What Do We Expect Of Jesus?

John 13:8:”Peter said to Him, You shall never wash my feet!”

Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part of me.”

It is Holy week, today marks the beginning of the last week of Jesus life on earth. It begins today with the mountain top that is Palm Sunday, travels to the valley that is Good Friday, and culminates with the ultimate victory of Easter Sunday.

When I was a boy, Palm Sunday was a big event in the Lutheran churches we attended. It was a remembrance of the triumphal entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. John 12:12:15:

12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:

‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’[d]
The King of Israel!”

14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”[e]

What a celebration! I can see it: The palm branches being waved in the air. the shouting crowds, the congestion in the streets as Jesus made His way through the masses, everyone smiling and waving. what a contrast it is to think that scant days later, the same crowds would be shouting again; this time for crucifixion. Palm branches and blankets will be replaced by whips and nails and the donkey that bears the mark of it today will be replaced by a rugged wooden cross.

For today though, the crowds cheer. The question is, what did they expect of Jesus? And, what do we expect of Him today? Some in the crowd then, expected revolution. The Jews of the first century were firmly under the yoke of Roman rule. They looked to Jesus to overthrow Rome. Some in the crowd (The Pharisees) wanted  Jesus dead Mark 14: 1-2:

After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.”

The disciples, those men that had followed Him for three years, loved Him, and in that moment told everyone. Luke 19:37-40:

37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:

‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’[a]
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

God’s word is true yesterday, today, and forever because the expectations haven’t changed. 20 centuries later, there are still those who look to Jesus to lead the revolution, solve the immediate problem whatever it might be. There are still those who want Jesus dead. We live in a society today that has done everything it can to eradicate Jesus and His gospel from our lives. We live in a society that has stands as witness to the systematic persecution and execution of christians world-wide while the, “largest christian nation,” on earth stands in the courtyard of blissful inaction; warming themselves by the fire. John 18:25: 

25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?”

He denied it and said, “I am not!”

There are also those  who unabashedly love Jesus. Those examples that serve as inspiration to the rest of us. Even as I write this a list of those people begins to form in my mind. Each persons list is different but all of us who believe have been given  mentors, light posts in the wilderness that show us not only what the Christian life looks like but cheer us un in our daily walk with Christ. Psalm 18:1:

[ God the Sovereign Savior ] [ To the Chief Musician.A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said: ] I will love You, O Lord, my strength.

No matter what the expectation, Jesus far exceeds it – every time. He leads the revolution, but not in the way we expect; If you want Him dead He will go but He never dies or truly leaves you. And, for those who love Him, He is always at work. Romans 8:28:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

On this Palm Sunday Jesus restates the expectation yet again. It is not about our expectations of Jesus but rather His expectation of us. The creator of the universe shows us it is better to serve then be  served. He sacrificed everything for us even though we did not and do not deserve it, there is nothing more for us to expect. He asks in return only that we accept His sacrifice freely and dedicate our lives not in perfection but humility to Him.

Jesus Christ stands before you with a basin and a towel asking you to allow  Him to wash your feet; to knock off the dust of regret, despair, pain, and inadequacy and open the door to a new beginning in Christ! Pick up your palm branch and join the celebration of the redeemed!

Grace & Peace,


*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*



The Believers Gospel

Matthew 7:1-3: “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

I find myself sharing the gospel daily  and it is easily the favorite part of my day. The Lord blesses me by continually opening the door to share His word with whomever He has placed in front of me. But, some days are better than others.

One Sunday afternoon I was prompted by the Lord through a Facebook post to share the truth of Christ with a friend. What lead me to share is not necessarily important to the over arching context of the story It is sufficient to say that based on the social media post I saw, I shared the gospel with this person in a private Facebook message.

After drafting my message complete with scripture references, I was surprised to receive an almost immediate response. The not simply said, “Larry, thanks for the note. I accepted Jesus many years ago. I may not act perfect but I do believe.”

I was so happy! I responded with a bit of encouragement, or so I thought, “Good, remember, it is not about being perfect. It’s about accepting the truth and allowing it to change your life.” This thought always encourages me. Every follower of Christ understands this. Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  From the moment we humble ourselves, accept Jesus as Lord and savior of our lives We are changed from the inside. We are not changed by our own efforts, nor by our own decisions. No, from the point of accepting that we cannot live life in this broken place on our own; from that moment Jesus, through the Holy Spirit changes us!

my friend was not as encouraged as I’d hoped. Before I could put my phone away I received an abrupt response: “Oh, so you think I need to change my life?”

From there things went down hill fast, after being made the subject of a venom filled public post,and being told that with friends like me who needs enemies; my friend posted Matthew 7 as the counter argument; not open for discussion, more as their final statement on the matter. Needless to say this person is no longer associated with my social media feeds.

This  encounter raised a few interesting questions: first, how do followers of Christ react when faced with such opposition? Second, should Christians judge the actions of others? The answer to the first question is: Christians should react in love and the second is absolutely!

