Did Jesus Ride in on Dominick the Donkey? - The Lord has Need of It - Purity 590
Purity 590 12/01/2021 Purity 590 Podcast
Today’s photo of a snowy roadside forest comes today from yours truly as I was somewhat shocked to discover that winter is not only coming, it has already arrived for some as my work took me to Petersburgh NY where the residents have already had to shovel and plow a few inches of the white stuff off of their driveways and sidewalks.
Yup, it’s December and even though winter doesn’t officially arrive until the 21st and I am blessed to be on the upper regions of New York’s Hudson Valley and have had no accumulation of snow thus far, I don’t care when the snow comes, for me when there is snow on the ground it’s winter.
But not for me, not yet. Oh I hope I didn’t just jinx myself! Oh by the way, what I did just there, thinking that what I say will result in negative or positive affects on the created universe walks the fine line of superstition, faith, and magical thinking.
Jinxes are one way that man tries to make sense of his created universe and the narratives we create can seem to make sense. I said x and y happened, but we have a tendency to only notice when those outcomes come or tend to craft the narrative with the benefit of hindsight.
“Oh this thing happened? Why? Oh before x, I (the mighty and all powerful I) did or said y, thus causing x?”
But that’s not really a causal relationship. ME causing things to happen is not necessarily true.
So even if snow should fall on my beloved River House today, it is most likely not because God chose to humble me because of my words. Although, because God is sovereign, it could. It’s all part of the mystery of our lives and trying to determine what is and is not God’s will, and what He is making happen and what He isn’t.
Just because we can make up a compelling narrative about something doesn’t make it true.
For instance, it’s December so Christmas music is being played and will be played on the airwaves, over the internet, and piped into stores from now until the 25th. One of the “Christmas” songs that is beloved by some and hated by others is “Dominick the Donkey.”
Now if you don’t know the lyrics of the song or the contents of the Bible, I might be able to convince you that Dominick was the name of the donkey that Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on the day that is celebrated as Palm Sunday.
Right? It makes sense. But wait that’s Easter…
Or I could say that Dominick was the Donkey that was original resident of the manger before Joseph and Mary’s arrival in Bethlehem forced him out of his stall but blessed him to be one of the animal witnesses of the birth of Jesus.
No, No, No, or even better, I could say that Dominick the Donkey was Joseph’s donkey from the start who carried the pregnant Mary to Bethlehem! He then witnessed the Birth of Christ, AND then helped Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, escape from Herod’s men to Egypt! Dominick the Donkey helped Biblical prophecy’s come to pass!
While my narrative is pretty cool and rather epic…. And I think could be the latest Christmas special, if it is not already, none of it holds up to the word of God.
According to Blueletterbible.com, the name Dominick appears 0 times in the Bible.
And the names of Jesus, Christ, Mary, and Joseph appear nowhere in Lou Monte’s original lyrics for “Dominick the Donkey”.
What I could suppose, almost logically, and sounds good doesn’t reflect reality. So as much as we sometimes would like to “name it and claim it”, we need to be careful what stories we are telling ourselves and others when it comes to the interplay of our faith and the things that happen.
The best way to do that is to align what we say and do with the truth that is found in the word of God.
While God has done miraculous things for His people in scripture and is capable of doing anything, we have to be wise and discerning and realize that even in the time of the Apostles and the early church when miracles were happening to confirm the truth that Jesus is Lord, there was a good deal of suffering going on and the Apostles were not anointed supermen and very few people were raised from the dead.
So as we call for revival and for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on us, we should realize that our prayers will be answered, and the gifts of the Spirit will be given according to the Lord’s will. God calls the shots and even if we craft our prayers to be spoken in scripture language and have met all the “right conditions”, He decides what will come to pass and He decides what gifts of the Sprit or otherwise will be given.
As we walk into the Christmas season, let’s endeavor to know what the word of God says and to correct others, and ourselves about the things we might just be “supposing” are true. Let’s try to not push our own narratives and instead decide to just proclaim the gospel. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. That’s what people need to hear.
Let’s make sure the season is full of joy but maybe a little less “magic” as we seek to speak the truth in love that will usher the curious away from Santa, the Grinch, and HE HAW HEE HAW, even the Italian Christmas Donkey and instead give them the hope that never dies and the life of peace and purpose that never ends: a life lived to give glory to God that is saved through faith in Jesus Christ.
