Pastor Dan


I was called to be a pastor at the age of 16, but I refused to become one on the bases of my thought of not being a good pastor. Over the years of mistakes and many bad choices, led me to die on Easter Sunday of 2001. It was then I answered the calling of being a pastor.


Location: Willmar MN
Country: US


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A Right Attitude Is A Choice

user image 2010-03-28
By: Pastor Dan
Posted in:
A Right Attitude Is A Choice

Palm Sunday

Zech 9:9-12 Matt 21:1-11

How many of you have ever been to a parade that had different things in

it from bands, to floats, to drill teams and more? In a parade you

never know what is going to come up next, whether you will feel good

about it, or just want it to hurry up and get out of the way.

Life itself is like a parade. You never quite know what is coming next.

Although you cannot determine, what's coming, you can determine what

your attitude toward whatever it is going to be.

Our attitude is a choice. It is something that's very valuable, because

it lets us be in control of how we feel inside. If attitude was not a

choice, we could not follow Christ, because Jesus requires of us some

unexpected attitudes in certain situations. Have you ever had anyone

tell you, you need to change your attitude or get rid of that attitude

as soon as possible? Having a bad attitude or a poor attitude can

really destroy relationships and will hurt us in the long run.

Chuck Swindoll had this to say about attitude. "The longer I live, the

more I realize the impact of Attitude on life. Attitude to me is more

important: than facts, than the past, than education, than money, than

circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people

think or say or do, than appearances, than giftedness or skill. It will

make or break a company…a church…a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the

Attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We

cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the

one thing we have, and that is our Attitude. I am convinced that life

is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with

you. We are in charge of our attitudes.

Palm Sunday is a time for us to examine our attitudes toward each other

as well as toward God. In a way, Palm Sunday is about a huge parade

coming into town with one major float as its main attraction. The

preparation, the launching, and the moving of the float will allow all

kinds of attitudes to appear. Let's see when and where our own attitude

shows up.

Now Jesus has less than a week to live, and He knows it fully well. He

has finally decided to make it known publicly that He is the long

awaited Messiah, the King that God's people has been waiting for, for

hundreds of years. We read in the Old Testament a prophecy about a King

who would come into the city riding on a colt. Zechariah predicted it

would happen over 500 years before Jesus was born. The time had finally

come and Jesus was ready to take the next step. Can he count on

everybody’s cooperation?

He's starting to get ready for His whole reason for being ,which was to

obey God the Father. He calls his disciples and chooses two of them.

Let's look at Luke 19:30-31 "Go to the village ahead of you, and as you

enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever

ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, 'Why are you

untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.' Now the word Lord here, is

the name for God which is found in the Old Testament.

So Jesus is saying, tell them "God is about to do something great with

it" Now here's the first opportunity for an attitude. Suppose you had

been there as one of the disciples. Would you have gotten upset and

became envious that Jesus chose those two and not you? Some kind of

miracle is going to take place with this colt. Why do they get to be

the ones to go?

Few things are as damaging to the body of Christ, than people having

the attitude, "I should have gotten that part, or my child should have

had that part." The attitude of envy causes us to say things about

others that should never be said. We question their motives, their

hearts, and their intentions. We forget that we are called the body of

Christ, not the interchangeable parts of Christ. Jesus does not treat

us the same, because He has different roles and ministries for each of

us to fulfill. Some of us would have said, "if he was going to do it

for the two, then he should have done it for the 12. That's the only

way to be fair."

Sometimes we get upset with others over God's call on their lives, when

we do not understand what price they have paid to get to where they

are. Sometimes God cannot use us in the spot light, because we're

unwilling to pay the price to get there. Now here are these two

disciples are going on the word of Jesus. As they are walking along,

one of them probably said, "So how much money did Jesus give you for

the colt?" The other said what, "I thought he gave you the money to pay

for it." What's our attitude when God calls us to do something, but God

does not give us anything to accomplish it with except His Word. All we

know is that God told us to do it.

Now suppose Jesus had told you, "go to (your town) Mall. Near the main

entrance there will be a brand new blue car with the keys inside of it.

Bring it back to me. If the security or police ask you what you're

doing in the car, just tell them the Lord needs it." How many of you

would feel comfortable with Jesus' instructions? Many times doubt will

linger around us when God tells us to do something. You see God can't

choose some of us, because God knows, we will not go through with the

task. We start asking, "Is this going to work? How can I get this done?

Where am I going to get the money?" In times like these we have to

choose the attitude of faith. God told me to do this for a reason.

Because God sent me, God will keep His word.

