“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

A Never-Ending Gift

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2  The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him, ​- Isaiah 11:2a ISV​
This passage from Isaiah is one of the many prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament.  It gives us several of the characteristics of Jesus; wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord.  Notice that not only did He have the “fear of the Lord”, but He delighted in that fear.  Though, He was God, He came to us as all man.  As a man, His access to divine knowledge was limited.  He did this voluntarily so that He might live as all man so that He might be an example to us.  

 

6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.– Phil 2:6, 7 ESV

We, as humans, have access to that same Spirit.  In fact, that Spirit lives inside each of us.  He gave us this Spirit as a gift.  So, our lives should exhibit those same characteristics, at least to some degree.  To what degree depends completely on our commitment to spend time in His presence praying, meditating on His Word, and listening to His voice.  The reason we need to do this is that there is so much more Jesus wants to give us but He will not force it upon us, we have to ask Him for it and delight in receiving it.  How can we know that He will give us more?
 

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? — Romans 8:32 NIV

4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. — Psalm 37:4 NIV

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

 

Post 08-27-2018

The Uncontrollable Tongue

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but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil filled with deadly poison. – James 3:8 ISV

James 3:7-12 ISV

These verses come at the end of a passage that speaks of the tongue and how our inability to control it causes us some many problems.  No human can tame his or her tongue. We can pray about it and we can strive to do it, but it is an impossible task for a human.  Only one man was able to do so and that was Jesus, the God-Man.  Nevertheless, that does not relieve us of the responsibility of asking the Holy Spirit to help us do better every day.  Our goal is to be that person who would never say or do anything to hurt someone else and that is the mark at which we should be aiming. Words that we speak without any intention of hurting anyone are often taken in the wrong way and cause pain to others.  Our prejudices, and we all have them, sometimes lead to a “slip of the tongue”.  Our thoughts lead to words and actions that show our true feelings and attitudes about others.  We need to always pray this prayer

14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,  Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. — Psalm 19:14

The things that we talk about most are the things that are truly important to us. The words and actions that we say and do are the fruits of our mindset and our hearts’ desires.  Just as a tree produces fruit after its kind, we will produce like fruit, be it good or evil. Our tongues were made to give praise, glory and honor to our Father in heaven.  Just as He spoke creation into existence, we have the power to speak words of life or death.  Let us always speak the words of life.

 

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” — John 6:68, 69

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

Post 08-04-2018

Where Is Your Heart?

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11 Also, make it your goal to live quietly, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you, – 1 Thess. 4:11 ISV
 

God hates sin, all sins, but He loved sinners enough to send His Son to die for us. And not just die, but to be crucified cruelly and mocked publicly.  This is His example to us of how much we should love others, not just family and friends, but also strangers and enemies. The people that Paul was writing to at this time were those who gave of their resources to others who had needs and also gave to support Paul in his missionary work so that he could meet the spiritual needs of others and spread the gospel.   How do we show our love for Jesus? By being obedient and helping those in need.  Not just physical needs by giving of our resources, which we should do, but also giving of our time in caring for those with spiritual and emotional needs. A smile, a handshake, a hug, a word in season, a minute listening are all gifts that we can give each other and they are often much more appreciated than any monetary gift that we could give. These gifts we can give over and over since they don’t affect our budgets. So, we can do more and more.  We need to be very careful of how we spend the time God has given us. The majority of our time should be spent in doing those things that will win the respect of outsiders and build up the Kingdom of God. By making it a habit to do these things, we will soon find that it is our heart’s desire to do them more and more. Not only will we receive a great blessing here and now, but we will also be laying up treasures in heaven.
 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. — Matt. 6:19-21 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-16-2018

Give Gladly and Graciously

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12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. – 2 Cor. 8:12 NLT


2 Cor. 8:8-12 NLT

God is not impressed by the amount of money that we give.  He is impressed by the attitude that we have toward giving into His work.  We see this from the story of the widow who gave her mite. A mite is thought to be equal to about one half of one of our pennies.  Regardless of what the world thought about it’s worth, because of the attitude and the sacrifice the woman made, Jesus thought it was much more valuable than the gifts of those who gave out of their abundance.  God doesn’t need us to return a portion of the money He has allowed us to be stewards over.  He wants us to give out of love and a grateful heart.  He wants us to give with joy and hilarity because of our relationship with Him. Just as we give gifts of time and money to those around us that we love, we should offer up the best of both to Him. Would we invite a special guest to dinner and give him/her leftovers? We have the most special guest that lives with us all the time. Why do think that He is happy with our leftovers? He gave His life, we must make every effort to give Him the best of what we have simply because we love Him.


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

Post 06-17-2018

Just Taste It!

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1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. — 1 Peter 2:1-3 NIV

Do you remember the first time in your life that “you tasted that the Lord is good”?

I actually don’t remember the date but I do remember that it was about 9 in the morning on a hot summer day and I could take you to the exact place that the Holy Spirit miraculously moved in my life and “saved me to the uttermost”. Tears of joy and relief streamed down my face so much that I had to stop on the side of the road and just praise God for His goodness. Since that time I have not lived a sinless life but I can tell you that when I do sin, it grieves the Holy Spirit, breaks the heart of God Himself and now, thanks to His enduring goodness, faithfulness and mercy, it breaks my heart as well.
His love motivates me to rid myself of all malice and sin of any and every kind. When I pray and receive the forgiveness that Jesus bought for me on Calvary, I taste again and again of His goodness and mercy. I crave His Word and a day without it would be a dark, dreary and lonely day. My heart’s desire is to know Him more and more every day. I look forward to the day when I can move from the “milk” of the Word to the “meat” of the Word, so I might grow to be the mature son He wants me to be. Nothing less and nothing more.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 04-16-2018

“Teach Your Children Well”

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1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.—1 Cor. 11:1-3 NIV

Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to continue in following the practices of Christianity just as he has taught them to do. He has lived his life in front of them, as much as it is humanly possible, as an example of how Christ lived.  But there had been some reports of problems during the worship service.  Paul points to the fact that we are all to submit ourselves to Christ as the head of the Church, His body. We submit to Christ because He loved us enough to die for us.  So, this is the example for us to follow. Those who would be leaders in the Church must display the same kind of love that Christ did.  This is what Jesus was inferring to Peter when He asked Peter three times: “Will you feed my sheep?” Jesus was talking about more than physical food, He was asking Peter if He was willing to feed them spiritually, even to the point of death, if that became necessary. This is exactly the same kind of love that a husband should show for his wife and his family.  Husbands and Fathers need to ask themselves the same question that Jesus asked Peter.  “Will I feed this flock that Jesus has given me?  Will I not only provide for their physical needs, but also their spiritual needs?  Will I remind them daily how much Jesus loves and cares for them?”   If we do that, then we won’t have any problems being the “head” of the family.

6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.—Deut. 6:6,7 NIV

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

Post 02-28-2018