Thursday, February 21, 2013

February 21, 2013 … Our Donkey for His Glory!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 52

Passage of the Day: Matthew 21: 2-3 [In the context of verses 1-5] - [NLT] …  
1 As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 2 “Go into the village over there,” he said, “and you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them here. 3 If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘the Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately send them.” 
4 This was done to fulfill the prophecy, 5“Tell the people of Israel, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey—even on a donkey’s colt.’” [Zechariah 9: 9]
Contextual Study of today’s passage: Matthew, Chapter 21 [especially Verses 1-11] [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Genesis 49: 10-11 [Jacob prophesies for his sons; about Judah, he sings …] : [NLT] …  
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the Ruler’s staff from His descendants, until the coming of the One to Whom it belongs, the One Whom all nations will obey. 11 He ties his foal to a grapevine, the colt of His donkey to a choice vine.

My Journal for Today: Very soon, we’ll observe Palm Sunday at this time of year; and that Biblical story reveals a powerful truth about our witness for Christ in the world. The story in the New Testament is found in Matthew, Chapter 21, primarily verses 1-11 – linked for your review above. The story is also found in Mark 11: 1-11 and Luke 19: 28-44 and John 12: 12-19, showing the importance of this story to God, repeated in ALL FOUR of the Gospels.

And in this scenario, after the people had seen Jesus perform many miracles, especially the raising of Lazarus from the dead, the Lord asks His inner Disciples to go up the hill from the gates of the Temple, to Bethpage, a small village which was on the Mount of Olives. And in fulfillment of the prophesy found in Zechariah 9: 9, which is quoted in Matthew 21 and John 12, Jesus asks His men to procure a donkey colt from an unnamed believer there in Bethpage. The colt is gladly released by its owner to the Disciples, which is brought back for Jesus so that He might be carried – triumphantly – into Jerusalem through the gates to the Temple. In celebrating this time in the Christian calendar, we often think of that great image, depicted in the photo above, of the people declaring Jesus as their Messiah and laying palm branches before Jesus, Who rides the little beast of burden into the City of David.

The devotional question which Os Hillman asks of us today is … “Are we willing to give our donkey over to Jesus, witnessing our love for Him in a world which has already turned hostile to Him?” In Genesis 49, copied above, Jacob prophesied that from His son’s tribe, i.e., Judah’s, there would come One who would tie His donkey to a grapevine. And we know, from the truths of John 15 that Jesus is the Vine to Whom we must be connect to be able to witness for Him in a world which will, like the people on that hillside near Bethpage, turn hostile and want to kill Him from the culture.

Are we – dear fellow Chrristians – willing to give our donkey (i.e., openly give our all in the workplace of life) over to witness for Christ? Are we so connected to the “Vine of Life,” that we’ll give all that we own and all that we are to witness for our Messiah, … even if the people will ultimately cry for Christ to be crucified and eliminated from the culture. That’s what happened to Jesus, wasn’t it, after He entered the gates of the Temple? He became too much of a threat to the world and especially to its religious leaders; and the same people who were calling Jesus “Messiah” on Palm Sunday would be yelling for His crucifixion just a few days later.

But one witness, the owner of that little donkey colt, who likely was giving all he owned, was willing to give his donkey over to His Lord. Are we willing to give our all in witness to our Lord and Savior, … yes, even if the world cries for Him to be eliminated?

I pray so!

My Prayer for Today … Lord, … You are my LORD; and I willingly declare to the world that You are MY MESSIAH; and I pray for the strength to give all that I am and all that I have for that witness, … even my donkey! … Amen

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