What is God’s purpose for your life?…

What is God’s purpose for my life? What is His will for me?

Have you ever asked those questions Friends?

Photo by Nina Ruth Bruno

There are three passages of scripture that come into my mind when my thoughts go down this road.

1 – ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for THIS is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’

2 – ‘Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.’

3 – ‘Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.’

Friends, there’s the will of God in Christ Jesus for us, that we continually rejoice, pray and give thanks.

God longs for that constant moment by moment joyful communion with us and for our dependence upon Him.

He loves His children and longs to help us live out our purpose!

Photo by Nina Ruth Bruno

This is God’s desire for me and for you Believer, the very purpose for which we were created, that our lives might bring Him, our God and Creator, pleasure and glory because Friends, He is worthy!!

If we were to ask these two questions more often – will it please God and will it glorify God? – then we’d more often be found communing with God in prayer, rejoicing and giving thanks whatever our circumstances.

Friends, may we each be given the grace we need to live our lives for God and may our prayer be ‘no more me, just all Christ in me!’

.

1Thess 5:16-18, Is 43:7, Rev 4:11.

Easy and light…

Part seven

‘For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’

Some say that God never gives us more than we can bear but I disagree, I think He does BUT He never gives us more than we can bear through Him, with His grace and help.

‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee:

Photo courtesy of Alyssa

Here we have the picture of a farmer working his fields.

When a farmer has two oxen that work together the yoke is shaped to fit those ox and the older more experienced ox takes the lead and as long as the younger ox follows there’s no problem.

But if the wrong yoke was to be laid on those oxen it would soon chafe and cause pain or if one ox was to be constantly trying to pull in a different direction things would rapidly get really difficult and the yoke would be hard to bear.

Jesus yoke is easy if we walk right by His side and let Him lead and it’s easy if we don’t rebel against it and try to go off in our own way.

Jesus burden is light but we can so quickly pick up burdens that God never meant us to carry then our load becomes too heavy to bear.

Photo courtesy of Alyssa

Friends, we’re not told that by following Jesus we’ll have everything we want and no troubles along the way, in fact we’re told the opposite, there’s to be that daily taking up of our cross, that there’s to be that crucifying of self BUT what we are promised is that when we walk with Jesus He will help us to bear even the heaviest burden and the most crushing weight, making it light and easy.

The most bitter trial becomes sweet when Jesus is walking close by our side carrying the burden with us.

Easy – chrestos – here means better, good, gracious, kind, fit for us, pleasant. As opposed to hard, harsh or bitter.

Light – elaphros – means light or easy.

Photo courtesy of Alyssa

The only other place this Greek word elaphros is used in the Bible is in this verse where Paul said…

‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;’

God’s way is always good, it’s better, it’s pleasant and it’s fit for us!! This is the way of wisdom and ‘Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.’

Friends, there’s a purpose in these afflictions, in our hard things, God allows them to send us running to Jesus so that through them we might find the beauty and blessing of complete dependence upon Christ Jesus!

.

Matt 11:30, Ps 55:22, 2 Cor 4:17, Prov 3:17.

.

Meek and lowly…

Part six

‘For I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’

What a beautiful description of Jesus!

‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’

This little word ‘for’ joins the invitation and command with the reason for obedience.

If we’re weary and heavy laden and we come just as we are in all our felt sinfulness and weakness and if we take His yoke upon us and follow Him, seeking Him, learning from Him, we will receive this precious gift of rest in Christ and we’ll find rest for our weary, burdened souls.

This meek and lowly, humble Jesus who did so many wonderful works still calls those that are weary and burdened with the weight of this sinful world and their own sins to come to Him find rest for their weary souls.

These coming, seeking, weary, burdened souls are the souls that Jesus reveals the Father to ‘no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.’

Image courtesy of Jane Verheij

But let’s look a little more at these two words describing Jesus; ‘meek and lowly in heart.’

Meek – praos – humble, meek, gentle.

Interestingly the only time this Greek word is used in the whole Bible is here to describe Jesus.

What a reminder to us each that Jesus is the only perfectly humble person that has ever walked this earth, for that sin of pride is always in our hearts waiting for an opportunity when we’re not walking so close to Jesus to rear it’s ugly heard and make us stumble.

Lowly – tapeinos – humiliated (in circumstances or disposition): base, cast down, humble, of low estate, lowly.

‘And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’

Friends, Jesus was made ‘a little lower than the angels’ this Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords left His home in heaven, took on human form, was a baby in his mother’s womb, was born by a natural birth in a stable! He was despised and rejected but so many, even by those close to Him, He knew grief and sorrow buy through it all He was meek and lowly in HEART!

Image courtesy of Jane Verheij

This wasn’t just an outward meekness, He IS meek and lowly, it’s the very essence of who Jesus is. No pride in this One, though the Son of God, though the Creator of all, He humbly reached out to those despised and rejected ones of society, the beggars, the leper’s and the immoral and He reaches out to sinners still with this invitation to come and find rest for Your souls.

Friend, will you come?

