A Donkey

Have you ever wondered why Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, rode into town on a donkey more than two thousand years ago? There was no champion thoroughbred, no luxurious chariot…just a donkey. The King of Kings entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey just for you and me. He did it to carry out His Father’s plan that included a difficult journey from the cross to the grave. This journey of love began with a triumphant entry and transformed into a sorrowful crucifixion. Think about how Jesus must have felt, riding a donkey, knowing all the while that He would be crucified by the very people His Father created. One day, they were waving palm branches as He rode into town. A few days later, they would be waving their fists, shouting, “Crucify Him!” And to think, it all started on a donkey.

I wonder if Jesus ever questioned, “A donkey???” Did He ever think, “Come on, Father, you’ve got to be kidding?” Surely there must have been the slightest bit of hesitation when the Savior of the world was being asked to ride into town on a borrowed donkey. While Jesus may have never questioned this minor detail, I am sure that my often outspoken, human self would have had something to say about that. I know there are times in my life when I wonder why God gives me a donkey, so to speak, when I have requested a faster and more comfortable mode of transportation. Sometimes, God does not hand us exactly what we want on a silver platter. Instead, He gives us the things we need. Rather than giving us a “fast pass” through life, He wants us to trust Him to provide what we need when we need it. And Jesus Christ trusted His Father completely.

Jesus knew that God would only ask Him to do what He could realistically accomplish. Although He may have questioned the events relating to His crucifixion, He remained steadfast in His love for His Father, fulfilling His Father’s plan. Even unto death, Jesus carried out the will of God. Jesus knew that He was the only Perfect Sacrifice. He knew that a world without His crucifixion meant that all would be lost forevermore. He knew that you and I needed a Savior. As the old song says, “He could have called ten thousand angels, but He did it all for you and me.” He knew He could not back out at the last minute…to do so would have changed the world for eternity. And in effect, it would have put an end to the notion of eternity for you and me. If Jesus had not trusted His Father, there would be no way for us to have our sins washed away and there would be no means of getting into Heaven. If He had not given His life for us, the end of our life on this earth would literally be just that - the end.

Thanks to God’s amazing love for us, and the love His Son Jesus has for us, we have hope for eternity. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you will live forever. John 3:16 (ESV) says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus doesn’t want us to live without hope. He doesn’t want us to see death as the ill-awaited doomsday of our life. And He doesn’t want us to fear the future. Instead, He wants us to cherish the time we have on this earth, all the while, joyfully awaiting the moment we walk into Heaven’s gates. He wants us to believe that He is the Son of the Living God. If you believe this to be true, you will not die, but live. I Thessalonians (NIV) says, “He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.” Jesus wants to walk beside you on this earth, and when your earthly life is over, He wants you to live with Him in Heaven. If you have asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life, you have a life filled with hope. You have the hope of eternity.

So, the next time you see a donkey, think about the animal that, over two thousand years ago, carried the King of Kings upon its back. And the next time you wonder why God chose a donkey, take a closer look at the donkey’s back. I know that God, the Creator of this hard-working creature, must have seen the significance in the design upon its back: a cross. Since the beginning of time, God knew that His only Son would ride upon a donkey on His journey to Calvary’s cross. He knew that His only Son would die for every man, woman, boy, and girl. And yes, He knew that some people would love Him, and He knew that others would reject Him. He knew that the name of Jesus would be praised and adored, and other times, this holy name would be criticized and mocked. Yet, He did it all, just for you and me. Jesus Christ loves you unconditionally. Will you love Him in return?

In Christ’s Love,


("A Donkey" was originally published April 17, 2011.)

God Is Always Enough

Over the past few weeks, my Dad and I have been watching The Bible Series on the History Channel.  While I have heard many positive as well as negative comments concerning this popular miniseries, I have personally enjoyed watching this phenomenal representation of the Greatest Story ever told.  To feel as if I am walking beside Moses as God gave him the ability to part the Red Sea.  Or to feel the intensity that Daniel felt as he was in the midst of those hungry lions.  It was so incredible to watch as the walls of Jericho were tumbling down.  What an amazing journey to travel with Mary and Joseph on the road to Bethlehem, knowing that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would soon make an entrance into this world.  As I watch these heroes of faith walk down the road of life, I soon realize that their lives were not a lot different from our own.  Sure, our struggles are much different, but one thing is certain.  No matter what we’re facing, God is always enough.