Matthew 5:44: But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

The first thing to understand when someone you’ve shared the gospel with turns on you is they are not rejecting you. What they are doing is rejecting God, which is far worse.  Hebrews 9:27-28: 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. Jesus’ death and resurrection is payment once and for all for every present and future sin ever committed by anyone who would accept the gift of salvation. Those that do not accept salvation will be judged. I know this is not politically correct but the truth rarely is. When someone turns on you as I was turned on you must not react with anything but the love of Christ. That is what he taught us: Luke 23:24: Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.

The second question: should Christians Judge, seems to fly in the face of Jesus himself. Rest assured, it does not. The Greek translation sheds light on the true meaning of the passage. The Greek word for judge is Krino. It means to condemn or damn. So, “Condemn not lest you be condemned.” Or Damn not lest you be damned.” Christians are not to cast final judgment; God is mans judge period.

No where in this scripture does it say that we are not to point out when a brother or a sister has fallen short. Scripture tells us to speak the truth. not man’s truth but God’s truth in the Holy Spirit and to do it with the love of Jesus. Ephesians 4:15: but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ. The key words her are grow up.When followers of Christ gather in fellowship we are to encourage and teach one another Proverbs 27:17: As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

In closing, there is a necessity for followers of Jesus to love people into the kingdom. There is no argument we can win that will save another soul. Let the word of the Lord speak for itself do not speak for it but allow it to speak through you. What happens after that is between God and the other person. There is a big difference between a believer in Jesus and a Follower of Christ. Remember that the demons knew who Jesus was. that in no way means that they followed him. To be a follower of Jesus indicates a personal relationship with Him. This is a relationship that will be reflected for others to see.

Grace and Peace,


*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*


If I Should Fall Behind

Deuteronomy 30:2-3: and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you.

The book of Deuteronomy is a farewell address given by Moses to the children of Israel. Moses is approaching the end of his life and the children of Israel are going where he can not follow.

Deuteronomy 34:4: Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”

At the age of 120, Moses is passing along wisdom; wisdom born of a relationship with God. He foresaw Israel’s enslavement  by other nations, their apostasy and outright rejection of God as well as the nation itself being scattered to all corners of the earth. All of these things did happen to the children of Israel. They were enslaved, scattered, and slaughtered; this has been so through out time. I wonder how many of those listening to Moses that day scoffed at the old man? How many thought he had finally lost it. I can hear them as they listen saying, “Ok sure , doesn’t he know? We will be crossing the river soon and we will be home. God is with us! What does he mean God will bring us back? God is here!” Before we look down our noses at the Israelites, let us take stock of ourselves. If I could see you I’m sure you would nod sheepishly were I to ask if you had ever scoffed at or flat ignored solid advice and been worse off for it. In my bible, the 30th chapter is titled, The Blessing of Returning to God.  Before one can return to something one must first fall away, leave, or somehow distance themselves for that thing. As a believer, I cannot imagine a life, an existence, where Jesus wasn’t the primary focus. But, when I take stock of my life, when I view it in total, I know there was a time when I made a conscious decision to turn my back on the Father. From that point forward my existence was ensnared by the things of this world. My story involves a single moment when I walked away from God. For most people, that moment is not so definitive. Instead, the fall is made up of small decisions, small compromises; the end result being a life that does not reflect the love of Jesus. There is a church word for this: backslidden. Proverbs 14:14:  14 The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above.

Leave it to Solomon to sum it up. The backslidden life is characterized by  a loss of focus. the backslidden life is a heart issue. in a nutshell, the backslidden Christian decides that other things are more important than living life for the glory of God in relationship with Christ. Once those things, whatever they are, take hold the process is complete. That person who was once sold out for the things of God, is now sold out for the world and all its trappings, temptations and darkness.

If anyone is reading this thinking you have the God thing covered; you can go out and have a bit of fun and then come back to the Lord on Sunday; let me tell you from personal experience, you can not toy with darkness. It will swallow you whole. 1 John 1:6: If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

Have you backslidden? Are you contemplating a worldly choice even as you read this? If either of theses is true, let me encourage you. God wants  you to come home. If you look at the condition of your life and say, “I can’t get back to a relationship with God, I’ve done too much.” Be reminded that God loves you! Psalm 103:12: As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.  Anyone who has fallen need only reach out for the savior of the world. He died for you! Humble yourself, repent, recommit to Jesus, and your sins, whatever they are will be forgiven and forgotten by the king of the universe! No matter where you are today be it a prison cell, or divorce court, a strangers bed sleeping off a hangover or simply at your kitchen table deciding that you can’t do it anymore. Repent, recommit, and reconnect; come home. Return to your first love. Jesus has never left you. He is waiting. Revelation 2:4-5: Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do your first works…

Grace and Peace,


*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*


Time is Short

Mark 1:15: and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Have you ever watched a child that has just been told a secret? First they are honored that they were entrusted with the secret. their shoulders square up a little, they hold their head up, smile, and bubble to overflowing. Then, they can’t stand it any longer: they just must tell someone, it is so exciting.