Sure enough, the two disciples found the colt exactly as Jesus had

said, in the place where he told them it would be. Everything is going

fine. They go over to start untying the colt. All of a sudden there is

this booming voice saying, "Hey that's our animal. What are you doing

untying the colt?" All of a sudden you're being surrounded by some guys

looking pretty angry. Now if it had been some of us, we would have

gotten a self righteous attitude. "Don’t be accusing me of

being a thief. I just made a mistake. I didn't know this was your

animal." You see we can become so interested in how we look in a

situation, that we forget what it was Jesus told us to do.

Jesus did not say defend yourself. He said, tell them the "Lord needs

it." When they said, "The Lord needs it,", the owner's attitudes

immediately changed from anger and suspicion to cooperation. Now God

had previously spoken to their hearts to bring out their prized

possession, a beautiful colt upon which no-one had ever ridden. But God

did not tell them how He was coming to get it. They may have been

waiting for an angel from heaven to come and pick it up. They certainly

were not expecting two ordinary looking men, who they mistook as

thieves. We need the right attitude even with strangers, because we

never know when Jesus is right in our midst.

When the owners heard, the words, "The Lord needs it," they were eager

to let it go. According to Matthew's gospel not only did the owners

send the colt, they sent along the donkey's mother as well, so the

disciples took both animals back to Jesus. God must have spoken to

their hearts some time ago, "don't ever ride on that colt, I have need

of it."

Some times God tells us to hold on to something that we might want to

use for ourselves, because He has a higher purpose for it. This

particular colt symbolized sacredness or holiness in that it had never

been ridden before. Animals and things used for sacred purposes in the

Old Testament had to be animals and things that had never been used


Now this colt was simply a young donkey. We do not highly prize the

riding of a donkey, as a matter of fact, we would much rather see

someone riding on a horse. But just like Jesus has a reason for why he

chooses us, He had a reason for why he chose this new donkey. The

donkey was used by Kings when they entered the city in peace. The horse

or stallion was used by a King when he entered the city as a conqueror.

The donkey was also an animal of service used to carry the burdens and

loads of people. So Jesus is preparing to come into the city fulfilling

the prophecy in Scripture and presenting Himself as the King of peace,

ready to carry the burdens of others.

At the heart of Palm Sunday is Jesus' desire to bring peace into our

lives and to be willing to carry whatever burdens in life that are

weighing us down. But the only way Jesus can complete His desire, is

for us to allow Him to march in and take over without having to fight

us all along the way. Have you ever told God, "you can march over

there, but don't come this way because I'm not yet ready to surrender."

Where ever Jesus is not fully welcome in our lives, is where the real

battle is taking place for our attitudes.

We're doing all kinds of things hoping to find some peace, but God is

saying, until you get your attitude together right here, you shall not

have peace as you seek for it.

When the two disciples returned with the colt and the donkey, they

placed their coats and garments upon the young colt to serve as a

saddle for Jesus. The parade is about to start.

So far it consists of a large number of people who have recently seen

the miracles Jesus had done such as raising Lazarus from the dead and

the healing of Blind Bartimaeus. They were from Galilee and other parts

of the country on their way to Jerusalem for the feast. There were the

disciples themselves, along with Jesus, a donkey and her colt.

As the parade began, different attitudes started to manifest

themselves. The first attitude was those who wanted to immediately

offer Jesus the best that they had. They took off their coats and

clothing and begin to lay it down the pathway as to form a royal carpet

for the animals to walk on. They were not concerned that their clothes

might not be reusable or that they would not be able to get them back.

Their focus was on going all out to honor Jesus Christ. Is

this your attitude when it comes to serving God? Lord you can count on

me to give whatever I have without thinking about it. This was the

group that gave Above and Beyond what was expected. These were the real

NUTS in the crowd who could say, "we never underestimate the spirit."

Then there was another group with another attitude at the parade that

day. It's the attitude of giving something good, even if its not the

best they could give. They kept their coats and clothing, but they were

willing to go and cut down the palm branches and lay them down as a

means of honoring and respecting Jesus. They are in the parade and they

look pretty good.

This is where many people are in the church today. They're doing a

pretty good job, and investing themselves in the work of the Lord

Jesus, but they haven't decided that all that I am truly belongs to

God. They believe it as a head knowledge, but its not a reality in

their hearts. They are still not convinced that doing things God's way

is the best way to handle their lives.

Then there were those who were there, but they never actually became a

part of the parade, they just sort of stood alongside the road and

cheered a little bit. They were willing to take notice of Jesus and to

even give him a handclap, but they were too concerned with other things

to actually get involved. As soon as Jesus passed them by, they went on

about their business as people do once the parade is gone.