So just as Christ sent His Apostles to “borrow” a donkey for His purposes, use whatever trappings of the holiday season to remind yourself and others for the reason of the season. And as we represent the kingdom of the God, try to believe in miracles but accept that even if our prayers for mighty moves of God are not met to our expectations, remember that Christ is enough, our created universe and our salvation through faith in Him are the miracles that we can know, enjoy, and experience on a continual basis.
So keep walking and talking with God, believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ and share it as much as you can as we step into December and take another step closer to Christmas Day and seeing our Lord face to face.
Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Mark 13:31 (NLT2)
31 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
Today’s verse comes from the words of Jesus and assures us that His words will never disappear.
One of our biggest fears is death and an understanding of science tells us that even the universe will eventually run out of energy and die. Our own observations and understanding of how things are paint a bleak picture of what lies ahead. Everything seems like it is slowly disappearing before our eyes. But Christ tells us a different story.
Today’s verse really challenges anyone claiming that Jesus was just some wise teacher.
This “wise teacher” claimed to be the Son of God and God the Son. That’s quite a lesson.
Here Jesus indicates that the current created universe will “disappear”, but His words will never disappear.
So Christ came to the earth to assure us that there was more to life than what we could see. He came to give us peace with God and to give us something that we could stand on: His word.
Jesus assures us that He and His word transcend the created universe and that His wisdom and truth will endure forever.
Revelation proclaims that there will be a new heaven and a new earth, and that God will share it with those who have put their faith in Jesus and receive everlasting life.
We receive a new life when we place our faith in Christ, but in order to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit of peace, we have to trust in His word.
It’s His word that tells us all we know about God and salvation, if we can’t trust His word to be true, we can’t have a true relationship with Him.
When we come to faith in Christ, we essential say I” believe in what you say, Jesus”.
So take peace from today’s verse and remember that when you put your trust in Jesus that you can continually trust in His word and use it to ground you in His peace even as you walk through a world that seems to be falling apart.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.
G. How to Accept the Sovereignty of God
The word sovereignty means "supreme power" and "freedom from external control." These definitions describe God perfectly because no higher power exists, and He is certainly free from other controlling influences. The Bible says ...
"He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning." (Daniel 2:21)
S—Seek God in prayer for discernment in your circumstances.
"Lord God, how I need Your wisdom, Your discernment, Your understanding."
"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray." (James 5:13)
O—Open your heart to God with complete honesty about your feelings.
"I am so confused—my emotions go up one minute, down the next."
"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." (Psalm 55:22)
V—Verify your belief in God's love for you.
"Thank You that You love me, no matter what."
"Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love." (Lamentations 3:32)
E—Expect God to change your life through the truth He reveals to you.
"Thank You that through this trial, You will teach me and change me."
"It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees." (Psalm 119:71)
R—Realize that God is all-powerful and sovereign over your circumstances.
"I realize that all power is in Your hands."
Pilate said ...
"Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" (John 19:10)
Jesus answered ...
"You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above." (John 19:11)
E—Expect God to work through all things to prove your faith and to bring Him praise, glory, and honor.
"I realize that You will use all situations, even bad ones, to strengthen my faith and to glorify Yourself."
"The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." (1 Peter 5:10)
I—Invest time in studying Scripture and in prayer.
"I want to immerse myself in Your Word and in Your truths."
"I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word." (Psalm 119:15-16)
G—Gain an eternal perspective of God's purposes for your present pain.
"I want to see beyond this situation to Your purpose for it."
"'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'" (John 9:3) (Also read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.)
N—Never allow bitterness to grow in your heart.
"I refuse to be resentful, but choose to rejoice in my relationship with You."
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce not food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior." (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
T—Turn to the indwelling Christ, who provides you with His power for victory.
"Thank You that I can rely on Christ within me to live His life through me."
"I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)
Y—Yield to God's sovereignty. You may never understand or have any answers for your suffering.
"I don't have to have all the answers, but I can know the God who does. I yield myself to Your sovereign control."
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
No heartache is wasted when put in the Master's hand.
When we enter our home in heaven,
we will see how our sorrows gave us sympathy ...
how our tears gave us tenderness ...
and how our crises gave us compassion.
Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship