April 11, 2023




On the morning of April 2, 2023, Pastor Jamieson stood before the members of the congregation and welcomed them to the dedication and presentation of two precious infants to the Lord. He opened the ceremony with a prayer, thanking God for the gift of these children and asking for His blessing and protection on them.

The word ‘dedication’ is somewhat of a misnomer because, although the members of the congregation were present to assist in the presentation of the two infants, they, too, were to be dedicated to the Lord. Each of us was present in order to commit to helping the parents, in their efforts to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This included nurturing them, strengthening them, assisting them, and offering them support. By doing so, we committed ourselves to the spiritual growth of these children, to help them develop a fear and love for Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

The Donkey, The Crowd, And The Cross – A Palm Sunday sermon

Pastor Eric then took the podium and invited us to turn with him to Matthew 21 for a Palm Sunday message, a chapter that speaks to us of Jesus’ last “triumphal” entry into Jerusalem. He rides on a donkey to fulfill a prophecy from Zachariah 9:9 about the King arriving in Jerusalem. The crowds shout, “God bless King David’s Son!’… ‘God’s Man is here!’ ‘Bless him, Lord! … ‘Praise God in highest heaven!’

Read Matthew 21:1-11 and Zachariah 9:9

Matthew 21:1-11 states,

As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, and were near the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of them into the village ahead. ‘Just as you enter,’ he said, ‘you will see a donkey tied there, with its cold beside it. Untie them and bring them here. If anyone asks you what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and there will be no trouble.’ This was done to fulfill the ancient prophecy, ‘Tell Jerusalem her King is coming to her, riding humbly on a donkey’s colt!’ The two disciples did as Jesus said, and brought the animals to him and threw their garments over the colt for him to ride on. And some in the crowd threw down their coats along the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them out before him. Then the crowds surged on ahead and pressed along behind, shouting, ‘God bless King David’s Son!’… ‘God’s Man is here!’ ‘Bless him, Lord!’ … ‘Praise God in highest heaven!’ The entire city of Jerusalem was stirred as he entered. ‘Who is this?’ they asked. And the crowds replied, ‘It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth up in Galilee.

After reading the above passage, Pastor Eric shared three observations:

1 – We must be near Jesus Christ.

The disciples were in close proximity to Jesus so that they could hear His instructions.

The passage states,

As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, and were near the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of them into the village ahead…

Jesus instructed the disciples to travel ahead of Him to a village and find a donkey and her colt. He asked them to untie the animals and bring them back to Him. Should the villagers ask why they were taking the donkeys, the disciples were to answer that the Lord needs them.

The events that unfolded exactly as Jesus had predicted were nothing short of a miracle. Many events like these are recorded in the book of Acts and while they transpired over the course of days, weeks, months, and even years, they were guided and directed by the Lord. Following Jesus’ instructions to the letter, the disciples achieved astounding results. Would we like to experience moments such as these with the Lord? Pastor Eric prays that Jesus will continue to provide him with guidance and instructions that will come to fruition. Pastor Eric asked us to consider the idea of returning to a childlike faith. We can be assured that if Jesus said it, it will happen, but it is important to ensure that it is actually a statement He made.

Read James 1:5, 4:1-3, and John 14:26

Often in life, we find ourselves unable to move forward. We are faced with a challenge that is just too much for us to handle. In times like these, it can be difficult to know what to do. Sometimes we are faced with a multitude of options, and we are unsure which one to choose. We need wisdom. Pastor Eric is not referring to what we should wear or what we should eat; he is referring to decisions that must be made regarding how to proceed in this situation in light of God’s guidance. In these situations, it is very easy to fall back on what is familiar to us or what we are competent at, or to seek advice from those around us. In these challenging times, it is not wrong to seek counsel, but it is important to appeal to God for guidance. We must ask the Lord for wisdom. It is imperative that we ask in faith and that we continue to ask. As the Holy Spirit is the One who teaches us all things, we should ask Him to reveal them to us. God can provide us with assistance, wisdom, and direction when making decisions.

How can we live as the early church did? In keeping with Jesus’ instructions, they obeyed Him, and everything transpired as He predicted. It is important to note that no miracle can be achieved without obedience. Matthew 21:1 says, “As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem…” Jesus was not approaching Jerusalem alone, but rather He and his disciples approached Jerusalem together. The disciples accompanied Jesus. They walked alongside Him. In addition to leading them, Jesus was in a position to speak to them. Since they were in a privileged position, they heard Jesus speak to them directly. Can Jesus speak to us from where we are? Are we following His lead? Are we walking alongside Him?

It is not uncommon for pastors to hear people claim that God never speaks to them. They never hear God’s voice or see Him do anything noteworthy in their lives. Upon further investigation, it is often discovered that these individuals have never read the Bible. This is a crucial mistake as the Bible is God’s Word and unless we read it, we will not be able to hear Him speak to us. If we truly desire to hear from God, it is absolutely essential that we start by reading His Word. Pastors also discover that these people are not praying. There are times when they attend church, and there are times when they do not. It is of the utmost importance that we pray to God for guidance and that we also seek fellowship with Him. It is clear that God will use whatever means necessary to communicate with us. Whether it is through a sermon, our brothers and sisters in Christ, through a song, or through prayer. God will make His message known. Even more, God has chosen us as vessels of His communication. When we choose to not be present, we miss out on the opportunity to be used by God in this way, and it is an opportunity for God to use someone else. No one can predict when God will be gracious and meet us with whatever we may need. In light of this, it is necessary to continue to show up, regardless of how we feel. Jesus is always punctual when it comes to His appointments. Are we? It is a question worth asking. At the divine moment when Jesus rose from the grave, everyone except Thomas saw Him, since Thomas was not present. Jesus appeared on the day we failed to attend church, so we should ensure that we attend in the future.

Early Christians were with Jesus. They walked alongside Him and positioned themselves in a place where they could hear Him speak. This is the answer to our quest for guidance and direction in our lives. To be truly led and guided by the Lord, we must make a conscious effort to spend time with Him, to listen to Him speak, and to walk with Him. This is the only way to hear from Him and to be fully immersed in His presence. When it is difficult for us to hear God or to see Him, are we prioritizing His Word? We must begin prioritizing the Word of God, His presence, prayer, and church attendance. Sometimes, it takes discipline, but we must remain committed.

We’ve heard countless testimonies of how God has used connection groups and the people in them to bring about change in people’s lives. A connection group consists of a small group of individuals who meet in homes on a weekly basis to explore the sermon they heard the previous Sunday in greater depth. This tells us that if we want to hear what Jesus has to say to us, we need to put ourselves in a position to hear Him speak. That means taking off the metaphorical “airplane mode” that so many of us have our lives in to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the world, and instead, making sure that we can be open to hearing God’s voice. Our first step should be to ensure that we are in the right place, that we are in the Word, that we are in prayer, and that we are in a situation where we can receive what the Lord has to say and be led by Him.

If we are truly asking God to speak to us, we must read His Word consistently and systematically and pray. Furthermore, we should be patient and wait for God to answer, not just rush away after asking for guidance.

Someone said,

Pray not until God hears you, but until you listen to God.

2 – Timing matters to God.

Read Matthew 21:1, Zachariah 9:9, John 7:6, and John 11:14-16

Matthew 21:1 states,

As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem…

The timing of this event was of great significance. It marked the beginning of Jesus’ final journey in Jerusalem where He would be arrested, tried, and ultimately crucified. Timing is of the utmost importance here for a number of reasons. Among them is the fact that this event was a fulfillment of prophecy, specifically the prophecy from Zachariah 9:9 that occurred at the perfect time. It is also important to note that these events took place in Jerusalem. This is significant because, as recorded in the gospels, Jesus avoided Jerusalem for most of His ministry. It was only at the end of His ministry that He would travel there. When He went to Jerusalem previously, He did so in secret. According to John 7, Jesus’ brothers were pressuring Him to perform signs and wonders in front of the world, to which He responded by saying, “The right time for me has not yet come”. He understood the importance of timing, and so when His brothers had left, He went in secret to Jerusalem. He also went there when no one was aware of His identity. As Jesus became more well-known, people began talking about what a marvelous person He was. Even the disciples knew that going to Jerusalem was a risk. We may recall that when Lazarus died Jesus said, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad I was not there. I am happy for you because now you will believe in me. We will go to him now. Then Thomas… said to the other followers, “We will go too. We will die there with Jesus”. Thomas was well aware that they were heading to Judea and Jerusalem. The disciples were naturally apprehensive about the risk of death in order to rouse a sleeping man. They believed that their rendezvous with Lazarus would be a literal one, yet they still followed Jesus’ orders. This shows that the disciples were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to follow Jesus and carry out His plan. It is a reminder for all of us who say we desire to follow Jesus. The disciples followed Jesus to Jerusalem. It is evident that timing is of utmost importance to God.

Read Galatians 4:4 

Galatians 4:4 which states,

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law

provides an important insight into God’s plan of redemption. The phrase ‘the set time’ can also be translated as ‘the fullness of time’ or ‘the completion of time’, meaning that the moment in history was just right for God to send His Son into the world to accomplish His plan of salvation. It was ‘the set time’.

Read Romans 5:6

According to Romans 5:6,

Christ died for us when we were unable to help ourselves. We were living against God, but a just the right time Christ died for us.

God’s precision with timing is evident throughout history, especially when it comes to Jesus. He was born at just the right time, travelled to Jerusalem at the perfect moment, and was crucified when the time was right. He will also return at precisely the right time, gathering His Church and taking us to be with Him for eternity. As Jesus waited for the perfect timing to reveal Himself and complete His mission, we should also wait for God’s timing in our lives. It is important not to rush things. When doors are closed, we should not attempt to force them open.

Pastor Eric confessed that sometimes he finds himself before a closed door and is tempted to climb through the window. It is advisable to wait on the Lord. We are not to try to resolve things on our own because we are tired of waiting on the Lord. The Bible is full of examples of men of God who have waited patiently on the Lord, and in some cases, have waited for years. Two of the most notable examples are David, who is said to have waited at least 15 years after his anointing to be crowned king of Israel, and Abraham who waited 25 long years for God’s promise to be fulfilled. We sometimes need to wait patiently and trust God’s timing for our lives in order to achieve our best outcome. If we try to do things on our own, instead of trusting God’s timing, we may miss out on the blessings He has in store for us. We may think our decisions are the best for us, but they may not be in line with God’s will for our lives.

Read Genesis 25:29-34

We all know people who have acted out of emotion or impulse and now regret their decisions. Whether it be a marriage, career choice, or anything else that is now costing them dearly. One prime example is Esau, who acted out of emotion and impulse and regretted his decision. He gave up his birthright for a bowl of stew, and he had to live with the consequences. This is a perfect example of why it is so important to wait patiently for God, instead of giving in to our own desires. Pastor Eric is not saying that we should just sit back and wait, but rather that we should wait prayerfully. We wait on the Lord with hope, knowing that His plans are always for our good.

As someone once said,

Most modern man’s trouble comes from the fact that he has too much time on his hands and not enough on his knees.

We must learn to wait on our knees. We should not proclaim that we have prayed about something until the prayer has been answered. When the prayer is answered, we can then acknowledge that we have prayed and received the answer. If it is still pending, we must continue to pray and wait on the Lord. The answer we are seeking may come in the form of a ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘wait’, but only when it is revealed to us can we truly say that we have prayed about the issue. This is one way of waiting on the Lord. God will guide us if anything needs to be done in the interim. In the meantime, there are some answers that can be found in the Bible. For instance, if we are having difficulties in a relationship with someone, we don’t need to spend three weeks in prayer. As Christians, our first step should be to pray for peace and reconciliation. We should also seek forgiveness from each other and ask our brother or sister in Christ if we have offended them. If the answer is affirmative, we must make an effort to resolve the issue. There are cases where reconciliation is not possible. Pastor Eric is not suggesting that we do life together afterward, but that we should strive for reconciliation with one another.

Read Psalm 27:14, 37:7, 40:1, and Micah 7:7

The Bible is full of wonderful teachings that can guide us through life. Sometimes, the instruction is crystal clear and we can understand it right away. At other times, we need to take time to pray and wait on the Lord. He will show us what to do when the time is right. As believers, we must learn to wait on the Lord on our knees. The Bible is full of passages that speak to this, and here are just a few of them:

Wait for the Lord’s help. Be strong and brave, and wait for the Lord’s help. (Psalm 27:14)

Trust in the Lord and wait quietly for his help. Don’t be angry when people make evil plans and succeed. (Psalm 37:7)

I called to the Lord, and he heard me. He heard my cries. (Psalm 40:1)

So I will look to the Lord for help. I will wait for God to save me. My God will hear me. (Micah 7:7)

Despite the fact that everything is instantaneous in today’s world, it is important to remember the importance of patiently waiting on the Lord. Waiting on the Lord is an art that has been forgotten in our society, not because He is slow, but because valuable things such as our character, take time to develop. It takes time for a person to develop a Christ-like character. Pastor Eric learned this lesson the hard way. It is essential to wait for individuals to develop the character of Christ in their lives before rushing them into positions or occupations based solely on their skills or I.Q. Without taking the time to do this, there can be disastrous consequences. It can get quite messy. It is vital that we wait on Him for their character to become more like Jesus and less like the world.

A wise person once said, “Your character matters far more than your anointing.” It is not advisable to rush through this process. We are to learn to surrender to God and to press into Him. We are to learn to trust Jesus and be willing to allow Him to mold us into someone who will be capable of walking in a powerful anointing without being destroyed by it.

God’s timing is perfect and He never rushes things that take time. But when He opens that door for us, we must take action. We must be ready to jump in when He says it is time. He will provide us with opportunities, and we need to be prepared to seize them. We are to walk through the door He opens for us and make the most of the opportunities He gives us. Timing matters to God.

3 – We are to trust God’s plan.

In order to trust the plan of Jesus, it is essential that we draw close to Him and become attuned to His timing.

The choice of a donkey for Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem may be perplexing at first glance, as it does not seem to convey the power and respect that would typically accompany a king. But the choice of a donkey was actually quite significant. According to the Bible, it was a sign of humility and a sign that Jesus was a servant to God’s people. Jesus was not entering Jerusalem as a conqueror but as a humble servant. He was riding on a donkey to demonstrate that He was not coming to take the throne but to serve His people. By riding the donkey, Jesus was showing His humility and willingness to serve others. Furthermore, it was common for people of the day to ride donkeys, so it showed that Jesus was relatable and accessible to the people. God’s character is demonstrated in His choice of a donkey. He could have chosen an intimidating creature like an elephant or a horse, but He chose the humble donkey.

We can learn a great lesson from this text: no matter who we are, no matter our background or our current situation, God can use us. If He can use a donkey as an instrument to do His work, then He can certainly use us. It’s not about who we are or what we have or don’t have, but who is in us and who is working through us.

Read Matthew 20:28

Jesus is a King unlike any other. He is not a King who seeks recognition or power, but one who exudes humility and gentleness. He is a King who is not concerned with gaining the world’s adoration, but instead comes to serve. He is a humble King. As He said himself, “…I did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” This is far from a king who demands worship and attention. Instead, Jesus is a King who takes a cloth and washes the feet of His disciples. He is a king who sets an example for all to follow.

Read Matthew 11:29 and 21:9

Jesus’ message in Matthew 11:29 is clear: accept His teaching and learn from Him. He is gentle and humble in spirit. This is the King we serve. When He entered Jerusalem, He was met with cries of “‘Praise to the Son of David!’ ‘Welcome! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Praise to God in heaven!’” from those who had different expectations. Despite this, Jesus accepted the worship and praise. He did not ask whether they were worshiping the suffering Jesus or the political Jesus who would set them free from the Roman government. The people of Israel were expecting a king that would free them from the oppressive rule of the Romans. We can’t blame them because, in the book of Judges, that is how God used to work. God had delivered them from oppression in the past through liberators or judges. Even the disciples of Jesus were filled with anticipation. They asked Him if He was going to establish the Kingdom at that time. They were curious. As they pondered this, they needed to trust in God’s plan. They were confused and overwhelmed when Jesus instructed them to retrieve a donkey. The disciples had never been asked to do such a task before and were filled with trepidation as they set out. They hoped that they would find the donkey Jesus had spoken of, and that they would be able to successfully explain their mission if anyone questioned them. Their mission was simple: to obtain the donkey and tell whoever asked that “The Lord needs it”.

This is the character of God. God is not looking for those with certain skills or experience, but rather those who will surrender their lives to Him. This is the kind of life God uses. The Bible says that God uses foolish things, so He is not looking for the strong or the qualified. He is looking for those who are willing to give up all to Him, to put their trust in Him, and to ask Him to use them. It is not about who we are or what we have done, but rather about yielding our lives to Him and trusting Him to make use of us. The King is not only to be welcomed in our town but also in our hearts. Is Jesus our King?

Watch the video here.