“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.” (Philippians 4:8-14)

Are you known as being a content person? You can learn to be. This encouragement was written while Paul was in prison.

Believers are in a war for their minds, the world system continually bombarding them. The world system seeks to seduce our mind into an anti-God way of thinking.

The secular world rarely asks if a thing is true, which we are instructed to do. Instead, they asks, “Does it work?” or “How will it make me feel?” Based on their answer to these two questions the secular mind determines what for them is true. Truth arrived in this way is not true truth.

The Bible leaves no doubt that people’s lives are the product of their thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 declares, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”

“Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character reap a destiny!”

Twice in this passage, Paul says that he has “learned” to be content. You can, too. Contentment does not come naturally to the sinful human heart. We need God’s grace to strengthen us and to change our hearts. But we also have the responsibility to learn contentment. It requires effort. We must “keep seeking the things above”  (a present imperative command), meaning you have to do it if you desire the result, contentment. To do this we must lean on the Holy Spirit to enable us to keep setting a guard at the door of our heart.

Obedience to two commands is essential to have contentment. They are both  present imperatives meaning to “keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God, and keep setting on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” This is how you learn contentment.

Christ-like character is shaped by thinking Christ-honoring thoughts. About what do think most often? Even more important is how you think about them.

Meditate on what is positive and praiseworthy. Train your mind. Remember that is what the secular world is trying to do. Without being sensitive to it, that it is happening all around us.

Now the formula for contentment summarized: “And do not be conformed (present imperative with a negative) to this world, but be (continually) transformed (present imperative) by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12: 2)

How to Develop a Strong Faith 9/17/00

Psalm 27

JESUS CHRIST wants to enable you to stretch yourself spiritually and expand the circumference of your faith.

On His Earthly walk He greatly admired faith. After a woman had exercised admirable faith, He said to her “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (Luke 7:50).

Genuine faith begins when a person finally decides he or she isn’t God and happily acknowledges submission to the living God.

Such faith is assuring, insuring, and enduring.

Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up.

Faith helps us walk fearlessly, run confidently, and live victoriously.

Is yours a growing faith? If not the reason may be the same as the little boy who fell out of bed. When asked why he said, “I don’t know. I guess I stayed too close to where I got in.”

Have you stayed too close to where you got into the Christian faith? We are exhorted in God’s Word:

“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18).

“As new born babes (we are to) desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow…” (I Peter 2:2).

Are you growing in your faith walk with Christ? Pick a time in the not-to-distant past. One, two, or three years ago. Now, inventory yourself related to these questions:

How does my prayer life compare now to then?

Has my systematic giving to the cause of Christ changed?

“The Living Bible” translation of Deuteronomy 14: 23 sets God’s standard and explains why He set it: “The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your lives.”

Consider the act of giving. First, you write the date on the check. That reminds you that you are a time bound creature with a limited amount of time in which to act.

Next, you write the name of the recipient. When giving to God you use a pseudonym for God, the name of His church.

Here is where the challenge comes. You now write the amount. At this moment you are more than a person with a checkbook in hand. You are a Moses with a rod in your hand. Will you yield it to God. You are a David selecting a stone for your sling. You are a little child with a sack lunch Jesus needs to feed 5,000. You are a Simon Peter with one foot in the boat and one on the water. Will you step out by faith?

When you make an entry on that check you are not just entering an amount to be given you are acknowledging God as the owner of everything.

In the left hand lower corner of the check you now enter what it is for. Perhaps it is to help child grow spiritually. Maybe, it is to help reach the lost. It might be to pay operating expenses that the church might continue to operate. It might be for an expression of thanks for what the church has done for you and your family. In that lower left
hand corner might note it is to benefit you. Giving it shows you have cut yet another cord that binds you to the things of this world.

Are you growing in your faith? Don’t stay too close to where you got in.

Has your loyalty to the bride of Christ, the local church, improved?

Faith is the basis of life. Some persons think it is a sign of weakness. It is rather an indication of strength. Thomas Edison said he never conducted an experiment that did not begin with faith.

