How are you today?
Are you feeling tired and worn out? Are you feeling fatigued or burnt out? Are you feeling bushed or pooped? Do you know why?
Are you feeling like you are carrying the weight of the world? Are you feeling weighed down by worry and troubles? Are you feeling upset or distressed about something? Are you feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Do you know why?
Where are you focused? Is it money? Is it possessions? Is it winning? What is creating these feelings? Is it work? Is it stress? Is it pressure? How can you get passed it?
As I started looking at definitions around these questions an interesting verse came up…
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Although that is what it started with there is more…
29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
–from Matthew 11:29-30
There is an answer! There is hope! There is an option! There is a future free from being weary and burdened! Will you choose it?
The answer is Jesus!
Today’s reading triggered these questions for me as we start with Isaiah 46…
Idols a Weary Burden
1Bel bows down; Nebo stoops over. Their idols are for beasts and cattle. The things you carry are borne as burdens on weary beasts. 2They stoop, they bow down together, they cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity. 3“Listen to Me, house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, borne by Me from birth, carried from the womb. 4Even to your old age I will be the same, until you are gray I will carry you. I have done it; I will bear you; I will carry you; I will deliver you. 5To whom will you liken Me, or make Me equal or compare Me, that we should be alike? 6They lavish gold from a purse and weigh out silver on the scales. They hire a goldsmith so he makes a god. They bow down. Yes, they worship it. 7They lift it upon a shoulder and carry it. They set in its place and there it stands. It does not budge from its place. Even if one cry to it, it cannot answer, nor save anyone from his trouble.”
Purpose for Cyrus
8“Remember this, and be assured. Recall it to mind, you transgressors. 9Remember the former things of old: For I am God—there is no other. I am God, and there is none like Me— 10declaring the end from the beginning, from ancient time, what is yet to come, saying, “My purpose will stand, and I will accomplish all that I please.” 11From the east I am calling a bird of prey, a man for My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; I will bring it to pass; I have planned it; surely I will do it. 12Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, who are far from righteousness: 13I bring My justice near, it is not far off. So My salvation will not delay. I put salvation in Zion, My glory in Israel.”
–from Isaiah 46
God’s desire is that we won’t grow weary and that we aren’t burdened as we read from Matthew. In Galatians we get instructions around not growing weary…
9Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.
which points to focus and points to purpose and direction. God’s ways are different than our ways, they are higher than our ways. Nothing is impossible with God or put another all things are possible with God! So let’s turn to God and His Word for wisdom and instruction! Let’s receive and ask Jesus to come into our lives so that we can walk with Him! Let’s share the load He offers which is described as easy and light! Let’s not lean on our own understand and be led astray by selfish desires! Let’s acknowledge God in all our ways so that He will make our path straight! Let’s follow in the footsteps of Jesus so that we can live, and live life to the full!
Today’s reading continues with warnings now into Isaiah 47…
Catastrophe of Babylon
1Come down and sit in the dust, virgin daughter of Babylon. Sit on the ground without a throne, daughter of the Chaldeans. For you will no more be called tender and delicate. 2Take the millstones and grind flour. Remove your veil, strip off the skirt, uncover the leg, cross the rivers. 3Your nakedness will be uncovered, and your shame will be exposed. I will take vengeance, and will spare no one. 4Our Redeemer, Adonai-Tzva’ot is His Name, is the Holy One of Israel. 5Sit in silence, go into darkness, daughter of the Chaldeans. For you will no more be called the mistress-queen of kingdoms. 6I was angry with My people. I profaned My heritage. I gave them into your hand, but you showed them no mercy. You made your yoke very heavy on the aged. 7You said, “Forever, I will be the eternal mistress-queen!” You did not lay these things to heart or remember their end. 8Now then, hear this, voluptuous one, dwelling securely, saying in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me! I will not sit as a widow, or know the loss of children,” 9These two things will come upon you in a moment, in one day— loss of children and widowhood— they will come upon you in full measure in spite of your many sorceries and your many spells. 10You felt secure in your wickedness, You said, “No one sees me.” Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, so you have said in your heart, “I am—there is no one else beside me!” 11But calamity will come upon you. You won’t know how to charm it away. Disaster will fall on you, for which you cannot atone. Catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you. 12Stand fast in your enchantments and your many sorceries, which you have toiled over since your youth. Perhaps you will succeed? Perhaps you will cause terror? 13You are weary of your consultations. So many! So let the astrologers, star-gazers, predicting by new moons, stand up and save you from what will come upon you. 14Behold, they shall be as stubble. Fire will consume them. They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame! It is not a coal for warming by or a fire to sit before! 15So much have they become to you, with whom you have toiled, trafficking with you from your youth, each wandering about his own way. No one will save you!
