Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Old Master and The New Master

 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. MT 11:28-29

   A cruel master of a sailing ship had a slave that he beat regularly. He controlled him with fear. When the slave did anything that displeased his master he received a severe beating, often to the point of near death. His master still expected him to perform his duties.

  One day in desperation, the slave threw himself into the water and was picked up by another ship.

  His new master was of a gentle, kind nature, and took him in and treated his wounds and gave him work to do on his ship. The slave worked hard and cheerfully under his new master because his kind treatment brought peace and gratitude to his heart.

   As he worked for his new master, the slave realized that there were certain things that his new master required of him. He was required to stay with the ship and always trust their destination to the master and be willing to do what he was asked to do. Because of the unity on the ship, the master didn't allow any strife or discontent. Those who were unhappy with the rules were allowed to leave.

The slave was up early one morning, sweeping the deck. He stopped and reflected on his time on the ship with his new master. His new master permeated love and kindness. His old master was exacting and difficult to please. His work was much the same, but his new master was helpful.When a load was too heavy to carry, he helped him. When he was sick his new master gave him tea, broth and medicine to care for his needs.

   His old master had never carried his load but rather punished him for dropping things. When he was weak, he still required the same as before.
  Was he happy to yield himself in service to his new master? Absolutely! His needs were met. He loved his new master. He was promised a rich reward at the end of the voyage.

  The slave's old master is a picture of the law. The law is harsh and exacting. It beats us up and makes us realize that we need a new master, Jesus Christ who paid our sin debt for us and receives us into his kingdom.

  He binds up our wounds, forgives our sins, opens our blind eyes and sets us free from our prisons of unbelief, our addictions, our fears, our bitterness and heartaches.

   Jesus says, "Come unto me and I will give you rest." After the initial encounter with Jesus, when we come to him for forgiveness of sins, he still extends his hand and says "Learn of me.....take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

  Like the slave on the kind masters ship we find his yoke to be easy and his burden light. We want to yield ourselves to his destination for our lives because of the great love he has given us. We want to spend time in his presence because we know that his burden truly is light. Because he has delivered us from the brutality of the law. He helps us do those things that we are powerless to do before because with him all things are possible and all things have become new.


   We are now in the yoke with Christ Jesus, and learning from him. We go where he goes, do what he does. We do not balk or fight the yoke, because it is easy to bear.

  Our Teacher is gentle and lowly in heart and in his yoke we find rest for our souls. Because he is pulling the majority of the load we find his yoke easy. In comparison to our previous master, his burden is light.

  There is an error that many of us can fall into and that is of focusing on the yoke as if the yoke itself saves us. It is on him that our focus must be. Because it is he that makes our load light. It is Jesus that is leading us and keeping us out of trouble. Not the yoke. The yoke joins us to HIM, the keeper of our soul.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Street Child

   Here is a story of a little street child. Homeless, forsaken, neglected,cold and hungry.

 One day a kindly gentlemen and his wife were walking the streets of the slums of that same city. For the purpose of rescuing some needy child.

 They took the young child home with them. Gave him a warm bath, warm food and a soft cozy bed to sleep in. The child rejoiced. The warmth and kindness filled his heart with love and gratitude. How wonderful it was to be cared for.

  This wonderful couple gave the child new clothes with their name stamped across the back of it. Anyone who met this child could easily see where he had found refuge.

  The child stayed about a week, enjoying the warmth, love and joy of the home and then left. He came by maybe once a week and politely knocked on the door, received his food on the porch, but never went in. He would sit on the porch swing and dangle his legs, eat his food and leave.

  The door to the house was unlocked. Above the door was a sign giving an open invitation. "Come in and stay forever."

  Why did he only come as far as the porch swing? When he had the opportunity, the desire of the gentlemen and his wife for him to move in and became a permanent part of their home? Was it because he didn't understand the invitation to stay? Or did he not read the sign above the door?

