A sermon I was blessed to share on Psalm Sunday. And scriptures below. A sermon on how prophesy was given and still is given to us today – we can get to know “The Rest of the Story”…
I love to start with Psalm 95 because it has so much JOY in it – I have so much JOY share God’s Word – what an opportunity – THANK YOU!!!!! JOY because it IS God’s Word – Who is Jesus – the Living Word – who changes Hearts…
from Psalm 95: For the Lord is the Great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear HIS voice…
AH – that is where I stop to be reminded – it is NOT my voice that I hope you hear – but the LORD’s Voice in His Word – because HIS WORD changes hearts.
And why do WE SHARE HIS WORD? Why? Because there are SO MANY who haven’t heard – whose ears are not YET opened by the Lord – they don’t know Jesus – or at least (like until Jesus awoke me), they don’t His Spirit WITHIN them… So – I pray we call upon the Holy Spirit in our midst to move us – and to make us ponder – ponder Jesus – ESPECIALLY this pre-Easter Holy Week ahead. And I pray for anyone who is itching at the ears to understand Jesus more, to let God open them – and they will hunger even more… The great writer of Hebrews reminds us: For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
AND SO – this is Easter week coming up – we must take the opportunity to walk thru it – not by ourselves but with Jesus – we can think of it as the tough and humbling week – it IS a reminder that we MUST ALSO pick up our crosses like Jesus did and have less of us and more of Jesus. Yes, Jesus knew He was walking into death – a PAINFUL death – and yet worse, look at all those tears shed for seeing people then and now who did not know Him.
Jesus knew loss in advance – He only had 3 years in His ministry on earth with His disciples and Jesus knew He would have to leave His friends behind who needed Him – He felt that loss as He feels our losses and He has compassion… YES Jesus willing chose this path, He knew the WHOLE story – He knew that He had to fulfil Prophesy – then He had leave earth so that the Holy Spirit could come – Jesus walked the walked and talked the talk – Oh can you even imagine His tears… Even more can you imagine His DETERMINATION.
Palm Sunday today – the excited people did NOT know how prophesy would come to fullness – they thought an earthly King sanctioned by God had come to restore their local Kingdom of the Jews – after King David their history had endured bad kings, a split into divided kingdoms and EXILE – they saw Jesus for the restoration but they could not yet see the whole mission – the whole prophesy – the whole Kingdom of FOREVER – and even by the end of the week they couldn’t even see Him as Heaven sent – Hosanna traded for Crucify Him. They didn’t know – Jesus said they didn’t know, forgive them…
For them and for us HE GAVE and GIVES Prophesy… There was prophesy of how He was born – of his works – of His death on the Cross – and of His raising up . Ah, IF ONLY THE EARS and the EYES of the PEOPLE WOULD OPEN to see that He came as Jesus – God with us – King and Lord of ALL.
We best not forget that God is mysterious, but He is also an OPEN BOOK – Jesus IS the LIVING WORD – and wants us to share in this GOOD NEWS of HIM. We DO have what the disciples did not (yet) – a knowing in our hearts because of the Holy Spirit. In Hindsight, can you imagine that time of healing and the learning in hyperspeed that those disciples had, that Easter morning when the risen Jesus came to walk the earth – remember the disciples didn’t fully understand Jesus until after Jesus came back… and they still had more to learn – they needed the Holy Spirit like we do.
The disciples surely knew in part but did not know in full this prophesy until they had their mental gaps filled in with eyes opened and ears opened – they learned “THE REST OF THE STORY – just like old time radio journalist Paul Harvey always said…
Imagine the days Jesus was in the tomb, imagine old friends Mary and Martha had lost their brother Lazarus – regained him but then lost their Lord – puzzling – look at the disciples – life was going so good – and then wow Jesus is arrested and crucified – and betrayed by someone they thought they knew as a brother. Shock disbelief unknown – what would they do now? and were they next for being arrested? Perhaps we need this model of uncertainty to make us really think – are we feeling separate from Jesus? is He really there… HE IS…
In our uncertainties – the unknowns of how life takes turns – surely we have experienced them – maybe we even know of people suffering worse: you lose your home to an invasion of war, maybe a school shooter catches all of you off guard, maybe a tornado comes, maybe your perceived future disappears in front of your eyes… we experience unknowns… and yet – we can we and must we have JOY even if we don’t have understanding everything of what is going on around us… We need to take a long view of life here on earth and in Heaven – these trials today are nothing compared of the JOY of eternal life.
