Posted in Sermon Outline

The greatest miracle in Elijah’s Life

OBJECTIVES:

1. For believers to appreciate the miracle of connecting to the Lord Jesus Christ and understand the Christ is sufficient for all our needs.
2. For believers to find joy and satisfaction in the Lord Jesus Christ.

BACKGROUND:

Around 100 years after Solomon became King, at 874 BC King Ahab became king of Israel.

1 Kings 16:32-33New International Version (NIV)
He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.

Baal worshipppers believe that Baal is a god who brings the rain and bountiful harvest so the Lord asked Elijah to prophesy for drought to King Ahab. The Lord then instructed Elijah to hide in Kerith Ravine. God directed ravens to bring food to Elijah and he drank from the brook. When the brook dried up, Elijah went to Zarephath and ate with a widow and her son. God made the flour and oil unlimited until rain comes again.

1 Kings 17:1New International Version (NIV)
Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe[a] in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”

For three years there was neither rain nor due in northern kingdom, so the King looked for Elijah everywhere but can't find him. In God's perfect timing, God told Elijah to show up to the King after 3 years of hiding because God would now send rain again. Elijah asked King Ahab to assemble all the people of Israel and to invite the 850 pagan prophets at Mt Carmel. The 450 Baal's prophets and 400 Asherah's prophets ate at the queen's table and 100% supported by King Ahab. These influeced the nations badly that some started to doubt the Lord. So Elijah challenged the people of Israel at Mt Carmel to stand-up for the Lord.

1 Kings 18:21New International Version (NIV)
Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.

So Elijah proposed a solution to prove who is the real God. Both him and the false prophets would prepare an altar and offer a bull but will not fire it up. Elijah would call on the Lord and the false prophets would call on Baal and the one who answer with FIRE is the real God.

From morning until noon, the false prophets called on Baal but there's no answer. The entire afternoon they shouted louder and slashed themselves until they bled but Baal haven't responded. When evening came, Elijah called the people and started setting up the altar for the Lord.

1 Kings 18:33 New International Version (NIV)
He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”

The Israelites did it thrice as instructed by Elijah. And Elijah prayed to the Lord.

1 Kings 18:37-38 New International Version (NIV)
Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

V40 – With Elijah's command the people of Israel seized all the pagan prophets and killed them.
V45 – Heavy rain came after 3 years of drought.
v46 – Elijah ran ahead of King Ahab riding a chariot.

 God's miracles on Elijah's life.

  1. Prophesy that it will not rain or dew until he says so.
  2. God had hidden Elijah for 3 years
    • King Ahab can't find him
    • God supplied bread & meat twice a day delivered by ravens in Kerith Ravine
    • God made the flour & oil unlimited of a widow in Zarephath
  3. Brought down fire to the wet altar in front of the people.
  4. Prophesy that it will rain again.
  5. Run faster than a chariot.

God did amazing miracles in Elijah's ministry but the most important miracle that God did is the miracle of having a personal relationship with God. Notice that in all these miracles, there were contant communication between God and Elijah. For every amazing display of power, Elijah waited instruction from God.

And this miracle of having a relationship and deep communication with God is available to us today. The Lord Jesus Christ said in Luke 19:10 that he came to seek and to save the lost. Our God is actively seeking all of us, and for all who accepted Him and believed in his name, be gave the right to become his child.

Luke 19:10New International Version (NIV)
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

John 1:12 New International Version (NIV)
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

If we continue to read on 1 Kings 19:2, Queen Jezebel sent messengers to Elijah that she will not stop until she killed Elijah. In verse 3, Elijah became afraid and ran for his life. After the mighty victory over the 850 pagan prophets, he was so tired and discouraged. In verse 4, Elijah prayed that he might die.

God let Elijah sleep, and provided food and drink for him twice until he fully regained his strength. Elijah then travelled to Mt Horeb in 40 days & 40 days night. Once there Elijah spent the night in a cave – abandoning his calling as the Lord's prophet. Then God asked him "What are you doing?" Elijah's reply showed that he's still discouraged.

