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Robert Morris - The Three Truths Of Palm Sunday

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Robert Morris - The Three Truths Of Palm Sunday

Hey everyone, welcome to our weekend services at Gateway Church. I hope all of you had a great Easter last weekend. We did something we've never done. I know we're all getting creative right now during this quarantine. Last weekend, on Easter, we had a Zoom Easter hunt, a Zoom Easter hunt with the grandkids, grandkids here, grandkids in Houston, grandkids in Austin, and Debbie send them care packages, you know, wiped them down with all the wipes and all first. But she sent the Easter eggs, and every year we put some money in the Easter eggs. She'll put, you know, several $1 bills, a few $5 bills and a few $10 bills.

And so we're watching, you know, them go around the yard with the phone and the kids are finding the Easter eggs. And then we watched them come in and they opened them, you know, and they always get excited when they get money, you know, instead of candy and they'll say a $1 or $5. Well I have to tell you something funny that happened. Our granddaughter Bray, she can't count money yet. And so she opened one of the Easter eggs and she said $400! And of course we all panicked. I panicked. I looked at Debbie because Debbie has a little problem too counting money, you know. She's the one that packed the Easter eggs. And she said, I didn't do that. And so we found out it was just $1, so that, it worked out. Everything worked out okay.

So, but we had a great Easter even though we were quarantined, and we had a great Easter weekend here at Gateway Church. Many, many people watched the services. Many, many people gave their lives to Christ. And so, I also want to give you a health update. You know that I wasn't feeling well, Palm Sunday wasn't able to preach, and I told you last week and asked you to pray for me. Well God's touched me and healed me. But to let you know what happened, I had fever for 23 days, a low grade fever, and I went to the doctor. I don't have any more fever. The fever broke. But they said it's possible I had a virus and it's possible it could have been COVID, but I never got tested because I didn't have any symptoms in my chest or a cough or anything like that. I just had the low grade fever and some muscle aches and things like that.

But the good news is if I did, then my body's built up antibodies and if I didn't, I'm past it. Whatever it was, I'm past. So thank you for your prayers. And we also want to join in at the first of the message here as we've done every week now for four weeks, and we're joining with churches around the world, and it's called unite714. We're praying every morning at 7:14 AM, every evening at 7:14 PM, and we're joining churches around the world right now. Think about that, all over the world to come together and pray during our weekend services. So I'm going to read the week five prayer to you, and I would like you to pray with me however you want to do that. If you want, we'll put it on the screen. If you want to pray out loud or if you want to just pray in your heart and in your mind, will you just joined me in this prayer? All right. Here's the prayer:

Heavenly Father, we humbly come before You and ask You to sustain us by Your mercy, Your grace, and Your power. We continue to trust in Your gracious promise that “no weapon that is fashioned against” us, our families, or our churches “shall succeed.”

We take refuge under Your protective wings. Your faithfulness is our shield. By Your great strength, protect our hearts and minds from the grip of terror. Empower us, oh God, so that fear will not paralyze us or define our lives.

Great multitudes are affected by this appalling pandemic, and so we lift them up before You in prayer. Heal those battling this disease and comfort those who have lost loved ones. We know You alone are our Healer.

As 2 Chronicles 7:14 urges us, we identify with the sins of our nation and ask for Your forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Spare us from this “pestilence.” Cleanse us from our sins. Heal our lands.

With one heart and one voice, we stand together in unity, asking You, Almighty God, to protect our cities, our nations, and the world from COVlD-19.

We pray this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Now I'm going to do something this weekend that I don't think has ever been done in Church history. Now that probably shocks you, so let me say it again. I'm going to do something this weekend that I don't think has ever been done in Church history. Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to preach on Palm Sunday, the week after Easter, not the week before. If you remember, I prepared my message. I was ready to preach, but I had the fever. I needed to be quarantined. I didn't need to be around other people, and so Pastor Jimmy brought a message on Palm Sunday. But I feel like this message needs to be shared. So last weekend on Easter, I preached on Easter, I preached The Seven Truths of Easter. This week I'm going to preach The Three Truths of Palm Sunday. So I want to go to Palm Sunday and take three truths out of the scripture.

