Category Archives: Jesus

Let’s get back to basics…to the beginning…


It’s not what we can do! It’s not what we can make! It’s not about trying to be perfect! It’s not about trying to make your own way! It’s not about trying to be good enough! It’s not about you!

It’s all about Jesus! Not Jesus+ it’s just Jesus! He came that we could have life and life to the full! He came that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but would have everlasting life! He is the way, the truth, and the life! Nobody comes to the Father except through Him!

Everyday is a day that the Lord has made so we should live them out that way! We should be able to rejoice and be glad in it! We should be able to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that it builds our faith through perseverance in order that in the end we will be complete and lacking nothing! When we face troubles, we should be able to have hope because we know that Jesus has already overcome the world! We should have hope and faith because we know that Jesus wins the victory and that we will get to spend eternity with Him!

So let’s praise God for Jesus’ birth! We have Christmas day to make it a big celebration and we need to make sure that Jesus is at the center! He is the reason for the season!

We can celebrate Easter because Jesus paid it all on the cross, defeating death and resurrecting on the third day and is now sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me!

God showed His love by sending Jesus to live amongst us! He isn’t out there somewhere, He is emmanuel – God with us! Even now we don’t need to go through things on our own and by ourselves because Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter, our counselor, and our guide! We can have that still quiet voice to help us walk out the life God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish! He can help us to remember that God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future! So let’s cling onto that truth as we pursue Him today! Let’s thrive to accomplish His will so that one day when we get to see Him face to face we will get to hear “well done my good and faithful servant”.

So today let’s take hold of the way to have victory! It is by the blood of the lamb and by the words of our testimony!

Let’s be overcomers through Jesus!

Let’s be rebuilders! Let’s be restorers! Let’s be repairers! All through the love and the power of Jesus!

So today, let’s follow the King of kings and the Lord of lords, that He will accomplish His plans and His purpose for our lives in Jesus’ name!


Happy Christmas — Day 359: Bible In One Year 2018

  1.  Blessing, peace and satisfaction … Psalms 147:12-20
  2. Called, chosen and faithful … Revelation 17
  3. Rebuilding, restoring and repairing … Nehemiah 3Nehemiah 4

Pursue:

  • Make a stand for the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!
  • Understanding God’s will and purpose and plan!
  • Stand firm! Put on the full armor of God! Be prepared! to give an answer for the hope that is within you! to accomplish the good works God has prepared in advance for us to do!
  • Let’s complete the work God has given us to do!
  • Put first things first and don’t get distracted or confused by attacks of the enemy
  • Make sure to have each others back
Advertisements

Did you have a great Christmas yesterday?


Did you celebrate the reason for the season? Did you spend time celebrating love with friends and family? Did you do anything to remember how it all began? Thank You Jesus for coming in the form of a child in order to live a sinless life and then taking on all the pain and punishment that we deserve so that we could be reconciled back to God. For God so loves us that He sent Jesus that everyone who would believe in Him would have eternal life! God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world but that through Jesus we could all be saved! So I pray that you all had a very Merry Christmas! I also pray that you took time to focus on Jesus who is the reason for this season! I also pray that there were many people who turned back to God and received Jesus into their hearts and now will get to spend eternity with God rather than apart from God thanks to Jesus.

This was an incredible year where the reality of the Bible and how we even have one today is incredible as we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the reformation! This was an incredible year where a new museum opened up in Washington D.C. focused on the history of the Bible! All pieces of a puzzle to help people come to the reality of Jesus and God’s plan and purpose! The Bible is a standard for living life! The Bible is a way to connect with God through His Word! The Bible is the place to turn when seeking Jesus! We need as a society to turn back to God! We need to be putting God back into our lives rather than looking for ways to remove Him! We need to be putting God back into the center of the workplace to help ensure we have a good standard and that people are being treated with love as defined in the Bible! We need to be putting God back into the center of the government which as the Bible says is supposed to be serving God and serving us for good! We need to be putting God back into the center of schools so that the bar is set high for standards and the focus on how to live is taught and trained! We need to be putting God back into the center of the Arts and Culture so that what is produced and presented speak to values and truth!

The key is to bring Jesus back into the center! The key is to allow Jesus to be that central line that all others get tied to for a cord of three strands is not easily broken! And do you know where to turn to find Jesus? It is the Bible!


Today’s devotional speaks to our reading from God’s Word today as follows…

The whole of the Bible is about Jesus. Martin Luther said, ‘Scripture is the manger in which the Christ lies.’ As a mother goes to a cradle to find her baby, so the Christian goes to the Bible to find Jesus. Don’t inspect the cradle and forget to worship the baby.