Have you ever driven on one of America’s freeways in a major metropolitan area at peak driving time? You have faith.

Have you ever gone shopping when there is a mall-wide sale? You have faith.

Have you ever gone on a date, taken a mate, driven in the rain, flown on a plane, bought or sold an item on credit? You have faith.

Have you ever eaten in a fast-food outlet where you don’t even know the cook, see its preparation, or know its source? You have faith.

Have you ever gone through a bank drive- through, teller window where they have that smoked glass behind which you can see only blurred images and put your pay check in a pneumatic tube that sucked it out of sight? You have faith.

Have you ever gone to a doctor you didn’t know, been given a prescription you couldn’t read, taken it to a pharmacist you couldn’t see, and taken the medicine provided? You have faith.

Faith is merely confidence in God’s character.

In our uncertain times stabilizing faith is needed. An uncertain economy and an international crisis coupled with all your personal challenges makes a strong faith all the more important.

Faith gives us the courage to face the present with confidence, and the future with expectancy.

Compacted in the 27th Psalm are found sequential steps involved in developing a strong faith. Let’s dig them out like a miner who has just struck a major pay-load vein or rich ore. Each is essential to the other and none are possible without the first.

I. SALVATION “The Lord is my light and my salvation, Whom shall I fear?” (Verse 1)

“The Lord” is a reference to Jesus Christ. For us it is a clear prophetic reference to Immanuel, God with us. It identifies the virgin born, sinless God incarnate who shed His blood for our sins on Calvary. Whose substitutionary work was honored by God the Father Who granted Him a victorious resurrection and valedictory ascension back into heaven.

The Scripture says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved…” (Acts 16:31).

It is further asserted: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life…” (John 3:36).

As a young professor at Oxford in England, C.S. Lewis was an outstanding author and one of the greatest literary geniuses in literary criticism in the world. By any standard he was an outstanding scholar. He was also an atheist.

That is, he was until he went to Tinturn Abbey, immortalized by the great poet William Wordsworth. The Abbey stands on the banks of the river Wye. The walls are in tact, but it has no roof, windows or floor. The floor is a carpet of green grass growing as it can only in Britain.

The genius, C. S. Lewis said it was there in Tinturn Abbey one day with the sunlight falling through the arches onto the green grass he experienced inexpressible joy and “All of a sudden I found the essence of the universe in Jesus Christ.” Is Jesus the center of your universe?

Ephesians 2: 8 – 10 gives the steps regarding forgiveness and salvation. It is God’s grace that initiates the act to which we respond by faith. It is not of works.

Even in spite of this clear insight from God’s Word there are those who want to try to work and deserve their salvation. It can’t be done. Let me illustrate.

Suppose a person were to go to Washington D.C. and become captivated by the impressive Washington Monument which is made of marble from Georgia. Assume that this wealthy visitor were to ask a government representative about buying the monument. The rep would instantly state that it couldn’t be done. Why? For three reasons. One, it is not for sale. Two, you don’t have enough resources to purchase it, if it were for sale. Three, as a citizen it is already yours for the taking.

Those who would seek to work and earn their salvation need to realize the same. Salvation isn’t for sale. If it were, none of us could do enough good works to earn it. Likewise, it is already ours for the taking.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He removed every charge the Father had against us and every claim Satan made of us. Salvation is available to all who by faith trust Christ.

Salvation is actually a person. Note, “The Lord is my salvation.” Can you insert that personal pronoun “my.”

“The Lord is the strength of my life…” (Vs. 1b)

This has to do with eternal security. All stability in time has to do with security in eternity.

Once a person enters into union with Christ as Savior they are in eternal union with Him and nothing can get them out of that union. Don’t take my word for this important principle. God has said it. (READ: Romans 8: 1 & 38, 39).

One might draw a wrong conclusion from this correct principle and say, “If I have a lock on heaven, that is, it’s a sure thing, then I can do anything I want.” Such a person overlooks the principle of the loving discipline given by our gracious God to His disobedient children in time as described in Hebrews 12: 6.

The correct conclusion to be reached regarding eternal security is that if I am heaven bound but God has left me here, there must be a purpose in me being here. Life thus takes on meaning.

