“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.” Matthew 11:29 KJV. Many religious people today try to believe in Jesus, or learn about Him from a ‘safe’ distance. They hear sermons about Him and are encouraged to have faith in Him. But they never truly become involved in a personal or life changing way. Some go through religious motions and add church going to their lives. But in reality, they are following ‘afar off’ and are not transformed into children of God. But true salvation is something much more than casual interest in Jesus. True salvation is sharing His yoke. It is becoming identified with His interests and becoming ‘workers together with Him.’ It is walking each day in a personal relationship with Jesus that means more than anything else in life. It is loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and using our resources for His cause. There is no other way to be saved, nor to find rest for our souls, except as we take His yoke upon us. His yoke upon us testifies that we belong to Him. May we live each day demonstrating our personal identification with and devotion to Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord of our lives. As we do, we will experience what the songwriter said, “His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I’ve found it so”.
“Thou art my hiding place; Thou shalt preserve me from trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.” Psalm 32:7 KJV. What a joy it is for God’s children to know we have a secure hiding place, a strong shelter from the storm in our Blessed Lord. Truly He is our Strong High Tower where no enemy can harm us. And it is He Who is able to preserve us from trouble. But this does not mean that trouble will never touch our lives. His Word tells us that ‘man’s days are few and full of trouble’. And Jesus said “All they that live Godly will suffer persecution”. But the good news is, God promises to keep our souls from being harmed. The trouble may deeply affect our physical lives, but God will always safeguard our soul. And even more, He will use the trouble to teach us and draw our hearts closer to Him. When we, by faith, recognize God’s gracious dealings with us, keeping us, protecting us and delivering us, then we will praise Him with songs of deliverance.
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, And write them in their hearts: And I will be to them a God, And they shall be to Me a people:”
Hebrews 8:10 KJV. Do we realize what a tremendous blessing we have to be participants in the New Covenant? Today, as part of spiritual Israel, we have this great privilege to be known as God’s people. That means we belong to Him and are part of His family. He is our Heavenly Father and we are His beloved children. But also, God promised He would be our God. He has entered into a Covenant with us wherein He assumes the care and provision of all of our spiritual needs. It means nothing or no one else can be our God. No idols or false gods can be a part of our lives. And the motivation for this is the profound change God makes within our souls. He renews our minds because He writes His laws on our minds. He gives us a new heart when His law of love is written on our hearts. And for all of this God alone receives the glory and honor! None of it was because of any goodness in us, but solely because of His great mercy, grace and love. Let us praise our God that He has made us New Covenant Christians and live accordingly.
“O LORD, Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” Psalm 30:3 KJV. Every true child of God shares this testimony of the psalmist. Before Jesus Christ saved us we were in that same spiritual grave. It was a pit of despair and hopelessness. God’s Word says we were dead in sin. But thank God, in His great love and mercy, He reached down and lifted us up out of that miry pit. As the songwriter says, “He brought me out of the miry clay. He set my feet on the Rock to stay!” When He lifts us up He puts His life within our souls and by His power He keeps us alive. And what a joy it is to know that He is able to keep us from sliding back down into that awful pit of sin! It is tragic today, that so many who claim to have faith in Christ are still in the pit of sin. They have believed a lie and assume that the life of sin is where all Christians dwell. They do not believe in the wonder working power of Jesus’ blood to do exactly as scripture says, “To cleanse us from all sin” and to break the power of sin over our lives. But thank God, we don’t have to live in that old pit of sin! God is able and willing to lift us up and to keep us from sin.
“Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25 KJV. What a glorious truth this is of Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest, and His infinite power to save all who come humbly to Him. This passage exalts Christ in His office as our High Priest. He has done everything necessary to provide full salvation. And thank God He is able to do a complete work in those who come to Him! He is able and willing to save to the uttermost! That means to save us completely and fully from sin. Today, most of religion presents a false Gospel that only does a part of what we need. They point souls to Jesus, but then tell them He isn’t able to save you from all sin. They misrepresent this glorious salvation as something that leaves you still a sinner bound by your sins, with no hope of living a holy, Christlike life as we are called to do. But what a wonderful thing to know the truth of Jesus Christ and what He is able to do! When He saves He does it all the way. He breaks the chains of sin and sets our souls free! And then, because of His continual intercession for us and His life within, He keeps us from sin. May our desire be to experience the fulness of this great salvation and be saved to the uttermost.