Now, Palm Sunday is in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And I'm going to take it out of John, because there are two Old Testament prophecies that are quoted, and they're quoted really close together in John and I like this. So, but it's in all four gospels, if you want to read it. John 12:12, "The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees", that's where we get Palm Sunday from. "And went out to meet Him, and cried out: 'Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!'" That's a quote from the Old Testament I'll show you in a minute. "Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:" Here's another quote. "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt".

So I'm going to take these two Old Testament prophecies that are quoted here in John, and I'm going to take three truths from those scriptures about Palm Sunday. I also, I want you to know I have three videos that I'm gonna show you, one at the end of each point that are absolutely going to shock you and blow you away of how God is doing something here in the Metroplex, in our nation, and around the world. So here's the first truth. All right, Save Now, Save Now. Look again at verse 13 it says, "They cried out 'Hosanna'". I've underlined it. Hosanna. "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel"!. And first of all, let me explain to you, this is the first time that Israel has called Jesus the King. In so doing, they are saying he's the Messiah, because they are quoting a messianic scripture, and this is the first time they've recognized him not just as a prophet but as a king.

So they are welcoming him as the King of Israel. And then they quote this scripture, and they use the word Hosannah. Now the word Hosannah, I asked Debbie, I said, what do you think Hosanna means? And she said, praise. And I said, that's what most people think. That's a very common answer to that question. "I think it means praise". It doesn't mean praise though. It means, save now. The first part of the word, hosan, means save. The, when you put the na on the end, the n-a, that means now. Save now. Now what I want to do is I want to show you the scripture in the Old Testament, and I haven't changed a bit. I'm still in the New King James version. I read out of John 12 New King James. I'm going to read this in the New King James version, but I want you to notice, I'm telling you the word Hosannah means save now.

Watch how this is written in the Old Testament from the verse that they quoted. Psalm 118:25, "Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity". Just want you know, they bring the economy into it. Prosperity. Psalm 118:26, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord"! This is the scripture they're quoting. And here's what they're saying. Save us now. Send now prosperity. This is not only affecting us, it's affecting our economy. This is exactly where we are as a nation. Save now. Think about how many times we pray this prayer. Don't just save us God, but save us now. Save us from what we're in right now. Don't, don't wait. Save us right now. And that's what we're praying.

And I thought about a passage again in the Psalms that exemplifies what we go through a lot. And it's in Psalm 107. I'm going to read a lot of scripture, but it's very important to what we're going through right now. What it says in Psalm 107 four different times, it says in essence, Israel got in trouble. They cried out to God in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. This, that verse is repeated, actually almost word for word four times or in the passage four times repeated three more times. And then it says something at the end that I want you to see, and I've underlined these, these verses that are repeated, okay? So I just want you to watch this pattern. Israel gets in trouble. They cry out to God, he delivers them, and then he says what his desire is after he delivers them.

So watch this all right? Psalm 107:4. "They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them". Now watch, this is the verse that's repeated several times. "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city for a dwelling place". And then watch this. This will be repeated also. "Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men"!

And then in verse 11-15, "Because they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High, therefore He brought down their heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men"! Verse 18-21, "Their soul abhorred all manner of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men"!

And then in verse 26-27, "They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end". Watch this, you probably never seen this in the Bible. "At their wits' end". You ever heard that expression? "I'm at my wits end". That came from the Bible. Watch, verse 28, "Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven". Watch again verse 31, repeated four times now. "Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men"!

Okay, listen very carefully. He is not rebuking them for crying out to him. That's not what Psalm 107 is about. He is not rebuking them for crying out when we're in trouble. He saying, I just wish that this was a lifestyle for you. I wish that you were giving me thanks all the time, not just when you're in trouble. Every time you get in trouble, you cry out, and that's okay. That's okay. I'm going to deliver you. I'm here. I am your Deliver. But I wish that men, think about this, would give thanks to God for his wonderful works toward the children of men. I wish you just give me thanks all the time.