These are the people who claim to know Jesus, but are not committed in

any church, nor do they seek to live the lives God has called them to

live. Their attitude is, "well the Lord knows my heart." The Lord does

know our hearts, and what God has to say about our hearts should cause

us to run and give our lives to Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ, our

hearts are in need of a major overhaul.

There were thousands and thousands of people there on Palm Sunday as

Jesus marched into the city. You see Jerusalem has hills all around it,

and if you were on the right hills, you could easily see Jesus riding

in on the donkey. You got to decide how close you wanted to get to

Jesus then, just like you get to decide today how close you want to get

to Jesus. Palm Sunday was the only time in Jesus' life that he allowed

the people to declare Him as King and to openly receive their praise

and worship as a crowd.

The people shouted out, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of

the Lord." They were saying, "you're the one whom God has sent."

Matthew tells us, the people were also shouting out Hosanna to the Son

of David. Hosanna literally means to "save us now." The people are

shouting in our terms, "You're the one God has sent, save us now.

You're the one God has sent, save us now."

Just as in the nation of Israel today in which Israel sends occupying

forces into Palestinian territories, the Romans were occupying the

nation of Israel then. The people were hoping that Jesus was coming to

overthrow the power of Rome. They are all excited about what's going to

happen next. They are going wild in their praises and expectations of

what Jesus is going to do. But remember Jesus did not come into the

city riding a stallion, he came riding a donkey. He was not coming to

destroy the Romans, but rather to deal with the issue of sin in our

lives. But there was still another attitude at the parade, when it was

obvious Jesus was at the focus of it all. There were religious leaders

who had a lot to lose if the Romans thought Jesus was attempting to

become a king. The religious leaders had already wanted to get rid of

Jesus. Palm Sunday was just too much for them. They told Jesus, "Jesus

to rebuke this crowd."

The educated religious leaders knew that the words the people were

shouting were only suppose to apply to the Son of God. What they wanted

Jesus to do was to tell the people, "you should not be worshipping me

like this. I am not the Messiah, the one the Scriptures have spoken of

for 100's of years." But Jesus could not deny who he was despite their

attitude of jealousy, hostility, and hatred toward Him.

This attitude voices itself more and more in our society where people

are actually hostile toward Jesus Christ. They get angry when we say

that Jesus Christ is the One true way to God. Some of us who call

ourselves followers of Jesus, have become so intimidated by our

culture, that we will not back the claims of Christ, and are saying,

well other religions could lead to God as well.

Jesus has left than a week to live, and before He dies He says, "I am

the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except

through me." The only thing I can break that down to and be faithful to

what Jesus said is to tell others, "Jesus is the way, the truth and the

life and no once comes to the Father except through Him." Now you can

call me narrow minded if you want to, but your problem is not with me,

your problem is with Jesus.

Even if the religious leader could have gotten the people to shut up

and stop praising Jesus that day, it would not have changed who Jesus

was. He still would have been the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Jesus took it even a step further. He said "listen, even if I told the

people to be quiet for a moment, the very stones on the ground would

cry out, 'He is the Son Of God.'" Even the animals know who Jesus is.

Think about it for a moment, what happens when you get on a horse

that's never been ridden on before. Well if you're not prepared for the

experience you're going to hit the ground when the horse bucks you off.

Yet here is this donkey that has never been ridden on before,

immediately becomes submissive when Jesus gets on its back. That was

the donkey's way of offering praise to Jesus. He had the right kind of


What attitude is Christ trying to expose to you today? Have you allowed

jealousy or envy to enter in your heart toward something God is doing

in and through somebody else, when you think you could do just as good

a job? Is your attitude one where you have completely sold out to Jesus

Christ, or do you see areas in which you do not want the donkey to

carry Jesus to just yet? You've got a great attitude toward your

friends, but the way you treat your family stinks, especially your

spouse. Is your attitude one of just doing your own thing, but sure

that God knows your heart so there's no need to worry? Or are you

openly hostile toward God and His word. You don't believe it and you

never will?

At the moment, it really does not matter because on Palm Sunday, when

Jesus went to Jerusalem He was going to the cross to be crucified and

He had you on His mind. He loved you, and He gave His life for you that

you might have peace and forgiveness for the wrong you have done. His

attitude toward you will always be one of love and acceptance until the

day you die. After that, you're on your own because you will have

sealed your own fate. Why not today, try to love Him, in the way that

He Loved you. It's a choice on your part.


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