Easter is coming.  Here is an outline and devotional to get us thinking about the coming Passion Week and the words and actions of Jesus.  There is too much here to digest in one week, so take some time in the next couple weeks to reflect, meditate, pray on the events of Jesus' passion week from Matthew 21-28.  

Enjoy reflecting on the greatest event in history!  Jesus' death on a cross for the sins of the world and resurrection conquering sin and death for you and me.

Sunday:

Triumphal Entry (21:1-11)

In line with OT prophecy (21:4-5), Isa 62:11; Zech 9:9) Two Responses:           Crowd of Galilean Pilgrims (Ps. 118:25-26) – “Son of David” and “The Prophet Jesus” Jerusalemites – “Who is this?” and “stirred” controversy with “trouble”.

There are a host of things that jockey for our attention today.

Have you ever read the Bible's plot in one sitting?  Here is the whole storyline of the whole Bible.  Take some time to become acquainted with God's heart.  It's the Grand-Narrative of God's Glory!  Enjoy!

Big Picture

God is in control.  Have you heard that phrase before?  Maybe you have thought it or said it from time to time as a reassurance that he is indeed sovereign.  I have.  I have needed to.
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Rick Warren has said, "All good leaders are good learners, and the moment you stop learning you stop leading."  I could not agree more.  I long to be a lifelong learner in a variety of areas.  Whether you are in an organization, business or church, leadership can be tricky.  Here are a few tips to grasp.

1. Begin at the Bottom.  Most leaders are in it because there is a personal passion.  The foundation of any leadership is servanthood.

Who leads the church?  Think about it.  Who?

This seems like an obvious answer for those who have been Christians for a time, but it is not just a cool bumper sticker for the back of our cars.  It is a profound reality.

Should Churches Be Growing?

As a passionate pastor and leader, I have been thinking and praying lots about this question and the local church. I have been thinking about the health and growth of local churches.  Some seem to be growing and some seem to be dying. I am concerned and I think all leaders should be concerned.

I have been asking why?

This led to another thought, although not new, just a re-thinking.  Let's start from scratch.

Sometimes circumstances have a way of challenging your joy. Every parent can relate to this picture trying to get the kids just right for the annual perfect picture. Life has a way of messing with us.

Reminders

If you are a follower of Jesus, the joy is already on the inside.  It is not something you try to manufacture.  The second word listed in Galatians 5:22 is "joy".  It is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of every believer.

I want to take Jesus' words seriously.  Don't you?

What would happen if we took Jesus' words seriously?  What would happen if the church took Jesus' words seriously?  You might be thinking as a follower of Jesus, as a Christian, I do take Jesus seriously.  You might, but I have found in my own life a disconnect at times with what I say and do with what Jesus told us to say and do.  I fall short of putting my heart on the things of Jesus' heart.

Our greatest purpose in life is to glorify God and do His will.  The supreme passion of your soul should be for God, but it can be for self.  We should be asking ourselves daily, "What does God desire most?"  Lets be honest.  There are moments and seasons when we are soaring with God and other moments when it seems difficult to give God all the glory.  As believers in Jesus, we have the promised Holy Spirit guiding us to bring God glory.

I like Isaiah.  He was a very public figure influencing Nobility and all others, but private in his time with the Lord.  Isaiah was a prophet of Judah who ministered to the people of the Southern Kingdom.  Because of Isaiah, Micah and the godly leadership of King Hezekiah (and Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz), there was a revival in Judah.  God intervened to turn back the Assyrian forces that threatened Judah.  Much of Isaiah's message focused on Judah's sin.
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