My strength is not in myself but “the Lord.” According to Jude 24 He is able to keep me “from falling and will present me faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.”

II. STUDY “One thing have I desired of the Lord” (Vs.4)

The house of the Lord to which he made reference was the tabernacle. People in that era could not read. Therefore, the Lord devised symbols to teach them great doctrinal truths. Every item in the house of the Lord, the tabernacle, symbolized some great truth. Today we can read; and the Lord teaches us these truths through His written Word, the Bible.

His “desire” is comparable to our hunger for a better understanding of God’s Word. This requires study.

The expression “To behold the beauty of the Lord” means to meditate on His graciousness. To meditate on means to fill your mind with the thoughts of God’s grace.

The Psalmist then says he wants to “inquire in His temple.” The word “inquire” meant to investigate. It is a further reference to searching God’s Word.

If you want faith to face today’s tests, you must study God’s Word.

III. SECURITY “In the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion” (Vs. 5)

The “pavilion” was the outer court in the tabernacle. To enter it was to have the potential of what was ahead. For our application it is analogous of the promises of God. The expression “In the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion” is comparable to saying, “The Word of God comforts me.”

To say he wanted to “dwell in the house of the Lord” (vs. 4) was the same as our saying, “I want to study God’s Word.”

The tabernacle was built in an era when few people could read. Therefore, symbols were used to communicate great truths. In front of our worship center is a lovely fountain. It is a composite of several symbols intended to communicate certain truths. In the outer court of the tabernacle were several very special items used to communicate some basic principles we read of in the Bible. The items in the “house of the Lord” taught them basic doctrines.

There was one door indicating there was one way to God. We now know that to be Christ.

There was a veil between the holy of holies and the court. The holy of holies symbolized the place God dwelt. The court where human beings gathered. This speaks of the incarnation of Christ, the God/man.

The golden altar was where incense was burned signifying prayer going up to God. It’s primary purpose was to depict the intercessory work to be done by Christ. It was an encouragement to prayer.

The brazen altar was the place of sacrifice. Every Old Testament sacrifice was intended to depict the ultimate sacrifice of Christ.

The mercy seat silently spoke of the propitiation by Christ. There is a big theological term, propitiation. It meant to satisfy the standards of God and thereby make peace between God and man. When there was a lack of rain native Americans did a rain dance. It was suppose to be a propitiation that appeased the gods and result in rain. In old Tarzan movies when native tribes were in trouble they would sacrifice a chicken or goat, or something. Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the earth to serve as our propitiation. He made peace between us and our God.

To develop faith for our hour of crisis memorize His Word.

“The battle is the Lord’s” (I Sam. 17: 47).

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you” (Psalm 55:22).

Further reason is given for casting your cares on Him in I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you.”

IV. SPIRIT GUIDANCE “The Lord is my Light” (Vs. 1)

Christ is our illuminating source. He indwells the believer in the person of His Holy Spirit. Thus our stability is within us. It is not dependent upon externals. Money is an external. Friends are admirable externals.

Many people try to find their stability in externals. For these reasons their emotions ride a roller coaster with more ups and downs than the Georgia Mind Bender.

Verses 2, 3 and 6 refer to suffering caused by people.

Verses 7 and 9 inform us there are sufferings caused by discipline.

Verse 10 speaks of suffering caused by loved ones.

Verse 12 notes even another form of suffering. It is verbal abuse.

I Peter 1:7 (READ)

What can be done with our misfortunes?



Have you ever been where the Psalmist was when he wrote: “I would have lost heart…”? This means I would have fallen apart, I couldn’t otherwise cope. The thing that stabilized him was preoccupation with the Lord not circumstances.

“When you said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, will I seek’ … I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27: 8, 13).

Keep focused on Christ. Make Him your standard.

“Wait” translates the Hebrew KIWAH. It is a word that draws a picture for us. It describes starting with one thread and weaving a rope. Every experience with the Lord is a thread in the tie that binds you closer to Him.