1 Kings 19:10New International Version (NIV)
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

So God showed himselt to Elijah not in dramatic way as in the wind, earthquake, or fire. The Lord showed himself to Elijah in quite whisper, asking him "What are you doing here?"

1 Kings 19:11-12 New International Version (NIV)
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

Then in verses 15-18, the Lord ask Elijah to return where he came from and complete the missions that God entrusted him.

John 10:10New International Version (NIV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

We have an enemy, Satan – and his target is to steal our joy until we are so discouraged and loss all hope. Many people might not believe that Satan is real, but the Bible says he is. And is very active in our world. Look at the WHO report on depression.

Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 300 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.

WHO China Data
WHO_china

Both non-christians and christians alike are Satan's target. The more the world ignore Satan's attack, the more the unaware individuals become his victims.

In our lowest moment, the miracle of knowing God will uplift us. Just like how God treated Elijah, our God will let us rest, will provide for our physical needs, and will encourage us until we can fully recover. Just like God whispered to Elijah, the Lord Jesus Christ is inviting everyone to have a close relationship with Him. It is the Lord Jesus Christ's mission to give us a full life (John 10:10) – if we only allow him. The Lord encouraged the believers in John 16:33 that He had overcame the world already. Satan was already defeated, all we have to do is to stand our ground. Christians – rejoice for your Lord has done the hard part! We are already victorious! Declare victory in your life! Declare victory from all bondage of sin! Declare victory from all the works of darkness in our lives. In Jesus name – we have freedom and can live a truly victorious life.

John 16:33 New International Version (NIV)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 3:18 New International Version (NIV)
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

In John 3:18 the Bible tells us that those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will not be condemned.  So if this is your first time to hear about Jesus Christ or if you've been to a church for a long time already but haven't made the decision yet to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, God is touching your heart now. Today is a great day to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you are ready please raise your hand so that I can pray for you. Is there anyone here who wanted to rededicate their lives to the Lord or maybe you already believe in Jesus but this time you want to fully surrender your life to the Lord (100%), please raise your hand so that I can pray for you.

DUA Bible Study Guide link.

Posted in Sermon Outline

Faith in Action

Objective:

  1. Ignite Hope fellowship members to stand firm in their faith in Jesus Christ.
  2. Encourage the seeker to try the love & faithfullness of the Lord.

Introduction:

How far will you stand for what you believe? Will you cling on your faith when testing comes?

Storyline:

Daniel 3:1 NIV
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.

— in Babylon’s culture, statues were frequently worshippped. King Nebuchadnezzar hope to use the large golden image (90ft high, 90ft wide) as strategy to unite the nation by centralizing worship.

— ordered everyone who heard the sound of the band must fall down and worship the golden image or else you’ll be thrown in the burning furnace

** Would you violate the first comandment for survival – just a little compromise?

Exodus 20:3 NIV
You shall have no other gods before me.

** What would do if you were there? Will you pretend you didn’t hear the sound? Will you bow down but not really worship the image – anyway your life is worth more than any pride. You will still worship the true God in your life.

Daniel 3:8-15 NIV
At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. [9] They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! [10] Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, [11] and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. [12] But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” [13] Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, [14] and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? [15] Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

— Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego were put on the spotlight.

— King Nebuchadnezzar was very mad but he gave them another chance to bow down and worship the golden image. Everybody’s eager to find out if they would continue to disobey the king and lost their lives.

** At this point? Would you risk your life? Would you risk your friends’ lives? Would you argue that for sure God would understand?

Daniel 3:16-18 NIV
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. [17] If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. [18] But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. ”

— Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will not compromise their faith in God. They were pressured to deny God but they decided to remain faithful despite the consequence of disobeying the king’s decree – death by the fiery furnace.

