Are you Being Tucked In? Pt. 4

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Ma 11; 28,29 NLT

     Today we come to the conclusion of our series on receiving the comfort of God. Our final point is considering His ways.

     Finally Jesus said we are to Consider His ways. In Matthew 11 He says “let me teach you.”

     We use to have a ministry in the AG called bible quiz. It was a ministry that encouraged kids to memorize the Bible. I was terrible at it but I got more out of it than I think any other Bible study I ever did. Because I was putting the Word of god directly into my heart. I was daily meditating on the Scripture. Prayer is wonderful. Faith is awesome, but it is only half the picture. Hiding the Word in our hearts is the other half of the coin. It is the Word of God that changes how we think. Prayer brings power. The word brings revelation. In order to be comforted we need both. Let’s look at some Scriptures regarding the importance of putting Scripture inside our hearts:

“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. ” Psalm 119:9-11 NLT

“Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.” Prov. 30:5 NLT

“Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” Luke 11:28NLT

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12 NLT

     The fact is Jesus cannot comfort us if we are not daily bathing our  minds in his word. This is because He has designed His word to be the vehicle through which our hearts are changed. If our minds are frightened and anxious, it is His word which cause them to become peaceful and thankful. If our minds are full of hate, it is His word which causes us to be forgiving and delivered from bitterness. Today we need to make a renewed commitment to learning his ways through commitment to a weekly bible study or daily bible reading and memorization. It’s an ancient discipline we have too long neglected.

If you need comfort Come to Jesus, Carry His burden, and Consider His ways.

See you tomorrow!

Are you Being Tucked In? Pt. 3

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”  Ma. 11:28-30 NLT


     For the last few days we have been in a study concerning the comfort of God and how to receive. Today we are covering point two, Carrying God’s burden.

  1. Jesus told us we needed to Carry  his burden or switch burdens with him.
  2.       In our analogy of the comfort of God being likened to a good tucking in, I would say carrying Jesus’ burden  is the equivalent of putting on pajamas.

         When I get home at night from the office the first thing I do is head upstairs to change out of my work clothes. I release my swollen feet from the hard dress shoes. I put on the loose-fitting sweats and the warm comfy bathrobe. Then I go downstairs to say “Hello” to Mom and Brenda.
         How comfortable would I be if I came home and went straight to bed in my shoes, my belt, my tie, my dress shirt and my suit pants? I have done this on Sunday afternoons from time to time. I awake cranky, sweaty and feeling like I took a bath in bugs. 
         Some of us go to Jesus with much more uncomfortable burdens than my suit and we never lay them down. We pray but we don’t release the burden. We come away still feeling responsible for it… still worrying about it…still freaking out about…because we haven’t believed Jesus for it.
         Do you believe God answers prayer? Then pray about the problem and then walk away from it and let Him deal with it.
        “That is so irresponsible” you say.
        Well it is if go to Jesus, put down your burden and walk away with no burden. Jesus didn’t say leave your burden here and go away scott free.
    He said “Take my burden. Take my yoke.”
     Listen I serve a big God who knows how to answer prayer…EVERY PRAYER! I also believe He talks to me and I believe if He wants me to do something about my problems He will tell me. He does  tell me. He impresses me in prayer. I don’t have to run around trying to solve my problem  myself. I just have to come to Him and listen and he will impress on me if he wants me to do something. I don’t have to fix myself or you. I just have to pray and then do what Jesus tells me. That’s what it means to carry his burden. When we Carry his burden (the thing he tells us to do) then the pressure is off.

 How does that change your thinking?

Are You Being Tucked In Pt. 2

      Theophane Venard said, “Be merry, really merry. The life of a true Christian should be a perpetual jubilee, a prelude to the festivals of eternity. “  

     Now, that quote may not mean much to you until you understand the context it was written in. Theophane Venard was a french priest called to West Tonkin Province, China (North Vietnam) in the year 1852. Father Theophane entered the province just in time to see the outlawing of Christianity. While most priests fled to hide in caves and fields Father Venard continued to minister, at first by night but later on more boldly in broad daylight. Eventually he was betrayed, captured and sentenced to death. Through the months of December, January and February 1860-1861 the priest lived in a cage awaiting death. It was at this time he penned the words you have just read along with many other words of encouragement to his fellow priests and his family.

    A few hundred years before him two men, Hendrick Sumer and Jacob Mandel, met a similar fate for proclaiming the gospel in Switzerland. Listen to the testimony concerning them:

” When the brethren learned that their time had come that they should depart out of the world, they rejoiced from the heart, and were glad and of good cheer; they also said that it was a greater joy for them than if they were to go to a marriage; yea, they were of very good cheer, that God had counted them worthy, that they should glorify His name through such a righteous death-which many righteous ones and friends of God had done before them, and thus obtained the heavenly crown.

When they were led forth, they spoke boldly to the people, and exhorted the great multitude that had gathered, that they should repent and turn from their sinful life to God, and then both joined their voices in raising a joyful, sweet, and heartfelt song of praise to the Lord.” (Martyrs Mirror,

     Now, these brothers had joy and peace and comfort in the midst of their trials even before they got their miracle, many would say even though they didn’t get their miracle.

     Why is it that some Christians experience the comfort of God and others do not? Why are some able to stand and rejoice while others live in fear and failure?