In today’s passages we see how Jesus Christ is revealed not only in the New Testament, in the book of Revelation, but also in the Old Testament – in Proverbs and Zechariah.

–from Day 344: Bible In One Year 2018

Take a few moments and go check out today’s devotional (Day 344: Bible In One Year 2018) and consider it as we meditate on God’s Word today!

How to Find Jesus

Day 344: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. The name of Jesus … Proverbs 30:1-10
    • 1The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message.
      I am weary, O God;
      I am weary and worn out, O God.
      2I am too stupid to be human,
      and I lack common sense.
      3I have not mastered human wisdom,
      nor do I know the Holy One.
      4Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down?
      Who holds the wind in his fists?
      Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak?
      Who has created the whole wide world?
      What is his name—and his son’s name?
      Tell me if you know!
      5Every word of God proves true.
      He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
      6Do not add to his words,
      or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
      7O God, I beg two favors from you;
      let me have them before I die.
      8First, help me never to tell a lie.
      Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!
      Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
      9For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
      And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
      10Never slander a worker to the employer,
      or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.
    • The sceptic goes on to ask five questions (v.4):

        • Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
        • Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
        • Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
        • Who has established all the ends of the earth?
        • What is that person’s name, and what is the name of that person’s son?

      The New Testament reveals that the answer to each of these five questions is Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. It is Jesus who ascended on high (see, for example, Ephesians 4:8–10). It is through Jesus that the whole world came into being (John 1:1–3). He is the name above every name (Philippians 2:9). The evidence for God is found in Jesus.

      The New Testament reveals that the name of God is Jesus. The writer of Proverbs cares deeply about ‘the name of [his] God’ (Proverbs 30:9). He asks for ‘neither poverty nor riches’ (v.8). He fears that riches may make him disown the Lord and poverty might make him steal and thereby ‘dishonour the name of [his] God’ (v.9).

      –from Day 344: Bible In One Year 2018

  2. The words of Jesus … Revelation 2:1-17
    • 1“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:
       
      2“I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.
      4“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. 6But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.
      7“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.

      The Message to the Church in Smyrna

      8“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Smyrna. This is the message from the one who is the First and the Last, who was dead but is now alive:
       
      9“I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan. 10Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.
      11“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.

      The Message to the Church in Pergamum

      12“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:
       
      13“I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.
      14“But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. 15In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. 16Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
      17“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.
    • These words of Jesus (‘The First and the Last, who died and came to life again’, v.8) to the seven churches are hugely challenging. The risen, ascended, glorified Jesus reveals what kind of church he wants:

        • Don’t lose your first love
          Jesus is looking for a church that is famous, above all, for its love.

          Do you remember what you felt when you first encountered Jesus? Perhaps you experienced joy, peace, a new sense of meaning and purpose, and an excitement. Did you ‘fall in love’? Was there a ‘honeymoon period’?

          As life goes on it is easy to lose your ‘first love’ (v.4). Other things creep in. Work, the busyness of life, or even your ministry can lead you away from the passion of your first love.

          Jesus commends their service: ‘I know your deeds, your hard work’ (v.2). But there have been times in my life when I’ve been working so hard for the kingdom that I have neglected the King.

          Jesus commends their patience in suffering and perseverance: ‘you have… endured hardship for my name’ (v.3). But there have been times when I have been so focussed on my own problems and suffering that I have lost my enthusiasm.

          He commends the orthodoxy of their beliefs – they have not tolerated evil (v.2). But there have been times when I have been so concerned about orthodoxy that I have forgotten to love.

          Jesus challenges: ‘You have forsaken your first love’ (v.4). These are haunting words. What are you to do if this has happened?

          First, Jesus urges you to remember your first love – to remember the height from which you have fallen (v.5). Never lose your first love, enthusiasm and excitement about Jesus.

          Second, repent and clean up your act. If you have slipped into complacency or compromise, you may need to get rid of the dross. As we read in Zechariah, ‘I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, “They are my people”, and they will say, “The Lord is our God”’ (Zechariah 13:9).

          If you are in a time of testing and trial in your life, God will use the heat of the fire to refine you.

          Third, return to doing the things you did when you first encountered Jesus. ‘Do the things you did at first’ (Revelation 2:5).

        • Stand firm in the face of persecution
          Pastor Nadarkhani was imprisoned in Iran for no other reason than his faith in Jesus Christ. He was sentenced to death. As a result of international pressure he was released and reunited with his family. I had the privilege of interviewing him at HTB. We were all inspired by his faithfulness and courage.

          Only two of the seven churches are not faulted by Jesus – Smyrna and Philadelphia. Smyrna is spiritually rich in spite of the persecutions and material poverty: ‘I know your afflictions and your poverty – yet you are rich!’ (v.9).

