Tag Archives: kept

What is Palm Sunday All About? Why did Jesus need to enter Jerusalem in the way he did?

Why did Jesus need to enter Jerusalem in the way he did?

Written by GodLife on 04/04/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Prophecy, Promises, Resurrection, Faith, Love
At first, Jesus' disciples did not understand. But after he had been given his glory, they remembered all this. Everything had happened exactly as the Scriptures said it would.

John 12:16
On Palm Sunday you may be given a palm branch. If you’re a new follower of Jesus, this could be a surprise. Even if you’ve been a Christian for a long time, you may not be clear about why we celebrate this day or why it’s called Jesus’ “Triumphal Entry.” Palm Sunday is a breathtaking picture of the patience, the faithfulness and the loving heart of our Savior.

Keep reading for the secret of what Palm Sunday is about.

Palm Sunday is about timing
Many times, people in the Gospels get excited about Jesus: His teaching, (See Mark 1:21-22; John 7:46) His healing, or miracles. (John 2:23-25) Jesus didn’t let these people make Him a king (John 6:15) or arrest Him before He was ready. He often says "My time hasn’t yet come." (John 7:6)

Why was timing so important? An ancient prophecy in Daniel predicted this event’s very day:

“from the command to rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of the Chosen Leader, it will be seven weeks ("sevens") and another sixty-two weeks ("sevens"). (Daniel 9:25)

The command predicted by Daniel was issued by the Persian King Artaxerxes in Nehemiah 2:1-8. Nehemiah writes:

“‘I will need timber to rebuild the gates of the fortress near the temple and more timber to construct the city wall… I would appreciate a letter to Asaph, who is in charge of the royal forest.’ God was good to me, and the king did everything I asked.” (Nehemiah 2:8)

Exactly 483 years (69 "sevens") later, Jesus began His donkey ride into Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophecy!

Palm Sunday was about keeping an ancient promise
Why is it that Jesus was no longer resisting and actually offering Himself as King?

“Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, just as the Scriptures say, ‘People of Jerusalem, don’t be afraid! Your King is now coming, and he is riding on a donkey.’” (John 12:14-15)

Without knowing that promise (from Zechariah 9:9), it would not be obvious what Jesus was doing. Did the people of His day understand? Read their reactions:

“They put some of their clothes on its back, and Jesus got on. Many people spread clothes on the road, while others went to cut branches from the fields. In front of Jesus and behind him, people went along shouting, ‘Hooray! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! God bless the coming kingdom of our ancestor David. Hooray for God in heaven above!’” (Mark 11:7-10)

They showed they knew what Jesus was doing when they hailed him as a king and shouted for him to save them, quoting from Psalm 118:19-27. (See also Isaiah 62:10-11)

The Pharisees showed they knew (and were bothered) that the people understood when they said:

“Teacher, make your disciples stop shouting!” But Jesus answered, “If they keep quiet, these stones will start shouting.” (Luke 19:39-40)

Palm Sunday was about making an effort to reconcile the people to their God
A large crowd had come for Passover (John 12:12) and many (Matthew 21:8) participated. Everyone in the city “was excited and asked, ‘Who can this be?’” (Matthew 21:10) Had Jesus’ day of acceptance finally arrived? No; we know that instead of an inauguration, a crucifixion was awaiting Jesus. What happened? Psalm 118 had predicted this as well:

“The stone that the builders tossed aside has now become the most important stone.” (Psalm 118:22)

The people were swayed by the religious leaders. (Mark 15:11-15) This was written in advance also. Jesus even explained this to them: “they knew that Jesus was talking about them.” (Matthew 21:33-45)

Just because Jesus knew all along what would happen does not mean He was not affected.

“When Jesus came closer and could see Jerusalem, he cried and said: ‘It is too bad that today your people don’t know what will bring them peace! Now it is hidden from them… This will happen because you did not see that God had come to save you.’” (Luke 19:41-44)

Palm Sunday is only a preview of what is coming. Next week we will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection! His death for our sins and resurrection is the only way we can be acceptable to God. (Romans 4:25) The next time Jesus returns will be as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16) At that time His coming will not be with meekness but “with his powerful angels and with a flaming fire. Our Lord Jesus will punish anyone who doesn’t know God and won’t obey His message. Their punishment will be eternal destruction, and they will be kept far from the presence of our Lord and his glorious strength.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10)

Jesus’ coming was not just to save the people of His day. God came to save you. Have you received Him as your King?

Pray this week:

Jesus, I thank You for your timing, Your faithfulness and Your love. It’s only based on Your work that I am acceptable to God. You are my King, and you have the right to order my life!

Many times, surprising things in the Bible turn out to be wonderful promises being kept by God.

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While I Kept Partying, My Parents Kept Praying – Part 4: Working All Things For Good

Foundationally, every single person has to be born again.

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Salvation
This article was written by Andrew Palau.

