Saturday, July 15, 2017

The 7th Inning Stretch

God is Ever Present

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

Just about everybody loves baseball – it’s one of America’s favorite pastimes….In addition to the hotdogs and peanuts, one of the highlights of the game is the seventh inning stretch -- a time to stand up and stretch your legs, to grab another refreshment, to regain focus on the game and to be re-energized.

Looking at our own lives, we also see the need for a break after a long day, week or series of difficult events. Whether it’s the weekend or an extended vacation, rest from daily chores and burdens is necessary. Sometimes our circumstances don’t allow for us to get the rest we need. We grow weary and tired. We long for something to renew ourselves.

The bible tells us that Jesus gives us rest. He is always there to lean on, to carry our burdens . And His rest gives more than just sound sleep or relaxation, it gives us complete peace and security. Just as you can count on the 7th inning stretch to be part of a baseball game, so too can you count on God to give you the rest you need.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11 28-30

Because God is ever present, we find complete rest in Christ.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Set Free

God is Faithful

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17

If we are born free and live in a free society, why is it that sometimes we can’t break free from bad decisions, anger that comes from being treated unfairly, burdens caused by excessive debt, insecurities and the anxiety of meeting an unending list of promises made to ourselves and others? Does this life we live truly consist of freedom? Or, do we long to be set free from our commitments and obligations?

The Bible speaks of a freedom found in Jesus Christ. This is a freedom that goes beyond human entitlements. Jesus refers to a freedom that penetrates our hearts and leads us into action. A freedom to forgive when we’ve been wronged; a freedom to love our neighbors and our enemies; a freedom to rejoice even during difficult times; and a freedom to have confidence no matter what we face. Jesus allows us to break free of all personal struggles if we are willing to trust Him and allow Him to be our source of strength. With our focus on Christ, not only are we free from the penalty of our sin, we are set free from the burden in our hearts that drag us down and attempt to defeat us.

In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. Psalm 118:5

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Romans 8:20-21

Because God is faithful, with Jesus Christ, we are set free from our burdens.