What God is Saying

Sing to the LORD; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. — Psalm 96:2-3

Monday, February 25, 2013

Easter Devotion: And Jesus Wept (Day 12)

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.
The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.
They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you." Luke 19:41-44

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Be perfect (complete, entire, full-grown), therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." 
Matthew 5:43-48

- Why do you think Jesus began to cry when He saw Jerusalem?
- Jesus had been to Jerusalem many times before, why do you think He cried this time?
- What did Jesus say would happen to Jerusalem?
(In 70 AD, the Romans conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and totally demolished the city...this is what Jesus was referring to).
- What was the reason that these terrible things were going to take place?
- Many of the people in Jerusalem would turn against Jesus later in that same week and call for His death. Yet, He loved them. What lesson can we learn from Jesus?
- Could this same cry of Jesus apply to the world today?

Final Thought: 
If many of us had been treated the way Jesus was treated, we would have wanted revenge. Yet Jesus did not want revenge. He did not want judgment to fall upon Jerusalem. And He does not want judgment to fall upon our world. He wants everyone He created to experience His peace. But the only way they can do that is by accepting Jesus as their Savior. We can show love for our enemies by praying for them and sharing the story of Jesus with them when we have the chance.

Lord Jesus, just as you wept over Jerusalem and its people, may our hearts be broken for those who are lost. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear the cries of those who have never known You and may we do all we can to bring them the saving knowledge of who You are and Your love for them. Use us, we pray. In Your name, Amen.

Song:  They Will Know We Are Christians

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love

We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we'll guard each one's dignity and save each one's pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love

A great video of this song performed by Jars of Clay with mission footage is here: They'll know we are Christians

Food for Thought: 
This would be a great time to talk to your children about mission work. There are over 2 billion people who have never heard of the name Jesus. They, like Jerusalem, are wept over by our Lord Jesus. Our children can have hearts for the lost and a desire to share Christ with the world if we will pray and share with them what God is doing in the world and how they can be involved. Check out this blogspot for more info on sharing missions with your children and educating yourself.

For Further Study: 
There are many children throughout the world who are very bold in their faith in Christ, especially in nations where it is hard to be a Christian. Sharing their stories can encourage a bolder faith in your children. A wonderful resource is Kids of Courage

* Some of the content of this blog is based on the book Family Celebrations at Easter by Ann Hibbard.*

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