I remember one time when I was a traveling evangelist, I didn't have any salary then. I would just travel. I'd go to church and preach, a youth revival or revival. They would give me a love offering. And whatever that offering was, that was our income. And so if I didn't have any meetings, I didn't have any income. And we didn't have a mailing list. We didn't ask for funds or anything, but every now and then someone would send something in the mail. And it would just be God speaking to them, and it would just be exactly what we needed. So I go to the mailbox, I have no meetings and I've got some bills to pay and there's nothing in the mailbox. And so I'm, you know, a little upset, but I don't say anything to God about it, you know.

The next day I'm on my way to the post office box and I'm griping... Excuse me, I'm praying. I'm praying, praying. I was pray-ing... Griping. I was griping, and I was just saying the Lord, God, you know, I don't have a meeting. I've got these bills to pay, you know, where are you? Why don't you, you know, all that. I get to the post office box, there's a check with a real nice note. Someone said, "I just felt led to send this to you. I get out in the car and I do the math in my mind. It's exactly enough to give the tithe, to pay all our bills, and have a little left over". And I think "That's great. Great".

And I go to start my car up and the Lord just downloads on me, just. It'll take me 30 seconds to tell you, but he downloaded it in a second. It's like he said to me, "Why aren't you saying thank you? I mean, you're griping at me just a few minutes ago. I speak to this lady weeks ago, put it on her heart, have her sit down, write the check, provide for her, writes a nice note, guide it through the postal system, get it to you, and you don't even say thank you. But you gripe at me when it's not there". And guess what? That morning I had read Psalm 107. They cried out to the Lord. He delivered them. I wish you just thank me all the time for my goodness.

And I remember even when I read it, you know what I thought? I read that and I thought to myself, boy those Israelites, they're really something, aren't they? And yet I did the same thing. Listen, we can cry out to God right now and he's going to hear us, but let this pandemic change something in our lives. Let's cry out to God all the time. Let's have prayer meetings all the time. There are prayer meetings going on right now all over the world. Someone sent me this short video, and it's going to so encourage you. They were praying. They were praying in the street, in another nation. I don't even know what nation it is. I think it's Portuguese, the language, and they're praying, they're crying out to God. They're practicing social distancing. I'm sure they had, you know permission to do this. You can see they're apart from people. But just watch this and just think about God looking down from heaven and seeing his people praying in nations all over the world right now.

That's just amazing, isn't it? Moves your heart, doesn't it? It moves my heart, but also moves God's heart. Let's cry out to him right now, "save us". But let's also thank him for his goodness. So point number one is "Save Now". Here's point number two, "Fear Not". This is the second truth from Palm Sunday. John 12:14, "Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: 'Fear not'". This is the second Old Testament scripture he's quoting. "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey's colt". Fear not.

Okay, let me tell you something about fear not. This is the most frequently repeated command in the Bible. Let me say that again. It's the most frequently repeated command in the Bible. Now it is a command. In other words, it's in the imperative sense, but it's not a negative command. It's a positive command. There are several commands that are positive, but just think about it, because it's in the imperative form. He's saying, don't fear. This fear not or do not fear is in the Bible over a hundred times, and there's some form of it that's in the Bible 365 times. One for every day. In other words, put your trust in God and don't be afraid. Don't let your heart be afraid. But even though it's a command, it's a good command. It's like, relax. You know, I'm taking care of this. Be happy. I'm talking about a good command.

How about this one? Eat a piece of pie, piece of cake. You know, a Blue Bell, Krispy... Okay, let's, all right. But anyway, the point is, if God's telling you don't fear, that's not a bad command. And it makes sense. Think about, many times it'd be when an angel showed up. So you know, some say that angels are 20 feet tall. 20 foot guy shows up, you know, you'd think the first thing out of his mouth would be, "Hey, Hey, relax". You know, you don't have to be afraid. So here it is right here. Now I looked at it and in the Bible, the first three times it's in the Bible, it's in Genesis. The first three times.

Now, I want you to remember the word Genesis actually means beginning. That's what it means. It begins with the word, in the beginning, those three words. In the beginning. So the word Genesis means beginning. Here's what God is trying to tell us from the very beginning, Don't fear. Don't be afraid. I've got it all under control. I'm going to take care of it. Now, that doesn't mean that we don't listen to our civic leaders and authorities, that we don't pray for our medical community. Of course, we do all that, and we trust God through this crisis. But we also do the natural things.

