April 2, 2023
Picture this in your mind's eye: Jesus enters Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. People lay their coats down in front of Him as Jesus rides by. The crowd begins to shout and sing, "Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord." The church people of the day say, "Stop all these people from all this shouting and praising, ya'll are wrecking the tranquility" (that's actually the Plank paraphrase, in reality, the Pharisees were jealous that Jesus was getting all the attention). Jesus tells these church folks that if people weren't praising Him, the stones would cry out in praise (Luke 19:40). Then watch what happens...better yet, get your Bible and read what happens, then come back. Did ya catch it? As Jesus is riding on the back of a donkey, he looks out over the city of Jerusalem and its people and starts to cry. He basically says, "I want to love, protect, and care for you, but you won't let me" (Plank's paraphrase again). Jesus is the only one who really knows the end result of this trip to Jerusalem. By the end of the week, He will have been crucified outside the city, on top of the city garbage dump, as a result of these very same people for which He was crying. Fast forward to 2023. The church has a bad reputation out in the world because of our stand for truth. We should stand for truth. But when is the last time you talked to a lost person with tears in your eyes because you know what lies in store for them without Jesus? When is the last time you saw a Christian in front of an abortion clinic, not with a picket sign, but with tears? When is the last time you saw a Christian standing in front of a strip club, not slapping a Bible in their hand, but with tears? Don't get me wrong. We should stand for truth. Jesus Christ died so that we could live. That is the "good news" of the gospel and it needs to be shouted from the highest mountaintop. However, "truth" without the "tears" smacks of self-righteousness. Ask the Lord for the tears. When the tears come, look out....because when people realize you really care about them, they might just listen to the truth. Sometimes we need reminding.
Be blessed and be a blessing . . . Bro. Andy