Good Morning! It’s a rainy Thursday morning today, but I understand that the skies are to clear up over the weekend and give us great sunshine days next week.
Last weekend I was able to participate in the L.A. Marathon where I bumped into a few of our Nazarene runners. I’m not really sure how everyone did… but as for me the run was going quite well until mile 16 or so. I needed to pull it back a bit and ended up with a bit slower time than I had hoped for. Needless to say, the Lord is faithful and helped us raise over $12,000 for the needs at Arise Mission Korean. God is good!
ENCOURAGEMENT: 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?’ say, ‘the Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’” (Mark 11:1-3)
It’s Palm Sunday… and Jesus has been back and forth a number of times to or near Jerusalem. A few weeks earlier He was nearly stoned by those who hated Him, but He, along with His disciples managed to slip away. And while away… He receives word that His dear friend, Lazarus, was extremely ill… to the point of death. After waiting a few more days, Jesus, along with the 12 make their way back to Bethany much to the grumbling of the disciples. Lazarus was raised from the dead… and perhaps this was still on the minds of many people in the Bethany and Bethphage region as He approached Jerusalem. They were NOW ready to make Him king!
People gathered in the streets… perhaps many had followed Him from Jericho… or even went on ahead of Him to prepare those in Jerusalem for His arrival. Crowds had gathered… palm branches were being cut… clothes were laid out… and the cheering was about to begin. I love this story.
Jesus stops… perhaps at the top of the Mount of Olives… He sees the crowds gathering… He remembers the scriptures (Psalm 118:22-29)… He sends two of His disciples ahead to untie the colt. And this is what I really like: Jesus knew EXACTLY what these two disciples would encounter. He still knows everything you and I will encounter. Can I… Will I trust Him? And these two guys go into town and find things JUST as Jesus had described. But, my favorite part is the statement Jesus gave to the two: “The Lord needs it…” It’s interesting that Jesus could multiply bread and fish to feed 5000… He could walk on water… He could heal the sick… give sight to the blind… touch the lepers… kick demons out of people… and raise the dead. He could have created a colt out of a wooden pole. He could have called for one out of the corral to come on over… but He chose to use two men… and He still works the same today. He has called you and me to “Make Christlike Disciples in the Nations”. The Lord needs me. The Lord needs you! That method of Jesus has not changed in 2000 plus years.
What are you doing for Jesus this Palm Sunday?
“BOLDAGEOUS” CONFERENCE: The Lord has called us to be “bold” and “courageous” in our journey with Him. In just a few months we’ll be, once again, gathering at PazNaz for our annual NMI Convention and District Assembly to share… listen… fellowship… worship… and take care of business together. Everything will begin on Wednesday night, June 13 at 7:00PM with the Mission’s Service and carry over until 3:00PM the following day. District Assembly will begin on Thursday, June 14 at 3:00PM with the Ordination Service that same evening. Assembly will conclude by 4:00PM on Friday, June 15.
PALCON 2018: The theme for the 2018 PALCONs is “Come & See” – an invitation to transformational conversations on calling, on the church, and on its mission. You can register for the summer’s event at www.palcon2018.org where you can find out more details as well.
May the Lord bless you this Easter week coming up! I love you and I look forward to seeing you soon…
Greg A. Garman
Los Angeles District Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene