UNLEASHING POTENTIAL IN STORYCENTRIC COMMUNITIES

Devotional

A False Hope

A False Hope

**The following post is the written text from a Palm Sunday sermon by Rick Sessoms given to a group of church and ministry leaders this past week. These men and women serve Jesus in the hard places of this world. Day of Expectation On a day filled with expectation, Jesus made His way to Jerusalem. His followers believed the Kingdom was about to be reborn. Those marching with Jesus had seen him raise Lazarus from the dead a few days before. You can understand their excitement. Along the parade’s path, crowds were shouting praises and dancing and singing, escorting Jesus on His “triumphal entry.” “Hosanna!” they sang, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Spreading their palm branches along the processional. We celebrate this on Palm Sunday. As parades go, it wasn’t very impressive. But for those who marched into the city with Jesus that day,

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Christmas: A String Around My Finger

Christmas: A String Around My Finger

My grandmother used to help me to remember by saying, “Ricky, tie a string around your finger.” The logic, of course, was that when I saw the string, I would ask myself, “Why is the string there? Oh, I remember.” A string around my finger was kind of hard to forget. Christmas, too, is like a string around my finger. I have a way of forgetting, so each year the celebration of Jesus’ birth is a reminder of at least three things: First, Christmas is a reminder to me that Jesus Christ is both Other and Personal. This One whose creative power spoke everything into being also lived humbly. Second, Christmas is a reminder of Jesus’ promise: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” With tomorrow’s uncertainty, He personifies hope that does not change. And third, every Christmas is a reminder to leaders that the loudest voices are

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Pray, Then Send or Go: Reflections on Matthew 9:37-38 and the Lord of the Harvest

“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” Matthew 9:37-38 In this passage of Scripture, Jesus gives us three ways to reach the lost: praying, sending, and going. The one command is “pray earnestly.” It’s one word in the original; it has the connotation of pleading for something. We all have the responsibility to plead for the lost, praying specifically that the Lord would send out workers to reap a harvest of lost souls. They are there ready to be “reaped.” This type of pleading prayer is set in the context of Jesus going from village to village seeing the people that were like “sheep without a shepherd” (v. 36). Christ had compassion for the lost and he was asking for his disciples to have that same

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