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  • Pastor Jeff Figgs

This last Sunday Christians from all over the world observed what is called "Palm Sunday" or the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. This event is recorded in all four gospels and most Christians are very familiar with the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. Luke's gospel tell us that a great multitude followed Jesus from the Jordon Valley up to Jerusalem. They thought that the kingdom of God would appear immediately. It was at that time as they would make the ascent up to the Mt. of Olives that Jesus told of the parable of the minas. When they arrived at the mountain called Olivet, Jesus would ride down on the back of a colt or young donkey fulfilling Zachariah's prophecy in chapter 9 verse 9. The multitude followed Him and Matthew's narrative tells us that a great multitude came out of the city of Jerusalem to meet Him. Matter of fact, Matthew writes that the whole city was moved at this time. The word moved in the Greek is the same word where we get the English word earthquake.


Jerusalem had never seen anything like it before. Jesus riding down the slope of the Mount of Olives across the Kidron Valley into Jerusalem. The people were crying out that Messianic Psalm, " Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!" (Psalm 118:26). The people were waving the palm branches and spreading their clothes on the road. As they were cheering, the religious leaders were complaining saying "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." Jesus responded by saying, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the very stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:39,40)


The people were cheering, the religious leaders were complaining and Jesus, as He rode into the holy city, was crying. He knew what they really wanted was a national, political, and material Messiah that would free them from the powers of Rome. It is later in the week, when the people realize that Jesus wasn't going to overthrow Rome and usher in the Kingdom, they would cry out "crucify Him." The disciples and the multitude did not understand that Jesus didn't come to Jerusalem to free them from the bondage of Rome, but a greater bondage and that is sin. Jesus was going to go to the cross to die for sinful humanity.


This "Holy Week" we are going through such difficult and challenging times. We pray that we will be healthy and not get this virus that has spread quickly throughout the whole world and taken many lives.We pray our family members and friends stay healthy. We pray we can get back to work or our business will survive. God cares about those things and wants us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). My prayer is that we would desire for Him to come riding into our lives and bring true joy and comfort in our hearts because we are a forgiven people and we have the promise of eternal life. My prayer for all Christians is that we would long for Him even as David did when He was in the wilderness in an uncertain difficult time. David, in Psalm 63, wrote "My soul thirsts for You: My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land." I would encourage you to listen to my teaching from this last Sunday as we looked at Psalm 63 and Jesus' triumphal entry. The church website is calvarychapelgreeley.org or you can listen to the teaching on the church Facebook page. I believe it will help you to have joy in your heart as you truly let the Lord sit upon the throne of your heart.







  • Pastor Jeff Figgs

Updated: Jan 30, 2019


The Jews from Judah had been in captivity for 70 years in Babylon when the Babylonian Empire fell to the Medes and Persians. King Cyrus issued a decree allowing God’s people to return to the holy city of Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. The first temple, built by Solomon, had been destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Army in 586 B.C.

After 70 years of captivity, the Jews returned in 536 B.C. with about 50,000 people. They were led by Zerubbabel the civil leader and Joshua the High Priest, who was the religious leader. Haggai and Zechariah, the prophets of God, were on the scene as well during that time. Upon their return to Jerusalem, an altar of sacrifice was built and the work of rebuilding the temple began.


It is always exciting and thrilling when God is doing a new work among his people. When Sue and I heard the call to come to Greeley 23 years ago to plant Calvary Chapel, we were so excited and knew that God wanted to do wonderful things. We laid the foundation by starting a Bible study in our home. After six months God led us to rent a very small storefront in downtown Greeley so we could start Sunday morning services. Our first sanctuary held 50 chairs and on the first Sunday Service we had about 30 people. I was so excited and thankful for this new venture of faith that God called us to.

When Zerubbabel saw the completion of the altar of sacrifice and that the foundation of the temple had been laid, I’m sure he was filled with great expectation that the work of building the temple would surely be completed soon. Instead, Zerubbabel and Joshua would see the work of building the temple come to a stop. The delay was not for a short period of time, but rather about 15 years. The enemies of the Jews were opposing the work of the temple and were intimidating the Jews. The work was hard as the city lay in ruins. Over time the people turned inwardly. They began to focus on building their own homes and no longer prioritized doing the work of the Lord.


I’m sure that Zerubbabel and Joshua were greatly discouraged during that time. They must have felt like failures, as though they had let God down. Year after year would pass with no results. The zeal and energy of the people were devoted to living the good life, building beautiful paneled houses, while God’s house lay in ruins. It was during that time of delay that the prophet Zechariah received a vision recorded in Zechariah chapter 4. A message was to be given to Zerubbabel by the angel saying, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”(Zechariah 4:9-10)


The message to Zerubbabel was that the hands that laid the foundation of the temple would be the hands that finished it and the word of the Lord to you, Zerubbabel, is, “Not by might, nor by power but by My spirit,” says the Lord of host. The work will not be completed by your togetherness or intellect, or resourcefulness. It will be done by the Lord and then the Lord gave a very important word to Zerubbabel saying, “Don’t despise the day of small things.”


After our first Sunday morning service in Greeley, the next several weeks would bring only handfuls of people. At times there would only be fifteen to twenty people in attendance, and Wednesday night service would have even fewer. For many years we didn’t grow at all or grew very slowly. It was during those times that I would have seasons of discouragement. We would have visitors and they would not return. They would say they were going to attend church elsewhere. If everyone who visited Calvary Chapel Greeley had stayed, we would have a church of thousands. As a pastor you want to reach as many people as possible. As a teacher of God’s Word you want to see your community impacted with the gospel and the truth of scripture.


One of the worst things a pastor can do is begin to compare himself to other ministers, churches, or Bible teachers. There are always those who have more people or bigger buildings, who are very dynamic and popular with their teaching style, having great charisma. It was in 2000 that we bought our current facility and we were so excited. We thought it was the Crystal Cathedral with so much more room for our small congregation. Today we have three Sunday morning services and perhaps soon we’ll add a fourth weekend service. Our Wednesday night midweek service is well attended and many times is full, but it wasn’t always that way.


We can tend to think that our ministry is insignificant and unimportant to God. We can struggle with those things and get our eyes off the Lord’s calling in our lives and start to look outwardly instead of upward. I forget to be thankful for what He has done and the calling He’s placed on my life. I forget to be thankful for the people He has given me to serve and minister to. I begin to second guess that He’s called me to teach through the Bible, not just from the Bible. I have to be reminded that it is not by might nor by my power but by His spirit.

Wherever God has placed you in the ministry He’s given to you, always remember: it is important to Him. Your ministry may be raising your children in the ways of the Lord or discipling others. You may be working in the nursery or teaching young people. Paul, the apostle, wrote to the Corinthian church, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) The promise of the Lord is that He will complete that work which He has begun in your life. When you begin to think what God is doing in your life is insignificant and unimportant, always remember, ”Do not despise the day of small things.”