Finding Rest

 

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, (ESV), “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Mat 11:29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Mat 11:30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I feel more refreshed today than I have been because I don’t feel as overwhelmed. We started a prayer group this week at church and when we finished it felt jarring to talk to people in the coffee room. The presence of the Lord was so strong, to be smack dab in reality again is what felt unsettling.

I hope you’re finding time to be in the Word and to sit quietly at Jesus’ feet. What a privilege we have to cast all our care upon Him, for He cares for us as noted in 1 Peter 5:7.

I find I need others. When temptation comes my way, I can let an accountability partner know about it and ask for prayer. Christians can remind other Christians that to be tempted is not a sin. To step toward the temptation and to take action is the sin. That’s when we need to repent and ask God’s forgiveness. If we’re tempted and don’t act on it, we pray to be delivered from temptation and then walk away from the temptation and walk away from any condemnation the devil tries to put on us. He’ll do anything to distract us from God and being obedient to God.

Romans 8:34, (ESV)  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

Rom 8:36  As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Rom 8:37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Rom 8:38  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,

Rom 8:39  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

God bless you!

Strong

My husband preaches about Jesus being a strong man. Jesus walked up mountainsides with His disciples. He was a carpenter without power tools. He ate healthy foods, like fish and figs.

I’ve been re-reading the book of John because a woman in her nineties came to Christ and we are studying the book of John a chapter or two at a time. We’re on our second time around instead of going to another book.

This last time, I was listening to her read. Ninety-four and she reads well and understands. She used to be in the Navy and then she was a librarian at the VA. A tough cookie with a tender heart.

Anyway, we were reading where Jesus taught the Jewish people and some of the leaders questioned His authority and His deity. He spoke with strength of character and pure truth. Joh_8:44,(ESV) “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

It hit me as if I’d never read those words before. Jesus said what He felt needed to be said. He told them that where He was going they could not go when He went to the Father. I thought, my goodness, He’s telling them out right, they’ll not make it to heaven.

Then they told Him the miracles He performed were from the devil. Some people have no fear of God. They saw Him raise a young man from the dead, so his widowed mother would have her son to provide for her. It doesn’t ring true that the devil would heal a young man and be kind. He hates us because we’re made in God’s image. Jesus said in John 10:10, (ESV): “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

When I see hatred and tragedies, I think how the devil is stirring people up. I understand it, too. Sometimes I feel ugly inside, and then I have to pray and ask God to help me, and repent if I’ve acted out at all. His perfect peace that passes all understanding, (Philippians 4:7) comes upon me, so I can gain control over my emotions and I think once more, how great is our God!

 

May God bless you!

 

Suicide – the Great Deception

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

I saw my doctor for a routine check-up and I told her I’d been to the hardest funeral the day before, a suicide of a young person. She said they are altogether too common, and this young doctor dropped her head.

The funeral on Sunday broke my heart. The tightly held tears wracked my body for this precious girl and her family. Jesus said in John 10:10 that “the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come to give life and that abundantly.”

We are in a spiritual battle and God, the creator of the universe, invites us to fight for life and righteousness through prayer and loving Him and others, and witnessing. He gives his children free will to choose Him or to choose Satan’s course, a life rejecting God and going our own way.

From what I’ve read in the Bible, Satan relishes his hatred of mankind and uses his influence to cause havoc around the world. He hates people because we are made in the image and likeness of God, Who kicked Satan out of heaven for wanting to take God’s place, as found in Isaiah 14:12.

I remember thinking of suicide in college because the thought of it kept hitting my brain. When I mentioned it to my boyfriend, now my husband of nearly 40 years, he said, “Why would anyone think of suicide?”

I told him I would never do that. But Satan wants people to kill themselves. He is a liar and a thief. I don’t know how many suicide victims make it to heaven, it depends on their belief in Jesus Christ and their repentant heart. I prayed long and hard that none of the people at that funeral would succumb to the well-meaning phrases of the pastor.

He called her death a tragedy twice in the midst of a long eulogy extolling the wonders of heaven and God’s incredible love. As this beautiful, 28 year old daughter lay in her coffin, her mom and dad poured out memories as they tried to keep their woundedness at bay. The dad did better than the mom. As her mom told us of the ignored text, “Please, please, don’t do it,” her daughter chose to end the gift of life from God above, and her mom bawled as she ended her talk.

Her first-born and only daughter will never text her again, listen to advice or offer her mom insight and hope that young people often impart back to their parents.

I can’t help but cry as I write this because I knew her as a baby, I’ve been close friends with her grandmother for years, I saw her as a college graduate with a degree fashioned so she could help others. I witnessed the pain of her loved ones.

I’m sad. I’m mad. America embraces a culture of death when God’s plans, as stated in Jeremiah 29:11-13, are for a future, a hope, peace, a life filled with a relationship with God.

I shopped for infant wear last month and skipped racks of clothes with skulls on them in a local department store, which I found appalling.

“Dear God, protect our young people from suicide, I pray. May they know Your love and protection and hope and guidance, I ask, in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.”