Grace Baptist Church of Kingsford
4-5-2020 Main Serivce
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        Men’s & Ladies’ Bible Studies

        April 30, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
        Men’s & Ladies’ Bible Studies start up again for a new semester at 10:00 am.
  • He Is Exalted
      • Download

        Men’s & Ladies’ Bible Studies

        April 30, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
        Men’s & Ladies’ Bible Studies start up again for a new semester at 10:00 am.
      • Revelation 20:4–6KJV1900

      • Romans 8.24-26ESV

      • Romans 8.27ESV

  • Come, Thou Fount
  • And Can It Be?
  • O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus
  • Introduction:
    A lot can happen in a week!
    A week ago was Walter’s Birthday & a week before that was Dave Howorth’s. Even in this coming week, it is Margie’s, Beth’s, & Ted’s Birthdays! American society changed in one week This morning, as many of you already know, is Palm Sunday. It is hard for me to believe that it is already Palm Sunday, perhaps because of a fixation on the current event of the Coronavirus. But this is a significant historical day, a day recorded in the Gospels, where a whole city threw a parade for a King, not just any new king, this is the promised Messiah, Jesus. As Jesus of Nazareth rode into the city, the people threw Palm branches in anticipation of his coming- thus we get the title: “Palm Sunday”. - It’s also known as the “Triumphant Entry Of Christ”. This day marked a time of celebration where Jesus was the worshipped and praised.
    This day is insanely interesting and bittersweet for us because even as we read of the celebration we know that Friday is coming- the death of our LORD. The cross is coming—it is the start to the “Holy Week”.

    Holy Week? or wholly weak?

    We know that many in this same parade will within a few short days change tone and their words of praise will become cursings to death. The crowd—in a very short time goes from shouting Hosanna, Hosanna to shouting Crucify Him, Crucify Him. It seems impossible for us today to go from two extremes of praising this God to wanting Him dead— but I assure you, it is possible, and even more likely than you may first assume.
    This morning I want to focus our attention on two services both which focused upon Jesus, but with two different results.
    Scripture Reading:
    If you have your bibles this morning turn with me to two passages one from the Gospel of Matthew and the other from the gospel of Luke. Turn first to Luke chapter 19 beginning in verse 30.
    Luke 19:30–40 LEB
    saying, ‘Go into the village in front of you, in which as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no person has ever sat, and untie it and bring it. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you will say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’ ” So those who were sent went and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ So they said, ‘The Lord has need of it.’ And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they put Jesus on it. And as he was going along, they were spreading out their cloaks on the road. Now as he was drawing near by this time to the descent from the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began rejoicing to praise God with a loud voice for all the miracles that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king, the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” And he answered and said, “I tell you that if these keep silent, the stones will cry out!”
    This is a glorious day! This is not the first time Jesus enters Jerusalem. In just this Holy week, Jesus enters three times before he was crucified… on Saturday, Sunday, and again on Monday.
    This passage is the second visit, Sunday, he was just there from the day before, but this passage is Sunday: “Palm Sunday”.
    Think for a moment of the splendor and the majesty that the disciples are sharing with Jesus at the beginning of this week!
    Keep you place there and then turn to Matthew chapter 27 beginning in verse 15 which records an event later in the same “Holy” week—an event which is the exact antithesis to the beginning of the week:
    Matthew 27:15–26 ESV
    Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” And he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
    What happened in the days between?!? What happened in the hearts and minds of those in the parade in Jerusalem, the Holy city? How can they be so wholly weak?
    The late evangelist, Billy Graham, has been quoted a few times saying, “The greatest mission field in our country to today is in our local church- the people sitting already in our churches.”
    Now, I am not sure whether this statement is completely true, but one thing that I do know is that many people know what to say, how to say it, even how to act in it, but when the rubber truly meets that road, there is no personal relationship with Jesus, the Christ. No salvation- just empty words and possibly even a parade charade motivated by a “mob mentality.”
    We see a perfect example of this in our two passages this morning. On Sunday, Jesus rode into the city with the people shouting praises and praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.
    On Friday they are shouting give us Barabas, We want him, Crucify Jesus Crucify Him. So why, or perhaps the question is how the vast change?
    Well there are many possible reasons, but one big reason is that their words did not match their heart. They possessed a casual, convenient faith, rather than a committed faith. They had a religion, but they had missed the person Jesus…
    So how can we have a committed faith… How can we be real and sincere? Consistent in all that we do… Well this morning I want to offer you some keys to just such a faith.
    The first Key is that a committed faith is not self-centered it is Christ-Centered