          Jesus’ words to the church are not ‘repent’ (as so often was the case with the other churches), but rather, ‘Do not be afraid’ (v.10). Like the persecuted church today, they faced prison, persecution and even death. But God has set a limit (‘for ten days’) and promises, ‘I will give you the crown of life’ (v.10b).

        • Fight for the truth
          The church in Pergamum was living in the most godless place on earth – ‘where Satan has his throne’ (v.13). Yet Jesus says, ‘You remain true to my name’ (v.13). They have not renounced their faith in Jesus in spite of persecution.

          Nevertheless, Jesus challenges them about holding to false teaching and committing sexual immorality (v.14). Truth matters. He calls them to repent (v.16), and promises that if they overcome, he will give them food that feeds the soul (‘the hidden manna’, v.17) and eternal security in Christ.

      –from Day 344: Bible In One Year 2018

  3. The grace of Jesus … Zechariah 12, Zechariah 13, Zechariah 14
    • The Lord Will Rule the Earth

      1Watch, for the day of the Lord is coming when your possessions will be plundered right in front of you! 2I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left among the ruins of the city.
      3Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past. 4On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west. Half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south. 5You will flee through this valley, for it will reach across to Azal. Yes, you will flee as you did from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all his holy ones with him.
      6On that day the sources of light will no longer shine, 7yet there will be continuous day! Only the Lord knows how this could happen. There will be no normal day and night, for at evening time it will still be light.
      8On that day life-giving waters will flow out from Jerusalem, half toward the Dead Sea and half toward the Mediterranean, flowing continuously in both summer and winter.
      9And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord—his name alone will be worshiped.
      10All the land from Geba, north of Judah, to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become one vast plain. But Jerusalem will be raised up in its original place and will be inhabited all the way from the Benjamin Gate over to the site of the old gate, then to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. 11And Jerusalem will be filled, safe at last, never again to be cursed and destroyed.
      12And the Lord will send a plague on all the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Their people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away. Their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13On that day they will be terrified, stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will fight their neighbors hand to hand. 14Judah, too, will be fighting at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the neighboring nations will be captured—great quantities of gold and silver and fine clothing. 15This same plague will strike the horses, mules, camels, donkeys, and all the other animals in the enemy camps.
      16In the end, the enemies of Jerusalem who survive the plague will go up to Jerusalem each year to worship the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. 17Any nation in the world that refuses to come to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will have no rain. 18If the people of Egypt refuse to attend the festival, the Lord will punish them with the same plague that he sends on the other nations who refuse to go. 19Egypt and the other nations will all be punished if they don’t go to celebrate the Festival of Shelters.
      20On that day even the harness bells of the horses will be inscribed with these words: Holy to the Lord. And the cooking pots in the Temple of the Lord will be as sacred as the basins used beside the altar. 21In fact, every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. All who come to worship will be free to use any of these pots to boil their sacrifices. And on that day there will no longer be traders in the Temple of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
    • The words of Zechariah 14 can be seen as looking forward to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and also to his return:

        • Jesus is the one whose feet would stand on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4; Matthew 21:1)
        • Jesus is the one to go out and fight against the nations in the day of battle (Zechariah 14:3; Revelation 20)
        • Jesus is the one out of whom living water would flow (Zechariah 14:8; John 7:37–39)
        • Jesus is the one who will be worshipped as king (Zechariah 14:16; Revelation 5)
        • Jesus is the one who makes it possible for ‘HOLY TO THE LORD’ to be inscribed on everything (Zechariah 14:20)
        • Jesus abolishes the distinction between the secular and the sacred. The cooking pots were the most common household vessels, yet they too had the words ‘HOLY TO THE LORD’ inscribed on them

      –from Day 344: Bible In One Year 2018

Do you know Jesus? More than just about Jesus but do you have a relationship with Him?


Who is Jesus to you? Are you a believer? Are you a seeker? Are you a skeptic? Are you questioning? Is he just a name? Is he just some guy? Is He the son of God? Is He the savior of the world? Is He the ultimate sacrifice? Is He a greater teacher? Is He a good man? Is He a miracle worker? Is He the key to life? Is He the answer?

To me, Jesus was the answer. He is the turning point in my life. He is the answer to so many questions. He is the key to my life. I use the analogy of God putting a jetpack on me in order to accelerate my experience to get me where He needed me to be and oh what a ride, what an incredible journey, what incredible times in the presence of God! Some key milestones include a spiritual emphasis night where I was baptised in the Holy Spirit, going through membership and then getting baptized on the same day as my wife, going through Cleansing Stream and the freedom that it released in my life, and the baby dedication of each of my children.

