Sunday Scriptures – Praise Him

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

In Luke’s account of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, he mentioned something Jesus told the Pharisees which I’ve always found interesting.

Jesus sent two of his disciples ahead of the group to secure a colt for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem. He told the disciples if anyone should ask why they were taking the donkey to tell them simply, “The Lord needs it.” No other explanation was necessary.

The two did just as they were told and returned with the colt, threw their cloaks on it, and put Jesus on the animal. As he went along the road, people spread their own cloaks on the road and joyfully shouted praise to God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen Jesus perform.

This praising disturbed the Pharisees. A lot of things concerning Jesus disturbed the Pharisees, actually, but at this particular point in time, the people’s praise bothered them greatly. They told Jesus to quiet his followers.

And here’s the part I love best …

In reply to their request, Jesus simply told the Pharisees even if his followers were quiet, the rocks and stones themselves would cry out their praises to him.

Jesus the Son was with God the Father and the Holy Spirit when the earth was created. Those rocks and stones which lined the road into Jerusalem KNEW who Jesus was. The Creator. The only one worthy of praise. He was the King who came in the name of the Lord. And if the humans who lined the road refused to shout their praise to the Lord, the rocks would. Creation will praise its Creator.

Do we look for God’s hand in the world around us and praise him? Do we see each sunrise and sunset as the work of the Master and praise him? Do we ache to shout our praises to the Lord for everything he has done, is doing, and will do in our lives?

Don’t you think if the rocks and stones know enough to praise Jesus, we should as well?

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When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Luke 19:37-40 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Stand in the Gap

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the 6th Century B.C. Ezekiel, the priest taken into Babylonian captivity, spoke to the generation born in exile about the sins of the Israelites that brought them so low and also to sustain the faith of the exiles by predicting national restoration, the execution of justice upon their oppressors, and of national glory under David’s monarchy.

In the middle of the Old Testament book of Ezekiel God tells the priest God has been patient with the Israelites, but they continued to rebel and disobey his laws. He tells Ezekiel Jerusalem’s doom is inevitable.

Near the end of Chapter 22 the Lord said he looked for someone to stand in the gap before him on behalf of the land, but found no one.

In considering what it means to stand in the gap, I thought of several things.courtesy bing

  • the story of the little Dutch boy who saved the village by placing his finger in the hole of the dike
  • the workers who kept their weapons with them as they rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem after they returned from exile
  • the prayer warriors who intercede before God on behalf of others

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 “I looked in vain for anyone who would build again the wall of righteousness that guards the land, who could stand in the gap and defend you from my just attacks, but I found not one.” Ezekiel 22:30 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Don’t Despise Small Beginnings

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Often it is that first step that is the most difficult. Once that is conquered, the rest follows easily.

Learning to ride a bicycle might be a good example. The rider needs to balance the bike in such a way to keep it upright while pedaling fast enough to move it forward as the handle bars are kept steady to direct the bike in the intended direction. Whew.

Not an easy thing to do all at once. Just thinking about all the steps could overwhelm. The task is manageable, however, if the steps are taken in small increments.

When the Hebrews who lived in Babylon during the 6th century B.C. were allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and the city after 70 years of captivity, they faced a massive undertaking.

Perhaps they looked at everything that had to be done and felt it too much to accomplish.  Perhaps they felt it was a hopeless endeavor. Perhaps they felt it was way beyond their ability, so they should give up before they started.

But in order to get that massive undertaking completed, they had to start small. They had to lay that first brick and the next and the next.

Maybe you’re facing something that looms large over you. It seems impossible to deal with. Health concerns. Financial concerns. Relationship concerns. Job concerns. Family concerns…

Each seems too big to take on.

But each accomplishment begins with that first small step.

Like one of my college professors used to say, “You can’t eat the elephant all at once. You have to eat it one spoonful at a time.”

Don’t despise small beginnings. Take it one step at a time.

Are there any endeavors overwhelming you when you look at everything it entails to be completed?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. For these seven lamps represent the eyes of the Lord that see everywhere around the world. Zechariah 4:10 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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