If anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation;
the old has gone,
the new has come.
Cry to Jesus
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened,Cry to Jesus
and I will give you rest. —Matthew 11:28
Resting is not something that comes naturally to me. Back in the days filled with activities, rest came as an afterthought. How things have changed! In this season of my life I need to rest between tasks in order to not become overly fatigued. Gone are the days when I could clean my entire house in one morning.
Awhile back a song kept playing itself over and over in my mind and made a great impact on me. I can relate to these words in particular:
Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!
These lines remind me of the immense comfort I can find in Jesus when I let myself completely rest in Him. He hears my cries and knows my pain, and I am calmed when I remember that He holds my life in His hands.
When we live with daily pain, so many hours are filled not only with pain, but toss in extreme fatigue, canceled plans and stress and you have the perfect formula for frustration.
Are you like me, thinking you can’t possibly make it through the day or maybe even just the next hour? Do you wonder if you will ever be able to lead some kind of normal life again?
Beloved, God reassures us that He is always available and waiting for us to lean on Him. He encourages us to turn to Him and let Him bear the brunt of our burdens. In return we will find rest and that peace that surpasses all understanding.
The ending of this song is a great encouragement for me to keep on trusting that God wants the best for me because in the end we will never feel pain again as we revel in the glorious presence of Jesus Christ, our LORD and Savior.
And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!
Please watch and listen to this great video of “Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)” by Chris Rice. Let the words and melody wash over you. As a believer in Christ Jesus, allow these lyrics to increase your JOY and HOPE in Jesus and His ultimate plan for you, which is to live with Him forever.
If for any reason you cannot view this video, you can read the lyrics here.
Sink Like a Rock, Float Like a Cork
by Patricia Knight
“The borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).
Some of us have experienced the embarrassing situation of borrowing an item and witnessing it break before we return it. The damage must be explained and restitution made. Though all sensible brain cells scream caution when contemplating borrowing an item, convenience usually nullifies any reservations we may have originally had.
Borrowing tools in not new to our generation. The Old Testament prophet, Elisha, was a popular teacher in a theological seminary where young prophets were educated. The students lived in a communal housing structure which was getting over-crowded, so the students invited Elisha to help them construct more classroom space. Each man planned to fell a tree by the Jordan River to use in the building project.
“As one of them was cutting down a tree,
the iron ax head fell into the water.
‘Oh, my Lord,’ he cried, out, ‘it was borrowed’”
(2 Kings 6:5).
Iron implements were extremely rare among the Israelites. Their long-time enemies, the Philistines, controlled iron production, so precious few iron weapons existed among the Israelites. On a particular day of battle “not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son had them” (1 Samuel 13:22). The Israelites commonly fought only with a bow and arrow or a slingshot.
No blacksmiths could be found in the land of Israel, for the Philistines had decreed, “‘Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears’ So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, and axes sharpened” (1 Samuel 13:19-20). The price was exorbitant for sharpening farm implements. Maintaining such control allowed Israel’s enemy to know the amount of equipment available and its general condition.
When the heavy iron ax head plunged into the river, the borrower responded in horror. He knew instinctively the value of the tool that he would be responsible for replacing or reimbursing. Since he was a student with little income, he could be facing the prospect of becoming a bondservant until he worked off his debt. Imagine the chilling fear and guilt swirling around the borrower’s mind.
The prophet, Elisha, was also aware of the ramification of the lost tool.
“Elisha the man of God asked, ‘Where did it fall?’
When he showed him the place,
Elisha cut a stick and threw it there
and made the iron float.
‘Lift it out,’ he said.
Then the man reached out his hand and took it”
(2 Kings 6:6-7)
It was truly a miracle for a weighty iron ax head lying on the bottom of the muddy Jordan River, to float to the surface like a buoyant cork. What wonder and gratitude Elisha’s students learned outside of the classroom that day as God demonstrated His mercy for the welfare of His faithful ones.
The ax head anecdote preserved in God’s Word, assures us that our Lord is personally involved in our lives without reservations. It doesn’t matter how minor the problem, God always responds to our crisis. He hears our prayers instantly, already aware of our personal needs before we utter the words. Included in His instructions to His disciples about prayer, Jesus said, “’ Your heavenly Father knows what you need before you ask him’” (Matthew 6:8). What comfort!
Our heavenly Father desires that we remain in constant communication with Him, but He realizes when things occur quickly, our prayer tongue is often tied. It is then that the Holy Spirit is available to interpret our needs and to comfort us.
We may never panic in response to the loss of a broken ax head, but each of us can relate to similar traumatic times when we were “on the hook” to someone else, when our well-being or health depended on one decision, or when a situation occurred so quickly, there was no time for thought or action. During each of those scenarios, we need an advocate, a guide, or a miracle worker—perhaps all three. God is delighted to help. He is the one answer to our multiple problems.
Our Lord extends mercy and grace through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, who paved the way for us to communicate with His holy Father. If we place out trust in Him, pledge to follow and serve Him, Jesus will enable us with His power, lavish us with His love and grace, and shower us with mercy, regardless of how underserving we may think we are.
Grace is one of the key attributes of God. Grace is His love in action as He passionately shares all of His goodness with believers. “’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:9), was God’s response to the Apostle Paul when he pleaded for healing of a particularly bothersome physical pain. Few of God’s servants have demonstrated the Lord’s strength as consistently as the Apostle Paul. Similarly, our weakness also provides the ideal opportunity for the display of the Almighty’s power.
The story of the loose, flying, sinking, floating ax head comprises a mere seven verses in the Old Testament, but the message of God’s miraculous intervention and His overwhelming kindness have inspired readers for centuries. Do not be lulled into thinking that any instance in life is too small to attract God’s attention and to activate His immediate action.
The prayers of God’s people invite and assure God’s response. “‘I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?’” (Jeremiah 32:27).
I think not.
A Psalm of Fearless Trust in God.
A Psalm of David.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.
4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.
5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
8 When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”
9 Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the Lord will take me up.
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a level path
Because of my foes.
12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.
If for any reason you cannot view this video, please go here to read the lyrics.
How was your week? On top of my usual health issues I am now in the midst of a cold or the flu, or maybe it’s a bad FMS/CFS flare. Sometimes it’s hard to tell because these flares feel like a very bad case of the flu.
In spite of all this, I choose to praise my Savior and Lord Jesus, and invite you to do the same today through this praise and worship song, “When The Stars Burn Down (Blessing And Honor)” by Phillips Craig & Dean. It gives me chills whenever I hear it, and of course I have to sing along, especially to this part:
Singing, “Blessing and honor and glory and power forever to our God.”
Star of the morning
Light of salvation
God of all mysteries
Lord of the universe
This is a great Q&A from the GraceThruFaith site. And while you’re reading the rest of this at their site, please take the time to browse the the wealth of good information and resources there.
Are there degrees of sin?
Q. I do not believe God considers all sin to be the same. I base this on the words of Jesus. He was responding to Pilate who had said, “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” In John 19:11, “Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” I realize that any sin, no matter the magnitude by our earthly standards, separates us from God. We all need salvation through Jesus. Even so, don’t you think that Jesus’ words in John 19:11 means that God does in fact see sin in degrees?
A. Pilate was an unbeliever who didn’t have any idea who Jesus was. He was acting in ignorance. But at some level the priests who handed Him over had to know they were putting the Son of God to death.
Read the rest here.