Invest in Rest

Friday1st

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28 NIV

The Greek word for “rest” in Matthew 11:28 means:

1) to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength

2) to give rest, refresh, to give one’s self rest, take rest

3) to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation

It is an invitation from Jesus to stop your work and invest in rest.

Make time to stop producing, stop creating and simply breathe.

Take a minute or an hour to do something that fills your soul.

Close your eyes so you can really see what is going on inside of you.

Open your eyes to love the people who are around you.

It is not a one-time invitation, it is a spiritual investment for a lifestyle of trust.

Jesus is saying “come to me” whenever you need to rest and as often as you need to rest.

Are you soul tired today?

Come to Jesus, His arms are open for you.

 

 

Worries

Thursday 30

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

Luke 12:25, 26 NIV

These days, there doesn’t seem to be small worries. Only big ones – world size worries. Big questions that are unanswerable. Big wonderings about what will happen next week, next month and so on.

What are you worried about today, my friend?

Is it something that is in your hands to change or something out of your control?

If it is something within your power to change, I am asking Jesus to give you the courage to do it. To step out in faith, following His leading and do what you can do, where you are.

If it is something out of your control (which can be most all things and people),  I am asking Jesus to meet you in the place of your worry and give you the power to release it to Him.

You may not have the power to change things but He does.

Jesus is bigger than your worries and able to provide what you need right where you are.

May your worries today transform into a powerful moment of trusting in the One who holds the universe (and you) in the palm of His hand.

Few Words, Big Impact

Tuesday-April 28

After a month of the world living at home, we are all experiencing the power of words. The words on the news, the words on social media, and most definitely, the words spoken in your home.

Here are a few small sentences that can make a big difference to someone you love today:

Don’t give up.

I forgive you.

I love you.

I miss you.

Pray for me.

Go for it.

You matter.

Forgive me.

Let go.

Yes.

No.

Which sentence do you need to say today?

Jesus used small sentences too:

Follow me.

You are forgiven.

Stand up and walk.

I am He.

Pray like this.

Be healed.

Which one do you need to hear today?

The most important things are said in the smallest of sentencesUse them, receive them, say them to someone who needs to hear the truth of them today. 

 

Peace of Mind

April-27-a

“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it.

And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff.  Live generously.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:38-42‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Jesus always challenges the “normal” way to deal with things and is speaking here of a different way to live your life.  A way the doesn’t come naturally or how most people live but a different way altogether that doesn’t depend on “getting ahead” but depends on God’s faithful provision for you financially, physically, and spiritually. When God is your source, others don’t have to be.

He says that if someone takes advantage of you- give them what you have and move on with your life. Let it go. Trust God to give you what you need. Ask God to bless them.

In this way, you will be living in the abundance of God’s love instead of the famine of bitter resentments.

God doesn’t deny that bad things happen or that people might take advantage of you but He also doesn’t abandon you to it. He empowers you to trust Him and pours out His Spirit on you so that you can move on.

True freedom is living generously in your heart, spirit, and life.

It is going beyond the bare minimum to experiencing full abundance in Christ.

It doesn’t happen in a day but it happens as you walk with Jesus, day by day.

My friend, I know you have been wronged. I know someone has taken advantage of you. I know that someone is asking something from you that is unreasonable. All I am saying today is that you ask Jesus if whatever it is, is worth your peace of mind and the state of your heart.

I am praying for you today. 

This Is For You

Friday

There came a man who walked the earth, spoke truth to all who would listen, healed broken bodies and restored broken souls to God. It was His love that breathed life into the first lungs of man and His word that drove the darkness and chaos back before that.

He came to the earth He created for one purpose: to perfect love. The word perfect here doesn’t mean flawless as much as it means complete. Completed completeness. This love that bled when the lash tore open His back and wood of the cross dug into it, persevered through the unendurable physical and spiritual pain of the cross until He could utter the truth, “it is finished”.

This love has been made completely complete. The debt of sin has been paid and the great chasm between God and man has been crossed.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18 NIV

When fear rises up to dismantle my faith or weave it’s tentacles around my feet to trip me up, I must remember this fact: I have nothing to fear.

Christ took my punishment completely so that I could let His love complete me.

Are you letting His love complete you?

Are you letting His love in?

Today, Jesus is holding out His love to you and asking you to take it, make it yours and start living in the expansive truth of it today.

Take it.

This is for you.

I Want to Remind You

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I just want to remind you that you are loved.

You are loved today wherever you are: at home, in a hospital, doing online school, on a Zoom meeting, doing the dishes or distracting yourself on YouTube.

You are loved whether you are doing good or not so good. Whether you feel you have a handle on all the anxiety or you feel like the anxiety has a hold on you.

Jesus loved you at the worst you have ever been, He loves you where you are today and will love you where you are tomorrow.

This is the relentless love of God and I am praying that it will give you the courage to do whatever you must do today.

May the God of uncontainable love drench you in His presence.  May His awe-inspiring grace recharge your hope and fill your faith with the courage to trust Him. May you never forget that He has you in the palm of His hand.

The Day After the Resurrection

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On the Monday after Easter when we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, I like to take a moment to think about how it must have been for Him.   What was it like for Him to see the sunrise in a resurrected body, through resurrected eyes?

Eyes that held ancient eternity and recent humanity.

In a body that bore the sin of the world and conquered death.

Now He would walk on the road and walk thru walls.

His work on the cross was finished but His relationship revolution with humanity had just begun.

He showed His disciples His nail-scarred hands. He walked and talked with them on the road to Emmaus.

He fixed breakfast on the beach and ate with them.

His earthly mission was finished but the co-mission through His followers was just beginning.

“Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20 MSG

Q. What happened after the Resurrection?

A. The Great Commission

Go and let nothing stop you.

Judgment

Thursd-4-9

All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children”.

Matthew 27:25 

After Gethsemane, Jesus was betrayed Judas, the disciples abandoned Him, Peter denied Him and He was brought before by Herod to be judged. Herod sent Him to Pilot but Pilot couldn’t find a reason for a death penalty. It came down to the people and the people demanded that Jesus be crucified and the murderer, Barabas, be released to them.

Unfair, unjust, unreasonable are just three words that come to mind but that is not what captivated me. What captivated my attention was the truth of the statement written in the account: “His blood be on us and on our children”.

He must have stood there marveling as He heard the crowd cry out for His death, knowing that He was going to bear the judgment physically, spiritually….literally, not only for them but for all mankind.

Now their cry has become mine: “His blood be on us and on our children”,  not the blood of judgment but the blood of forgiveness.

While Jesus was on the cross, He drank deep from the cup of God’s fury against sin so that you and I could drink deep of the cup of forgiveness. He took our judgment so we could be pardoned for all eternity. Thus is the gift of salvation!

Now their cry has become mine: “His blood be on us and on our children”,  not the blood of judgment but the blood of His amazing love and forgiveness. It was the strength of His love for us that drove Him to become the sacrifice for us.

If you don’t know how much Jesus loves you, look at the cross – the proof lies lifeless there.

 

 

The Last Supper

Tues 4-7

And he took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper, he took the cup saying, “This cup is the new covenant in the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

Luke 22:19-20 NIV

A symbolic dinner to tell the ancient story of freedom from slavery and redemption from death itself.

A lamb for each family that crowded the streets of Jerusalem that week.  A lamb sacrificed by a Temple priest.  A lamb that was consumed later as they moved through each symbolic element: the meat, the unleavened bread, the bitter herbs, the egg, the cups of wine, the applesauce.

The disciples were celebrating a holiday, Jesus was fulfilling prophecy.

Then Jesus put himself on the plate, put Himself in the story. He picked up the bread and broke it and said, “This is my body given for you”. He took the cup and said, “This is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you.” Only God can make a new covenant. And He did.

It was their last supper together.

After they celebrated the angel of death passing over those whose homes were marked with the blood of the lamb, they saw the blood of the Chosen One spilled under the lash of the whip and poured out on the wood of a Roman cross as He died before their eyes.

It was the last Passover Jesus had with His disciples before Jesus became the Passover Lamb for His disciples and the world.

For you.

For me.

Forever.

And a new way to remember it, we call it communion.

 

Quiet it All

“If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”  Mark 4:23 NIV

When life gets loud, stressful and fear-filled, listening gets difficult.

With all there is to listen to for up to date information and then all the things we do to distract us from it all, it can be difficult to hear what God is saying to us.

Jesus is always communicating with you. He is always speaking truth to you.

Today is a day to listen.

To quiet everything.

To step back and breathe.

To quiet the stress, the worries, the distractions, the screens, social media, or anything else that is draining your ability to hear Jesus.

Jesus is speaking to you and He has something that He wants you to hear clearly.

I am asking Jesus to give you ears to hear and to prepare a quiet place for you to receive His word for you today.

What is creating the most internal noise in your life right now?

What do you need to do to quiet down the external noise to be able to hear God’s voice better?

What is Jesus saying to you today?