What Kind of King Did You Expect

Mark 11:1 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples,

If Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem was triumphant on Palm Sunday, what went wrong less than a week later? Why did the crowds who adored Jesus on Sunday, turn on him by Friday of that week? And what choice does Palm Sunday present to us today?

We all go into Palm Sunday in our churches looking at the celebration of that day. Palms are waving and people are throwing down their coats to the ground hailing King Jesus. The man who was going to rid Roman Rule and excessive taxation with unjust ruling was Jesus.

The only problem with this view is Jesus came riding on a donkey, which was a young colt. There were two entries on Jerusalem that day. Jesus on a colt on Palm Sunday, and Pontious Pilate came in on a steed with an army following him.

Pilate was showing his military might and strength. Jesus was showing the opposite. Jesus was humble. He embodied peace and tranquility of Shalom which is what God brings to his people.

The people saw Jesus’ leadership in his final week to be disappointing. He was not the King David they expected. They were seeking this powerful king. That is why they were chanting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David.’ That was the King they expected.

To a point I thing we are still looking for that King who will rid the world of starvation, cancer, death, and pain.

Here is the bottom line for us today. We will make a choice each day to choose power and might, or we will choose love. We will make a choice to choose the way thing are done over the way God intends them to be. Which will you choose? What kind of King do you expect?

Strength and Courage



Vital Ministries News

It is a good month to read about the Passion of the Christ. Let’s remember together what Jesus did in taking on our sins so that we might be in right relationship with the Father.

Strength and Courage



Made Perfect

Hebrews 5:8-10 (NASB) Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the living God, was born innocent, pure, but not perfect.  What?!  That’s right, He was born innocent, but made perfect.  We celebrate Christmas for the day of Christ’s birth, but that was just the beginning.  What Jesus accomplished in the salvation of man kind was the result of a process, a refining process to create in Him the only perfect being to walk the face of the earth.  

Born of the line of David, from the tribe of Judah, He wasn’t even born of the priestly tribe of Levi.  In Jewish tradition, only those from the tribe of Levi were permitted to enter into the priesthood, allowed to enter into the inner most court of the 3 court Jewish tabernacle.  

David found another way.  David cried out to God.  He desired to know Him, be near Him.  He pursued Him.  He wanted to be in His presence.  He discovered this access through the order of Melchizedek.  Melchizedek was the king of Salem (peace), a priest, but not of the tribe of Levi.  David recognized this and in doing so understood it’s importance and its foreshadowing of the coming Messiah.  By Jewish tradition, much of what David did, prophesying, offering sacrifice, etc was an outright atrocity.  However, he could do so, without reproach, because of his desire and full on pursuit of God.  His heredity didn’t make him eligible, justify and sanctify him.  God made him worthy because of his unwavering desire to know Him.

Jesus, the Son of God, is a priest of this order.  He’s granted access to God the same way that David was, through desired pursuit and obedience to Him.  He wasn’t born perfect, He was made perfect by His pursuit, obedience, suffering, love, victory over sin and unceasing desire to do His Father’s will.  Jesus summed it up from the cross, when He said, “it is finished”.  The process was complete.  He had been made perfect. 

All of us will fall short of the glory of God.  None of us are perfect, but Jesus’ atoning work, through His life’s process and His ultimate sacrifice are our assurance of the perfection that awaits us in glory.  Have a blessed weekend. 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace  

Count the Cost

Whenever you make a purchase, you decide if something is worth the asking price.  You stop at a convenience store and are craving a candy bar or soda and don’t care if they cost 3 times what you would pay elsewhere.  Maybe you are debating whether or not to bail a friend out of trouble and ask yourself if it will really make a difference this time of if he will just end up in the same place again.  A few hours or a few years later, you look back at some of your choices and say, I’ll never do that again, or maybe that was well worth it!  Many of our poor choices in life are fueled by strong emotions like anger, frustration, pride, or greed.  There was an incident a couple weeks ago within 2 miles from my home where emotions between 2 young men escalated to the point where one was stabbed to death.  When we get into trouble, either by saying something we shouldn’t, or by doing something stupid that we later regret, or any number of small or large costly mistakes, we hopefully learn from it with as little negative consequence on us or those around us.  What are your biggest failures or regrets, so far? 

In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.  Luke 14:33

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.  2 Timothy 3:12

When you make a purchase, like a car or a house, you may often be so excited about the benefits of the item that you overlook some of the flaws or drawbacks.  Maybe you didn’t notice a few things that may cost you more in repairs later on.  At one point in your life, when you said yes to Christ, were you mainly concerned with the cost or the benefit of becoming His disciple?  For many of us, we may have been motivated by the understanding of our depravity and need for a Savior, while at the same time fearing the other option of eternal damnation.  There are even some who chase after a false prosperity gospel message of getting rich by following Christ.  When we become His, the desires of our heart often change from worldly things to eternal things, and we also learn that we are not promised wealth, but more so persecution.  Some of us do not really surrender our whole life to Him, but often try to hold on to many of our selfish desires and maintain control of what we want and not what He wants for us.  How many of us have fully surrendered our lives to Christ saying ‘do with me as you please’?

If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.   And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.  Luke 14:26-27

Following Christ in the West often has little implication on our family and friends.  Your friends may change a bit, but its not usually socially unacceptable to be a Christian, even if your family does not do the same.  If you are living in a primarily Musilm, Buddhist or Hindu country, becoming a Christian can have much more significant implications.  You often may disown your own family, or become shunned by them to make such a decision.  After reading only a few stories of persecuted Christians, you realize that some may even face the threat of imprisonment or even death as a result of their faith.  Have you ever wondered or asked yourself what you would do in a situation like this?  If given the option to hold on to your faith or your life, which would you choose?   We may hope that we never face such a threat, but pray for those who do, and for what you would choose if in their shoes.  Maybe a more pressing question for you today is ‘What do I want’ vs. ‘What does God want’?

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2:20

Yours in Christ,

Chase the Lion part 3

I was playing Monopoly with my son this week.  He wants to beat me at a strategy game so bad.  About mid game, he is winning.  His roles are unbelievably lucky and I land on his big properties every time.  I get to a place in the game where I am almost out of cash and I finally land on the property I need.  If I buy it, it might win the game in the long term. However in the short term, I will be out of cash and one roll away from losing the whole game.  I have a decision to make, play to possibly win or try not to loose.

I think it is easy to play life not to lose.  Don’t stand out too much.  Do what is expected.  Play it safe.  However in our safe life, we aspire to be the risk taker. We know deep inside doing something significant in obedience to God or to serve or give until it hurts requires tremendous risk.  There are no guarantees or risk free options.  It will require faith at another level.

2 Samuel 23: 20 Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. (emphasis added)

Chase the lion- Defining moments require risk

Benaiah is a man who chased a lion.  He intentionally went after a 500 pound predator. One way or another, either the lion or Benaiah is going to die.  The natural instinct to survive is powerful and both warrior want it.  We would not know about Benaiah had he not chases the lion.  We would not know about him if he had died.  Billions of people will hear about him and be added to the scripture if he kills the lion.  Notice now he did not just go after the lion he chased it.  What causes a lion to tuck tale and need to be chased?

Sometimes God asks us to do something that takes significant risk.  It might be to forgive someone who isn’t sorry or doesn’t deserve to be forgiven. It might be to give what you can’t afford.  I might be to start something that hasn’t been done. It might be to move to a city you don’t know anyone.  What I know for sure is when I get around Jesus followers and listen to their stories, the ones they come alive telling are the ones where they obeyed God even when it didn’t make sense.

A couple years ago, my friend was applying for a job.  The job required transportation and just as he was about to begin his car broke down beyond repair.  Johna and I prayed about it.  I wanted to give like $500.  We didn’t have $500 to give.  Johna said we should give him our jeep.  So we compromised like couples do and we gave him our jeep.  We did not have the money to replace the jeep.  So I rode a bike to work for months.  I kept thinking God will give us a vehicle.  It never did.  We actually refinanced our house to pay for another vehicle.  It still doesn’t make sense.  However, we find so much joy in obeying God and seeing my friends face when I gave him our title for free.

Don’t misunderstand… I am NOT saying go gamble money playing the lottery or climb a mountain without gear.

What risk is God asking you to do?  Go do it in faith! Forgive, give and serve until it hurts, love again, start it.  We serve a big God with dreams! Go chase the Lion

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike Sereg on kBOE 104.9FM


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