4 April 2012Opening Prayer/Worship
Theme: Connecting with God
Topic: The Lord needs you
Reading: Mark 11:1-11
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples2and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it.3If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.” ’4They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it,5some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’6They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it.7Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.9Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ 11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
This week is commonly referred to as the ‘Holy Week’ in Christendom beginning with Christ’s triumphant entry to Jerusalem. The trip to Jerusalem was the beginning of the journey into the Messiah’s ultimate destiny- death upon the cross. The sacrificial death that reconciled man back to God. In our text for today’s study, we learned that a colt that no man has ever ridden on was our Lord’s ride to His destination and destiny. I am not sure whether the colt was never used previously because it was not good enough for anybody or it was still young and not ready to be ridden. Be that as it may, God demanded that the colt be untied for His use. Can God really use anything/anybody despite circumstances that seem to hold the instrument down? In connecting with God, the Almighty desires to use us to fulfill His plans and purposes here on earth if we yield to His calling and directions.
1. a. What are your speculations concerning the colt? Why was it tied and never ridden before Christ requested for it?
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples2and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it.3If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.” ’4They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it,5some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’6They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it.7Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.
b. Does the story of the tied colt apply to us in any way?
2. How can we be useful to God?
2 Timothy 2:14-21
Remind them of this, and warn them before God* that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening.15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.16Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety,17and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,18who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place. They are upsetting the faith of some.19But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: ‘The Lord knows those who are his’, and, ‘Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.’ 20 In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for special use, some for ordinary.21All who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned* will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:10-17
Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,11my persecutions, and my suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.12Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.13But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived.14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it,15and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.16All scripture is inspired by God and is* useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,17so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you:2proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.3For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires,4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths.5As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.
3. a. What are some of the hindrances to being used by God?
2 Corinthians 4:7-12
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.11For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh.12So death is at work in us, but life in you.
2 Timothy 3:1-9
You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come.2For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,3inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good,4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,5holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them!6For among them are those who make their way into households and captivate silly women, overwhelmed by their sins and swayed by all kinds of desires,7who are always being instructed and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth.8As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people, of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith, also oppose the truth.9But they will not make much progress, because, as in the case of those two men,* their folly will become plain to everyone.
2 Timothy 4:9-18
Do your best to come to me soon,10for Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia,* Titus to Dalmatia.11Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful in my ministry.12I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.13When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.14Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will pay him back for his deeds.15You also must beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defence no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them!17But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
b. List some of the rewards of being used by God.
2 Corinthians 4:13-18
But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—‘I believed, and so I spoke’—we also believe, and so we speak,14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence.15Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. 16 So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.17For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure,18because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
2 Timothy 4:6-8
As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come.7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.8From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
God not only called us and chose us, He wants us to be of use to Him. May we always be found useful to the Lord that when He comes, He will find us working for Him.
Lord, we cannot do without you. We pray that You supply us all we need to be of service to You through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.