This is the video from the April 5, 2020 Palm Sunday sermon, “Laying Down Your PALMS”, shared by Tom Lemler from his porch during the COVID-19 stay at home orders.
Text: John 12:12-19
As I spent time considering the events of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday which we celebrate at this time of the year, I found myself challenged by how quickly the crowd could go from shouting “Hosanna!” to shouting “Crucify Him!”. As I normally share a sermon on the first Sunday of the month with the North Wayne Mennonite Church congregation, I sat on my porch and shared this message live on Sunday morning as church buildings are closed in the midst of this global pandemic. While the crowds hailed Jesus as king and would lay their cloaks and palm branches on the road before Him as an expression of honor, perhaps the symbolism should have extended to laying down some different things to really show He was king of their life.
So, here are the “PALMS” I believe we ought to lay down daily as we proclaim Jesus as King:
- Lay down our Plans:
- If we wish to live with Jesus as king of our life, we must lay down our plans and look to Him for all of our direction and purpose.
- Lay down our Attitudes:
- Living with Jesus as king of our life also means we must lay down our attitudes of pride and be like Jesus who “humbled himself” and was obedient to the Father in all things.
- Lay down our Loves:
- What things would Jesus be referring to if He were to ask you, “Do you love me more than these?” When Jesus is king of our life, He requires that we love Him with all — get that? — all of our heart, mind, soul and strength. Anything that is a love that comes before Him must be surrendered.
- Lay down our Motives:
- Doing the right things for the wrong reasons will always produce questionable results somewhere down the road. While God uses our efforts even when we allow selfishness or pride to creep in, living with Him as king requires that we allow Him to purify us from the inside out.
- Lay down our Secrets:
- I’m pretty sure we all have things that we are fairly confident no one else knows about. In fact, sometimes we live with secrets for so long that we begin to believe even God doesn’t know. Laying down our secrets before God isn’t for the purpose of informing Him, rather it is for the purpose of our allowing Him to transform us.
Laying down our PALMS will go a long way toward helping us to remain faithful so that our shouts of Hosanna will last into eternity!
It is my prayer that you pursue God in such a way that you daily lay down your Plans, Attitudes, Loves, Motives, and Secrets as you live a life fully surrendered to Him.