Friday, May 18, 2012

“My Presence Will Give You Rest”

“The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go
with you and I will give you rest.’”
 Exodus 33:14 (NIV)

            Moses doubted that he was to lead his people out of bondage. He felt he didn’t have the ability for the task. He asked God to “teach me your ways so that I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” (Ex. 33:13a)
            The Lord responded with our focus verse.
Basically, God told Moses He would go with his servant and give rest.
            What is rest? My concordance defines rest as sleep. Simple enough but how important is it.
Some people can require up to eight hours sleep a night. I, myself, usually need this amount of good sleep in order to feel rested. Sometimes that sleep is broken up; other times, I can get by on less.
            What good is it? Sleep restores our bodies from stress and helps build up our strength. It improves our concentration. We have a better frame of mind.
            Can we get by without it? Some people boast about getting by on three hours sleep a night. Others have their sleep broken up in spans of 45 to 90 minutes at a time and that doesn’t come until after sunup. A sleep deprived person requires understanding and a great deal of love.
            Freedom from activity is another definition from my concordance. A friend of mine has been through at least two family experiences that would have done in a weaker person. She recently told me that after all these episodes come to an end; she is going to take a trip. I understand what she means. She needs to refresh herself and relax in surroundings speak of comfort to her soul.
            My friend, like a lot of us, desires freedom from stress. From time to time, we find ourselves wanting a release from the pressures of the trials of life. Sometimes, we need rest to help us through the ordeals. Sometimes, we need rest to help us through the ordeals 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Master’s Invitation

“Then, because so many people were coming
and going that they did not even have a chance
to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves
to a quiet place and get some rest.’” Mark 6: 31 (NIV)

            People flocked to the Master. They came to hear Him preach, to hear His stories, and to receive healing. The impact of the crowds, continually seeking to spend time in Jesus’ audience wore down the disciples.
            The Teacher knew the strain that the disciples felt. He invited them to withdraw from the hub-bub of the daily events and rest.
            In our 21st Century world, we have events bombard us as we go though life. Emergencies happen—that’s a fact of life. They take a toll on our lives. Personal crises can cause our plans to go awry. Just the normal tasks can daunt us if we are run down.
            But, God has a remedy for these mishaps. He invites us to turn off the television or the computer, sit down, open our Bibles, and read. We might fix a cup of tea and maybe have some cookies, or cake or pie as we sit and take in His Spirit.
            I have learned from different authors that we when we learn to live in God’s presence we have a better stance against the enemy.
            God asks us, His children, to come into His presence because He loves us, wants what’s best for us and knows we need to have these times of rest and refreshment in order to fortify us for what may lie around the bend in the road or even what lies right in front of us.
              When we take Jesus's advice and get with Him and listen to what He has to tell us,we return to our daily world and know that we have been refreshed because we rested in Him.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rest for Your Souls

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble and you will find
rest for your souls.” Matthew 11: 29 (NIV)

            I once heard a pastor explain that a yoke had two parts. They were designed for two animals to work side-by-side.

            “Take my yoke upon you. . .” Jesus asks us to join Him, to work with Him in tandem. He will lead us where He wants us to go and He will be there alongside us making a way for us to do the work He asks.

            “. . . learn from me,” Jesus teaches us as we work with Him. We listen and take in what He instructs. We have the opportunity to learn from the Master. There is no greater experience than feeling His presence and hearing His voice.

            “. . . for I am gentle and humble . . .” One quality Jesus possesses is gentleness and humility. In my Christian walk I have had two or three exceptionally outstanding Sunday school teachers. The first one explained how Jesus operated by saying, “Jesus is always a gentleman.” My present teacher speaks of “the only thing stronger than God’s will is the will of man.” Both of these servants of God said that Jesus doesn’t involve himself into our lives unless we invite Him to.

            “. . . you will find rest for your souls.”
As humans, we can only stand so much activity, pain, and stress. After a while we begin to have meltdowns, anxiety attacks, or panic attacks. Sometimes, we feel like giving up. But when we invite the Lord to share our burdens, we sense a new freedom. Our work becomes easier. We no longer have a sense of dread and we can face our schedules that seem daunting. People who cause us problems don’t seem as scary to us.
Jesus has given us new strength.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...