Happy New Year! My prayer for all of you who read this column is that you will experience in 2019 the unconditional, never changing, overwhelming power of the Love of God!
You see folks, God is for you and not against you. No matter what situation you find yourself in as you read this, God’s everlasting arms are around you, holding you and carrying you through whatever it is that you are facing today.
God has never and will never give up on you! Why you may ask? Because you matter to Him, you are special, you are His masterpiece created in Christ Jesus!
He gave His only begotten son Jesus, to die for you so that through His shed Blood you will receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life!
So, with all of that in mind, let’s begin 2019 by not following the tempo of the world. The world has a hectic flow to it which we don’t have to succumb to. We can choose to go at the same pace as Jesus did while he was here on earth which is the Pace of Grace. Let’s read together Matthew 11:28 -30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 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.30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Now let’s read these same verses from The Message Bible, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. 29 Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 30 Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly”
If we try every day to keep up with the forced rhythms dictated by the world we will eventually burn out. But Jesus’ plan for us is to follow him and his unforced rhythms of Grace so that we will be like the burning bush that Moses saw, always burning but not burning out!
Living stressful lives is not God’s plan for his children. It is just the opposite! God wants us to live a life of rest, that was not a misprint, you read it right, a life of rest. Hebrews 11:4 speaks to this, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, …” This is the ultimate oxymoron, labor to enter His Rest. God tells us straight out that we are to labor into His rest! Now I am not saying that God doesn’t want us to go to work each day, no that’s the way of the lazy man. But we can catch hold of the rest that is only found in the finished work of Jesus at the cross! When Jesus said it is finished, he meant it! That’s living in His rest, the rhythm of Grace, the unearned, unmerited and undeserved favor of God!
The world’s way of thinking is unless you or I do something, nothing will get done. But God’s Word says in John 15:4-5, “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.5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Without Jesus, we can do nothing! The same energy, the same strength that goes through the vine, goes through the branches.
So, my friends, I don’t know about you but I think I’ll go with Jesus and put my trust in him so that together we can bring about much fruit which means getting something done without stress, without worry, without fear of burn out, all done by His precious Grace!
This is accomplished by keeping company with him, hanging out with him, and learning to live freely and lightly.
The Pace of Grace is set by Jesus and we just simply follow. It is when we lose focus on him, doubt, worry and fear come in and our work becomes stressful and not restful. This is when we have to recalculate like a GPS and re-focus back to the Cross of Jesus Christ which is the Power of God. This is what 1 Corinthians 1:18 is talking about, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish [the unsaved] foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” I know this sounds simple, but this is the truth that sets us free!
As we begin 2019 let’s make a conscious effort to rest in His Grace! Let the world do what it is going to do and you and I stay at the pace set by Jesus for us. I would like to recommend a book that goes deeper into this subject than what I can do in one column. The name of the book is, Live the Let- Go Life, by Joseph Prince. Its sub-title is, Breaking Free from Stress, Worry, and Anxiety. I pray that this resource will bless you tremendously.
Happy New Year!
Love to all of you!