I'd like to say something right now. There are a few churches in the news, and they're getting headlines for not closing their doors. I disagree with that. I think we should listen to our civic leaders and our medical professionals, and we should do everything we can for not only the health of our congregants, but for the health of the community as well. And Romans 13 says to obey those in government. So I think we should obey, and we should do the things that we're doing. But we also put our trust in God, and we don't fear. The very first week of this when we went online, I preached a message called Peace, Not Fear. And I said, there's a difference between concern and fear.

TD Jakes: Across the country, hundreds of thousands of churches have closed their doors. While the doors of our sanctuaries are closed, our hearts remain open, because the church is more than a building. The church is a community, a family. We are the church, in homes, in hospitals, in grocery stores and apartment buildings, we are connected. Today, the churches may be empty, but so is the tomb. It's Easter Sunday.

Joel Osteen: Jesus having to lay down his life didn't make sense, but God had a plan. He saw what the disciples couldn't see. He saw life on the other side of death.

Jentezen Franklin: The first time that meal was served, it was not in a church, it was in a house. And here we are, quarantined with our families, just like the Old Testament.

Robert Morris: It's finished. Everything that needs to be done so that sinful man can have a relationship with Holy God has been done. It's been completely finished. He's done it all.

Max Lucado: He is preparing for us an eternal home that is absolutely perfect. You see, heaven is a perfect place for perfect people. And on the cross, Christ exchanged places with us. He has paid for you.

Priscilla Shirer: The gospel becomes not just powerful, it becomes personal. And when she hears her name, her eyes are open and she recognizes that this isn't the gardner after all. This right here, this is Jesus Christ.

TD Jakes: I just stopped by to declare unto you that I just checked my watch. It's not night anymore. Church, it's morning. Wipe the tears out of your eyes, and praise our God, because he rose up early, early, early Sunday morning. Resurrection is yours!

Isn't that fantastic? We preached the gospel on network television. God is opening doors right now all over the world. So yes, we need to pray. Yes, we need to be serious about it, but we need to step into the opportunities that God's given us. So truths from Palm Sunday, first of all, "Save Now". We cry out to God. Save us. Second of all though, we don't fear. "Fear not". Now here's the third truth from Palm Sunday, "Not as We Expect". Not as We Expect. Now, this is absolutely amazing to me. I want you to think about this, all right? Let's go back to John 12:15. He said, "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming", we talked about that a moment ago. Remember they welcomed the King of Israel. "Your King is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt". You know what, I would paraphrase that, "not as you expect though". Your King's coming, just not as you expect.

Now this is a quote. The other scripture was a quote from Psalm 118. This is a quote from 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". Now here's what he's saying. Your King is coming, but he's not coming as you expect. He's not coming as you think. Now, most of the time when a King entered the city back then, he entered on a war horse, not a donkey. And the war horse that he had would have been taller than every other horse.

They measure a horse's height in hands. You may have heard this, you may have done it yourself if you've been involved with horses. And they take hands and start at the ground and go up how many hands high to the shoulder of the horse. A military leader always wanted a horse higher, at least two to three hands higher, and a king wanted his horse even higher than that. He wanted everyone to know he was higher than everyone in the land, so he rode on a higher horse. Think about what Jesus did. He not only rode on a lower animal, but it wasn't a horse, it was a donkey. But here's something I think many people miss. It was the foal of a donkey. It was a donkey's colt. He said, that's what Zechariah said. Your King's coming, lowly. He's bringing justice and salvation, but he's coming on the foal of a donkey.

Now, this story, Palm Sunday is in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Matthew tells us something that many, many people miss. It says that they loosed the donkey and the foal and brought them both to Jesus. And Jesus rode on the foal. In other words, the donkey's mother was there, and it would have made sense to have the mother there because then the foal would have been calmer, would have been much more calm to have the mother beside the foal. So now think about this, all right? There's a donkey. I don't think any picture we've seen of Palm Sunday is correct, 'cause we see Jesus on a donkey. But I think according to Matthew, the donkey and the foal was there. So when you look up, you not only see this donkey, but you see a foal beside it. And Jesus isn't even on the donkey. He's on the foal. He's on the colt.