–from Isaiah 47
Let’s stop and turn to God! He knows right where we are at and exactly what we need, even before we ask. So ask! He promises that
7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. –Matthew 7:7-8
Let’s turn to God who knows our hearts. For those who know Jesus, have you A.S.K.? For those who haven’t asked Jesus into your heart is there anything holding you back? Don’t let the fear created by the enemy whose goal is to steal, kill, and destroy you but rather invite Jesus in whose desire is to give you life and life to the full! God is your salvation! God has sent Jesus as our savior! He has made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! He provided the only answer when no answer seem to be available! He loves us so much that He sent Jesus, His one and only Son, in order that Justice could be served! So now it becomes a choice to each of us, do we choose Jesus or not!
So let’s seek justice! Let’s live justly! Let’s seek to align with God and walk in His ways!
Justice for the Oppressed
1A psalm of David. Adonai, oppose those who oppose me. Fight those who fight me. 2Take hold of shield and buckler, and rise up to my help. 3Draw out also a spear and battle-axe. Stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul: “I am your salvation.” 4May those who seek my life be ashamed and disgraced. May they be turned back and humiliated —those who plot evil against me. 5May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of Adonai driving them off. 6May their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of Adonai pursuing them. 7For without cause they hid their net for me, and without cause they dug a pit for my soul. 8Let ruin come upon him by surprise. Let the net he hid entangle himself —into that same pit let him fall. 9Then my soul will rejoice in Adonai and delight in His salvation. 10All my bones will say: “Adonai, who is like You, rescuing the poor from one too strong for him, the poor and needy from one who robs him?” 11Violent witnesses rise up. They question me about things I know nothing about. 12They repay me evil for good— my soul is forlorn. 13But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth. I afflicted my soul with fasting, my prayer kept returning to my heart. 14I went about mourning as though for my own friend or brother. I bowed down dressed in black as though for my own mother. 15But at my stumbling they gathered in glee. Wretches gathered against me whom I did not know, tearing at me without ceasing. 16They mocked profanely, as if at a feast, they gnashed at me with their teeth. 17My Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages— my solitary existence from the lions. 18I praise You in the great assembly, acclaiming You among a throng of people. 19Do not let my deceitful enemies gloat over me without cause, nor let those who hate me for nothing wink an eye. 20For they never speak shalom, but devise deceitful words against the quiet ones in the land. 21Yes, they open their mouth wide against me, saying: “Aha! Aha! Our own eyes have seen it!” 22You have seen it, Adonai—be not silent! Adonai, be not far from me. 23Arise, awaken to my defense, to my cause—my God and my Lord! 24Vindicate me, Adonai my God, according to Your justice, and do not let them gloat over me. 25Don’t let them say in their heart: “Aha! Just what we wanted!” Don’t let them say: “We swallowed him up!” 26May they be ashamed and humiliated, those who rejoice over my misery. May they who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. 27May they shout for joy and be glad, those who delight in my righteous cause. May they always say: “Exalted be Adonai, who delights in His servant’s shalom.” 28Then my tongue will declare aloud Your justice and Your praises all day.
