Luke 23:26-56 As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and the hills, “Cover us!” For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?
Two other men both criminals were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. the people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said “He saved others; let him safe himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
It was no about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance, watching these things.
Mark 11:1-10 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.'” They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “HOSANNA!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!”
Today is Palm Sunday. Jesus begins his journey to the cross. He goes willingly, knowing exactly where this journey will take him. Because of Jesus’ journey. We have hope. We have faith. We have eternal life.
Walk alongside Jesus this week as you journey to the cross. What will you take, and what will you leave behind?
Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Isaiah 26:20 Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you: hide yourselves for a little while until the flurry has passed by.
How are you all doing with quarantine? My daughter told me “I am just too social for this.” And, I have to agree. My head understands the importance of social distancing and the Stay at Home orders, but my heart misses daily gatherings with real humans.
Jesus understood the importance of self-isolation. He has lived it. Jesus went into the dessert for 40 days and nights to pray – to connect with God. He needed time to distance himself from the crowds.
How are you using this time you have been given to slow down and reconnect with God? If you need a little help, I am offering my book Walking in the Word, A Daily Journey Through the New Testament for just $10 during the COVID-19 outbreak. To receive a copy, send a message or email me at email@example.com
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Together we will get through this.
Luke 6:47-49 “I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
How is your house holding up through COVID-19? With more time at home, how are you spending your free time? No matter how crazy the world becomes, always remember that your foundation is on the rock that can not be shaken.
God bless you and your family. May he keep you healthy and safe during this time of uncertainty.
Numbers 13:27-28 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.
To say this week has been crazy would be an understatement. Everything has been canceled allowing us to spend our free time differently. We have a new normal now which is forcing us to slow down. We find ourselves drawing closer to family and closer to God.
As I slow down, I have spent more time in God’s word. This week I have been reading Numbers. Ever since I was a little girl, I had heard the story of how Moses and the Israelites wondered in the desert for 40 years, and how God provided for them, and how they continued to turn from God….. But did you realize that God took their entire assembly to the land flowing with milk and honey at the beginning of their journey? They even sent a group in to scout the area. It was fantastic! Everything they had ever dreamed of. But, they didn’t move forward because they were afraid. They were afraid of the strong armies of the people living in the land. So, instead of moving forward trusting God, they leaned on their own understanding and wondered aimlessly in a desert for 40 years.
What are you afraid of in your new normal? Take time to contemplate your next steps. God is with you. He has brought you to this place in your life. Take the next step! You have nothing to fear when your journey includes the God of Moses.
Hebrews 10:19-25 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Praise God for his inspiring words that were relevant yesterday and remain relevant today and always. The more his word is read, the more wisdom is revealed.
John 19:28-30 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
This past week we entered the season of Lent. The time of the year when we draw close to Jesus as we walk along side him on his journey to the cross. We also look at the purposeful life he lived well, while here on earth with us.
I feel called to write. (so thank you to all of you who read the words I write every week) I spent this past week in Colorado with our daughter Hannah. She needed to be in Fort Collins for work events and asked if I would like to meet here. Of course, I said yes! We had the most wonderful week. We talked, laughed and caught up over dinner every evening. And during the day, I wrote. I was given the luxury of writing every day without interruption. I was able to finish my second book “Women Walking In The Word“. It feels amazing to have this important book written.
What has God called you to finish during the short time you have on this earth? Lent is the perfect time to begin taking the first steps needed to complete the work he has called you to do. God bless your journey through this Lenten season.
Exodus 26:36-37 For the entrance to the tent make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen – the work of an embroiderer. Make gold hooks for this curtain and five posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold. And cast five bronze bases for them.
God instructed Moses with a detailed pattern of how to construct the tabernacle and build its contents with exquisite materials. He chose Bezalel and “filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts.”
The creative abilities we have been given take the time to develop. I took an embroidery class this past week. These are all opportunities for the Spirit of God to express his artistry through us. God intends for all expressions of art to draw us into deeper fellowship with him. He is the ultimate creator of beauty, and being in his image means we are to create beauty as well to glorify him.
How do you share your creativity with the world?
Matthew 5:43-44 Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Matthew 19:19 Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:37 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Luke 6:32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that you you? Even sinners love those who love them.
John 13:34-35 Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Romans 13:9 and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Exodus 15:22-25 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?” Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.
The Desert Botanical Garden of Phoenix is 140 acres of more than 50,000 vibrant desert plants. I was in awe of the enormous Saguaro Cactus, whose blooms just happen to be the Arizona state flower. These cacti can grow to be over 40 feet tall. But, my favorite part of the Saguaro Cactus is its ribs. The ribs expand and contract in response to the amount of moisture it is storing, allowing it to survive in the desert for several months without rain. A large saguaro can store up to 6 tons of water, and can survive loosing 2/3 of its stored water. Shallow, wide spreading roots quickly draw up rainwater, even after a very short rain. Additional roots called “rain roots” grow within a few hours of a rainfall to capture even more moisture. It is a remarkable cactus. Nothing like anything we see in the Midwest.
God has equipped the Saguaro Cactus to withstand extreme climates of the desert. God equipped the Israelites with Moses as their leader to withstand extreme situations as they travel through the desert. God has equipped you with the Holy Spirit who will allow you to withstand any circumstance as you travel through life. Soak up the Word today for drought days in the future.