Like David, are you facing a giant in your life?  Or do you feel as if you have been thrown into a fiery furnace like the three Hebrew children?  Perhaps you feel like you are being asked to do the unthinkable, much like Abraham’s obedience to God was tested when he prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac.  I want to encourage you today.  God will be with you wherever you go.  God will give you strength in every situation.  Our God will always be enough.
David knew that God was on his side.  He said to Goliath, ““You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty” (I Samuel 17:45 NIV).  He knew that if he had faith even as small as a mustard seed, God would provide the courage and strength he needed to stand up to Goliath.  He didn’t need a lot of armor or weapons.  He didn’t need Saul’s army.  All he needed was a small stone and a slingshot.  Why?  Because God was enough.
I’m sure the three Hebrew children were afraid as Nebuchadnezzar said that he would throw them in a fiery furnace.  They said to Nebuchadnezzar, “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand” (Daniel 3:17 NKJV).  Even in the midst of their fear, they did not bow down to other gods.  They trusted in the one true and living God.  They knew that He would be enough.
Consider Abraham.  God spoke to him and said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you” (Genesis 22:2 NIV).  What must he have been thinking?  I’m sure he was questioning God.  Still, he obeyed God.  One thing I think is important is the fact that he didn’t decide to think about it or pray about it to prolong the inevitable.  The Bible says that he got up early the very next morning and headed to the mountain (Genesis 22:3 NIV).  Abraham trusted God fully, with the knowledge that God would always provide.  Even as his son questioned what was going on, Abraham replied, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:8 NIV).  Just as Abraham was about to take his son’s life, he saw a ram caught among the thickets.  He knew that God had provided the sacrifice, sparing his son.  God knew that Abraham trusted Him to the point of making the ultimate sacrifice.  And Abraham knew that God would always provide.
What problems are you facing in your own life?  Is it a daily struggle to lose weight?  Or are you trying to stop smoking or taking drugs?  Are you recently widowed or divorced?  Maybe you are afraid because of someone or something that has been haunting you each and every night.  Has your faith waivered to the point where you find it hard to trust God at all?  I want you to know that God has not left you.  He sees your pain.  He knows where you are.  He will always be enough.
I pray the song below is an encouragement to you.  It is one of the most anointed songs I have ever heard.  I know that God must have had His hand on Kelly Garner and Kevin Stokes as they penned the lyrics to this song.  And I know that God has His hand on Karen Peck Gooch every time she sings this beautiful song.

My God will always be enough,
For the longings of my soul.
He alone can fill my cup,
Till my spirit overflows.
From a well of living water,
He renews me with His love
My God will always be enough.

Whatever you are facing, God will always be enough.  Call on the name of Jesus Christ right now.  It doesn’t matter if you are sitting in your pajamas in your living room, or if you are walking down the aisles at the local grocery store.  Jesus loves you more than you could ever imagine and you can talk to Him every day of the year, every moment of the day.  For all of your physical shortcomings and emotional weaknesses, He will always be enough to make you whole and to make your life complete.  If you feel empty, He will fill you up.  If you feel alone, He will be your Friend who remains closer than a brother.  If you feel like you are living in a world of uncertainty, you can be certain of one thing.  Our God will always be more than enough.
In Christ’s Love,

God Is With Us!

This past Sunday morning at approximately 1:30 a.m., the doorbell rang.  Chills ran up and down my spine.  Questions filled my mind.  Who was it?  What did they want?  Why were they here?  I was genuinely scared.  Immediately, I began to pray.  While I didn’t have an answer for the questions racing through my mind, I knew that God had everything under control.  I had the reassurance that God was with us.

My dad went to see who was banging on our door violently and ringing the doorbell repeatedly.  An individual who was under the influence of either drugs or alcohol had flipped their car and landed in a neighbor’s field.  This person had come to our house for help.  We called 911 and soon they were being attended to by the EMTs.  I prayed that they would be alright.  And I also thanked God for standing beside us, protecting my dad and me, and giving us His wisdom and peace even in an uncertain situation.
Sometimes, it is difficult to have faith that God will be with us through every trial in our lives.  I cannot tell you that it was easy to trust God while someone was beating on our door in the middle of the night.  There are times when we will be frightened to the point of trembling.  In these moments, our human nature tries to take over and tells us that everything is not okay.  But if we listen closely enough, we will find that there is a still, small voice saying, “Child, I am with you always.  Everything is going to be alright.”
Other times, it is so easy to trust God completely.  Last weekend, I attended a church ladies retreat.  At the retreat, we laughed and enjoyed a lot of delicious food, including delicious, fresh-baked cinnamon rolls and copious amounts of fresh strawberries straight from Plant City, Florida.  Most importantly, we were fed spiritually.  By Sunday morning, we were on cloud nine.  Right before the communion service, we received news that our retired pastor’s cancer was in remission.  At this very moment, God seemed so very near.  Trusting God was so simple.
On Monday morning, I learned that Pastor Jim had gone on to be with the Lord, having stepped through Heaven’s gates peacefully in his sleep.  He was such a kindhearted man of God, who was humble in every way.  He loved his family, his church family, and most important, he loved Jesus Christ with all of his heart.  We prayed for Pastor Jim on Sunday, just as we had been doing for months.  And on Monday, our prayers were answered.  Only it wasn’t the answer that we were praying for.  You see, we don’t always understand God’s answers, but we can always be assured that He knows best.  When we are on top of the mountain, trusting God comes easily for us.  But when we are in the valley, it becomes much more difficult to trust that God has a perfect plan.
I want to encourage you today.  This valley that you are going through will not last forever.  Sometimes you have to go through a storm in order to enjoy a rainbow.  Even in the sunset, there’s sunshine awaiting you.  Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”  Don’t rely on what your human mind can or cannot comprehend.  Rely on God.  God knows exactly what you are going through.  He is right there with you and He will walk every step of the way right by your side.  The Bible says that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).  Things may not make sense to you right now, but a day is coming when everything will be made clear to you.  God will show you His plan for your life in His timing.  Trust in Him.  Follow His steps.  Take comfort in the fact that God is always with you!
In Christ’s Love,