Matthew 11:28-30: yoke: Jesus is always with us. How many of you have read this verse and said to yourself, "Yeah right!" Because nothing seems to have gotten any lighter or easier since becoming a Christian. Nothing seems more restful. If anything, life seems to have become much harder in many ways. There's less fun, more stress, more work, more worry. How could Jesus say His burden is light and His yoke easy when so many suffer in His Name? When He asks so much of us? Most Christians today live a very stagnant Christian life at best. Many, a very stressful Christian life, wondering, where is the rest, the joy, the benefit of following Christ?
Have you ever taken professional dance lessons? An instructor spends time going over the "right" steps, in the "right" order so that you can dance "correctly". Ever felt like your relationship with Jesus was like that? Where you had to do the right things at the right time so you could be a good Christian? What if we told you that you had it all wrong?
When we are confronted with hate, by either groups or individuals, how should we respond? Today Don Kinser invites us to view them through the eyes of Jesus and see them as they really are, captives.
We all have them-those deep, dark secrets we hope no one ever finds out about us. Yours may be an insecurity about how you measure up to others. Or something you did in your "wild"days as a teenager-or older. That thing that you just know that if others knew they would look at your differently, respect you a little less. Quite often it is the thing that is keeping you from really having a relationship with Jesus, because how could He possibly want to know you after what you did/thought/said etc?
What comes to your mind when you hear the word, "Shame?" There is a big difference in the word shame and guilt: guilt, is something we feel over what we have done, shame, on the other hand, is who we feel we are (in our own eyes, or in the eyes of others) because of what we've done. Shame has almost become an epidemic in this society today. From social expectations of beauty and fitness to moral and political expectations of our actions and opinions, our society lives in a constant state of, "not measuring up" to the expectations of those around us. Rejection in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others, has become a massive problem in our culture. It cannot be too strongly expressed, how detrimental shame can be, and how powerfully it can influence the direction of one's life.
The story of Daniel, and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:
how to live for God in hostile waters!
When the world around you "preaches" everything is okay to do or say, how can a follower of Christ respond? Especially when openly living according to God's Word leads to labels of "intolerant"? Today Pastor Doss reminds us of a man who lived long before Christ who faced a similar world and was able to stay true to his beliefs. Listen at the link below and glean some pointers you can apply to life today.
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