-An attitude, habit, or belief firmly established/permanent; Ingrained.
Note: I may be in Tampa the 27-29th of April, I would love to see you there.
Matthew 21:15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that *Jesus* did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased.
The children (literally-12 year old boys) were crying out to Jesus, “Hosanna.” (Literal meaning, ‘please save us.’) I don’t know about you but 12 year old boys are the toughest to reach in Sunday School. The religious leaders were probably jealous of Jesus’ popularity. That made them angry and that foiled God’s good plan for their own lives.
The religious leaders were entrenched in beliefs about how God did things. The grand entrance of Jesus did not fit their notions. As a result of digging in their heels, things turned out very badly for them as individuals.
Shortly afterward Jesus was hungry. He went out looking for something to eat.
Matthew 21:19 And when -*Jesus* saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
Jesus wasn’t angry, He knew before the foundations of the earth that thereligious leaders of Israel were going to resist Him. He killed the fig tree to make a statement. Not out of anger but of love.
I don’t know anyone who goes into ministry expecting to be fruitless. Thethought of ending up that way is terrifying, yet some ministers do. Ministers and ministries are fruitless when they follow their own plans and ideas instead of being open to God’s truth and ways.
Here the fig tree represents Israel, religion in general, the Christian church of today, and my own life. No fruit on the tree is symbolic of God’s judgement. Nothing worse than living a life without bearing fruit.
The theme of this newsletter is about mistaken people being so entrenched in their ideas of how things should happen, that they miss God in their midst. Theresults are always tragic. Be open to God!
The most dangerous phrase in ministry is ‘we have always done it that way’. Kids and new believers sometimes hear from God better than old seasoned ministers, pastors, and leaders.
When we go to the dump, or kids come to the Winner Club, the children are not always easy! They are angry, hurting, and suffering. Winnie and I always have an agenda and it always goes sideways. It’s ok though, we just flow with it. I think that’s why we are one of the few missionaries that lasts here, decade after decade. Relationships before agendas, always. Not many understand that.
God keeps us here by making small changes in our direction, making it impossible to become entrenched. He does it through the kids that are keeping us on our toes, obeying the government (after all we are guests here), and God uses all of that to protect us from stressing out about things that really don’t matter.
What matters is believing in Jesus, repenting from our sins, receiving Christ into our hearts, and accepting that He died on the cross for our sins, and of course that He rose from the dead. We are entrenched in that, and we try to entrench the children in that as well.
The rest will be argued about until we are in heaven.
There’s an old saying:
Two monks were walking and as they crossed a roaring river, they saw a woman trying to cross as well. After praying, one monk felt that God wanted him to carry the lady across, which he did.
A few miles later, the other monk turned angrily on the good Samaritan monk and said “Brother, you took a vow never to touch a woman.” The other monk answered him saying, “I only carried the woman across the river, but you have been carrying her for a few miles now and still are carrying her.”
Listen to God and flow with Him or be entrenched and not flow with Him. You can’t do both.
Let go of your grudges, pride, tradition, and hurt feelings and grab on to God though prayer, reading His Word and obedience to Him.
You can’t hold onto God and those things at the same time. If you are still alive enough to read this there is time to change what you want to hold onto.
Dean & Winnie Peters