“My Burden Is Light”

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28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  — Matt. 11:28-30 NIV

God has made great promises to us if we will learn to lean on Him.  We get so wrapped up in our work and making our own plans for the future, that we have no time left to enjoy today.  We carry all this baggage with us all the time, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  We say we trust God, yet, we worry when the bank account is low and we feel we have to have weeks worth of food stored in the house. Remember when Jesus sent the disciples out?  He told them not to take anything with them, no food, no money, not even a change of clothes.  I must ask myself, “would I be willing to start out on a trip like that?”  Sadly, the answer is no.  We are so concerned about things that we rarely ever get a good night’s rest. We worry about things over which we have no control and a lot of those things never happen anyway.  The scriptures above are not meant to be just some “pie in the sky”, future event.  They are for now. They are the way we should be living our lives today.  We wear ourselves out trying to do God’s job.  Just as the Israelis who refused to believe and were not allowed to enter in Canaan physically, we never reach a place to rest here on earth because of our unbelief.

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. — Hebrews 3:16-19 NIV

When life seems more than we can bear, we have a place of quiet rest prepared for us, near to the heart of God. “Come unto me and I will give you rest”.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 09-11-2018

Restore Gently and Carefully

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1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.—Gal. 6:1-3 (NIV)
When we see some Christian brother or sister that is caught in a sin, we should pray for that person. While we are praying for that person, we should also ask the Holy Spirit to give us the words we need to say to them. We need to ask God to give them a receptive spirit to the words and speak those words in love and offer to help them, if we can. Be sure we are not belittling or harsh in our comments. At the same time, we must be sincere and not back down if we personally know that we are speaking the truth and it is not just hearsay. Correcting our brothers and sisters just might be the hardest thing we are ever asked to do. Why? Because we are not perfect and never will be. We will have to risk rejection and possibly a bad reaction from them. If they respond badly, you may be tempted to react to their actions. Don’t!
Do not gossip (or as we Christians love to say, “share”) about the incident or the person. The next thing is to take other witnesses with you.

15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.–Matt. 18:15-17 (NIV)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-17-2018

Restored by Him for His Glory

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20 and through him God reconciled    everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
    by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.  — Col. 1:19 NLT


Everything that was created was created to praise God and give Him glory. But, because of sin, we were in a fallen state and separated from God. All of nature is in a fallen state as well. It has always been God’s plan to restore us and the world to Himself. Nature groans waiting on the return of Jesus to restore it to its original condition. Humanity, however, rebelled against God and began to worship idols. The only thing that would meet the requirements for forgiveness was the sacrifice of blood because the life is in the blood. In the Old Testament, that was a process that was repeated over and over. But when Christ Jesus came in human flesh, it was His obedience that led Him to shed His blood on the cross. Jesus was perfect and His blood was pure, so it satisfied the requirement for redemption for all ages. Now, we are washed in His blood, clothed in His righteousness so that we can approach God without a blemish. No one, absolutely no one can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus.

 
Romans 8:35-39 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 03-03-2017

Repentance Restores Joy

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12 Your help made me so happy.    Give me that joy again.
    Make my spirit strong and ready to obey you.  — Psalm 51;12 ERV


Have you ever had those times when you didn’t “feel” saved? I certainly have. But we have to remember that salvation isn’t about feelings, it is about a decision. Sometimes those feelings cause us to feel separated from God. When we realize that we have sinned, we do feel alone and far from God just as David in this Psalm. Our reaction needs to be the same as David’s. We need to ask God to make us pure and loyal to Him so that we can hear those sounds of joy again. Ask God for His forgiveness and He is always ready to restore us. Some people have the idea that God is just looking for reasons to punish them, nothing could be further from the truth, It is His joy to restore us and bless us. We, as human parents, want our kids to have everything they need and be happy and joyful. God loves us and our children much more than we can ever imagine. He is faithful to forgive and His mercies are new every morning. God promises us in Romans 8:37-39 that “nothing can separate us from the love of God”. Nothing means no thing, no person, no creature in heaven or on earth. So, if something is bothering you, just practice the three Rs–Repent, Relax, Rejoice!

Romans 8:37-39 ERV


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-28-2016

The Joy of Your Salvation!

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12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,  and make me willing to obey you.
— Psalm 51:12 NLT
 
When we have one of those days that we can’t seem to find the joy of the Lord, perhaps we need to look into our recent thoughts and actions. Have there been any changes in our attitude toward God and His blessings? Did we take time to thank Him for our salvation or did we just take it for granted? Jesus did not have to die, He chose to die for us. After each prayer, do you take time to thank God for the answer and just give Him praise for Who He is and what He has done and continues to do. If you are not finding joy in this season of joy, perhaps you have moved away from God. He inhabits the praises of His people. He will hear your praises and you will feel His presence. Slip into His arms and find rest, joy, and peace. Not just today, but every day.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-05-2016

An Oasis of Love

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8  But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. — Psalm 42:8 NLT

This Psalm was written  by the descendants of Korah.  Korah, a cousin of Moses, was the one who led the rebellion against Moses during the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land.  He was the leader of the group that was killed when the earth opened up and swallowed all of the rebels.  Not all of the sons of Korah rebelled.  There was a remnant left to carry on the family name.  This family had experienced both the wrath of God and His loving kindness.  From these experiences, we can deduce that they understood that it is okay to complain to God as long as it is done in a respectful way. Just as this Psalm begins with how much they long for the goodness of God, then it proceeds to alternately complain and remember the blessings of God. 

When we are complaining to God, it is good to mix in a little worship with the whining.  It is good to recount the times He has blessed us and thank Him for those times.  The writers of this Psalm question themselves.  What reason do they have to be sad and discouraged ?  We need to ask the same question and arrive at the same conclusion they did.  If we put our faith and our hope in God, we won’t be sad and discouraged, but we will be filled with joy and praise for God and His goodness.   We will long for His presence just as a thirsty deer longs for a drink of cool water.  God’s presence is like an oasis in a desert of depression.  Spend time in that oasis, drink deeply from the healing springs and thank Him for His goodness.
Post 07-24-2016

Joy Unspeakable

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7  And though you started with little,  you will end with much.. Job 8:7 NLT
Bildad also wrongly assumes that Job has committed some transgression and God is disciplining Job for  that sin.  But Bildad is correct in the statement that he makes.  “But if you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty, and if you are pure and live with integrity, He will surely rise up and restore your happy home”.  And his statement in verse 7 above turns out to be a prophecy for Job.  Job definitely ends up with twice as much as he had in the beginning.  If we faithfully persevere in the times of testing, we will be blessed here on earth.  The greatest of these blessings is not material possessions or anything that money can buy.  It is the peace and the joy that comes from knowing that we are pleasing our heavenly Father. From my own personal experience, I can testify that there is a peace that each of us can access that is different from what the world knows as peace. It is a peace that will guard our hearts and our minds.  It is a peace that keeps from thinking those thoughts that satan would use to destroy us. It is a peace that assures us that we are not alone now and we will never be alone.  Although the peace you have now may be little, focus on Jesus and you will have abundant peace and joy that is truly unspeakable.
Post 06-23-2016