In my life, I’ve seen God work out His promise of Romans 8:28, that He causes “all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” For example, I went to a lot performances of the rock band Grateful Dead before I followed Christ. Their model was festival and open air, and free flowing multi-generational. When the Palau Association wanted to reach large cities for Christ, I remembered my Grateful Dead days. My brother Kevin and I imagined a gathering far different from the crusade model for evangelism. We dreamed of a party that would contain not only the Gospel, but also Christian music. We told Dad, “Let’s go to a park, let’s go to a beach, let’s shut down the city streets… and proclaim Jesus Christ.”

In 1999, our dream came true. Our first two festivals were held in Portland, Oregon. Now our “CityFests” with two full days of live concerts, a children’s area, live action sports demos, Gospel presentations, and more have been held in cities across America and even around the world.

Today I present the Gospel, just like Dad. And God has used me to direct festivals and share His Good News in not only the United States, but also in Africa, Romania, Egypt, Mexico, India, and even Jamaica – the place where the Lord first opened my heart to His truth.

I was recently telling my personal story of salvation in Africa. The people were interested in the fact that Luis Palau’s son didn’t know the Lord. In reality, my story is not that unusual. Every generation has to be called to repentance and receive the Lord.

An Eternal Decision
Ever since I started walking with Christ, I’ve never tired of telling my story. I think one of the main things that every believer has to realize is: God rescued me. And that is so humbling.

Whether I look across a sea of a 100,000 faces, or peer into the eyes of one searching 12-year-old boy, I know that everybody has to individually decide: Will I follow Jesus Christ?

Foundationally, every single person has to be born again. There is no value in your culture, or your tribe, or your family in terms of eternity. It’s a personal decision that has to be made by all.

Even by the son of Luis Palau.

Are you trusting anything or anyone other than Jesus to make you a child of God? Have you personally decided to follow Jesus? Whether you have or haven't, you can talk with a caring Christian

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While I Kept Partying, My Parents Kept Praying – Part 2: Something Was Missing

There was something that relationships, drugs and wild parties just couldn't fill.

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Partying, Testimony
This article was written by Andrew Palau.

By the time I attended the University of Oregon, I blended right in with my fraternity buddies. On the outside it seemed like I was a happy guy and could juggle classes, work, and the party life. But on the inside I was miserable.

I felt guilty about so many of the poor choices I had made because they were diametrically opposed to the way that I had been brought up. It seemed like there was a void in my life- that something was missing. Something that relationships, and drugs, and wild parties just couldn’t fill.

A sense of emptiness continued, even after I graduated from college and began working in Boston. I kept partying, felt no peace, and drank to hide the pain inside. I felt like I was sinking into the depths of despair. I would look into a mirror and ask myself, What really matters? Where can I go?

At that point, it was as though God tapped me on the shoulder and said, Andrew, look at your parents’ example. What does your dad care about most?

I couldn’t get away from the answer. The center of Dad’s life is the Gospel. He had preached about it around the world, and had written dozens of books. Books I had never read, even though I was an English literature major.

Finally, not knowing where to turn, I pulled Dad’s book, “Say Yes! How to Renew Your Spiritual Passion” off of the shelf and actually read it. Although I was convinced that what Dad wrote about Jesus Christ was true, my heart was still not convicted.

If you've been far away from God sometime in your life, how did God begin to gently draw you to Himself? What advice would you give someone who is related to a person living far from God? 

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While I Kept Partying, My Parents Kept Praying: Part 1

Everyone has to decide for themselves whether they are going to be followers of Christ.

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Salvation, Testimony
This article was written by Andrew Palau.

Like all people, I had to decide for myself whether or not I was going to be a follower of Jesus Christ. My parents had hoped and prayed that I would make this decision as a child, but I did not. It took 27 years for me to finally decide for myself.

I grew up in a great Christian home. Mom and Dad loved me and were truly gentle parents. We went to a great church. Regardless of the tremendous blessings in my life, I wanted what the world had to offer. Although my father, international evangelist Luis Palau, preached to millions, he had no words that could humanly change my heart.

When I was about 12 or 13 years old, a friend’s older siblings introduced me to stuff that even the wilder kids weren’t doing. As time went on I began building a reputation of being the wildest and craziest kid around. I just loved to party… and drink… and smoke marijuana, which some say is the biggest cash crop in my home state of Oregon.

When my parents learned what I was doing, they couldn’t believe it. They were wise because they sought biblical counsel, and they understood that they could not convince me to live a godly lifestyle. They decided that the only thing they could do was to trust the Lord, model faith in the midst of trying circumstances, and do their best to live lives filled with the joy of the Lord.

It was very convicting as I watched them release me to God. “We love you,” they told me. “We’ve done our best, but we trust the Lord… The Holy Spirit is the One who convicts of sin and unrighteousness.” Dad and Mom kept praying for me; I kept partying.

Is there a loved one in your life who is far from God? Are you asking God how He would have you relate to this person, and relying on Him? What have you learned so far that may help others in this difficult situation?

Or is this a story that you can relate to?

Whatever your situation, talking to someone about what's going on can help

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