Today’s devotional speaks to how Jesus is the key. They provide some historical insight into what others have said like:

  • Madonna said, ‘When I was growing up… Jesus Christ was like a movie star, my favourite idol of all.’
  • Napoleon Bonaparte said, ‘I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man.’
  • Novelist H.G. Wells said, ‘I am an historian, I am not a believer. But this penniless preacher from Galilee is irresistibly the centre of history.’

–from Day 303: Bible In One Year 2017

God’s Word speaks about Jesus in Hebrews 1 like this:

Jesus Christ Is God’s Son

1Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. 2And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. 3The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. 4This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.

The Son Is Greater Than the Angels

5For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus: “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.1:5a Or Today I reveal you as my Son.
God also said, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.”
6And when he brought his supreme Son into the world, God said, “Let all of God’s angels worship him.”
7Regarding the angels, he says, “He sends his angels like the winds, his servants like flames of fire.”
8But to the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. 9You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.”
10He also says to the Son, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. 11They will perish, but you remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. 12You will fold them up like a cloak
and discard them like old clothing. But you are always the same; you will live forever.”
13And God never said to any of the angels, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”
14Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.
–from Hebrews 1

And gets summarized through today’s devotional as:

The key to life is Jesus. The key to understanding the Bible is Jesus. The key to understanding God’s character is Jesus. The key to getting our lives sorted out is Jesus. No one, not even angels, can compare to Jesus (Hebrews 1:1–14).

–from Day 303: Bible In One Year 2017

God is Love! Jesus is God! And we know from the Bible that Love is…

4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

–from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Today’s devotional before speaking to each of the verses closed with this statement:

If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. He said, ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father’ (John 14:9). Everything you read and understand about God through the Bible needs to be read through the lens of Jesus. He is the ultimate revelation of God.

–from Day 303: Bible In One Year 2017

Do you know Jesus? Do you want to know Jesus? Do you want to invite Him into your life? Do you want to learn more? Do you want to chat about it? Leave me a comment and let’s start the conversation…


Your Key to Life

Day 303: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Jesus provides cleansing from our sins … Psalm 119:129-136
  2. Jesus is superior to angels … Hebrews 1:1-14
  3. Jesus is the anointed Messiah … Lamentations 3:40-66, 4, 5

Ever heard of the “Five Solas”


Sola = Alone or Only

Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”) Sola Fide (“faith alone”) Sola Gratia (“grace alone”) Solus Christus (“Christ alone”) Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”)

Justification is the doctrine that God pardons, accepts, and declares a sinner to be “just” on the basis of Christ’s righteousness (Rom 3:24-26; 4:25; 5:15-21) which results in God’s peace (Rom 5:1), His Spirit (Rom 8:4), and salvation. Justification is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ apart from all works and merit of the sinner (cf. Rom 1:18-3:28). –from http://www.theopedia.com/Justification

Faith alone (Sola Fide)

Justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. In justification Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God’s perfect justice. Our justification does not rest on any merit to be found in us, nor upon the grounds of an infusion of Christ’s righteousness in us, nor that an institution claiming to be a church that denies or condemns sola fide can be recognized as a legitimate church. — from http://www.theopedia.com/five-solas

Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura)

The inerrant Scripture (the Bible) is the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured. It is denied that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian’s conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation. –from http://www.theopedia.com/five-solas

Christ alone (Solus Christus)

Our salvation is accomplished by the mediatorial work of the historical Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father. It is denied that the gospel is preached if Christ’s substitutionary work is not declared and faith in Christ and his work is not solicited. –from http://www.theopedia.com/five-solas

Grace alone (Sola Gratia)

In salvation we are rescued from God’s wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life. It is denied that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature. –from http://www.theopedia.com/five-solas

Glory to God alone (Soli Deo Gloria)

It is affirmed that because salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, it is for God’s glory and that we must glorify him always. We must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God and for his glory alone. It is denied that we can properly glorify God if our worship is confused with entertainment, if we neglect either Law or Gospel in our preaching, or if self-improvement, self-esteem or self- fulfillment are allowed to become alternatives to the gospel. –from http://www.theopedia.com/five-solas


As we consider and reflect on the things that God’s Word tells us – letting the Bible interpret the Bible…

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. –from Ephesians 2

We see this in both old and new testament readings…

And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith. –from Genesis 15

and

4“Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked.
But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God. –from Habakkuk 2
So we see the key is faith in God!
We need to be standing on the Word of God! We need to take a stand for the Word of God!
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. –from 2 Timothy 3
So let’s live out our lives so that we shine these truths so that God will receive all the praise, all the honor, and all the glory in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Are feeling weary? Are you feeling burdened?


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.

Matthew 11:28

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

turn-to-jesus-who-is-the-answer-matthew-11_28

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.

–Galatians 6:9-10

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