Why JOY??? WE KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY – we know PAST Good Friday – we know Easter already and we even know past present day (and trust me we know how Broken this world is – but what does Jesus ask of us? WALK WITH HIM… We know at least a fraction of the LONGVIEW – THE REST OF THE STORY – Jesus has not kept it hidden from us – there are chapters of the Living Word – STILL prophesy yet to come… He has written in the gospels and has written to us (thru beloved apostle John’s recording) a whole section called: REVELATION… Not only is Jesus risen from the dead on Easter – we learn in all these prophesies that Jesus IS coming again – He states to His disciples and to all of us from the book of Mark: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come… KEEP WATCH…
James the brother of Jesus reminds new believers of the time and us: You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged.!”
Endless times I have been reminded to not to get too comfortable in life that I start to grumble, we need to shine JESUS JOY and let that be our jumping pads from which we go out and share the love of God – to the broken people out there – that famous saying that for some people, our actions are the only Bible that they will ever read…
With the Holy Spirit’s help we can understand these prophesies – I love this quote from a book I am reading: “An important perspective to have on the book of Revelation is that it is not a game of theological Rubik’s Cube. It was not written as an intellectual puzzle for a group of people who enjoyed solving mathematical problems. Not for a moment. Its first readers were in too much of a life-and-death situation to enjoy that kind of relaxation.” (from Name above all names)
To understand more, we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us learn. God is willing to lead us. Three examples:
* Take Simeon called by the Holy Spirit to the temple at the time of Jesus’s dedication at a week old – Simeon studied prophesy – Simeon knew The Messiah was coming: AND was praying and praying to see Him before he died – and guess what? the spirit of God was there to help Simeon know that THIS baby was His savior – the Light of the World to both Jews and Gentiles…, Jesus did not speak as an 8 day old infant, yet Simeon knew He was the One. The Spirit made Him known.
* Take John the Baptist who lept for joy in his mother’s womb as pregnant Mary came to them, Jesus was known by Spirit – NOT known by sight. Older Jesus was said to be not remarkable compared to the rest of the population – He essentially showed up as a normal looking guy. Even John the Baptist later in life had to ask Jesus, his own cousin, are You He? Well that Spirit of God coming out of the sky was a pretty awesome sign to see I believe – God even saying how pleased He was in Jesus – whom to that point had not even performed a miracle… The Spirit made Him known.
* Take the faith of that last one man, a criminal, to ask Jesus for entering the kingdom, Jesus was unrecognizable, beard pulled out, beaten, bloody, hung… but out of this taunting, this fellow cross hanging man, a thief, knew that even He, dead man hanging, was Lord… He saw Jesus for who He really was… and asked Jesus so importantly: Remember me… Jesus said: today you will be with me in paradise.
We have the Holy Spirit to walk in faith not sight, like these people did. Knowing “the Rest of the Story” – not the “END of the story” BECAUSE THE STORY DOES NOT END, but knowing the Spirit – How blessed we get to learn the future and how Mighty God is – listen to these amazing sights we WILL see – our future:
- Revelation 19 excerpts Jesus defeating the prince of darkness: I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. – He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God… On his robe and on his thigh, He has this Name written: King of kings and Lord of lords.
- How about the Millennium? Anyone up for a thousand years of peace??, ONLY by Jesus the Prince of Peace – Revelation 20 *And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up….
- And a new city… to forever be WITH GOD…!! Revelation 21 * Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” … “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. – ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
- Revelation 22 NIV Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. – . The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.
I hope we are JOY FILLED to know at least SOME of the new FOREVER story – a CLEAN PAGE every day.
We are broken people, but Jesus has given us each MANY forever new pages of life.
Jesus NOW and in our future says: Now you know, the Rest of the Story…
Won’t you please pray with me:
Lord, we are blessed that not only have you shared your story with us but you also include us, one by one into your story. Jesus you bring us salvation and we experience your mercy and grace. We know God that you call us your children, please help us spread this great Good news, especially this Lenten season as Your Easter people, we know Lord so many out there need to be introduced to you and hear the rest of the story, Your continuing story has new blank pages for each of us. Let us worship you in joy. Lord, let us praise you forever because you are worthy… Hosanna, Halleluiah and Amen
Selected scriptures for Palm Sunday and “The Rest of the Story”:
Psalm 95: 1-7 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear HIS voice…
Luke 19:37-42 NIV When Jesus came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” – “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” – Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” – “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.
James 5:7-11 NIV “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!”
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
John 11: 21-27 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
Luke 2:22-38 Jesus Presented in the Temple When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Luke 23:32-43 The criminal on the Cross is Saved by asking Jesus Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Jesus is coming again Matthew 24:30-39 Jesus said: “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Mark 13:32-37 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
Revelation 4:1-11 to John After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Revelation 19:11-16 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God…”
Revelation 20:1-6 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (And that’s when Jesus destroys His influence forever).
Revelation 21:1-5 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Revelation 22:1-5 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
Revelation 22:12-13 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.