Luke 19:32-34 (NKJV)
So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them.
But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.”
Anything God needs He provides for Himself. He is utterly and completely Self-sufficient. He provides for Himself. But He chooses to use people. He doesn’t need to. He doesn’t need people. He chooses to use us.
Malachi 3:10a (NKJV)
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house,
Why does He choose us to provide for His house? Why does He choose to use a human to provide the colt for Jesus to ride in on during the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem?
First, so we can become more like Him. He is lavishly, if not extravagantly generous. We become more like Him when He graces us with the opportunity to do likewise.
Secondly, He gives us opportunities to give, so that there is an avenue in which we receive. “Give and it shall be given unto you,” is how Jesus put it.
Finally, God involves us in providing so that we experience the genuine joy of giving.
Back to the colt owner. Imagine what he felt like when he saw Jesus riding in, through the parade-like celebration, on his animal… on his offering.
He might have said, “That’s my colt! That’s my donkey! That’s my ______!” (insert King James version, if you dare! Lol.)
Ever have a knot in your shoelace? Or maybe it was the drawstring on one of the kid’s sweatpants. Any kind of knot, really. And the more you tried to untie it, the harder you pulled, the more knotted up it got? Until you found that one strand. When you pulled on that particular strand, the whole knot gloriously unraveled.
Life can have lots of knots…lots of confusion and chaos. We can get all knotted up with stress, frustration, and inevitable disappointments. So what’s the one strand that causes it all to gloriously unknot?
A personal relationship with the Person of Jesus Christ. Here’s how He put it:
John 17:3 (NKJV)
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Personal knowledge, not impersonal, secondhand knowledge, but knowing Him like you do a friend is the one strand. If we seek anything else, the knot just gets tighter. If we learn of Him, we find rest for our souls. If we progressively move from informational to personal knowledge (or knowing) of God, the transformation in our day to day will be wonderfully remarkable!
No disrespect. This is not in any way a political jab. This is not taking a shot at the media. I am not crying out “fake news” or assailing someone for alternate facts. But if you are about “Finding Jesus” you will not do so from a CNN Easter season special. You may not find Him in a lecture hall at a leading university. He will not be found in a post-modern philosophical think tank. The only reliable source for finding Jesus is the four gospel accounts – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They are eyewitness testimony – often firsthand accounts – from those on the inside. This is how ancient evidence was gathered. This is how first century people fact checked. Details are deliberately included so as to verify the veracity. These are the stories from those who met Him, knew Him, were mentored by Him, and were forever changed by their personal interaction with Him. You will meet Him there, too. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever [Hebrews 13:8].
Paul attributed the transformation of people in ancient Galatia to them having Christ crucified graphically displayed before their very eyes. The problem is they weren’t there. They were not at Calvary. They couldn’t have possibly made it to Golgotha on that fateful and dark day. This graphic depiction could only be the work of God the Holy Spirit. This ultra-hi-def projection onto the canvas of their hearts could only be transmitted by the Spirit of truth. And the good news is, if that’s how it happened for them in the first century, then this is exactly how it happens for us. We are changed. Transformed. By the revelation of Christ crucified, done in a way that makes IMAX boring, by the work of the Comforter within!
Ever feel like you’re not enough? Not smart enough? Not thin enough? Not connected enough? and the list goes on endlessly.
We all do. At different times and different seasons, in different circumstances and for different reasons, we all fell ourselves weighed in the balance and lacking.
My dear friend, your completion, or justification, or righteousness, or sanctification – which can all be used synonymously in certain settings – are not dependent upon your achievements, accolades, or accomplishments. In short your completion is not about you.
It’s all about Jesus. It’s about His achievements, accolades, and accomplishments. It is about being made complete by what He completed at Calvary. Sorry Jerry McGuire – Jesus completes us. It is the “It is finished.” He fulfilled the law. He absorbed the curse. He freely grants us rightness with the Father. We are accepted, loved, blessed, favored, and set apart by His blood alone.
Jesus completes you.
Matthew starts his gospel account with a genealogy. Luke with detailing that this happened when Quirinius was governing Syria. The reason being, that each gospel writer wanted to anchor their account in historical fact. This story is not “once upon a time.” This is not something that happened, “a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” This real. The Word becoming flesh was real. Immanuel, God with us, really happened.
And if this – the promise of all promises – the miracle of miracles – the Incarnation – really happened, then all of God’s promises to us are not metaphoric, symbolic, or figurative. They are real. And “in the fulness of time” they will manifest. The time will come for your promise from God to be delivered. Until then, you are pregnant with real promises from your Father in heaven!
In addition to leading his Lubbock, Texas, congregation at Turning Point Community Church, Pastor John Wagner serves fellow pastors through Covenant Ministries International (CMI). The Apostolic Team Leader at CMI, Pastor John Wagner and his team have provided encouragement and counseling to CMI members across 99 countries since 2011.
A global association of ministers and pastors, CMI serves as a unifying rather than governing presence, committed to a shared vision to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God’s grace, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Member churches and church leaders receive CMI support and effective tools in such areas as ministerial development and personal and pastoral counseling.
The CMI website provides numerous ministry resources to enhance pastors’ and ministers’ activities. CMI provides an array of audio visual tools to assist pastors and ministry teams in their evangelical endeavors. Members can find links to resources that offer graphics for sermon titles and a host of other faith-related images and backgrounds that can be used for church presentations and web design.
With experience in Christian ministry dating back to the late 1980s, Pastor John Wagner serves his congregation at Turning Point Community Church and leads an apostolic team through Covenant Ministries International. Although he lives and works in Lubbock, Texas, Pastor John Wagner reaches people around the world through his written works online, in which he explores such Christian mysteries as discerning the direction God leads your life.
With faith and guidance, Christians seeking to know what God has to say to them will eventually come to realize that God stays in constant communication. The still, small voice of God serves as an ever-present source of guidance to those who turn their attention away from the din of the world.
Those who want to hear God’s voice must slow down and interpret signs. God speaks through various channels. Certainly, a person’s religious leader serves as one conduit for God’s voice. Additional means by which God speaks include spouses, songs, and nature.
Jesus instructed his followers to listen, take heed of what they hear, and follow God’s voice. To determine if the subtle voice one hears is of God, Christians can ascertain whether or not the guidance it offers agrees with the Bible’s teachings.