“The LORD sitteth upon the flood; Yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.” Psalm 29:10 KJV. Every mature child of God understands what it is, to have the enemy come in like a flood against us. We all know that troubles in life can be like ‘floods of great waters’ opposing us, seemingly threatening our very existence. Almost everything we think about floods on a human level is bad. Floods are dangerous and destructive. But do we ever pause to consider the words of this verse when we are facing the spiritual floods? May God help us to always remember, that He sits on the flood! Hallelujah! This means that our Lord is bigger and stronger than any flood. It means that He is in control of the flood, controlling where it goes and what it does. This means that whatever effect the flood has upon us, our God will work it for our eternal good and for His glory! What an awesome God we have, Who is able to take the things the enemy means to harm us with and use them for our good and for His glory. Let us find comfort in this truth. May we always look higher than the things coming against us and see our Blessed Lord, the Master of the storm, Who is working all things for our good.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 KJV. Sometimes people wonder why these 2 verses are linked so closely together. Why is humility associated with such a beautiful truth as God caring for us? The reality is, these are divinely inspired words addressed to our spiritual needs. God wants us to know how very much He cares for us. He wants us to know that as His children, we are invited to come to Him and cast all our cares on Him. He desires to bear our burdens. But here, God is also reminding us, that only the truly humble soul will come to Him ready to let go of their burdens and cares. Far too many times we imagine that we can handle things on our own. We carry heavy burdens and needlessly become weighed down by the cares of life. All while our loving Father desires for us to humble ourselves and come to Him. Sadly, many people look at the thought of humbling ourselves, as a sign of weakness. But the truth is, the humble soul is the strongest and most joyful of all. It is only in a humble walk with God that we find the freedom to be the dependent children God created us to be.
“… be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 KJV. Everyone with even the slightest degree of spiritual knowledge understands that we desperately need God’s grace. We thank and praise Him for His grace. We sing songs and preach sermons about God’s marvelous grace. Many books have been written about it. But it seems that few truly understand how our lives become open to God’s grace. It is not by believing in some religious doctrines. It is not by simply believing in Jesus and what He did. God tells us here that His grace comes to those who are humble. This is so important that God says our very lives need to be clothed with humility and if pride is in us, God will actually resist us. It is sad, in these deceptive days we are living, that most people imagine they can come to God and receive His grace, all while they are puffed up with pride. Even as they proclaim “Grace” many churches and pulpits are filled with the very thing that God despises, which is pride. Let us be those humble souls, who come and bow at Jesus’ feet, knowing our own unworthiness. And may the humility of Christ so completely clothe us, that others will see in us, the ‘Meek and Lowly Galilean’. And with His humility adorning our lives, God’s grace will overflow in our hearts.
“Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” Psalm 27:7-8 KJV. Every child of God prays like this at some time. We cry out to God. We ask for His mercy upon us. And always we find that His ear is turned to our cries and His mercies are new every morning. But when David wrote, “When Thou saidst…”, that means that God was responding to him. It meant that the Almighty Creator had taken notice of him and was speaking to him. But do we realize what a great mercy it is that God chooses to speak to us? The reality is, most people take this for granted. We just assume that that God will speak to us through His Word, through His Spirit, through sermons, songs and lessons and many other ways. But the fact that God chooses to speak to unworthy creatures like us is one of His greatest mercies to us! Think of where we would be if God did not speak to us? We would have no hope if we could not hear from Him. Let us praise and thank God for His great mercy in speaking to our needy souls.
“Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: Though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.” Psalm 27:3 KJV. The psalmist David understood that there are many enemies in life. What he experienced physically as King of Israel, we all will experience in our spiritual life. There will be foes that we will face. The Bible tells us that we struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil. And yet, even as David found, we can have a source of confidence as we face our spiritual enemies. What he testified to as the source of his confidence was back in verse 1. He said there, “The Lord is my Light and my salvation…the Lord is the Strength of my life…”. He knew because of his relationship with God that he would be safe from harm. Today, we have the privilege to know God even more. We can know Him in personal relationship through His Son Jesus Christ. And through this relationship we can also have the confidence that all will be well, because the One Who watches over my soul is the Mighty God! The One Who is the Strength of my life will never fail. But for Him to be the Strength of our life, we must humbly confess our own weakness. Before we can have confidence that “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me”, we must first know, that “without Him I can do nothing”.