1st of June
I shared with you my own experiences last time, but I also gave some advice both to those who are weak, but also to the strong. There was a strong focus on being sick, both physically and emotionally. I have a difficult time with the translation of the chapter to-day since it cannot be covered by one word as it can in Norwegian. What I want to share are thoughts around what Jesus has done for us and the things we carry unnecessary.
I will start with Is.53:4+5. It goes like this: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” Jesus has done it over two thousand years ago. What He has already borne, we do not have to bear. That is to do the work twice. THE TRUTH IS THAT HE HAS DONE IT FOR ME AND THE TRUTH STRENGHTENS MY FAITH AND SETS ME FREE. Since He has taken my sickness and my sorrow, I can take them off. I do not know exactly how I do that in a practical way, but I do tell the enemy that he has given me something that Jesus took away from me already two thousand years ago and remind him of the fact that he has no right to do so. I command the devil to leave and take with him all the symptoms that he has given me. I will eat the right food and make exercises and walk since that is healthy for my body.
We read in 1.Pet.2:24 “He, Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness-by whose stripes you were healed.” Jesus took more than our sicknesses and sorrows. HE BORE OUR SINS. He who was without sin, bore ours in order for us to become the children of God. The sinless Jesus carried the sins of the whole world and became a sacrifice for us all. We could not come to the Father without this sacrifice. I am no teacher, but I do know that grammar is very important. We can read here that He has borne, He bore and has carried. Jesus could therefore cry out before He died: “IT IS FINISHED!” What Jesus did then, can be applied to-day and we can thank Him for Golgotha. HALLELUJAH!
I would ask you to go with me to Matt.11:28-30. There we can read: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
In this passage, Jesus talks about a problem that most Christians have, but also a lot of other people. We take upon ourselves a lot of burdens that Jesus does not want us to carry. He says: “Come to Me with them!” What are these burdens? A lot of the religious activities are self-made duties. We become driven by words like: you must and you ought to. Behind this lies a fear of being punished, a punishment that Jesus has already carried. I know that many people have so many duties in their congregations that they hardly have any time left for God or their family. This does not come from God. Others think that they have to read so and so many chapters in the Bible every day or pray so and so many hours in order to please God. GOD IS PLEASED SINCE HE SEES YOU THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS. I do not mean that we shouldn’t read the Bible nor that we should stay away from praying, but not for the purpose of pleasing anyone, neither God nor people. The Word of God is like daily food for us and without food, we die. When we pray, we communicate with God, our Father. He loves us and we love Him and we talk to each other, not because we must, but because we love each other. We can also do a job when we pray, a job that changes us and others and the society around us. Praying should not be a heavy burden, but easy and light. I can really say that I love to pray.
Jesus says in Matt.6:25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? “ In verse 34 it says: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Jesus mentions here a few areas where we usually tend to worry. These are the daily worries. Lack of money can often be a reason behind the worries. I do not have any space here for teaching you about economical blessings, but will remind you of Malachi 3:10 where God says that He will open the windows of heaven over you if you are tithing.
Worries attack both our mind and our emotions. It can also make our bodies sick. God knows this and He loves us and does not want us to suffer and that is why He says: “Come to Me with all your worries!” We might give them to Him, but all of a sudden we are back and continue to ponder over thoughts like: “How will we manage the budget this month? Our children need new clothes and new books for school. Our car is so old that it will cost a lot to repair it. The roof is leaking and ought to be changed. They have a crisis at my job. Maybe I will be fired.” I could write many pages about worries. I do not mean that we should give our worries to God and become totally passive in a corner of the sofa. WE SHOULD GIVE IT AWAY, LIVE IN A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM AND ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO GIVE US WISDOM AND GUIDANCE.
The Lord promised us rest if we would give Him our burdens.(Matt.11:28) I am thinking about the rest of faith. We receive peace when we trust the Lord and all that He has promised us. This is not a word, encouraging us to sleep, even if that is necessary once in a while. The Lord encourages us many times in the Bible to calm down. I can almost hear Him cry out: “Stop to stress around! I am with you!” Stress is dangerous for our health, but we are so afraid of being rejected that we continue to use the 5th gear in our life. The Lord cannot love us more than He does to-day. He sent His only begotten Son to take away our sins, sicknesses and to win victory over the devil. The Bible says that He has called us by name. He loves us with an unconditional love and nobody else can do that. I will therefore say: “STOP WITH THE STRESS. IT IS DANGEROUS!”
The Lord has promised us all spiritual blessings in Christ. He says that as His children we are blessed. Do you know to whom you belong? Go with me to psalm 91. We read in verse 10 that no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. Why? For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways and in their hands, they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. I find this quite incredible that we should be carried around by angels since our Lord has asked them to do it. We do not deserve it, but it is mere grace given by our FATHER.
I sense that some of you want to know what we are supposed to do. We read in Matt.11:30 that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. When I carry a yoke that is heavy, I know that I carry a wrong yoke. If I do something that I don’t like or dread, I think about this verse and ask the Lord if I am on the wrong track. We can all get tired even if we are on the right track, but it should be something we enjoy and something that gives results. WHATEVER IS STARTED BY GOD, GIVES ETERNAL FRUITS.
Finally I want you to go with me to Numbers 11:14. Moses said to the Lord: ”I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me.” They had complained and murmured all the time and Moses was exhausted. The Lord answered Moses that he should take 70 of the elders and they should stand together with him and carry the burden. The Lord never wants us to carry too great burdens alone. He will link us together with others. How many will depend on the extent of the task.
CARRY ONLY THE BURDEN THAT IS EASY AND LIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!