Rest Is the Best!

Matthew 11:28 – 30 says that we should go to the Lord when we are weary and need rest. It speaks of Jesus’ yoke. What does this mean? Well, a yoke is a harness that was used to attach a piece of equipment to an ox for it to pull behind him. When we take on the Lord’s yoke, He does the heavy lifting. He does the hard work, so we can rest. Why? Because sometimes we just need the rest. Our God is our refuge and our strength. He takes on our burdens for us. Sometimes we get caught up in all the ‘life’ things happening around us, we don’t even notice what has become acceptable pressure for us. How does fear surface in your daily routine? How does insecurity pop up its head? We should be on guard that the evil one is hoping we find our value in what we do, how many things we cross of our To Do list – even good things. Are you someone that feels they must tell folks around them what all you did that day to feel accomplished? Whose measuring you? Who is telling you that you didn’t measure up if you didn’t get everything done that day? Who is saying you are the sum of your list you accomplished that day? That’s not from God.

I remember when I had finished writing my first book, I felt completely empty. I thought I would feel, well, just totally wonderful afterward. I thought I would be ready to write more, talk to more people, and distribute more books. What I found was nothing. I was almost numb really. I would go to church and sort of zone out. I would sing but not feel it. I would hear the sermons, feel the love of others, but not give back. This went on for a while before I started asking questions about it. Someone said that maybe I just needed the rest. Maybe God was helping me to rest, even when I was too tired to notice I needed the rest. Once I heard this, I knew that’s what was happening. I knew my worth was from God. He’s already approved me. He is where my value comes from, not from what I do. Writing the book was meant to bring me joy while I was learning to write for Him. I took time off before starting to write my second book. I went into this one praying for peace. I prayed for the joy of the Lord to come through me as I met with people who were buying the book. I prayed relationships would be enhanced with the Lord, including mine among those who were reading the book. I have heard so many stories from folks reading my book that have given me such joy. The rest I took after the first book, and the rest I took while writing the second book allowed me to enjoy the process, while still worshipping and serving God. The pressures of our day, even with good things, should not overtake our ability to serve God, to worship God or spend less time with God in prayer. This should be a great reason for some serious, all-in kind of prayer. The kind where you cry out to God that you know you need Him to show you how to make your schedule less jam-packed. The kind where you beg God to give you rest and have peace about it (not guilt). The kind where you see why God says you should take a day to rest and worship Him, to devote your day to Him, even if nobody else in your house will go with you. Go ahead. He’s listening.

Let’s Get Serious!

I had seen the movie War Room before, however, I decided to watch it again with my church as we showed it during a “Movie Night”. We had popcorn, soft drinks and just plain fun. Of course we had the discussion as we worked in the kitchen of offering “soda vs coke” which led to the “would you like a coke? Great, what kind” conversation because I am a true Texan in that regard. 🙂

All joking aside, this movie really makes you stop and think about how serious you are with prayer in your life. I first began thinking about where my passion lies. Is my drop in passion because I’m not supposed to be doing it anymore? Is it because I’m tired? Could it possibly be because I’m doing just what I should be doing – and doing it well, which makes the enemy shutter? I was reminded of the story in 2 Kings 6:1-7 where the guy was doing just what he should be doing but the head of his ax (borrowed ax) fell into the water. He was doing just what he should be doing but encountered an obstacle. He had to approach someone to get it back – not just any someone. It took one of God’s chosen to help him get it back, through a miracle. That’s just what we should do too. We shouldn’t do a lot of worrying or running around chasing futile actions or wait on any ol’ somebody to do it for us. We should take it to God so He can get it back for us. Trust it to God. Trusting starts with obedience. That’s what I call the rubber hitting the road. Getting on your knees and start praying. Praying like you mean it. Praying expecting God to handle it. Do you remember that fire you had for God when you first accepted Him as your Savior? If you want that back, approach God. If you accepted Jesus as your Savior and never felt the “on fire for God” feeling, approach God.

Ezek 36:26 says this – And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

If you feel you’ve lost your passion for God, take time today to get away from all the distractions. Go somewhere quiet, get on your knees, and begin an honest conversation with God. Tell God how you feel. He’s a big God. He can handle hearing whatever you say. He’s a compassionate God. He will prove faithful to you. Ask Him to deliver to you what His Word promises in Ezek 36:26. Then begin to listen to Him. Trust Him. Follow Him. Be obedient to His direction in your life.

Hosanna!

In our Christian walk, this past Sunday was Palm Sunday. If you read in John 12, you will capture the story of Jesus’ last days before He was crucified. What began on that day as cheers for the king would end in those yelling to crucify Him. Folks met him shouting “Hosanna”, which means “Save!” in Hebrew. It would become an exclamation of praise. They were shouting “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

If you keep reading in John 12, you will see that Jesus knew what was about to happen to Him. He knew how horrible it would be. Knowing these things made his heart very heavy. He could have backed out. He could have said He didn’t want to go through with it. He could have made a different choice. I am eternally grateful He didn’t make a different choice. I’m thankful He chose to love each and every one of us with the greatest love of all. He chose to love us with the love that is willing to die for us.

So many times, we get to Palm Sunday and we like to speed right past what took place that week and land right on Easter Sunday. I have had the opportunity in the past to participate in the waving of the palms in our service. Although I have waved palms in our Easter stories set to music in the past, there was something special about taking part in it for the actual service. I hope you will take a few minutes today to think about Jesus as your King, your Lord, and most of all, your Savior. Exclaim “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Today is known as Maundy Thursday, where we as Christians take in the moment of when Jesus shared the last supper with the disciples and washed their feet before He was crucified. In John 13:31-35, He gave us a commandment to love one another. I believe it will change your walk with Christ if you look up the word “hosanna” and the phrase “last supper” in your concordance or on Biblegateway.com and follow where it leads you. I believe it will be instrumental in you remembering what Christ did on the cross. I encourage you to take time tonight to truly study the Bible and meditate on this so you can begin to soak in Christ’s love for you. If your church offers a Maundy service, I encourage you to attend. I believe this will make your Easter the best ever, when you remember how much Christ loved you then and still loves you now.

Tini

O How I Love the Lost and Found!!

Psalm 145:13 tells us that the Lord is faithful in all His words (promises) and kind in all His works (all he has made).

We have the ability to love because God first loved us. This reminds me of the hymn, “O how I Love Jesus”. Go ahead and sing the chorus! I don’t want to waste that ability to love, do you? God gave His Son to allow us the ability to love. Jesus is our example of loving unconditionally. He’s our example here on earth. Loving unconditionally is very hard to do, though, isn’t it? Have you ever had someone tell you they would protect you, even die for you? That’s what Jesus did for you. He died to protect you from eternal separation from God. He died so you wouldn’t have to spend eternity in a horrible, horrible place.

Check out what Zephaniah 3:17 says. It tells us that He is in our midst and is mighty to save. He rejoices over you with singing and quiets you with love.

He doesn’t just love us for us. He loves us so we can have the example to love others. We are to love God and others. Let’s not waste that ability.

God is unashamed of our sin and still loves us. He knows we sin and still loves us. God forgives everyone. Nothing we have done is too bad for God’s love. Have you ever lost something and began looking for it everywhere? You kept looking and finally found it? That’s God! That’s the church! Some folks know in their hearts they need to seek God, but make the decision to go with the rest of the world instead. Some folks make the decision to seek God and accept Him. When you accept Christ as your Savior, the church rejoices with you! I encourage you to seek God today, admit your short comings to Him, turn from your old ways and turn to God. When you realize you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing and that God has a far better way to live, tell God this and turn to Jesus. God is waiting for you. God is watching for you. God has a wonderful party planned for you. RSVP today!

Build bridges and allow God to change your life – You will never regret it.