— If God would always rescue those who trusts in Him, then Christians would not need faith. Christianity would hen become the biggest insurance company with many selfish people lining up ready to sign up.  But why do you think Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego managed to stand firm & didn’t  bow down to idols?

Principle #1 – have an eternal mindset to help you put things in God’s perspective. 

Colossians 3:1-2 NIV
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. [2] Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

— Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego have eternal perspective. They put higher weights on their eternal destiny rather than have a temporary earthly gain. They considered God’s glory & honor more important than their earthly lives.

— They made the decision not knowing whether God would rescue them or not. Nonetheless, they are prepared to die for the glory of the eternal God.

Our earthly failure can bring as much glory to God as our earthly success does if we remain obedient to God. Even physical death can bring glory to God in eternal perspective. – Marvin Andrade


Principle #2 – Be aware of the ongoing spiritual battle. The moment you decide to seriously follow Jesus, then the enemy would aggressively attack to discourage you but take heart Jesus has overcome the world.

Ephesians 6:12 NIV
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Daniel 3:19-20 NIV
Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual [20] and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. [21] So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.

  1. The enemies attitude changed when we become threats to the kingdom of darkness.
  2. The furnace was heated 7x than usual.
  3. The strongest soldiers thrown them to the fiery furnace.

John 16:33 NIV
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

— Do not be afraid of the enemy because we have a God who is able to protect us. Jesus has overcome the world – He is bigger than all our troubles.

— Manny Pacquiao was a womanizer, and a gambler before he personally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Lord & Savior. When he became a born-again Christian, he was knocked down by his opponent and his mother blame his lost because Manny changed religion.

Galatians 6:7 NIV
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

— Some testings are allowed by God for us to grow in faith. But mostly it’s from the enemy or from our own flesh.

— Watch-out for most people the sufferings we encounter are the consequences of our sins and worldly desires. We can’t mocked God, He knows if we are hiding something bad.

Principle #3. Consecrate your life for God’s divine purpose. Learn in this world as much as you can for the glory of God without compromising our faith. 

Daniel 3:28-30 NIV
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. [29] Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” [30] Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

— God was glorified because Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego stand firm on their faith to God.

— They were promoted by King Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel 1:8,12,17,20 NIV
[8] But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. [12] “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. [17] To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. [20] In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

— Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego revolved not to defile themselves with the royal food and wine so God blesed them with knowledge & wisdom that they are 10x better than all the magicians and enchanters of the whole kingdom. They had great positions in this earth even though they didn’t compromise their faith to God.

Principle #4.  Be confident in declaring God’s promises to your life. 

Daniel 3:17-18 NIV
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. [18] But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. ”

— the three friends knew that their God is able to save them and they claimed that God will deliver them. Observe the word “will” – it means that action will surely take place. The bible didn’t say that God “might” save them but we know for sure from verse 18 that they are not sure yet whether God would intervene or not but still they say in verse 17 with 100% confidence that “God will save them.” Now that is faith!!!
1 John 5:14 NIV
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

— Let us claim God’s promises to our own life according to His will. God is sovereign and we can’t push what we want if it’s not in His grand masterplan. But God is merciful, remember how Abraham bargained with God regarding the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah – from 50-45-40-20-10 righteous people. Also note how the Lord added 15 more years to Hezekiah’s life just because he begged God for mercy (2 Kings 20)

— I claim with confidence that God would bless us with many biological children. God said children are blessings from Him and I want to participate in that. Unless God told me explicitly that I should stop praying for it, I will keep on asking God with a child-like faith until He bestows mercy on me. If that happpens, and it will by faith, all glory belongs to God alone.


Link to my life-verses.

Posted in Sermon Outline

Power of Spoken Words – Ezekiel 37 message

Story of Thomas Edison:

Thomas Edison’s teacher handed him a letter for his mother.  The mother read the letter allowed “Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself.”

