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DeBord speaks at Lenten Lunch

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The annual Lenten Lunches hosted by Mt. Nebo/ Pleasant Grove Methodist Church began on March 4 with guest speaker Matt DeBord, pastor at First Baptist Clanton.

The weekly Wednesday events are designed to provide a time of fellowship and reflection leading up to Easter.

DeBord spoke about Luke 9:51-55 and the focus that followers in Jesus Christ should have.

The verses tell of when Jesus and his disciples, who were Jewish, were headed to Jerusalem and a Samaritan town along the way would not let them enter. The Samaritans and the Jews were enemies.

“You and I have lived in a time and a culture where all sorts of people have hated each other,” DeBord said.

Jesus’s disciples James and John asked if Jesus wanted them to “command fire to come down and destroy them (the town),” DeBord said.

He said people often feel that they “have to take sides,” but in the scripture verse Jesus rebuked his disciples and said “you do not know what spirit you are of.”

“I wonder how many times in a time like right now with all of this political stuff going on that we have said some stuff about certain people, and the Holy Spirit would say to us you do not know what spirit you are of,” DeBord said. “When we are talking about politics in the United States of America sometimes the church forgets who she is, and we start becoming political instead of spiritual.”

He said sometimes people have a similar view to the one James and John had in this passage.

“A lot of times what we feel in our political meanderings we feel like we are standing for Jesus and Jesus is saying you do not know what spirit you are of,” DeBoard said. “… We need to remember that wherever you stand politically the people on the other side that you get mad at all the time Jesus came for them, too. If you are not the one sharing with them the gospel, who is? … Jesus has given us the example of how we are to respond. Praise the Lord he loves each of us.”

The passage starts by stating “as the days were approaching for his ascension that Jesus resolutely set his face to go to Jerusalem.”

“It is very interesting to me that in this verse God is saying through his Word … that it was getting close to the time of his ascension,” DeBord said. “Had I been recording history I probably would have written as it was getting close to his crucifixion. It is fascinating to me that God was already looking at the victory, and I want you know that in your life God is already looking at the victory.”

However, DeBord said Jesus had a lot to do between the time he was walking toward Jerusalem and the day he would ascend back to heaven — his very purpose in coming to earth to die as a sacrifice for the sins of all humanity must take place first.

“So, Jesus set his face very particularly to that task that God had given him,” DeBord said.

He said Christians need to focus on “what God has called us to do, to share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ” with everyone.