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God's rest

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30; NKJV
Submit and be taught by God and enjoy His rest.

What are you wearing today

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:14; WEB). Put on is translated by one Greek word which means, to put clothes on. In the reference above, that means to live like Christ.

I started meditating on the above verse and I was reminded that there were other verses in the Bible that start the same way; here are some examples. “Put on therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance.” (Col 3:12; WEB). “Put on the new man” (Eph 4:24; KJV). This is also found in Col 3:10. The new man is who we became when we were born again; it is our ability to live under the direction of the Holy Spirit rather than our old carnal nature. Put on the whole armour of God” (Eph 6:11; KJV). This passage deals with all the spiritual weapons we need to use to deal with the devil’s opposition. Put on the armour of light” (Rom 13:12; KJV). Remember that Jesus told us we are the light of the world; we need to remember to wear it and let it shine from us! “But above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness” (Col 3:14; KJV). The word charity or love in this verse is the word agape in the Greek; the unconditional love of God. “As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27; KJV). In other words, behave like Jesus would.

You may be thinking this is impossible and in the natural; yes, it is. However, if we cooperate with the Holy Spirit, we will slowly experience success. 

Jesus did it all for us.

Sometimes it is useful for us to stop and think about all Jesus went through during his arrest and crucifixion (Isa 52:14-53:12; Matt 26:47-27:56; Mark 14:43-15:41; Luke 22:47-23:49; John 18:1-19:37). One of his very own disciples betrayed him with a kiss, he was abandoned and many turned their backs on him. One of his disciples denied 3 times that he even knew Jesus. He was arrested, bound, blasphemed and given no fair trial. The leaders of the nation he belonged to brought false accusations against him and in envy and hatred stirred up the people to demand his crucifixion. He was slapped, beaten, spat upon, mocked and treated with contempt. Our Jesus was scourged, with flesh torn from his back, his blood shed and his head pierced with thorns. He was condemned to death by a Roman leader that ignored his conscience and yielded his decision to Jesus’ accusers. Finally, he was stripped, nailed to a cross and pierced with a roman spear that caused blood and water to flow out of his side.
But for Jesus the greatest agony was caused by two things: (1) becoming sin for us; bearing our sins, and paying the price for our sins. Our sins marred his face almost beyond recognition (Isa 52:14). (2) Being separated from his Father by sin. Jesus cried out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34; WEB). Jesus endured all of this: “for the joy that was set before him” (Heb 12:2; KJV); for the knowledge of the victory and salvation he would win for us, you and me.  

With God we can do all things.

Facing a challenge? Just remember that: “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You” (Jer 32:17);
“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt 19:26).

 Because of those words from God we can say that: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).

 And in case you wondered If this all still applies today, it does!!!  “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob” (Mal 3:6)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Mal 13:8).

 Now that’s good news.

All scriptures NKJV, used with permission.

Christian Living

Christian living                                                                  

In Romans 12:9-21, the apostle Paul, in writing to Christians, gives some guidelines for Christian living. Please read these verses for yourself, but this is what I take away from Paul’s discourse.

We are to love unconditionally and let our love be expressed in tender affection. Our love should be demonstrated actively in meeting the needs of and being hospitable to others. This should be directed to fellow Christians first but also to strangers and even those who treat us badly or hurt us. We should be focused on good and hate anything evil. Patience is needed when pressures and afflictions come against us and we should respond with rejoicing, standing firm in trust of our loving heavenly Father. Try to be a blessing to and love anyone who acts as an enemy; avoid anger and never seek revenge. Let’s avoid opinions and criticism and leave any judgement to God. Walk in peace and seek unity, even if others refuse to.

Be an encourager; praise God for the success of others and show great compassion and sympathy when others suffer hurt and loss. Be a friend to all and put others first. Don’t elevate yourself as a know it all, or the bee’s knees, or the cat’s meow, but be humble. Be spiritually on fire for God, sold out to his commands, completely focused on serving and pleasing him.

I don’t know about you but there were some places where I felt an ouch and was convicted in this passage from Romans. This is one of those sets of verses that we need to prayerfully read and re-read and re-read. We need to read with an open heart and allow the Holy Spirit to chasten and encourage us. Let’s sit quietly and ask the Lord to show us where we need to grow and where we may have blind spots.

This excites me as I am sure it does you. Let’s dig in with renewed fervency and diligence to grow in Christ, and be his beacon of light on the earth. Heaven knows that light is needed.