After many, many years, after Edison’s mother died and he was now one of the greatest inventors of the century, one day he was looking through old family things. Suddenly he saw a folded paper in the corner of a drawer in a desk. He took it and opened it up. On the paper was written: “Your son is addled [mentally ill]. We won’t let him come to school any more.”

Edison cried for hours and then he wrote in his diary: “Thomas Alva Edison was an addled child that, by a hero mother, became the genius of the century.”

A salute to all the mothers! Who’s love, support, and sacrifice made us succeed in our lives. Happy mother’s day to all mothers here. Please come forward so that the church can pray for you.

At the darkest our in the history of Israel, Jerusalem are just destroyed by the Babylonian empire including the temple of God. The bible says that this was God’s judgment to the wickedness and idolatry of the people of Israel and her leaders. God warned the people thru the prophets  but they wouldn’t listen so God served judgment to the sins of Israel.

609 BC – Judah was defeated by Egypt and King Josiah was slain. His son Jehoiakim was installed by Egypt as King of Judah.

605 BC – Babylonian empire overwhelmed the Egyptian forces. King Jehoiakim shifted allegiance to the Babylonians. But after a few years of battle between Egypt and the Babylonians, King Jehoiakim shifted allegiance back to Egypt.

597 BC – Babylonians attacked Jerusalem and brought around 10,000 Jews exiles to Babylonia including the king’s son and Ezekiel. Only the poorest were left in the city. King Zedekiah was installed by Babylon as king of Judah but later King Zedekiah also rebelled against Babylon.  While an exile in Babylon, Ezekiel was appointed by God as a watchman for Israel and he warned the people of the pending siege and destruction of Jerusalem.

588 BC – Babylonian laid siege to Jerusalem and the wall was breached and the temple destroyed two years later.  This time, God appointed Ezekiel as a watchman for the give hope to the remnants that one day, God will gather all the people of Israel and they will live in their own lands.

Image

The Jews were devastated, they can’t believed that God didn’t rescue them but allowed the pagan empire to destroy God’s temple. People are hopeless.

In Ezekiel 37 we read one of the most visual text of God’s miracles.

Ezekiel 37:1-14 NIV

[1] … The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. [2] He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. [3] He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know. ”

— Hand of the Lord –> help from God.

— If God asks you something this is the safest answer – “Sovereign Lord, you alone know”.

[4] Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! [5] This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. [6] I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord. ‘ ” [7] So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. [8] I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

— God commanded Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones. Ezekiel obeyed and prophesied and his prophecy came thru. There’s power in Ezekiel’s spoken words.

[9] Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” [10] So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. …

— Dry bones becomes a vast army because it is commanded by God, and Ezekiel prophesied for it. Notice how God wanted us to participate in a miracle? God didn’t directly prophesy on the dry bones but wanted us to be involve. I believe that God wanted us to experience the miracles and so increase our faith.

— Biblical Principle: A Christian should prophesy God’s commandments in his/her life to claim victory in life. This is known as declaration of faith.

[11] Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off .’ [12] Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. [13] Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. [14] I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord .’” …

— The dry bones are the hopeless Israel. The watchman prophesy on them so that they will have hope. And surely, the prophecy came true when the first exile returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the city in 538 BC.

— Always, the purpose of any miracles is bring glory to God. Notice the clause, then you will know that I the Lord have spoken.


Let’s go back to Thomas Edison, his mother prophesied that he is a genius and he became one. Observed that his mother didn’t speak that Edison was addled. James 3:9 says that we can use our tongue to either praise God or to curse others. So this is our option, to prophesy good things or bad things to our life. Like a ship that is so big and great but is only driven by a small rudder, so is the tongue no matter how small can have significant impact to your life.

James 3:9 NIV

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.

James 3:4 NIV

Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.

Proverbs 18:21 NIV
[21] The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Positive declarations— stop saying negative words and start saying positive words

Zechariah was made silent because he doubted that his wife will become pregnant. To avoid him from from saying negative declaration.

