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Daily Devotion on Tuesday of Holy Week

Text: Matthew 21:23-25:46

Tuesday of Holy Week is often called “Busy Tuesday.” There is not much recorded about Monday and Wednesday but Matthew devotes over four chapters to the sermons of Jesus given on Tuesday. The selfless sacrifice of Jesus is an amazing thing. Most humans who are told that they will soon die make every effort to cross some things off their bucket-lists. Jesus was thinking about everyone but himself. In these four chapters of Matthew we see Jesus desperately trying to make people see the light.

Jesus taught several parables that Tuesday morning and all of them focused on repentance. The parables are aimed at those who have not yet turned to Jesus in faith. They are parables of warning: either you are a friend of Jesus or you are his enemy and you don’t want to be the enemy of God.

Next on Jesus plate was a debate. He was challenged by the Pharisees and Sadducees (the spiritual leaders of the Jews) on four different points. These men were trying to trap Jesus, to get him to say something that would reveal him as the hoax they were convinced he was. Read the accounts for yourself… Jesus as true God was a little smarter than mere men.

The “Seven Woes” as they are entitled in the NIV from Matthew 23 are somber words for the Pharisees. It is scary to read through this chapter and see how often we Christians fall into the same sins as the Pharisees. What is the key difference? We repent and look to Jesus to take our sins away, the Pharisees did not.

Jesus’ evening was spent on a two chapter long discourse on the end of this earth. We don’t know when Jesus is going to come again and so we need to be prepared at all times. We do know that when he comes we will be taken away to eternal life, and all because of the work Jesus was accomplishing on Holy Week.

What selfless, wondrous love is this, that Jesus would spend his last hours offering his loving forgiveness to those were in the process of orchestrating his murder!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as Jesus lived in this world in utter humility may we also live humbly. Because of Jesus we have the forgiveness we desperately need to face Judgment Day with confidence. Give us the strength to live our lives as if our next breath could be our last because no one knows when Jesus will come again. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Sermon on Matthew 24:37-44

Advent 1

Keep Watch!  Be Ready!

Text:  Matthew 24:37-44

Intro

You better watch out!  Better not cry!  Better not pout!  I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is comin’ to town.  He’s making a list and checking it twice.  He’s going to find out who’s naughty and nice.  Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town.  He sees when you’re sleeping.  He knows when you’re awake.  He knows if you’ve been bad or good.  So be good for goodness sake!

The point of the song?  Keep Watch!  Be Ready! Santa Claus is coming soon with his massive pile of presents.  He has been watching to see if you were good or bad, and he is going to reward you with presents based on your behavior.  So Keep Watch and Be Ready because Santa is coming soon!

I hardly know where to begin on this song.  First of all, I still have Thanksgiving leftovers in my fridge, so to think that Christmas trees and lights and music and door-busters are raging across America already is a little crazy.  Secondly, this is Advent.  Advent is a word that means to come or coming.  But we aren’t preparing for Santa to come.  (For the sake of the children here today I won’t mention the authenticity of Santa—or lack there of.)  But much more important than waiting on an old man with a white beard is our Advent preparation for Christ’s coming.  But preparing for Christ to come doesn’t mean Black Friday shopping and tinsel all over the house either.  During Advent we certainly anticipate our celebration of his birth.  But that happened already.  He’s already come once.  So now in Advent, we look for Christ’s second coming on Judgment Day.  As we do, we need to Keep Watch and Be Ready! Read the rest of this entry