INTRODUCTION: Please read entire email

In this edition we have included:

1. A new devotion: From Palm Sunday to Good Friday
2. Some amazing FREE resources – 2 free, short books
3. A simple life hack

1. Encouragement from the Word: From Palm Sunday to Good Friday
by Pastor Todd 

Palm Sunday was last Sunday. That day is the beginning of “Passion Week.” It is a time when we remember Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem on the colt of donkey and when the people put coats and palm leaves on the road as He entered. This fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 about the Messiah’s entrance into Jerusalem, the “Holy City.” Here’s how the Apostle Matthew describes the crowd’s reaction to Jesus:  

“And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9, ESV)

This is so amazing! It seems that the people are finally understanding who Jesus is – their Messiah. What is even more amazing is that by Friday their adoration changed to: “Crucify Him…we have no king but Caesar” (Mt. 27; John 19). These latter words reveal their true hearts.

Earlier in his gospel, Matthew records this convicting words from Jesus. Jesus is addressing the Pharisees (the religious leaders) right after they accuse Him of blasphemy when admitted that He was the Song of God:

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:33–37, ESV)

Two chapters later He says this about those same Pharisees:

“‘This people honors me with their lips,
                        but their heart is far from me;
             in vain do they worship me,
                        teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (Matthew 15:8–9, ESV)

Our words indicate our heart. Our words show what’s truly inside. These Pharisees claimed to know God but there was a disconnect between what they said and what they truly believed. Eventually their words reveal the truth about them. One can only pretend so long. 

Paul reminds us as Christians that our hearts and mouths must be in tune as he states the following about those who are truly HIs: 

“…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’” (Romans 10:9–11, ESV, emphasis added)

JC Ryle (Anglican Bishop in London, he lived from: 1816-1900) says of the above Matthew passage just how convicting it is to hear “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks:”

“Let us be humble as we read this passage in recollection of times past. How many idle, foolish, vain, frivolous, sinful and unprofitable things we have all said! How many words we have used which have flown far and wide and sown mischief in the hearts of others that will never die! How often we must repent of what we have said! Even when a man has died his evil words may live on in the memories of others. A word spoken is physically transient but morally permanent.” JC Ryle, Daily Readings,  April 7

How many times do we utter praise to God on Sunday only to deny Him by our actions and/or words by Friday. Our words eventually reveal our true hearts. What do your words reveal about you and what’s on the inside?

May our mouths and hearts be in tune with Christ this Easter season.

2. RESOURCES:
Here are some helpful links as you navigate being home:

Free book from ChristianAudio.com:
“Don’t Lose Heart: Gospel Hope for the Discouraged Soul”by Jason Meyer: This is an excellent audio book to provide hope in a time such as this. Listen to it while you do dishes, do bookkeeping, vacuum, folding clothes, etc. Click on the title to listen to the book. 

Free EbookCoronavirus and Christby John Piper:
This is a great little book to help us make sense of our hope in Christ in light of this pandemic. Piper is an excellent writer – you’ll be encouraged and challenged. I believe there is a free audio version, too. Click on the title for more information and to download the ebook.

3. SIMPLE LIFE-HACK:
Yes, we’re getting stir crazy. Supposedly by next week we will hit our apex in California for now – even if you’re feeling good – stay home, stay well and stay connected.

STAY CONNECTED
Contact Any of Us with Prayer Requests or questions:Todd Burgett: todd@orchardcommunity.org
Jeremy Wong: jeremy@orchardcommunity.org
John Gould: jgould@orchardcommunity.org
John String: jstringer@orchardcommunity.org
Lisa Burgett: lisa@orchardcommunity.org
Sue Ertis:  sue@orchardcommunity.org