Misguided zeal can lead to bad consequences

Published 4:49 pm Saturday, March 23, 2013

By Pastor Larry Stover

Pastor of Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene in Valley Grande

Christians around the world are celebrating Palm Sunday today. It is that day we recognize the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ coming to Jerusalem to begin “Holy Week.” The crowds were shouting, “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” People were spreading their cloaks on the ground in front of Jesus.  They were waving palm branches and celebrating the Messiah’s arrival to the city.

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The excitement of the crowd was soon overshadowed by two groups of people with misguided zeal. The spiritual leaders of the day saw their control of the people threatened. Even though this same Jesus had left them awestruck as a young teen at the temple, He was a problem now. Even though He spoke with “authority” as compared to the misguided zeal of the Pharisees; He healed the sick, raised the dead, performed countless miracles and pointed people back to a proper relationship with God. They turned on Him with a fury. Rather than receiving the Messiah, they conspired to kill Him.

Another group was those looking for Jesus to set up a governing kingdom on earth because they were tired of Roman oppression. They wanted a temporal king. In their misguided zeal they missed the greatest need man has ever possessed — a Savior. He came to save the people from their sins but they also put a stamp of approval on His death.

Through the centuries, multitudes of people have been led astray by individuals and groups trying to convince them of a new philosophy. This has caused many people to be led down a road that leads to self destruction.

In the decade that I have lived in Selma and Valley Grande, I have watched many make bad decisions that turned their lives upside-down. Some of those poor choices have left indelible scars and damaged emotions have left them crying out for help.

It is tragic to see what drugs, alcohol and promiscuous behavior have done in the lives of our youth and young adults. Listening to misguided prophets of the “fun life” has demonstrated that irresponsible behavior has a short season of fun and a potential lifetime of unwanted consequences. I have been telling people for years, “You are free to make any choice you want, but you are not free to choose the consequences of your choices.”

If you are someone who is dealing with the consequences of poor choices, I want to point you to the Savior of the world. You may have to deal with the consequences of misguided zeal, but your future can be changed.

During this Easter season, discover your Savior again. If you do not have a place to worship, Praise Park Nazarene can be your church home. What we have experienced in Jesus Christ is “Simply Beautiful.”