Strength for Today and Hope for Tomorrow

Does it ever seem the world has conspired against you? The prophet Jeremiah had reason to, if anybody ever had cause to feel that way for more than 40 years. His message was from God but, highly unpopular. He warned Israel if they did not repent God would allow Babylon to conquer them, destroy the Temple, and take them into captivity. They didn’t and He did.

Despite persistent rejection, Jeremiah proclaimed the word of God for at least 40 years. His ministry lasted from a time when Judah still had the opportunity to change its ways and avoid punishment, to the time when judgment finally came as Jerusalem was destroyed, and the people taken into exile (586 B.C.) Even then there was no “I told you so.”

Two famous artists – Michelangelo and Rembrandt – both depicted the prophet Jeremiah in their paintings. In both depictions Jeremiah is sitting, his hand on his face, and his eyes downcast. It depicts his grief over the hard hearts of the people. It was their condition, not his, causing his forlorn look.

Jeremiah was mocked, ridiculed, beating, and imprisoned. He is known as the weeping prophet, but he never wept publically. Yet he wrote: “This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.”  Lamentations 3:21 – 23

In 1923 Thomas O. Chisholm read those words of Jeremiah and was inspired to write the words to that grand old hymn (remember those) containing these lines:

“Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth. Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.”

Jeremiah was mocked, ridiculed, belittled, and made an outcast by the mob whose message was “thus saith the mob,” in contrast to Jeremiah’s message of, “Thus saith the Lord.” 

For 40 years Jeremiah endured, strengthened by recalling God’s word and will which inspired hope, the Lord’s mercies, and His unfailing compassion. He had a vice grip on those resources. Understandably at times he got alone and wept. Even then his grief was for Israel, not himself.

God’s faithfulness is revealed in three ways: 

First, despite our unfaithfulness, God is at work.

Second, despite our unfaithfulness, God is just. 

And despite our unfaithfulness, God is gracious.

Pitch your mental tent over those thoughts, and move into the tent.

God is at work, He is just, and He is gracious. If those traits sustained Jeremiah in his hail storm of difficulty, they are sufficient to provide for us. Inscribe those on the scroll of your mind and read them often. Perhaps they are not now germane to your life, but store them up as a future resource. 

Focus on this exhortation for Jeremiah.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

At issue is our trust of the Lord.

Land of the Pilgrims Pride 7/2/00

Ezra 8:21, 22

Jesus Christ had a band of loyalists who lovingly followed and served Him. Unfortunately there were others who were detractors, defectors, and disloyal. It has always been true. It is today. In love He appeals for repentance and renewal. He desires for His followers to enjoy “abundant life.”

Not only is this true among individuals but with churches also. There is a such a need in a broad segment of America and American churches. At one point in history He achieved this through a band of devotees known as Pilgrims. This very day we have sung of the land that was the “Pilgrims Pride.”

In the early 1600s the church in England had become corrupt. They were absorbed in doctrinal error, encumbered with ceremony, bound by tradition, and consequently spiritually anemic. Two groups sought spiritual renewal.

One wanted to bring about reform by staying in the church and purifying it from within. Seeing their efforts to be futile they left England for the new world. They are known as Puritans.

A second group saw the church as beyond renewal and withdrew. In and around the region of Scrooby they were bullied, hounded, imprisoned on trumped up charges, and driven underground. They left England and settled in Holland where they enjoyed religious freedom. Unfortunately they lost most of their physical possessions in their quest for religious freedom. Their jobs in Holland were menial requiring 15 hour work days. Their children suffered because of materialism in their adopted homeland.

They heard of the new land called America and determined it to be the place God was guiding them.

After 12 years in Holland, driven by great hope and inward zeal, they resolved to come to America for a specific purpose. That purpose was “to propagate and advance the gospel of the kingdom of Christ,” wrote William Bradford, their governor for 35 years.

They were not without one last major temptation. Satan uses one of his post attractive allures. Sir Walter Raleigh had returned from South America with stories of gold and great riches. They resolved to follow the goal set before them by the Lord and not the gold promised by Sir Walter Raleigh.

