The more I study the Scriptures, the more I am reminded of the great old hymn, “I Love to Tell the Story”. The passages of Scripture are unique and different, but they tell us more about the same story, the story of Jesus. It is a complete story of His complete love. It seems incomplete to us in the beginning, but the more we study, the more we realize it is all there, we just haven’t understood it yet. I have “loved” Jesus a long time, but it is only in the last few years that I have come to realize that what I really wanted was to be “in love” with Jesus. I used to know about Him, but now I just want to know Him. The only way to really fall in love with someone is to get to know them and the only way to do that is to spend time with them, whether that be physically with them or to be with them in Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit searches our hearts and knows the heart of God (since He is God) and He communicates between those hearts because He indwells us. What a wonderful plan! Because of God’s Holy Spirit, we can spend time with Him all the time.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” — Matt. 11:28-30 NIV
God has made great promises to us if we will learn to lean on Him. We get so wrapped up in our work and making our own plans for the future, that we have no time left to enjoy today. We carry all this baggage with us all the time, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We say we trust God, yet, we worry when the bank account is low and we feel we have to have weeks worth of food stored in the house. Remember when Jesus sent the disciples out? He told them not to take anything with them, no food, no money, not even a change of clothes. I must ask myself, “would I be willing to start out on a trip like that?” Sadly, the answer is no. We are so concerned about things that we rarely ever get a good night’s rest. We worry about things over which we have no control and a lot of those things never happen anyway. The scriptures above are not meant to be just some “pie in the sky”, future event. They are for now. They are the way we should be living our lives today. We wear ourselves out trying to do God’s job. Just as the Israelis who refused to believe and were not allowed to enter in Canaan physically, we never reach a place to rest here on earth because of our unbelief.
16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.— Hebrews 3:16-19 NIV
When life seems more than we can bear, we have a place of quiet rest prepared for us, near to the heart of God. “Come unto me and I will give you rest”.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Even after Jesus had fed the multitude, the people wanted more miraculous signs. Jesus corrects them on the Old Testament scriptures. Moses was their earthly leader, but Moses could not have produced enough manna to feed millions of people. God supplied the bread and when that wasn’t enough, God supplied the quails. Jesus uses this to teach them about the true Bread from heaven. God, in the human form of Jesus, came to earth. God is the Creator who breathed the breath of life into us in the beginning and God is the one who sustains life now. Earthly bread make feed us physically, but it cannot sustain us forever, The True Bread is the source of life. If we partake of that Bread, we shall have eternal life.
We are all familiar with the commandment that Jesus called the second most important commandment. We believe it, but how do we walk that out in our everyday lives? How do we show the world around us that we love Jesus and that we love them? Of course, we can see those in need physically, financially and materially. We should always fulfill those needs as much as we possibly can. But what about those with spiritual needs? If our neighbor had a deadly disease and we had the cure, would we withhold it? Yet, there are those in our families, our circle of friends, and in our neighborhood, who have a deadly disease called sin.
15 Your desire grows inside you until it results in sin. Then the sin grows bigger and bigger and finally ends in death–James 1:15 (ERV)
We have the cure for that disease, why don’t we share it with everyone who has not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Remember, we were once infected with that disease and someone shared the cure with us. “Go and do likewise”.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Jesus is not suggesting that we not worry, He is telling us not to do it. If we continually worry about something, we are being disobedient. Not only is continually worrying a sin, satan uses it to destroy us mentally and if we persist in worrying, it will destroy us physically. We might look at this warning from Jesus in a different light, if we look up the definition of worry and find the following definition and example:
worry (of a dog or other carnivorous animal) tear at, gnaw on, or drag around with the teeth.
“I found my dog contentedly worrying a bone”
Imagine that satan is the dog and you are the bone. You see why God doesn’t want us to worry? He knows it’s that sly old dog, satan, lying to us and dragging us down. Isn’t that an exact picture of how we feel after days and days of worrying over something? We feel worn out, torn up and like we have been dragged around by the hair of the head. And guess what, Jesus was right, all of our worrying has not changed a single thing. Whatever was going to happen, happened anyway and whatever was not going to happen, didn’t happen. We can cast all of our cares on Jesus. Some of those cares He will crush with His feet because they come from His enemy, satan. Some of those cares He will hold in the palm of His hand and caress you until you feel His joy. Why? That is just what Love does.
26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.—James 1:26,27 (NLT)
I wish I had never said that! Sound familiar? Unfortunately, our spoken words are like our texts and our emails, once we have hit the send button, we can’t get them back. Words can pierce us to depths of our heart and the wounds are slow to heal, if they heal at all. In the carpenter trade (which Jesus was very familiar with), they have a saying” “measure twice, cut once”. Of course, the implication is that if you take the time to measure correctly, you want have to cut the lumber again. That would be a good rule for us to follow in our conversations. Think twice about what we are about to say before we say it and maybe no one will get cut to the bone. We should choose words that build up and create rather than destroy. We need to show our faithfulness to Jesus by caring for those around us that need our help. Not just physically and materially, but also spiritually. We need to walk carefully so that we are not corrupted. Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.–Galatians 6:1 (NKJV)