  He could have gone in and become a permanent resident. He could have had three full meals a day, the warmth and fellowship of family. The advice and council of the man and his wife. The joy of belonging. The security and rest knowing every minute need was being met. The protection of a Father. He could have the fortitude to face the bully on the street, knowing his Father would defend him.Why then did he not enter in?

  Because on the first day when the Gentlemen and his wife brought him home, he understood the invitation to come and be bathed, clothed and filled. But he didn't understand the invitation to stay.

                   The Invitation...Come unto me-Matt 11:28, Abide with Me- John 15:4

To all of us who have heard and answered the call"Come unto me" comes this invitation also to Abide or "Stay" with me.

  When you first came to Jesus. Did you not find his promise to be true? His welcome was hearty. He gave you his joy and love. His pardon was full and free. His love sweet and precious.

  And yet you complain of disappointment as time goes on. Your expectations are not met. Your blessings are lost. The love and joy of your first meeting with Jesus is grown faint and feeble and often you wonder why, with such a great Savior are you so flat? 

  The answer is simple. You have wandered from him. The blessings you are missing are only found in close fellowship with him. You either didn't remember or never understood that the call meant"Come to me and stay with me."

  His intention for you is more than a short lived refreshment, only to have you walk away and go back into discouragement and sin. 
   He has planned more for you than a short lived blessing to be enjoyed only in special times of earnestness and prayer and then to have it pass away as soon as you return to your duties that occupy the greater part of your life.

  He has supplied for you a permanent place of refuge with him. Where you can spend every minute of every day with him. Where the work of your daily life can be done in his presence, and all the while you can enjoy unbroken fellowship with him.

  Just as he with tender love and compassion says, "Come to me" he also says, "Stay with me."

The story is mine, but the instruction is adapted from Andrew Murray's book, ABIDE IN CHRIST. I love the things I have learned from Andrew Murray, But some of it is hard to read. This is my effort of breaking it down and hopefully making it easy to read and understand in our world today. God bless you!

Fallin' in love again

 I fell in love again recently!

I looked into his serious little baby stare and fell in love!

He has the cutest face. His eyes are so serious as they study me. He tightly clasps his hands together and regards me.He has such an adorable, huggable little body, all snuggled up in an incredibly soft, blue blanket. He is sweetness all wrapped up in a bundle.

And I am a Grandma.......

 When Luc and Anna first told us of thier coming baby. I couldn't quite grasp being a Grandma. it just didn't soak in really...I thought he wouldn't know me because they lived so far away. I just didn't feel like a Grandma! I had been a Mom for 24 years, but Grandma was unknown to me.

  After he was born they immediately sent pictures. He was so cute! I put his picture on my cellphone and showed it to everyone that showed any interest. I felt like a Grandma!

I have watched lots of Grandmas do that...."See my Grandchild?" I have to admit I was always a little nonchalant. Always acknowledged and said, "Oh, so cute!" But not overly moved by them. But now....Oh my, I have fallen in love!

This little fellow is so special! He belongs to my son and Dau-in-law! Wow! he is wonderful! He has moved into my affection!

The New Year 2014

We have a new year! I don't do New Years Resolutions. I find them too discouraging because They usually fizzle away before I even get to the end of the month.

I like what I find in God's word......His mercies are new every morning.

And I like the quote from Anne of Green Gables...."Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it."

    I find the end of a year and the beginning of another not a really huge landmark for me. Every new day brings hope, because of Jesus. Because I can walk with him and he watches over me. He tells me when I am wrong. He directs my path and asks me to walk in the light. He comforts me when I am troubled and gives me grace when I need it. All my needs are met in my walk with him. He deserves all the praise I can give him. For he is God and he has delivered me from the kingdom of darkness and transferred me into his Kingdom of Light.

   So even though I am a stumbling, bumbling human. I find that Jesus keeps his hand under my elbow and guides me through. When I fall into the mud of this world, because I skipped ahead to far or wandered off to the side. He calls my name, and he picks me up and cleanses me with his word and heals my wounds with the balm of his forgiveness and love. He is a wonderful, wonderful Saviour!