In 1620 they set sail for America on two ships, the Speedwell and the Mayflower. Soon after setting sail the Speedwell developed problems and the two ships returned to England. There all passengers boarded the Mayflower. Among the 104 on the Mayflower were 16 men, 11 women, and 14 children known as Pilgrims. Others who were on board that were not believers were known as “Strangers.”

What they were to endure required great faith to tolerate. Think of these conditions when you are next inconvenienced. These 104 persons were crowded below deck in a space the size of a volleyball court for over 6 weeks. The stench of an foul bilge, a diet of dried peas, dried pork, and dried fish made for poor appetites. Sea sick, virtually starving, and storm tossed they braved their conditions to achieve their purpose. They did it because of the Christian faith. They believed God had a plan for America and if He did the Dark Prince of this planet could not circumvent it. Likewise, they had faith in His care for them and desired to serve Him. Even in their deprived state they joyfully endured.

In addition to the misery suffered because of their physical condition, they had to endure the taunts of the tormenting crew and antagonistic Strangers.

Several of the crew mocked them unmercifully. The self-appointed leader of this group so despised the Pilgrims for their faith he gloated over their seasickness and delighted in telling them how much he looked forward to feeding their bodies to the fish. Death was a common shipmate among landlubbers.

At the height of this taunting this crewman came down with a fever and died in a single day. No other person contracted the mysterious fever. It was he who was buried at sea not the Pilgrims.

For nearly three months they endured praying all the while. They considered their adversity a call to further repentance and personal spiritual purity. They questioned God. Their question was not the “why” so often heard today. When things are less than ideal we complain to God and in a whiny voice ask, “Why me God?” Yes, they questioned and we should learn to ask their questions. Not “why” but “how.”

“Now that this has happened to me God HOW can you use it in my life?”

Our second question should be one they also asked.

“God what would you like to do in my life because of this?”

They came to America because they wanted to be “light bearers.” They wanted to create a society that would be equivalent to “a city set on a hill” to show forth God’s glory. They spoke of themselves as the stones out of which the Lord might build a new Jerusalem. They had a spiritual purpose in their lives and it gave them meaning.

Their ambition was to settle in northern Virginia, but the many storms they endured blew them off course.

November 9, 1620 the cry was heard, “Land Ho.”

They had begun their journey by kneeling on the dock at Delftshaven to ask God’s blessings: they ended it on the sand of Cape Cod, kneeling to thank Him for His blessings.

A scouting party returned to the ship having found a large iron pot of 36 ears of corn. This was their first taste of the staple that would save the lives of many.

God had not immuned them from adversity but He had blessed them in it and strengthened them because of it.

Their crossing was complete but their journey was not over. They had come ashore near Cape Cod. Finding this an unsuitable place they sailed further to what is known as Provincetown. Realizing their London charter did not extend as far north as Cape Cod, they concluded they were under no authority. Anchored off shore and on November 21, 1620, they drafted what is known as The Mayflower Compact. It was the covenant by which they were to be governed. It was the first such covenant of settlers on these shored. It contained principles our Founding Fathers would later incorporate in our nation’s Constitution. It contained the principle of “natural law” which is so despised today by liberal legal minds. It is a reference to the Creator of all natural law. It spoke of “just and equal laws,” that
is, equal justice under law. Meaning no person is above the law. It opens with these lines:

“In the name of God, amen. Having undertaken
for the glory of God, and advancement of the
Christian faith … a voyage to plant the first
colony in the northern parts of Virginia…”

They settled in a good harbor and called the place Plymouth because that was the name of the last town they left in their home land.

The gentle snow that began to fall did not hint of the devastation and death winter was to bring. Nearly half their number did not survive their first winter. In 1621, 35 more Pilgrims arrived and in 1623, 90 others. The drought that had gripped the land left their greeting party looking like skeletons clad in rage. Yet, they prevailed because they had purpose.

Six weeks of hell on an ill-lighted, rolling, pitching, stinking inferno stirred their emotions. Rather than complain they confessed. It brought to the surface unconfessed sins in their lives. Sins such as self-pity, anger, bitterness, vindictiveness, jealousy, and despair. An instant replay of those sins might make some today mindful of them in their lives:

Self-pity, anger, bitterness, vindictiveness, jealousy, and despair. If any of them are in your life confess and repent of them.