.

Matt 11:29,27, Ps 8:5, Phil 2:8

Learn…

Part five

‘… and learn of me’

‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me’

Friends this coming and following Jesus doesn’t just join us into an eternal union with Him, He also wants us to learn from Him day by day.

Jesus wants us to learn greater and greater depths of God’s goodness and holiness, justice and mercy.

Jesus wants us to learn from Him, from His life and example as recorded in God’s word and from the way He leads and teaches us.

God shines in the believer’s heart…

‘to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’

Friends, if we keep seeking we will never stop learning greater and greater depths of the goodness and greatness of God and the perfection of His ways.

When we follow Jesus we learn that God’s way is always best and that in Christ we have everything we need to live a life that honours and glorified Him.

‘But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:’

How quickly as believers we can walk in our own strength and wisdom and yet we don’t need to, Jesus by the Holy Spirit lives IN US!!

Friends, if you don’t yet know this truth may God help you to seek it until you find it.

And if the Lord has shone His marvellous light into your soul Friend may He help you to live remembering that Christ lives IN us and for what purpose we were redeemed…

‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’

.

Matt 11:29, 1 Cor 1:30, 2 Cor 4:6, John 17:23,26, 14:16,

Together…

Part 4

‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me’

The word translated here as ‘take’ also means to lift up, bear, carry, to take upon oneself and carry what has been raised up.

The rest we’ve been looking at comes as we’re yoked or joined together with Christ. When His desires become our desires and His ways our ways and we truly follow Him.

‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me….’

It’s in the path of self denial Friends, of living for Christ and through Christ that we find true peace and happiness and this precious rest.

‘For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?’

A yoke joins two together and so the child of God never needs to struggle on alone in their own strength and wisdom because Friends, God’s ‘grace is sufficient for thee:’

Interestingly the Greek word translated here as yoke can also mean to join, a coupling, servitude, of rest.

Servitude and rest seem like opposites but they’re far from it in this instance. Take my service upon you, take my rest upon you!!

When we’re joined together with Christ it’s a union of servitude. Christ serves us by giving us all the grace and help we need to live our lives serving Him. It’s in this union and in the being filled and poured out that we find true rest and peace.

There’s no rest if we’re not walking in God’s ways but when we live for Him and learn of Him, as promised here, we will find true rest and peace.

.

Matt 11:29, Luke 9:23,24,25, 2 Cor 12:9,

Weary?…

Part 3

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

This invitation to come to Him that Jesus gives is to weary, burdened souls.

‘Ye that labour,’ comes from the Greek word – kopiao – to feel fatigue, toil, be wearied, labour with wearisome effort, exhausted.

‘Are heavy laden’ – phortizo – means to load up, over burdened with ceremony or spiritual anxiety, laden, to be loaded with a burden of rituals and unwarranted precepts.

We have two types of weakness and burdens here, physical and spiritual.

Are there things that weigh you down Friend?

‘Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he SHALL sustain thee: he shall NEVER suffer the righteous to be moved.’

Come to Jesus in all your weariness, bring all your striving and struggles, give it all to Jesus in prayer, and find rest and peace in Him because this is what He promises…

‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I WILL give you rest.’

It’s a promise Friends, come and He WILL give you rest.

But maybe there’s one of you that’s thinking I have, I do bring my worries to Jesus but I just seem to pick them back up again.

This isn’t just a one time coming, it’s constant coming, it’s abiding!!

Keep coming Friend, don’t keep dashing back to the world more concerned with what needs to be done like dear Martha but sit at Jesus feet like Mary even in the middle of your busyness and learn from Him how to trust Him more.

God’s word is full of encouragement, full of His own words speaking to us.

God doesn’t just want a moment snatched here and there with Him, He wants and deserves our all.

ALL our heart, ALL our devotion, ALL our days, ALL our moments.

He longs to be communing with us throughout our day. In the middle of our muddle, while our hands are washing dishes or folding laundry, for us to be telling Him all our little as well as big worries, looking to Him and leaning on Him for help moment by moment.

Will you come Friend and experience the sweetness of this rest in Christ?

.

Matt 11:28, Ps 55:22.

Who?…

Part 2 Continued from yesterday…

Who are these needy souls to come to?

‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest….’

Jesus doesn’t just say come, He says says come unto ME!

Come UNTO me. Draw near, come right close, don’t stand lingering at a distance but come unto Jesus Friend. There are none too guilty, none too unworthy, it’s sinners Jesus came to call!

‘They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’

It’s come and welcome, it’s come and stay, it’s come and feast upon His love!

It’s come for the first time, it’s come when you’re in the wilderness, it’s come in the trial’s, it’s come when you’re lukewarm, it’s come just as are, it’s come now…come unto Jesus and find rest.

‘Draw nigh to God, and he WILL draw nigh to you.’

Come unto JESUS! Come to Emanuel – ‘God with us’

Come to the One who loved sinners so much that He left heaven to die for them, to die for you!!

