The Coronation 

Zechariah 9:9
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.”

A few years ago, during the height of the popularity of the tv show “American Idol”, I happened to be in a hotel room in Ghana. I turned on the tv and began  flipping through the channels. Soon I found a show I did not know existed. It was called “West African Idol.” The premise was the same as the American version, but without nearly the budget. Instead of renting out the Nokia Theater, it was held in what looked like a high school auditorium. Instead of millions of dollars in LED lighting and sound equipment, it had a banner and a few spotlights. Clearly, the more prestigious the event the more glamour it gets.

Kings have had coronation ceremonies for centuries. The more powerful the king, the more fanfare associated with his crowning. Here, Zechariah foretells of the coronation of Christ. The Bible calls Him the King of kings and Lord of Lords. His reign is eternal, righteous, and all reaching. Every creature will one day bow before Him, recognizing His authority and power. Yet when the time came for Him to be crowned, He rode into the city on a donkey and was celebrated with the waving of branches and singing by the common people; no bands, no  lights, no drama.

In many ways, this event perfectly reflects the reign of the King of kings. One of His chief characteristics, and perhaps the platform of His campaign, was humility. He stepped out of glory and into humanity by taking on the form of a man, and coming in the humblest of means. At Christmas we are reminded that Christ was born in a stable, laid in a manger, and greeted by shepherds. His ministry was marked with humility. He is constantly seen taking the lowest place and serving others. We find him washing feet, reaching out to the sick, noticing the neglected and caring for all. His death was the ultimate expression of humility, as the One who created the trees, hung upon a cross made from its wood. Willingly, and without resistance, He allowed men to beat Him, drive nails through His hands and feet, and hoist Him upon the cross. When taunted to prove His power and come down from the cross, He humbly remained, where He could finish the work of providing atonement for the sins of mankind.

Although Jesus is the greatest ruler who will ever reign, He aptly presented Himself with meekness and humility. The next time we see Him, things will be much different. The bible declares that the One who came like a lowly lamb will return like a wild lion. He will one day burst through the clouds with sound of a trumpet, and the the hosts of heaven at His side. At this time, He will set up His kingdom and righteousness will reign from sea to sea.

Pastor Jim



Ezekiel 45:17
“Then it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the New Moons, the Sabbaths, and at all the appointed seasons of the house of Israel. He shall prepare the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.”

Recently, I was captivated by the different titles given to political leaders. In one news segment, I saw references to presidents, kings, prime ministers and even a supreme ruler. It is interesting the view men have of rulers. In some settings, they are seen as gods, while in other settings, servants of the people. Here, in Ezekiel, we get a glimpse into how God views those who rule over men. He sees them as representatives of Himself, and expects them to set an example for the people of what it means to be committed to Him. In God’s economy, a ruler of the people must first be a follower of YHWH. Israel’s greatest leader was described as a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22). This evidenced itself in a desire to please God and properly represent Him to the people.

What the world needs today are men and women who will lead others by being committed to the Lord. This kind of leadership will transform a nation, a business, and especially, a home.

Pastor Jim


Free From Sin

Psalm 123:1-2
“Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us.”

The Psalmist compares the way he looks to the Lord, to the way a servant looks to a master. If we are going to understand the comparison, we need to consider how a servant would look to a master. It seems to me, one word would describe it best. A servant looks to his master obediently. The role of the servant is to do the will of the master, and in order to do that, he must look to the master for instruction and respond with obedience. The servant does not have the right to argue with the master, nor the time to complain about how unfair his task, in light of what the other servants are doing. The servant obeys.

The Psalmist is not the only Bible writer to compare himself to a servant. One of Paul’s favorite terms to describe himself was servant. I imagine that if you and I were attending our high school reunion, we would not brag to others, that after years of education, we had become servants. What is it that caused these men to be so thrilled, even honored, by the idea of being servants of the Lord? I think it has something to do with freedom.

The Psalmist understood it was God who had set Israel free. Their history was marked with bondage. They had been the slaves of Egypt, sitting under the threat of death, while being ruled by a harsh task master. They watched as the Egyptians beat their friends, and attempted to kill their children. They also watched, as God came to the rescue; overcoming the impossible and delivering them from the hand of their harsh task master. Later, Israel, again and again ,found themselves in bondage to their enemies. Throughout their history, their desire to be like the world around them, and their compromise with sin, led them into bondage. Time, and time again, they would compromise and fall, and God would intervene and rescue.