    I. A Christ-Centered Faith

    This sounds obvious, but we often miss it! Usually in our culture in America, we tend to say to God, “ Hey God, here is my calendar, here is my agenda! I give it to You, not to change it, but to see where I can squeeze you in-- here or here? What do you think?”
    But our world culture is changing thanks to the Coronavirus and social distancing. I can’t help but wonder if we will get the message. we have been so good at crowding God out of our lives and now most of us have more time than what we know to do with. The question then becomes: “will we get it?” Will we actually repent as a nation and as a people group? now it’s easy to pass on responsibility and say, “Well, I don’t know what the nation’s going to do-- whether this nation will repent?” Yet it is our responsibility as a church to be out there as salt and light in order to give our nation a hope and chance at repentance--that they might know what is right and what is wrong—what to turn from and what to turn to.
    It is a sad thing that it takes a situation like this for us as a national church to really come back to God. We are good at pulling God out of our pockets, or turning to God only when it is convenient or useful. We have to get something from Him. Our relationship is as shallow as just how He might benefit us.
    In our first passage, The people praised Jesus as He passed by, but many of them praised him for two reasons.
    First, because of his miracles. He had healed the sick, raised the dead…They praised Him because he was serving them.
    Then second, because they saw in Jesus a way to be politically delivered from the Romans- To be set free from Rome as Israel was set free from Egypt. Their praise was tempered with the attitude of “Jesus, what can you do for me today?”
    A few days later at this trial they saw a beaten and disfigured Jesus- A man who no longer looked like a deliverer or a conqueror. Jesus wasn’t the kind of King they were hoping for. They wanted a King to rid them of Roman rule right now. This Man, Jesus, could not possibly meet their needs. And as words were said about him, they bought into all the lies and quickly changed their position. For them it was all about Me, Me, Me.
    In a similar fashion, we too hold back selfishly on our best relying on others to pick up the spiritual slack. Today, Palm Sunday of 2020 choose to honor our great King, Jesus Christ by giving him your very best. Spend hours and days of your social distancing in personal worship and praise with your families. Withholding nothing… Giving him your all. That is what the cloaks/coats were about in our passage:
    Luke 19:35–36 LEB
    And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they put Jesus on it. And as he was going along, they were spreading out their cloaks on the road.
    This was a huge sign of reverence! this is not like today where they went into their closets and picked out one of their ratty jackets and decided, “okay, this will be the one that I’ll throw on the ground.” Actually, in that time, they were middle class if they had one coat. Only the wealthy would have had more than one.
    In Old Testament times, to show their respect to a King, people would put their clothes down for the King to walk on them. The people did this when Jehu was anointed the new King of Israel. 2 Kings 9:12-13
    2 Kings 9:12–13 ESV
    And they said, “That is not true; tell us now.” And he said, “Thus and so he spoke to me, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, I anoint you king over Israel.’ ” Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.”
    This Jewish cultural tradition of respect carried on to Jesus’ time
    The second key is that a committed faith is relationship driven.

    II. A Relational-focused Faith

    Many of those who gathered to throw their coats and palm branches onto the street and who shouted praises didn’t do it out of true reverence, but did so because it was the popular thing to do at the time. They were united in hating the Romans, and they were united in wanting a change. At that one brief moment it became trendy. It was the mob mentality! Perhaps some began doing it with sincere motives, but others soon did it because others were doing it. But later at the trial, shouting, “Crucify Him!” was the in thing to do… In fact, for a brief moment it was the trendy thing to do-- to reverse their accusations of Jesus on another man, to make a criminal — a convicted murderer— their hero when they shouted, “we want Barabbas.”
    Matthew 27:21 LEB
    So the governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas!”
    Interestingly, a bit of historians believe this criminal’s full name was “Jesus” Barabbas— you find this in some of the earlier manuscripts. but perhaps some of the scribes took out the first name “Jesus” and just left it at Barabbas in order to avoid confusion.
    But, what would we have done if we were in those crowds 2000 years ago that day?
    Could we deny Jesus, the Christ? Would we do that? Have we done that?
    This happened then primarily because this crowd did not have a relationship with either Jesus, the Christ or Jesus Barabbas. They knew neither men so they didn’t know which was better. Maybe they were a bit like us! Maybe they were too busy for a relationship with Christ.
    In our own lives a committed faith comes only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ—and that takes time! Do you have time this week to build a relationship with Jesus? One where every day is fresh and new as He personally directs our steps? Maybe you’re listening to me, and you’re saying, “Okay Pastor Josh, I want this relationship to be personal, what do I need to do?” The quickest answer is to pray, and read your Bible. Beyond that start, meditate! I’m not talking about Eastern meditation here where you empty your brain of thought. No, I’m referring to Western meditation where as you pray and read your Bible you reflect on what kind of response God is giving you right now this kind of meditation lasts all day long and is intertwined with prayer and Bible reading.
    In order to have a committed faith we must develop an maintain a personal relationship with Jesus.
    The greatest good of the gospel might not be forgiveness, justification, or eternal life — as good as these are. The highest, fullest, deepest, sweetest good of the gospel is the presence of God himself, enjoyed by his redeemed people. The gospel is the good news that God bought for us the everlasting enjoyment of living with God —not social distancing presence of video chats as handy as they may be, but physical presence — which is now sadly becoming a precious rare commodity.
    A third Key is that committed faith is not swayed or blocked by our personal trials and crises.