–from Psalms 35
Miracles are happening all around you. Miracles are available all around you. Will you have eyes to see and ears to hear so that you can be used to be a miracle by God? Will you have faith to look and faith to ask for help when you are in need? Will you be an instrument of God to fulfill a miracle? Will you be a witness to God’s greatness by receiving a miracle? Will you testify to what God is doing in and thru you? Will you testify of God’s great love and God’s great power? Will you share it with the world around you so that they can hear the Good News and find hope?
Imagine the following situation…imagine being Paul…imagine being the man just trying to fill his stomach and earthly needs…
A Lame Beggar Walks
1Now Peter and John were going up to the Temple at the ninth hour, the time of prayer. 2A man lame from birth was being carried—every day they used to put him at the Temple gate called Beautiful, so he could beg for tzadakah from those entering the Temple. 3When he saw Peter and John about to go into the Temple, he began asking to receive tzadakah. 4But Peter, along with John, looked straight at him and said, “Look at us!” 5So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6But Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you—in the name of Yeshua ha-Mashiach ha-Natzrati, get up and walk!” 7Then grabbing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately the man’s feet and ankles were made strong. 8Jumping up, he stood and began walking; and he went with them into the Temple, walking and leaping and praising God! 9Now all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10They began to realize he was the one who used to sit begging for tzadakah at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were filled with wonder and astonishment over what had happened to him.
Peter Speaks at the Temple
11While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people together came running toward them in the place called Solomon’s Portico. 12But when Peter saw, he responded to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us—as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Yeshua—the One you handed over and disowned before Pilate, though he had decided to release Him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you. 15You killed the Author of life—the One God raised from the dead! We are witnesses of it. 16Now through faith in the name of Yeshua, His name has strengthened this man whom you see and know. Indeed, the faith through Yeshua has given this man perfect health in front of you all. 17“Now brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your leaders did. 18But what God foretold through the mouth of all His prophets—that His Messiah was to suffer—so He has fulfilled. 19Repent, therefore, and return—so your sins might be blotted out, 20so times of relief might come from the presence of Adonai and He might send Yeshua, the Messiah appointed for you. 21Heaven must receive Him, until the time of the restoration of all the things that God spoke about long ago through the mouth of His holy prophets. 22Moses said, ‘Adonai your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your brothers. Hear and obey Him in all that He shall say to you. 23And it shall be that every soul that will not listen to that Prophet shall be completely cut off from the people.’ 24Indeed, all the prophets who have spoken from Samuel on have announced these days. 25You are the sons of the prophets and also of the covenant that God cut with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘In your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26God raised up His Servant and sent Him first to you, to bless you all by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”
–from Acts 3
Take your faith and share it! Take your faith and give it away! Accept Jesus in faith! Allow Him to transform you from the inside out!
So will you receive God’s love? So will you give God’s love? Will you be a conduit for God’s love to reach the world around you? Will you make a difference in the lives of the people around you today? If not now then when? If not you then who? If not here then where? The world you live in needs you! The world you walk in everyday is looking for hope and truth and joy! The world is looking for a glimmer of hope in this dark world! Will you be that light shining through the darkness that will point them to Jesus and transform their lives forever? Don’t rush your day hoping to just get thru it! Purpose with each step, with each word, with each action that God will work in and through you to help those around you who are hurting and needing help! They may not be as obvious as the man at the temple, but they are all around you! So will you share love with them? Wondering what that might look like? Consider the following and if you replace love with your name how that would appear…
The Superior Way of Love
1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all that I own and if I hand over my body so I might boast but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not brag, it is not puffed up, 5it does not behave inappropriately, it does not seek its own way, it is not provoked, it keeps no account of wrong, 6it does not rejoice over injustice but rejoices in the truth; 7it bears all things, it believes all things, it hopes all things, it endures all things. 8Love never fails— but where there are prophecies, they will pass away; where there are tongues, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13But now these three remain— faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.
–from 1 Corinthians 13