Jesus, The King of Peace. Us, the Donkey?

Easter ~ Jesus, the King of Peace. Us, the Donkey? Lessons from Christ at Easter (via @JeanWilund.com)

Jesus, The King of Peace

The end was near.

Jesus’ ministry on earth was approaching its climax, but the large crowd gathered in Jerusalem for Passover remained unaware.

All they knew was this man called Jesus was coming. 

They hoped He was coming to set them free from the iron rule of Rome.

Crowds lined the streets with palm branches as they would a victorious ruler — a warrior king.

But Jesus rarely did the expected.

He came, not as the conquering king mounted on a warhorse, but riding on the colt of a donkey as the King of Peace.

It appears many felt betrayed that Christ chose to come as the King of Peace because they wound up betraying Him in the end.

Cries of “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel,” would soon be replaced with shouts of “Crucify Him!”

Jesus Christ, as the King of Kings (Revelation 19:16), could’ve rightfully marched into the capital city on a warhorse. 

He could’ve taken His place on any throne in the world, starting with the one in Jerusalem. But by design, He humbly rode in as the King of Peace on a donkey instead.

Us, a Donkey?

Jesus was pleased to ride on this humble beast of peace just as He is pleased for His Spirit to live in all who trust in Him. 

In a sense, the King of Glory has once again humbled Himself to ride a donkey. 

I guess I just called Christians donkeys. 

Calling Christians donkeys sounds worse than it is.

Kings of old traditionally rode donkeys during times of peace. They weren’t despised. They symbolized peace.

But they weren’t handsome warhorses, either. I’d rather see myself as a regal Arabian horse than a round, awkward-looking donkey.

But then again, as Christians with Christ living His life through us (Galatians 2:20), we’re really both.

We possess the strength of a warrior steed (Romans 8:37) with the calling of a peaceful donkey (Hebrews 12:14). 

Christians are Donkey Warriors

Even while seated on a donkey, Jesus never ceased to be the conquering, all-powerful Great I Am. (John 8:58)

Christians are called to be a people of peace through which the Great I Am displays His own glory. 

What donkey could feel degraded when the Great I Am sits upon him?

The warhorse suddenly becomes nothing in the presence of a donkey on which rides the King of Kings. 

It’s Not About the Steed. It’s About the Rider

I don’t want the world to notice me, but Christ in me.

I’m not always a pretty sight, marred by selfishness, anger, and impatience.

But if others see Christ in me, they’ll see the peaceable strength of love, grace, and mercy even in times when those three seem out of place.

Let’s aim to be Donkey Warriors — Christians who exude Christ’s calling of peace with the quiet power of Christ’s Spirit. 

He must increase, but I must decrease.
~John 3:30

If we live like Donkey Warriors, perhaps we’ll hear the same words spoken of our generation as were spoken during the last week of Jesus’ ministry on earth:

 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.”

I can’t think of anything better that could be said about me than that my life made others go after Christ. 

I admit I’ve feared that my life has driven people away from Christ instead of to Him!

Read, Listen, & Reflect

I encourage you to read John 12:12-19 and consider what it would’ve been like as Jesus entered Jerusalem on the donkey while listening to Michael W. Smith’s song “Giving” from his “Freedom” album.

This song seems to fit the somber mood Jesus and the disciples may have felt as He entered Jerusalem in peace.

Then the mood in the music and Jerusalem intensifies as the people worshiped their coming King only to discover He’s not the King of War they want. Instead, He’s the humble King of Peace they need.

How can we reflect Christ’s peace to those around us today?

What can we do today to show the world the King of Peace they so desperately need? [Read more…]

Hate and Despair Are Never the Answer. Jesus Is.

Hate & Despair are never the answer -- Jesus is. via www.JeanWilund.com

I Miss Fluffy Facebook

I never thought I’d miss reading a Facebook post about what someone ate for breakfast or that they’re going to brush their teeth.

But with so much hate and despair spewing out on Facebook and on every place an opinion or thought can be spewed, I long for a mundane post that someone just scooped the poop for their pup.

I miss fluffy posts about kittens.

Society seems intent on ripping itself apart with venomous, hate-filled words and accusations slung far and wide.

Many are ready to declare all hope is gone.

 

Hate and despair are infecting America like a life-stealing cancer, spreading from coast to coast.

I refuse to give in to that mentality. [Read more…]

“My Story” ~ What if Your Life Could Be An Awfully Big Adventure?

Read 4 epic stories and watch Big Daddy Weave sing "My Story" And then go live your story!

 An Awfully Big Adventure . . .


Wendy: So…your adventures are over.

Peter Pan: Oh, no. To live…to live would be an awfully big adventure.

~ Hook (1991)


Who doesn’t want to live an incredible story? 

Authors will tell you that without conflict, you don’t have a story.

I’ve got some epic ones for you today. 

If it takes conflict to make a story, I guess we’re all living a story because we all face conflict.

Some more than others.