Paul understood that the same is true for the Christian. While we might not be the slaves of an Egyptian king, we are no less enslaved. When writing to the Romans, Paul declared, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked, that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6:16-18

Prior to coming to Christ, each of us was a slave of sin. As a result, we were missing out on the abundant life God intended for us to live, and we were on the fast track to eternal separation from God. On Calvary’s cross, freedom from sin was secured. Christ made the way for us to be set free from sin, and become the servant of righteousness. The celebration, of being a servant, is found in understanding that we were never free; we were once the slave of sin and death, and now we have become the slave of a holy and loving God, who desires the best for His children. The highest place you can ever attain in life, is that of a servant of Christ. Take some time right now to look to your Master. You will see His unfailing love and matchless grace. You will see his nail pierced hands and his unlimited power. You will see His ways are so much higher than your ways; and you will find, as you follow obediently after Him, you will experience life to the fullest.

Pastor Jim



Psalm 75:6-7
“For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.”

Things in the kingdom of God run very differently than they do in the kingdoms of men. This is particularly true of exaltation. The word exalted means “to raise in rank or power, to be elevated or lifted above.” What exaltation is, and how to achieve it, are different in God’s Kingdom.

Jesus declared, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave” Matthew 20:25-27

The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven is the one who serves. That does not mean if we serve we will be exalted to a place above serving, but when we serve, we are in the highest place. Servanthood is not a means to greatness, it is greatness. Paul wrote to the Philippians that we should, “do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but with lowliness of mind we should esteem others higher than ourselves” (Philippians 2:3). One of the driving factors behind selfish ambition is a failure to recognize that exaltation comes from the Lord. We see others push their way to the front and we think the only way to get ahead is to push and push hard.

Jacob was a man who struggled to understand that exaltation comes from the Lord. At birth, he was given promises that he would be exalted, and would inherit the promises of his father Abraham. Instead of walking in the ways of the Lord, and trusting in the promises of God, Jacob spent his life pushing to the front. It was not until he surrendered to the ways of God that he benefitted from the promises.

Instead of striving, pushing, manipulating, and worrying, why not sit quietly before the Lord, laying your needs before Him. When we learn to humble ourselves, then we will find true exaltation.

Pastor Jim



Joshua 17:14

“Then the children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, ‘Why have you given us only one lot and one share to inherit, since we are a great people, inasmuch as the Lord has blessed us until now?’”


The tribe of Manasseh felt as though they had been ripped off when the land was distributed. They looked at their inheritance with disdain because it seemed small, and they considered themselves a great people worthy of so much more. Joshua explained to them that the land was theirs for the taking and their greatness would be proven as they overcame the obstacles that stood before them. It seems pretty clear, Joshua and Manasseh had very different views as to what greatness really meant. 


A few years ago, I was speaking to a group of Christian leaders in West Africa. During a break-time, a young man approached me, declaring he had received a promise from God that he would become a great man of God and be used mightily for the kingdom. I immediately sensed, while this promise may have been from the Lord, he was very confused regarding what it meant to be great in the eyes of God. We began to walk through the Scriptures together and see how Jesus defined greatness. 


Mark 10:43-45

“Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”


In the eyes of Jesus there is nothing greater than patterning our lives after His. When we will take the low place, and seek to exalt others and their needs above our own, we have begun to walk the path of greatness. It is those who humbly walk with Christ, not seeking their own glory, but His, who will accomplish great and eternal things. Perhaps the biggest deterrent to true greatness is self. Self-will, self-protection, self-ambition or plain old fashion selfishness, will always stand in the way of serving Christ and others. 


Joshua went on the explain to Manasseh that greatness was theirs for the taking.  All they had to do was trust God and walk in the inheritance placed before them. I wonder what “great things” God might have for us, if we will set our own ambitions and fears aside, and simply walk as Jesus walked. 


Pastor Jim 


Here I Am Lord 

Acts 9:10
“Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.'”

A disciple named Ananias is a somewhat obscure character in the narrative of Acts. We do not know how he first heard about Christ, what his occupation was, or his role in the local church. All we know is, when he was called to service, he rose to the occasion, and became an influential player in the life and ministry of Paul, the Apostle.

We read that Ananias had a vision. A vision is much like a dream, but happens while a person is awake, instead of when they are sleeping. There are many cases in Scripture of God speaking to His people through visions.

We are not told what Ananias was doing when God interrupted and commissioned him. We only know he obeyed. Notice, his obedience was not without trepidation. In fact, we might even say, he was a little reluctant to obey; and it is not difficult to understand why. Saul of Tarsus was the greatest human threat the early church had ever faced. He had authority to arrest and imprison Christians; and like a wild animal, was threatening them with death.

We read in Acts 8 that he was the driving force behind the death of Stephen. God was calling Ananias right into Saul’s line of fire. It does not surprise me that he would say, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, . . .” Acts 9:13

I know it is my desire to hear from the Lord. I want my life to count for the kingdom, and to have a positive impact upon the lives of others. I also understand, that sometimes, the Lord asks us to do hard things. Sometimes, the call of God will take me outside my comfort zone and ask me to do what will make me very uncomfortable, and may even put me at some level of risk.