    III. A Grounded, Unchanging Faith

    At the parade it was trendy to offer praise…
    Luke 19:37 LEB
    Now as he was drawing near by this time to the descent from the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began rejoicing to praise God with a loud voice for all the miracles that they had seen,
    According to the other Gospel records, many others joined the celebration of praise.
    Everyone was doing it because it was accepted by the community. But then at the trial, to speak out for Jesus was too risky…Possibly even life threatening.
    Matthew 27:25 LEB
    And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children!”
    Many of us come to the faith expecting everything to go generally smooth and good in our lives… Maybe some slight bad but not too much of it, if something does go bad, not a problem, we just pray to Jesus and He is supposed to fix it… So when the bottom drops out for us… we often ask God Why? Thinking it is not supposed to happen this way—and if we are totally honest, we tend to blame God.
    If our faith is based on our situations or circumstances it will never be solid… It will always be changing based on the season of our life. Several of us have gone to big Christian events in times past. Many packed large stadiums… maybe Promisekeepers, where the praises for God fill the entire arena… Where everyone is praising…
    When returning home, while everyone is still glowing from the worship, the euphoria starts to wane. By tomorrow, you face the hard question: can you still worship like you did a day ago in a world that is not at all praising Him—in fact a world that is mocking laughing and is often angry at Him?
    A committed faith takes the good times with the bad times. Knowing that all we are ever promised is that in the midst of both our good and bad; Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us. He will stand with us.
    A story is told of A little girl who while walking in a garden noticed a particularly beautiful flower. She admired its beauty and enjoyed its fragrance. “It’s so pretty!” she exclaimed. As she gazed on it, her eyes followed the stem down to the soil in which it grew. “This flower is too pretty to be planted in such dirt!” she cried. So she pulled it up by its roots and ran to the water faucet to wash away the soil. It wasn’t long until the flower wilted and died.
    When the gardener saw what the little girl had done, he exclaimed, “You have destroyed my finest plant!”
    “I’m sorry, but I didn’t like it in that dirt,” she said. The gardener replied, “I chose that spot and mixed the soil because I knew that only there could it grow to be a beautiful flower.”
    God has placed us exactly where we are. We must trust him. In the trusting We eventually see that He is using our pressures, trials, and difficulties to bring us to a new degree of spiritual beauty. True Contentment comes when we accept what God is doing and thank Him for it.
    This morning is your faith casual or committed? As we approach this week where our Jesus suffered incredibly for us. In a week where our sins, past, present, and future were the nails that hung him on that cross, doesn’t Jesus deserve a second look. Doesn’t he deserve total control of your life? Doesn’t he deserve a personal relationship with You? This week consider it all… and choose to give it all to him…

    So What?

    SO, we should praise and parade celebrating who Jesus is: King of kings & LORD of lords! It certainly is appropriate! But why are you celebrating? are we celebrating because of how He has changed us or are we celebrating because it is a social thing? or a quick thrill?
    The best news in the world is that there is no conflict between our greatest possible happiness and God’s perfect holiness. Being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus magnifies him as the greatest treasure and brings us more joy — eternal, infinite joy — than any other delight ever could.
    In so many ways we may praise Jesus with our lips, yet in so many aspects of our lives we are living the exact opposite of Jesus.
    And how’s that working out for us? are we quick to abandon Jesus when it is no longer popular to live like Jesus did?
    Are we happy this way—even in societal isolation? are we fulfilled/overfilled with joy?
    We are dying, but Jesus came so that we can live.
    2000 years ago Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem.  Things were far from perfect there. The once great city of David had become a city without God. In fact, YHWH had not spoken to His people for several hundred years. 
    He broke the silence not with more words, but with a son. His only begotten son. Jesus humbled himself, left his heavenly throne, and rode a lowly donkey into Jerusalem. 
    And He changed the world.  Not for a moment in time, FOREVER. This is the same Jesus we serve and follow today. 
    Things aren’t perfect, in fact this past month has been an absolute nightmare for people all over the world.  But Jesus is still the savior of all mankind and this weekend we celebrate his divine entrance into the holy city. 
    Maybe today is not the Palm Sunday celebration you were planning for but miracles can happen through you listening through this live stream on in this Church service.  If you have not had a relationship with Jesus, will you today?
    Jesus came around 2,000 years ago to save the world from their sins, but He’s coming again very soon to judge this world. Why don’t you accept him today so that you will not be a part of His wrath, but so you’ll be judged as righteous?
    And remember, things aren’t perfect here and they wont be until He returns.  But, HE IS PERFECT and He’s our Rabbi.  He’s our King.  
    In Conclusion:
    The “parade goers” had Jesus nailed to a Cross this Friday 2000 year ago.
    But that is not how it ends. The REAL GOOD NEWS is that Easter Sunday is coming!
    Love is the victor. Evil will be defeated.
    And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!!!
    Praise YHWH! αμην.
      • Luke 19:30–40ESV

      • Matthew 27:15–26ESV

      • Luke 19:35–36ESV

      • 2 Kings 9:12–13ESV

      • Matthew 27:21ESV

      • Luke 19:37ESV

      • Matthew 27:25ESV

  • Blessed Assurance
      • Download

        Men’s & Ladies’ Bible Studies

        April 30, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
        Men’s & Ladies’ Bible Studies start up again for a new semester at 10:00 am.

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