March 27, 2018

Meeting my expectations ... not!

Welcome the King, regardless!! Pastor Selena reminded me what I must do in my life when she talked of the excitement she and her family felt when Pastor Dylan and his friends initially came to know Christ and the power of God. She also shared how they felt when some of the youth drifted away and returned to their former lives. Pastor Selena often felt criticism from others during that time.

God wants to give new life. Before that can happen, death must occur from our “old ways.”
If Christ is King of my life, I must allow Him to be just that - regardless of circumstance or expectations. That truly is the tough part - giving up what I want and listening to what God wants and has in His plan for me.

The Jews celebrated the coming of Jesus as the King. But they were not asking Him to save them from their sins, but rather to save them from their circumstance, Roman occupation. They wanted a ruler in body, but Christ wanted to save their souls through His own physical life being sacrificed for them. When Jesus didn’t meet their expectations of political power and rule, the chants of “Hosanna” quickly changed to shouts of “Crucify Him!”

It is easy to look back and see their shortsighted expectations, but do I not do the same? Do I not figuratively, shout “Crucify Him!” when I don’t receive what I want when I want it?

Isaiah 55:8-9 states “...My thoughts are not your thoughts…” and, “...the Lords’ ways are higher than ours.” It’s difficult to understand what is best, many times shaking our fist in indignation.

John 12:42-43 spoke of how many believed, but refused to admit it. The crowd loved human praise more than God’s praise. What about me? Is my goal to please God or please other people?

If all I am doing is looking for what God will do for me, I will be disappointed. What am I giving God? God will use my circumstances to change me and we are reminded in John 16:33, “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, for I have overcome the world.” Though Jesus did many miracles, His true purpose was not to show miracles but to save us. Am I motivated by unmet expectations, my crowd, or circumstances? Will I welcome Christ regardless of these things?

Even when my life is troubling, I take to heart knowing God has given me the greatest gift of eternal salvation through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. All I have to do is believe in Him! Amen.

Selena Freeman - March 25, 2018

Palm Sunday

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Joe Maxwell

Joe and his wife Susan live in Marshfield along with their daughter Caroline who attends Marshfield High School; they also have two adult children, Brendan (wife Jesica, son Silas), and Kellan (wife Hannah). Joe is a manager at Jack Henry & Associates, and enjoys baseball, genealogy, and walking in his spare time. His favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

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