Luke 1:20 NIV
And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

Positive declarations should be daily practiced by Christians to have complete victory in our lives. Remember that declarations should be rooted in gospel truths to be effective and with the intention of giving glory to God. Prosperity gospel, on the other hand, are focused on material things and only uses God as an amulet to get what we want. We can’t fool God. Remember that His  will is sovereign above all. Below are some positive Christian declaration you can use.

  1. I receive an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. I reign in life through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
  2. I look out not only for my own interests but also for the interests of others (Philippians 2:4).
  3. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). 

For more sample Christian declarations, please use this link.

DUA link

Posted in Sermon Outline

The Messiah in God’s Term

A Palm Sunday Message.

Objective:

  1. To show that that Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Messiah by fulfilling Zechariah 9:9 prophecy made 500 years ago. The Lord Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem triumphantly as the King riding on a donkey.
  2. To warn believers & seekers to take Lord Jesus Christ as He is and avoid making Jesus someone that we want Him to be in our lives. No – Jesus Christ is not a goodluck charm or a way for us to get ahead in life here on earth. The Lord Jesus Christ is God the Son who gave up his life to save all of us from the penalty of sin.

Event was recorded in all four gospels:
Matthew 21:1-11 / Mark 11:1-11 / Luke 19:28-44 / John 12:12-19


Zechariah 9:9 (ESV)

The Coming King of Zion

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

John 12:12-19  (ESV)

The Triumphal Entry
12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”


Malachi is the the last book of the Old Testament and it’s author Malachi became a prophet in 430 BC. After him, there were almost 400 years of silence in the Bible until it was broken by John the Baptist in AD 26 as John called for the Jews to repent because the Kingdom of God is coming soon. Just two decades earlier, Judea officially became  a province of Rome and so there were changes in Israel particularly the tax collection  for the Roman empire’s treasury.  Many Jews were waiting for their promised Savior to free them up from Roman oppression.

The story happened in the last week of Jesus earthly ministry, before the Jews crucified Him on the cross. It was a Passover festival (a pilgrimage festival) so Jews & Judaism converts went to Jerusalem to participate.

We observe four things in the event that unfolds in John 12:12-15.

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

1. Jesus Christ was already famous as He just raised Lazarus from the dead.  Many people believed in Jesus because of His

John 12:9-11

The Decision to Kill Lazarus

9 Now a large crowd of Jews found out that he was there, and they came, not only because of Jesus, but so that they could see Lazarus also, whom he raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests decided that they would kill Lazarus also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going and believing in Jesus.

Crowd

  • Believed that Jesus is the Messiah who will give salvation to everyone who made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord, God, and Savior.
  • Believed that Jesus is the Messiah who will establish an earthly kingdom that will overthow the Roman Empire’s rule over Israel. Believed the miracles that Jesus did and expect Jesus to continue perform miracles that he/she thinks is necessary.
  • Spectators – heard that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Amazing miracles from heaven, so what’s next?
  • Hated Jesus (Chief Priest, members of the Sanhedrin, the scribes)- if people would revolt against Rome, then the Roman empire would treat Israel as its enemy. Current Israel’s leadership under the Roman empire will become invalid.

2. People use of palm tress in welcoming Jesus Christ to Jerusalem

Matthew 21:8

Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

2 Kings 9:13 -> Laying down their cloaks is a sign of allegiance to the king.

Leviticus 23:40 -> palm branches or branches of any leafy tress are commonly used in festal processions

3. People shouted “Hossana” as they went before Jesus and those that followed Jesus in the processional entry to Jerusalem. People put their hope in Jesus Christ to save them & they acknowledged that Jesus Christ is from the Lord.

Matthew 21:9

And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

Psalms 118:25-26

Save us, we pray, O Lord!
O Lord, we pray, give us success!
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We bless you from the house of the Lord.

