the prosperity gospel that has been preached. When people are told that 
God will make you rich and give you everything as long as you are giving to Him, they see God as a means to riches. He is nothing more than a vending machine. Instead of preaching the true Gospel, preachers tell their congregations to give and give. When the miracles don’t come, the preachers tell them that they aren’t giving enough. In the end after giving and not getting what they wanted, they are disillusioned and give up on their relationship with the Lord entirely. We are truly fickle and feel that we didn’t get what we were promised. When we accepted Jesus as personal Savior and Lord of our lives, we received what was promised, everlasting life with the Father. That gift came at a tremendous cost and sacrifice.

Finally, Palm Sunday reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for us. He knew that he was riding into Jerusalem to face his death, but he did it anyway, out of love for us. As the Apostle Paul wrote, "God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (Romans 5:8, NLT). We need to remember that Jesus died for us, so that we could have eternal life with the Father.

Palm Sunday is a time to reflect on the importance of welcoming Christ into our lives, embracing humility and service, being vigilant against the temptations of the world, and remembering the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for us. As Christians, we need to observe Palm Sunday as a reminder of these important lessons, and as a way of preparing ourselves for the celebration of Easter. May we all welcome Christ into our hearts and lives, and may his love and grace guide us always.

When we remember the lessons of Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter and put them into practice, we can truly stand firm in His grace.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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