This is first in submissions from James Collins, the pastor at First Southern Baptist Church.
Do You Feel Lucky?
“And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.”
Many years ago, before we were married, I was invited to my wife’s parents’ house for a visit. We had been dating for a while. I suppose Amanda’s mom and dad realized they were not going to get rid of me. So, they invited me for a visit. When I arrived, Amanda’s momma said, “We want you to feel welcome.”
They put me in their youngest daughter, Amy’s bedroom. She was thirteen at the time. Her bed was small, and my feet hung over the end. Stuffed animals were all over the bed. The blankets were pink. It was not very manly, but I didn’t mind. I looked forward to relaxing. My plan was to sleep in the next morning.
I was awakened early by a knock. I opened my eyes and looked at the red digital clock. It was 4:45 in the morning. Amanda’s dad knocked at the door. He said, “Today is spirit day at school and Amy needs her red shirt.” I said, “Come on in.” He came in with Amy. They turned the light on and started digging through the closet. It was 4:45 in the morning.
They had a dog, Lucky. Lucky was not a little dog. He was a big, gray Weimaraner. Lucky ran in the open door, jumped in the bed, and tried to get under the covers. He grabbed the pink blankets with his teeth and started trying to pull them off me. It was 4:45 in the morning.
Amanda’s dad and sister were looking for the red shirt, and they were not paying any attention to the dog. After a minute, Lucky let go of the blankets, started licking my face, and nibbling at my ear. All the while, Amanda’s dad and her sister were still looking for the shirt. Amanda came in and started helping them. Now there were three people looking for a red shirt. The lights were on and the dog was trying to rip my ear off. It was 4:46 in the morning.
Amanda’s momma walked into the room. The entire family was there — Amanda, her sister, her mom, and dad. They were all looking for the red shirt. Lucky the dog was chewing on my ear. Nobody was paying attention to that dog. I thought about jumping up and screaming, “Let me help ya’ll find that red shirt!” It was 4:47 in the morning.
Twenty minutes went by. They destroyed the bedroom…but they never found the red shirt.
They walked out, turned out the light, closed the door, and left Lucky on the bed with me. He was still trying to rip off my ear.
After a minute, Amanda’s momma opened the door and called the dog. As she slammed the door I heard her scream, “You left the dog in there. You are going to wake James up if you’re not careful!”
So much for feeling welcome!
Sometimes, we treat Jesus the same way. We say, “Jesus, You are welcome in my house, but don’t go in the computer room. There are some things in there that I like to look at, but I don’t want You to see.
Jesus, You are welcome, but don’t look at my television. There are programs that I watch, but I don’t want You to see them.
Jesus, I want to welcome You into my heart because I don’t want to go to hell, but you can’t own everything. You can’t be welcome everywhere in my life.
The point is: We should welcome Jesus into every area of our lives. Jesus can’t be your Savior if He is not your Lord.
Palm Sunday is next week. It is called “Palm Sunday,” because the people welcomed Jesus by spreading palm branches in His path. However, there were Pharisees in the crowd that did not believe in Jesus. They wanted the crowd to quit shouting praises to Jesus. They refused to welcome Jesus. Eventually, they turn the crowd against the Lord. A week later, the same crowd yelled for Jesus to be crucified.
Where would you have been on that first Palm Sunday? Would you have been among the disciples that welcomed Him — or would you have been among the Pharisees that did not welcome Him? It is easy to condemn the Pharisees, but would we have acted differently? All of us are sinners. All of us have had areas in our life where Christ was not welcome.
The Good news is Jesus still loves us. Through Christ, we can be forgiven.
Will you welcome Him into every area of your life?