On some days, I feel like that Volkswagen Jetta I saw: it was overloaded with 3,000 lbs. of cement, plywood and various other building materials.The back tires were trashed and the shocks were driven up through the floorboard, but the engine was still running!
What do you do when you have one of those overloaded days?You've been there, too.I'm talking about the, "If-one-more-thing-is-added-to-my-plate-I-will-scream!" kind of day.Do those days seem to come around more often than they once did?
Overloaded!It's easy to advise someone in that predicament to lighten their load, but that isn't a very good answer.Was Jesus looking into the future when He said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matt. 11: 28-30)
If your life feels overloaded, remember, the closer you walk with Jesus, the better partner he can become to help you carry the load.He is not an absentee coach shouting words of encouragement from the bleachers as we go it alone.He will place His own shoulder under your heavy cross, and if that doesn't work, He will carry you, cross and all.Amen and amen.
“The Lord has shown you what is good. He has told you what he requires of you. You must treat people fairly. You must love others faithfully. And you must be very careful to live the way your God wants you to.”
Micah 6:8 (New International Reader's Version)
Some people are bird watchers. I am a people watcher; no doubt about it. I may notice the fashion trends, or wonder what they do for a living or what their conversation may be with a friend. Just random thoughts go through my head as I sit and observe. During a recent “people watching” moment, I witnessed a beautiful act of love as I waited for a friend at a health care facility.
An elderly couple walked very, very slowly along with a man who could have been their son, grandson or nephew. I speculate on the relationship because I know nothing about them. While it seems pretty ordinary, it was anything but.
The woman was gently supporting her husband with one arm around his waist and her other hand clenching his as they walked past me. Her act of love was to somehow support him as he was very unsteady on his feet.
I have no idea what was going on with them or him, but I do know I was watching this beautiful act of love. It made me quietly reflect that some of us may not have that special person to offer us tender support when we need it, but we have a God that provides acts of love daily.
He lifts us up and supports us when others are unable or incapable. We can lean on Him at any time when we are unsteady.
GospeLines Prayer: Father, thank You for showing me You through such an extraordinary act of love.
Thank You for supporting me when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. Thank You for reminding me that with You, my days are anything but ordinary.
Please continue to hold me in Your arms and surround me with your acts of love.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Gadgets seem to follow me home.Occasionally I find one that is really worth what I paid for it, like the water sprinkler shaped like a tractor.It has a little water-powered engine and follows the water hose with its grooved front wheel as the lugged rear wheels provide the traction.Sounds simple enough but it WILL jump the track if the hose is curved too sharply or if there is a bump or hole in the grass, then it depends on me to pick it up and set it straight again.
Christians are similarly driven by the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through us.When the way is smooth we stay on track rather easily.But nothing says we won't have bumps in our pathway and sharp curves to maneuver.Fortunately, our Heavenly Father is there to set us straight again when bad times come.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, when the way is crooked, potholes to dodge and steep hills to climb, that's when I need you the most, and gratefully you are always there.Make my way as straight and as smooth as possible, but I pray that you will never tire of picking me up when I jump the track.Amen and amen
Several years ago, late on Christmas Eve, we set out to assemble our daughter’s new Barbie doll house so that it would be ready when they awoke the next morning.After reading the instructions thoroughly, I looked up at my wife with what she later described as a “deer in the headlights” stare.I was lost and confused…
Perhaps that’s how the Ethiopian eunuch (described in the 8th chapter of Acts) felt when he was reading the Scriptures – lost and confused.Do you sometimes feel that way too?Do you sometimes feel like the prophecy of Isaiah 6:9 has been fulfilled in you?
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
Like the Ethiopian eunuch, have you ever wanted to say, “How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?”Paul says that we should have the same attitude, purpose and humble mind that is in Jesus. (Philippians 2:5)But, to have His attitude (His way of thinking) we need to understand Him and His Word.
Jesus Himself tells us that if we keep our hearts from becoming calloused (thick) that we will see, hear and understand so that He can heal us. (Matthew 13:15)
When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior the Spirit of God becomes available to us so that we can understand what God has freely given us (1st Corinthians 2:11-12).Jesus promised that we would not be without a teacher but that the Holy Spirit would be sent by the Father to teach us all things and cause us to understand the Words of Scripture. (John 14:26)
As Christians and servants of the Word, God’s Spirit is available to us and we can understand.But, as the Spirit gives us understanding, what should we do?How should our minds, our actions and our words change?Mark Twain once said: “Most people are bothered by those passages in Scripture which they cannot understand; but, as for me, I always notice that the passages in Scripture which trouble me the most are those which I do understand.”
Therefore, as God gives us understanding, we should cultivate our knowledge of the Word (and of our Lord Jesus) with enthusiasm, reverence and awe.With tenderness of conscience and watchfulness against temptation we should shrink from whatever might offend God or discredit the Name of Christ (Philippians 2:12 AMP).If we live with, in Him and for Him, He has promised to bless us with the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:21-23).
Brothers and sisters; if, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we not only seek understanding of His Holy word but receive what He is freely offering; and, if we enthusiastically seek (crave) Him with all our hearts, we will some day hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”Halleluiah!
“…I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
A customer purchased a beautiful stainless steel grill, retail value, $3,600. Built by a master craftsman, it was a beautiful work made by skilled hands, carefully constructed in every detail. In transporting it to our store, the top half flew out of the truck and was run over. Demolished!
It was now reduced to a worthless heap of twisted metal with one tire track clearly visible. I called a company which buys scrap metal to try to redeem part of the investment, only to learn that we could only get 25 cents per lb. for stainless steel, or approximately $15.
It's amazing how quickly value diminishes when a product is damaged. It's the same with a once-dynamic Christian, who succumbs to temptation and becomes battered and scarred by the wrecks of the world.
BUT, the difference between one of God's children and a chunk of stainless steel is that we can be redeemed and restored to our original state! "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."(1st John. 1:9) Hallelujah! Amen and amen.