Throughout their voyage regardless of how grim their plight they prayed themselves through their despair and into peace and thanksgiving.

Mercy they sought and mercy they found. They found it because they sought it. Their adversity motivated them to evaluate their lives and confess their sins. Will our gratitude for God’s blessings stimulate us to do the same? Is there any unconfessed sin in your life? If so it is blocking God’s best for your life. As individuals and a nation corporate confession and cleansing is needed. We appropriately pray: “God bless America.” He has. We would do well now to pray: “God cleanse America.” He will.

In addition to our sins of spousal and child abuse, sexual immorality, promiscuity, pornography, and a legion of other outward sins the same ones confessed by the Pilgrims need to be confessed.

Aboard the Mayflower on July 21, Pastor John Robinson preached from Ezra 8: 21, 22:

“Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river
Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before God,
to seek from Him the right way for us and our little
ones and all our possessions….The hand of the Lord
is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His
power and His wrath are against all those who
forsake Him.”

In that message is contained the confession of John Robinson which might well be acknowledged by many of us:
“Had not the truth been in my heart as a
burning fire shut up in my bones I had suffered
(would have let) the light of God to have been put
out on mine own unthankful heart by other men’s

Do you need to confess and beg His mercy?

It was Jesus who was the Pilgrims pride.

Time came for the Mayflower to return to England. Captain Jones, fearing for the lives of the Pilgrims to return with the ship. For good cause the offer was tempting. Only four couples that arrived still had one another. Many had lost children. Yet, not one returned. Amidst their dying something had been born because of their shared love for Christ. It was a willingness to suffer together for a cause bigger than they.

Understanding Spiritual Math

Following is a lesson in divine mathematics. A one and a zero can equal one. One what? It depends on the relationship of the zero to the digit one. Consider Christ is the one. Aligned with Christ, we become something. Our alignment with the  one digit makes a difference. If the one is placed before the one is diminished to .01 or one one-hundredth. It isn’t much, but it is something. Put two zeros before one and you have .001, or one one-thousandth. The more zeros added before the one, the less the value of the one. The more zeros before Him the more He is reduced.

Reverse the figures: instead of putting the zeros before Christ, the divine one, place them after the one. Nothing, zero, has now become 10, and ten-fold increase. Add another zero after the one and you have another multiple, one hundred. The more zeros placed after the one, the greater the increase. 

“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30) said John the Baptist.

We decide on which side of the one we live.

“We are laborers together with God.” That is, “We are God’s fellow workers.” We should be so busy recommending Jesus to others we don’t have time to split hairs.

Together with Jesus we can achieve more than if alone.

When we are properly placed to the right of the one we have:

A better understanding of God’s Word, the Bible.

We make better judgments following Him.

We have godly sorrow over sin.

We not only condemn the bad, we commend the good.

We have a more joyous lifestyle.

We have strength to do with Him that which we can’t do alone.

For example, if there were a cube of pure gold measuring 13″ X 13″ offered to you would you accept it? If you were told that for it to be yours all you would have to do is come pick it up personally and take it with you, would you do it? A thirteen inch cube of pure gold!  Would you like it? It is yours if you simply take it. Most people would love to have such a quantity of gold.  Regardless of how badly you would like it, you could not meet the requirement for obtaining it. You could not pick it up for it would literally weigh one ton. You couldn’t meet the standard of picking it up.

God has made it possible for you to pick up the gift of salvation, more valuable than gold, by providing it for “whosoever.” (John 3:16) All that is necessary is faith in Christ.

Jesus invites you to share your load with Him. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

To obtain this rest spend time alone with the Lord and pour out all the burdens in your spirit by prayer until all of them have left.

Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your burdens.

We are reminded, “The Lord deserves praise! Day after day he carries our burden, the God who delivers us. Our God is a God who delivers; the Lord, the sovereign Lord, can rescue from death.” (Psalm 68:19-20)