Luke 19:39-40

39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

4. Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey’s colt (colt – around 1 year old donkey). This is a fulfillment of a prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. Normally – a king would march with all his splendor & majesty. A king riding a donkey does not display power and authority in the eyes of the world. Our society always wanted a powerful savior – that’s the reason why Marvel superheroes are so popular in the world today such as Iron Man, Spider Man,  Captain America, Wolverine, etc… But God’s power and authority is intact and He does not need assurance of who He is —- He is the creator of all things, the all-powerful, the all-knowing, supreme being who loves us. Jesus Christ is so humble He rode a donkey going to Jerusalem. At the same time, the prophecy was fulfilled.

Zechariah 9:9 (ESV)

The Coming King of Zion
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Who is Jesus Christ to you? Is He the Lord of your life or you only want Jesus to help you in your personal quest? Through the Lord Jesus Christ all things were created and without Jesus, nothing will be created. He is the author and perfector of our faith. The Lord Jesus Christ is not an artifact to be collected to bring us good luck but through Him we have access to God the Father.  So who is Jesus Christ to you? Are you taking Him in God’s term or thru your own terms?

Posted in Sermon Outline

Victory in Jesus!

Objective:

For Christians to live a victorious life that Jesus paid for.  Victory starts the moment we believe in Jesus Christ – it starts now!

Prezi Presentation

 

Key Verse: John 16:33

John 16:33 ESV
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

 

INTRODUCTION:

There is an ongoing spiritual war between the forces of darkness and the Kingdom of God.  In this war, people’s eternal destiny is at stake whether our friends and our love ones -the people we love the most – will have a chance to encounter the Lord. Unbeliever will never read the four gospels but they might be looking in your life’s testimony. If you fail in this warfare, they might loose the opportunity of encountering God through you.

In every war, there are many battles. And everyday we face battles that need to be won with God’s help.  Satan and his demons are busy everyday in their diversion tactics to misled people to be busy on temporary things. They wanted us to won the battle in the temporary realms such as to be the wealthiest person or the most famous person or the most influential person on earth for a span of 80-100 years but lost our eternity.

Mark 8:36 (ESV)
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

Our God knows exactly what we need since He designed us. He knows that we need these materials things so God included these in His battle plan of redeeming humanity. God knows that you and me, like everybody else, aspire to have financial security, good relationships, knowledge, acceptance, respect and whatever else we desire so God told us to seek first His kingdom and all righteousness then He will add all of these in our lives.

Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

God’s battle plan is holistic because he considered both our eternal and physical needs. Just like any battle plan, each soldiers must do his or her part bravely and trust in his or her commander-in-chief orders. If we take orders from God – the all-knowing all-powerful all-loving being – then let’s follow all the way because we know that God wanted us to be victorious in our daily battles, and ultimately to take part in the victory in the war between darkness and God’s kingdom.

Romans 8:31
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[a] against us?

Are you wondering if it’s alright not take part in this war? Honestly, neutrality is not an option here because Satan will devour anyone without God’s protection. Unless you fight with God you already lost the battle.  Have you ever encountered defeat in your daily struggle?

  • When was the last time that you were so stressed out in work?
  • When was the last time that you had money problems? Or relationship problems?
  • Do you always worry?
  • Are you happy with your life? Are you satisfied?
  • Do you think someone’s life is better than yours?
  • Do you find life worth living?

You only live once so listen to me carefully as I tell you what does the bible says about life in general so you don’t waste yours.  Who could describe life best than the author of life Himself – the Lord Jesus Christ.

Life 101

1.  Life is sacred because God created each human being in His own image. Life is a gift from God so we need to value and cherish it.

Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
So God created man in his own image,in the image of God he created him;male and female he created them.

Psalm 139:14  (ESV)
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.

2. Human beings have to work as originally designed by God.

Genesis 2:15 (ESV)
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 (ESV)
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.

3.  Satan tempted Eve to sin and until now Satan seeks to misled many people. Sin separates man from God. For every sin there is a consequence. Man needs to labor & toil as one of the consequences of our sin.