The Creator of everything, including you invites you to come to Him and find forgiveness, rest, joy and peace in His presence!

.

Matt 11:28, Mark 2:17, James 4:8.

Come…

It’s so good to be back posting after my break 😊

I had some lovely times with God as I studied and meditated on His word during those weeks, especially the time I spent looking at the well known verses at end of Matt 11 phrase by phrase and thought I’d share a few thoughts with you on it this week.

Jesus has just finished rebuking the cities where most of His wonderful works were done and yet so many remained unrepentant.

He then prays thanking God for hiding these things ‘from the wise and prudent,’ but rather revealing ‘them unto babes.’

Jesus then goes on to say that ‘no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.’ then immediately gives this well known invitation…

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Come! This isn’t just any Come Friends in the Greek this word ‘deute’ is an imperative form of another word that means to go and it means come hither, come here, come now and come follow.

This invitation is imperative, it’s of vital importance, it’s crucial, it’s urgent and essential, it’s an authoritative command!…

Come!!

Friend, have you?

Will you?

Has the Lord softened your heart and opened your eyes to your need?

Are you following this Jesus moment by moment, day by day?

Will you come and find rest in Christ?

And if you have come and you know this Jesus as your Saviour and Friend are you still coming to him daily, hourly and finding rest in Him or do you struggle on alone in your own strength and wisdom?

‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’

This is where true rest and peace are found Friends, in Christ. Are we seeking Him, coming to Him and abiding in Him day by day?

‘He must increase, but I must decrease.’ This is the only place where peace is found, in Christ!

To be continued…

Matt 11:25,27-30, John 15:4, 3:30

Are you Fighting?…

Fight…

I love the account of the armour of God (Eph 6) and all that God gives us to protect us and to help us defend ourselves against spiritual attack but right at the end we have two offensive weapons, two weapons that we can use not only to defend ourselves but to attack the enemy of our souls.

First we have ‘the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ which is such a powerful weapon Friends, Jesus used it when He was tempted by the devil and it’s something we need to be picking up every day so that we have those truths fresh in our minds to fight with.

So often God has brought back to my mind what I was meditating on earlier in the day for me to use in the day to fight off sin and Satan!

But what I really wanted to focus on today is what follows…

‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;’

Praying always! Or as Paul puts it elsewhere, ‘pray without ceasing’!

This is how we stay strong friends, prayer gives us the strength we need to fight, through prayer we receive the faith we need to trust in our armour and fight that ‘good fight of faith’!

We can attack and counter attack the enemy with prayer, we can fight our old sinful nature with prayer, we can build each other up with prayer, fight for souls in prayer and we can move those mountains with prayer!

Friends, ‘we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’

Are were fighting?

Are we praying always?

How easily my own thoughts can be here, there and everywhere but up to God but the more we desire and seek this communion with God the more He’ll bless us with it.

Often it’ll be through the hard things because sadly that’s often the only way God can keep us dependent upon Him but Friend, if God uses your trials to make you more dependent upon Him, to make you a better soldier of the cross, fighting both for yourself and for others, you’ll bless Him for it!

So let’s be Christians that fight, Christians that don’t only defend themselves but that actively go out to battle and fight for their own and others souls through the Spirit with His sword and with prayer!

.

Eph 6:17,18, 1 Thess 5:16, 1 Tim 6:12, Eph 6:12,

More than Conquerors

The first few chapters of Zechariah’s prophesy talk about his visions but before that he has a message from God, from ‘the Lord of hosts’.

Photo by Makayla

This phrase must be important as it’s repeated and repetition was the way they emphasised a point in those days!…

‘Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.’

Let’s dig a little deeper. ‘Of hosts’ is translated from the Hebrew word – tsaba’- and means – a mass of people (or things) especially organized for war. Sent, battle, company, soldiers, waiting upon, warfare.

So we see that this word was generally used to refer to a group that’s organised for war, such as soldiers ready to fight!

Photo by Makayla

Does the battle seen too hard Friend? Can you stir yourself from that lethargic place or it easier to just drift along leaning on what the Lord has done in the past in bringing you to know Him and not fight to walk with Him each and every day?

Dear Believer, our God is the Lord of hosts, the Lord of the battle. The captain of each soldier of the cross. He will fight with you and through you and for you if you will first turn to Him in faith and repentance, turn to Him, and He will turn to you in mercy and power.

‘Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.’

How? Through His word and in prayer, even when you don’t ‘feel it’. Prayer and studying the Bible aren’t always easy and often we don’t feel like it but if you want anything else hard enough you’ll push for it or make time for it so push through this Friend, ask God to help you seek Him and then keep coming, keep turning to your God who is LORD, The LORD of hosts, the One who rallies His soldiers to fight against the unseen enemies and give all the skill and strength to fight and the armour we need and He will turn unto you!

And not only that Friends He’s already given us the victory through Christ Jesus!!!

Photo by Makayla

‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.’

Believer, NOTHING can separate you from God’s love…

‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.’

Zech 1:3 1 Cor 15:57,58, Rom 8:37.