So again, lower. Now think about you've got a King's horse, a war horse, a regular horse for other soldiers, and then a donkey, and then the foal. And when you see these two donkeys coming, the mother and the colt, Jesus is on the colt. Now, think about how low again he is. Now I don't, I don't mean this disrespectfully at all, at all. I just want you to think about the picture of it. He's on this colt, this foal. It's possible his feet were almost dragging the ground. I mean, it almost looks a little silly, and yet Jesus is trying to tell them something. "I'm coming, but I'm not coming as you expect". See, they were expecting a King. They were wanting someone to save them from their temporary circumstances. They were looking for a temporary answer. Jesus was bringing a permanent solution.

A few years ago, my son Josh preached here at Gateway on Palm Sunday a message called From Palms to Thorns, and he talked about how they gave him palms one week and thorns the next. And I want you to think about this, he made this statement, "When Jesus was being whom they wanted him to be, they gave him palms", and whom they wanted him to be was a king. So when Jesus was being whom they wanted him to be, a king, they gave him palms. "But when Jesus was being whom they needed him to be, a savior, they gave him thorns". I think about Psalm 107. We cry out, save us. God saves us, and then what are we going to do after God saves us? Let's give him thanks. Let's give him praise.

I said a moment ago, we have an incredible opportunity right now to help people and to minister to people and present the gospel. We set up a relief fund, and many of you have contributed to the relief fund, and we're using those funds to help people who've lost their jobs. We've used those funds to buy groceries for people, pay bills. We've also used those funds in a way that you might not know. We actually set aside $2 million when all this started from our own budget to help hospitals and health care workers in this area. We bought equipment that they needed. We're buying meals where they get one meal a week, one day a week we're providing their meals. It's about $10,000 a day just at one hospital where we're doing this. So for the next six weeks that's $60,000. But we've been able to minister, to pray for people.

You can do that as well right now. We can find these ways. The last video I want to show you is that for the last couple of weeks we've gone to a couple of area hospitals, and we're expanding this to go to many more now through our campuses, and we've arranged it with the police department all where we go and park in the parking lot, fill up the parking lot, we completely fill up the parking lot and we pray for the health care workers all the way to the maintenance workers who are cleaning these hospital rooms, everyone working at the hospital and for the patients and for their families. And we take about 30 minutes to an hour and just simply pray for them. And I just want you to watch. We put together this video, and we had networks cover it, two different networks covered this. But I want you to just watch as we take the good news to our healthcare workers and our people in the hospitals. Watch this.

Isn't that great? I just want to say to you Gateway Church, I'm so proud of you. I'm so proud of you through this time, we are actually focused on the needs of others, helping others, praying for others, ministering to others, giving to others, blessing others, and taking the good news of Jesus Christ. I'm telling you, he's going to hear from heaven. He's going to forgive our sin. He is going to heal our land. He is going to bring a permanent solution to a temporary problem because he's Jesus. He is the King. He may not come as we expected. No one would have believed just a couple of months ago that every nation would go to its knees in just a few months. Not because God brought something on us, but because something came on us, it's from the enemy, but God is going to take what the enemy means for evil and he's going to turn it for good.

I want to ask you to just bow your heads and close your eyes, just right there where you are, just close your eyes. Just take a moment like we do at the end of every message and just say, Holy Spirit, what are you saying to me through this message today? And through Palm Sunday, God is telling us, listen, your Savior is coming. You can cry out, save us now, but don't be afraid. And all of this goodness might not come as you thought it would come, but let's praise God for his goodness and his wonderful acts toward men right now. If you need to accept Jesus as your Savior, you can do that right now. Just in your heart, just tell him. Jesus, I believe you're the Son of God, and I ask you to come into my life and forgive me of my sins. Just tell him that, just turn your heart toward God. And we want to help you, and we'll tell you in just a moment of how you can connect with us and we'll help you any way that we can. We love you so much. I want to pray for you.

Lord, I want to tell you thank you, thank you, thank you for the truths from Easter and the truths from Palm Sunday. You're the King, but you're not just the King, you're our Savior, and you provide permanent solutions to temporary circumstances. I thank you for that in Jesus' name. Amen.

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