Genesis 3:17
And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life

1 Peter 5:8  (ESV)
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

4.  God is so merciful and gracious. He blesses us despite our disobedience.

Genesis 3:21 (ESV)
And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

Matthew 5:45 (ESV)
… For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

5. Jesus Christ overcame the world! The Lord Jesus Christ came to save us and give us victory over death and give back us our life. God is fighting for His children.

John 16:33 ESV
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 10:10 (ESV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Deuteronomy 20:4 ESV
For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’

The Lord said I have overcome the world, so we are not fighting for victory but rather we are fighting in the stance of victory. The Lord had already won the war for us, all we have to do is to hold our ground. But even still – Satan and his demons will do everything to defeat you in your daily battle. And to withstand it, we need God to survive.

God provides grace to all but He is fighting for His children!  God has a plan for the redeemed and He gives special protection to them against the attack of the enemy.  So let me ask you, “Are you a child of God?” Do you have God’s special protection in your life?

Numbers 23:23 (ESV)
For there is no enchantment against Jacob,
no divination against Israel;
now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel,
‘What has God wrought!’

Romans 2:29 (ESV)
But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

 

Principle#1: Believers fight in the stance of Victory! God gives special protection & favor to His children.

If you have made the decision to make Jesus Christ your Lord, God, & Savior, CONGRATULATIONS! You will have eternal security in heaven. However, Satan would still attack you so that you will become ineffective in the advancement of the Kingdom of God.  As Jesus said that we will continue to have problems so we need to fix our eyes unto Jesus Christ as we keep our ground. What you are experiencing now has been experienced by bible heroes and let me mention some of them who overcomes to encourage you.

  • Job – lost  all his children and his properties. From being one of the richest to nothing. He even had a skin-disease (boiled) that his wife told him to “Curse God & die.”

Job 2:9 (ESV)Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.”

  • Joseph – was sold as a slave by his own brothers because of jealousy and was falsely accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife. Joseph was imprison but later become the 2nd most powerful person in Egypt.

Genesis 41:41 (ESV)
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

  • Daniel – was an exile to Babylon. He was thrown to the Lion’s den by praying to God but God saved him. His enemies was later thrown to the Lion’s den and were eaten.

Daniel 6:16

So the king gave the order, and Daniel was brought and thrown into a den of lions. The king consoled Daniel by saying, “Your God whom you continually serve will rescue you!”

  • Paul – He put Christians to jail but when he encountered the Lord Jesus Christ he authored 14 of the 27 new testament book. He was imprison because of his faith Jesus but continued to encourage the believers. He died as a martyr just like the other Apostles.

Philippians 4:4  (ESV)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

I don’t know what are you going through right now, but I’m sure you haven’t been martyred yet. Our troubles seems so little compared to these bible heroes so take heart! Be still and know that our God is in control. Take your ground of victory!

Luke 5:1-6
5 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.

 

Principle#2: Total dependence to God who is in control. There are days that we will fail but we continue to fight. We don’t lose heart because we believe that God is in control and the war was already won. Just like Simon Peter, we need to wash our nets to be ready for the next day’s fishing. Fishing net in the old times are not very sturdy and it needs to be cleaned and dry after every use to prolong its life. Despite a night of catch-less fishing, Peter didn’t give up and was ready to try fishing again the next day  – that’s why he took care of his fishing net.

Proverbs 24:16  (ESV)
for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.

 

Principle #3: Be excited everyday in meeting God and experience Him working in your life. You can find joy in God’s presence if you make the decision to love God wholeheartedly.

Before you begin your day book an appointment with God, and be excited to talk to the most powerful & loving being in the universe! Be excited every time you wake up because God is waiting to have a communion with you. Like Joshua, he finds joy in God’s presence.

Exodus 33:9-11  (ESV)
9 When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord[a] would speak with Moses. 10 And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. 11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.