But of course, that just means we all have the chance to live an awfully big adventure. 

Faith makes the difference.

It made a life-changing difference in these lives:

Tragedy to Triumph

[Read more…]

Magnify the Name of the Lord to Minimize Your Stress

Magnify the Name of the Lord to Minimize Your Stress and watch Music Video Magnify by Messenger via www.JeanWilund.comOh the Stress!

Every fall I find myself stressed out, and I’ve battled it for too embarrassingly long. I suffer from Competition Stress Anxiety.

I just made that term up, but it sounds about right.

If you’re not into sports, this post is still for you because we all have something in life that stresses us out.

It might be of minor importance like mine, as in the I Just Moved to a New Place and Have to Make New Friends Stress Anxiety or the I Have Too Many Things to Do and No Matter What I Do the List Only Gets Longer Stress Anxiety.

Or it might be quite serious like My Medical Bills are Piling Up With No End in Sight Stress Anxiety or worse I Just Lost My Child And Don’t Think I’ll Ever Be Happy Again Stress Anxiety.

Insert whatever your stressor is into the blank:  ________ Stress Anxiety.

Trying to EnJOY But Can Only EnSTRESS?

[Read more…]

Stuck in the Ditch of “Coming Soon . . .”? How to Enjoy Waiting for the Tow Truck

Ever feel stuck in a ditch of "Coming Soon?" Here's how to enjoy your time waiting to get out. Plus "Dwell", an encouraging song by Vineyard Worship. via www.JeanWilund.com

Coming Soon . . .

Sometimes I feel like my plans are stuck in a ditch.

I’m stuck in “Coming soon . . . ”

I’m trying to get my projects to the finish line but stuff keeps coming up and knocking me off the road.

I’m busier than a squirrel trying to decide which side of the road it wants to be on.

I’d hoped to have many projects completed by now, but life happens and plans get changed.

As they say, the only constant is change.

Or is it?

Actually, a truer statement makes that statement ironic:

The one true constant is God, and He never changes.

Finally, something–Someone–we can count on.

Four Tips For When You’re In A Ditch and Waiting for the Tow Truck


[Read more…]

Which to Choose: Football or Bonsai Gardening? – Confessions of a Fanatic Fan Conformed to Christ Through Football

Fret over your football team so much you'd consider giving it up for bonsai gardening? You don't have to! Be conformed to Christ through football instead. via www.JeanWilund.comThis may be the year.

College Football has officially kicked off, and this may be the year that

. . . I rejoice whether my team wins or loses,

. . . I can watch an entire game without fretting,

. . . and I jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

Yes, I know. The last one is more likely to happen than the first two.

And the last one ain’t happening.

But it could.

And that’s what matters.

It could happen because God is in the business of transforming lives.

And that’s why I don’t have to give up football and take up bonsai gardening instead.

Last year I declared in my post I Can’t Watch! — Confessions of a Fanatic Fan Conformed to Christ Through Football that this fretful football fan would change.

And I did.

Two years ago, I couldn’t watch my Tigers play the big games. I watched movies at the theater instead.

Last year, I watched every game. Not every second of every game, but every game.

Progress. I scored a touchdown.

But I confess, I haven’t won the game. Yet.

I’m still a football-fretter. But the game’s not over.

Crockpot Growth.

Spiritual growth sometimes happens in microwave fast spurts.

But usually it simmers to maturity like a crockpot.

Not being able to handle a football game is a spiritual matter. Read more about it here in that post I told you about before.

Confessions of a Fanatic Fan Conformed to Christ Through Football.

I haven’t given up my goal to be transformed into a relaxed football fan, content and peaceful no matter the outcome.

But there will be times this season when that resolve will be tested, and I may consider giving up football to take up bonsai gardening.

What battle are you waging?

Is your battle as silly as mine over fretting about football?

Or is it serious? The kind that should send you down to your knees, like fear over your child’s cancer diagnosis or arrest?

Or do you struggle with issues that send those who live with you down to their knees, like fits of anger or bitterness?

No matter what you’re facing, it’s not too silly or too serious for God.

Never Give Up

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15:57 ESV).

Whether we’re facing a goal-line on the football field or a drip-line in the ER, we can keep our eyes fixed on Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 NASB).

God won’t just give us strength. He is our strength.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 ESV).

Just Imagine

bonsai-316573_640Imagine what our life would be like tomorrow if we woke up, fixated on our all-powerful, loving God instead of our struggles.

We could facing losing a game without losing our joy or having to take up bonsai gardening.

We’d read the sports headlines and front page headlines without being consumed with worry.

We’d carry peace instead of burdens.

God is waiting to do this work in our hearts today. It starts with believing Him and His Word and walking in the truth we know.

This May Be The Year

This may be the year the Clemson Tigers win the National Championship.

Oh so close last year.

But even better, this may be the year we win the battle in our minds.

What victory will you enjoy this year?

Go For It!

And Go Tigers!

[Read more…]