New Christians are much like a child with a secret; a secret that they must tell. “Hey did you know that God loves you,” they’ll say to the homeless guy on  the corner who chokes on his swallow of Thunderbird while looking up in bewilderment. The new Christians are the ones at church wearing  the Jesus tee  shirts asking all the questions. They are so excited! What generates the excitement? They know that everything they have ever done wrong, every mistake they have ever made, every sin they have ever committed has been forgiven because God loves them; and they want to tell the world!

Just like that kid with the secret, however, the excitement wears off, the fire dies down, and that new believer stagnates. If you’re feeling a bit flat, a bit deflated, if you feel like the fire that once burned white-hot for the things of God has gone cold: this is a word for you. The kingdom of God is at hand!

This weeks passage in Mark signals the beginning of Jesus’ Galilean ministry. He has come out of the wilderness where He has  spent 40 days being tempted by the devil in  preparation for the road to the cross: Mark 1:12-13

12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

and now He is beginning His three-year  ministry on earth which will culminate on Calvary. What does your walk with Jesus represent? Are you in a trial, coming out of a trial, or would you say you haven’t been tried? if you are in the midst of difficulty, let me reassure you. God allows difficulty in our lives to help us grow. It has been said that character is not determined by the difficulty but by our reaction to it.  christians understand that God is in control: Romans 8:28: 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (emphasis added). We are  called to His purpose. So, if you find yourself in the midst of a difficulty keep your eyes on Jesus, he will minister to you and bring you out of the wilderness. You will come out strong and ready to be used for Gods glory.  On a side note, the why may never be shown to you this side of heaven. This is where the mystery of faith comes into play. Hebrews 11:1 [ By Faith We Understand ] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

We know it is not God’s heart that any should suffer. We also know that God knows what it is to hurt, He knows what it is to be in pain, He knows our struggles. How does He know? He knows because he has walked among us! He has felt the pang of hunger, mopped sweat from his forehead, battled his own flesh, and tasted blood. Luke 22:42: saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”  The lesson is that though Jesus struggled here He did not submit to His flesh. He submitted instead to the will of the Father; not my will but yours be done.

trust through faith and the proof of your own testimony that God is using  your trials to grow you up for a greater purpose. We are all called to preach the gospel. Allow God to strengthen you for the road ahead. Stand with the redeemed and proclaim the truth, ” The kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, and believe the gospel.”

Grace and Peace:


*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*


Generational Relay Race

Deuteronomy  4:9: Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren.

Freedom is a word that is often thrown around in society today. Everyone, it seems, wants to spout off about their freedom. they have a right to say what they like, meet with whom they will, and worship as they choose  These are of course the important freedoms that are outlined in the our Constitution. it is not those core freedoms are of concern it is the perversion of those freedoms that should weigh heavily on believers hearts..

As has been discussed in past entries, the ultimate freedom is in relationship with Christ Jesus. John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. The truth is Jesus as He said later in the book of John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. It is also worth repeating that the bible, in its entirety, the Hebrew Torah (the Old Testament) ans well as the New Testament, written across 3505 years of human history is the most cohesive book ever written. This book, written by kings, farmers, fishermen, and murderers; the common man and the elevated man,  from all walks of life points to one person; points to one truth: the saving power of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin and thus entry into eternal life with the father.

The redeemed in Christ know this to be true. It is fact in our lives. Why? how can we possibly know  that there is a God in heaven that loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die a horrible death so that we might live? We know it for two reasons: first, we have faith. I’ve had people tell me that they envy my faith but faith doesn’t prove anything. It is like the wind. you can’t see it, touch it, or grab hold of it; but you can feel it and witness its effects  on everything around you. In short, there is a mystery to it. The second reason we know there is a God is precisely because of the effects of the presence of God in our lives. Our lives, our testimonials are proof of the existence of God.

I Corinthians 15:3-8: For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

Paul the apostle is putting into action exactly what Moses exhorted of the Israelites in our opening passage. Teach your children! If you are blessed to have children pour the word of God into them. they are a gift given by the Father honor that gift! There is a movement in the world today that says , as parents, we should not influence our children, we should allow them to explore all the options; let them find their own way. This makes no sense. As parents  we tell our kids what they can wear and when to be home, We teach them what to look for in friends and how to drive; the list goes on. Not teaching them about Jesus, about grace, about the salvation of their soul constitutes the worst damage you can do to someone. Sending children out into the world unarmed guarantees that they will get ripped off. The good news is, God’s promises are steadfast. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Why allow damage to come to a gift from God? Teach them at every opportunity.

This is not simply a message for parents or grandparents. No, biological children? Teach your co-worker, your neighbor, your non-believing spouse. The Lord will use you for His purpose. He will use you to complete the work  of  2 Peter 3:9 if you make yourself available to Him. Time is short friends. Hand the baton of faith to the next generation. The only way to correct the depravity  of this world is God’s way. It is a race to the finish. Luke 10:2: Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 

Grace & Peace:


*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*