I think it is important to follow the example of Ananias, whose willingness to obey the Lord resulted in helping in the growth of one of Christianity’s greatest heroes. Let’s all live by the motto of, “Here I am Lord.”

Pastor Jim


Seven Men

Acts 6:3
“. . . seven men of good reputation . . .”

Scripture does not follow the stories of all seven of these men, but we know that both Stephen and Philip were remarkable men. Stephen carries the honor of being the first martyr of the church. While martyrdom is not something we should aspire to, his testimony is one of a man who refused to shy away from the threats, and boldly declared the Gospel to his community. It seems very likely his life was influential in leading to Paul’s conversion. Philip was used to begin one of the great revivals of church history. It was through his life, the people of Samaria heard the Gospel and were saved. Later we read, he raised four daughters who followed and served the Lord.

Acts 6 records for us what these men were like. We are told they were men of good reputation, filled with the Holy Spirit, wisdom and faith. The text also alludes to how they became these men. We are told, the apostles gave themselves continually to the Word of God and prayer. Something happens to us when we get plugged into a healthy church, where the Bible is being taught. As the weeks pass, we begin to develop a desire for more of the Lord, and ultimately to serve the Lord. After one of the outreach events that our church was involved in, one of my kids made the observation that it was so cool to see people come to the church, get fed the Word, and over time start serving. He said it was almost as though they could not help it.

Make sure you get plugged into a healthy church! The more time you invest in your relationship with Jesus, the more you will become a person whose life impacts those around you, for the kingdom of God.

Pastor Jim

Old Testament:
Joshua 1- Secret To Success
Joshua 2- Story Of Redemption



Deuteronomy 15:16-17
“And if it happens that he says to you, ‘I will not go away from you,’ because he loves you and your house, since he prospers with you, then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise.”

 Even in ancient times, life was often difficult. Conditions, beyond the control of an individual, would leave him in a place where he could not pay his debts. To address this issue, God set up a system in Israel where a person could become an indentured servant for a period of seven years. During this time the work done by the individual was treated as payment for the debt owed. At the end of seven years his debt was considered as paid-in- full and he was set free. This was called the year of release, and when it arrived the servant was set free and loaded up with provisions to begin a new lease on life.

In addition to writing out the rules for the year of release, Moses also explained a very interesting clause. If a person did not want to be set free, they could willingly offer themselves into continued servitude. He would show his commitment by having his ear pierced with an awl. It might seem odd to us why a person would willingly accept servitude over freedom, but the reason for it is explained in the text;

“If he says I will not go away from you, because he loves you and your house, since he prospers with you. . .”

A person would choose servitude over freedom because of the way they were treated by their master. If they realized they actually had more freedom and a better living by being under their master than they ever would on their own, they would remain a slave.

This is a good example of what is true of the follower of Christ. Living for Jesus demands a surrender of our will. It is actually impossible to follow Jesus, if we do not lay down our will. While that may be a difficult thing for us to do, the result is, we get to pick His will up. God always has better things in mind for us than we do. Paul, quoting Isaiah wrote,

1 Corinthians 2:9
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

To those who knew Him best, it was clear that the height of life would be found, not in keeping our will, but by submitting ourselves, our life, and our ways completely to God.

Let’s drive that figurative awl through our ears, and devote ourselves completely as servants of Christ.


Pastor Jim



Many Are Called…

Matthew 20:16
“For many are called, but few chosen.”

2015/01/img_1355.jpgThis verse is the conclusion of a parable Jesus spoke regarding God’s reward system. All those who responded to the offer of the vineyard owner received the same wage, whether they worked for a few hours or for the entire day. What a beautiful picture of God’s grace. Heaven is the great reward of all who respond to the call of God. Young Timothy and the thief hanging next to Jesus were both recipients of God’s manifold grace, both will forever live under the banner of King Jesus, walk the streets of gold, and experience the glories of living in glory.

That being said, I am struck by the condition of those who responded to the vineyard owners call. We read, they were “standing idle.” The word idle means to be free from work. We use the word to speak of a car that is sitting at a stop sign; the motor is running, but the car is going nowhere. It is not being used to its fullest potential or to accomplish what it was designed for. The person who responds to Christ in the eleventh hour will receive freely the gifts of eternity, but will have lived life idly, not fulfilling the purposes for which God designed them.

What about you? Are you living life for the glory of God? Are you storing up treasures in heaven, by living life to please King Jesus?

Take a moment to get today’s marching orders from the Lord.

Pastor Jim