     I believe it has something to do with applying three principles from Matthew 11:28-30: “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” 

    If we are going to be comforted (tucked in so to speak) we need to Come, Carry, And Consider:

1. Jesus said Come to me all who are weary-

     The first thing we need to do is to approach God in our weariness. So many of us when we are tired stop spending time in prayer. Let me ask you this are you weary and heavy laden with a burden of care today? How much time are you spending in prayer? Do you have daily devotions? Are they longer than 5 minutes? When you come to church are you worshipping the Lord or are you just lying in the puddle of your depression? How are you coming to Jesus to get his comfort? Prayer is the spiritual equivalent of going to bed when your tired.

     As a little boy I remember those times when I would get tired but I would fight heading off to bed. Mom would say “It’s time…” and I would fight.      

     “But mom….you always spoil my fun!” I would get crabbier and crabbier.

     So many of us are doing exactly this spiritually. We need comfort but rather than going to the place of comfort in prayer and getting spiritually tucked in we keep working at it ourselves, pressing pressing pressing in the flesh until we blow a gasket and head out to the bar or say something we will regret for years to come.We need to come to Jesus and stay with him in prayer until we are comforted. Let Jesus tuck you in the place of prayer.

More tomorrow…

Are You Being Tucked In Pt.1

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'”

You know I have few comforting memories from my child hood as strong as those of bedtime. I can remember my mother and my grandmother tucking me in as a little boy. I can still smell the sheets at my grandmother’s camp and feel the soft pattern of the yellow bed spread under my fingers as Gram would tuck me in. As I lay there she would sit beside me on the bed and do this little ritual. She would take my face in her hands and drawing her finger around the outline of my face she would slowly speak “The moon is round. It has two eyes a nose and a mouth.” Over and over again she would draw her finger around my little boy face until I drifted off to sleep.

I can remember one time I was sick with a fever and a cough. My mother, a nurse by trade, stood over me with a thermometer in hand. She set up the vaporizer and rubbed Vick’s along the edge where the steam came out. I can remember drifting off to sleep with the smell of Menthol filling the room and her standing over me with that look of concern and understanding of what I needed. What a comfort to my young mind to know that someone anyone knew how to help me.

It’s funny but things don’t change as we age. We still desperately need moments of comfort in this world especially when things get dark and cruel as they so often do. Jesus understands that we need his comfort. He knows better than any other the pain this world has to offer and he is uniquely positioned as both God and man to comfort the hearts of anyone who is sorrowing.

As God, you see, he has the power to bring the comfort that we need.  I have been many times called to the bedside of men and women who are preparing to leave this earth and to travel to the next. Honestly, in those moments there is no power inside of me that can bring the comfort that the individual or his family needs. All the power to comfort is found in God alone. God you see says:

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. ” Psalm 91:1-7 NLT

How can He make these claims? Because He is God. The power of life and eternal life is in His hands. So as God He is positioned  in power to comfort us.

But he is also uniquely qualified to comfort us because he is a man. He understands our sorrows. Isaiah 53 tells us that he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And the book of Hebrews tells us :

“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. ” Heb. 4:15,16 NLT

Jesus desires to bring us comfort this morning and He has the power to bring us comfort because he understands our pain and has the power to heal it.

So many of us though, do not know the Lord’s comfort. We live our Christian lives apart from this place of believer’s anointing. I want to say to you today that there is a place in relationship with Jesus where the pains of the day are lessened and the joy of the Lord is strengthened. There is a place in the anointing where the fears of life are replaced by the peace that passes all understanding. Now some here would say “Of course there is Pastor J. We believe in miracles and healing. So when the healing and the miracles happen we will be in the place of joy and peace. Until then we are just destined to go through a season of crabby.”

     NO brothers and sisters I want to tell you that the comfort of God can come to you, even before the healing does. The comfort, the joy and the peace of God can come to you even before you get your miracle. While you are waiting for the word of God to be fulfilled in your life you can know a joy unspeakable and full of glory!

To be Continued…

Cries In the Deep

     My Earth keeps shaking. I am pretty sure this isn’t going to stop any time soon. I have come to it that the only thing I can control is the way I look at the trembling:  Either it’s a total curse or a curse that God is going to bring good from.

     I bet you thought that I was going to say “It’s either a curse or a blessing.”  Am I right? Well some things just aren’t blessings from God. In fact I am pretty sure God isn’t in them. That doesn’t mean He won’t use them or turn them for my good.

      I am working hard to view life just now as a curse that God is going to use for my good. I realize, for instance, that my prayer life is deepening exponentially with each aftershock. In particular I am learning the value of waiting on God.

     As I began this journey I found  that much of my prayer life was bound up in noise and complaint. So much of me was just  a voice that laid out cries in the deep.

    But Scripture says: “I  wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:5,6

     Understand it is not that we are not free to bring complaints before God. In fact sometimes it’s the only place we can start. God being who He is gives us liberty to stay in the place of complaining as long as we desire or need to be there. However cries in the deep can never open the doorway to the peace of God.

      The peace comes when we still our voice in our deep places. Then His deeper presence can minister to us in the quiet place.  It’s in this place of waiting that the promises of  Philippians 4 are released.

     ” Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6,7

     To all those of you who are living in the shadow with me I say wait on the Lord!

When your shadow becomes really deep what do you do?