Jesus

Jesus Is Not For Emergency Use Only

lifebuoy floating on turquoise water
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On a recent beach trip I noticed a small metal box attached to a pole. Upon closer inspection I saw a life preserver inside the little box with the words “Emergency Use Only” at the top. “Life” was on the left and “Ring” was on the right, framing the life saving device.

When you are drowning in troubles and sorrows who do you call on? Do you break open the emergency use only life ring? Do you call on a friend, a family member? Do you tough it out on your own? Maybe you have been hurt and do not trust others to help you.

There is only One who can save you when the waters get too strong; when the waves start crashing over your head. You are gasping for air, flailing your arms, yelling for help. Jesus will answer when you call on Him. He is a rescuer. But He is so much more than that.

It’s easy to keep Jesus in a box and save Him for emergencies. We want to do our own thing, until trouble strikes. The pain comes and we remember who is in that little box that we tried to keep Him in. Jesus isn’t just for Sundays, or emergencies. Jesus is everything, if we let Him be.

Jesus is my Life Ring. He is my Savior and the Savior to the entire world. He saved us from the curse of sin and death. But you have to place your faith in Him to be set free and saved. He is waiting for you to take Him out of that little box and let Him be Savior and Lord over your life.

We can call on Jesus in our crisis. He is willing and able to help us because He loves us so very much. But He wants to be more than an S. O. S. When we can’t save ourselves it forces us to start looking at other options. Only Jesus can take away our sin. Only Jesus saves.

A life preserver keeps us afloat. Jesus keeps us going. He preserves our life. Jesus is not only Savior to the entire world, but He is Lord of all. Let’s allow Jesus into every part of our lives. No more box.

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it. Acts 4:12, HCSB

Love you all,

Meghan

Jesus, Worship

Basking in His Presence

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Each spring a question mark butterfly shows up in the evenings by my pool. It will flutter around really fast and then briefly land on the tile. At first the wings stay closed and then the pretty wings open and lay flat. This pattern repeats itself until the sun goes down. Sometimes the butterfly lands on me, which I love.

Butterflies are cold-blooded. They cannot regulate their body temperature. They need the sun for warmth. When a butterfly opens its wings it’s basking in the sun. Their body temperature needs to be warm enough to fly. If a butterfly’s body temperature is too low it cannot fly. My little butterfly friend is just getting filled up for the night so it can fly.

We cannot fly without the Son.

Basking is relaxing in the warmth of the sun. In order to do that you need to stop for a minute. Close your eyes. Feel the warmness on your face and just breathe. Can you feel it? Doesn’t that feel awesome?

Do you ever stop and bask in the presence of Jesus? Stop everything and just experience His amazing presence. Let Him fill you up. Just worship Him. Spend some time with Him without asking for anything.

We are needy. Humans are weak and need help constantly. Jesus is the Savior, and the answer to everything. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The only way to the Father is Jesus. He made all things.

All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. John 1:3, NASB

King David desired nothing more than to be in the Lord’s presence. No wonder David is called “a man after God’s own heart”. We can learn a lot about the presence of the Lord and how to worship Him from David.

I have asked one thing from the Lord;
it is what I desire:
to dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
gazing on the beauty of the Lord
and seeking Him in His temple. Psalm 27:4, HCSB

Jesus is beautiful. There is no one like Him, and there never will be. We can gaze upon His beauty. How do we do that?

We need to stop all the noise for a few minutes. Find a quiet place. It does not have to be fancy. A closet, hallway, patio, or a car. It’s about who we are seeking, not the location we are in. Jesus is not limited to church walls. He’s everywhere.

Focusing on Jesus takes our eyes off of our problems. It’s not all about us. It’s all about Him.

Take some time each week and bask in the life giving presence of the Lord. Don’t use this time to ask for anything. Instead, just be with Him. Worship Jesus. Open your arms. Lay back. Let the Son give you the warmth you need to fly.

Love you all,

Meghan

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The outside of this butterfly is vastly different than the inside. There are two small marks that resemble a question mark, thus the name question mark butterfly.

Jesus, The Early Church

Come, Follow Me

boats on body of water
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I wonder if I had lived when Jesus walked the Earth, would I have followed Him? I am absolutely amazed at the first disciples, and their willingness to follow Jesus, no matter the cost. Following Jesus in those days came at a great cost.

Jesus, God’s Son, was walking along the Sea of Galilee when He sees Simon and Andrew working. They were fishing because that was their job. I can only imagine this scene. God, in the flesh, invites them to join Him. What an honor!

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Mark 1:16-17, NIV

This was very unusual for a rabbi. People would flock to a rabbi, very few were called by a rabbi to follow them. This was no ordinary teacher, and no ordinary person. The one calling Simon and Andrew was Jesus, the Savior.

At once they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:18, NIV

Simon and Andrew dropped their nets and followed Jesus, immediately. They did not hesitate. They did not tell Jesus no. They did not say they would think about it. They left their livelihoods to follow Jesus. Simon and Andrew walked away from their careers when they dropped those nets.

When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. Mark 1:19-20, NIV

The same scenario repeats itself with the calling of James and John. They followed Jesus, leaving behind their father. All four of these men willingly followed Jesus and left jobs and family to do so.

Burly fishermen were called by Jesus to follow Him, and they answered the call without reservation.

These guys didn’t even fully know or understand who Jesus was when they answered His call on their lives, yet they followed Him. I want this kind of passion as a Christ Follower. Am I willing to let go of everything and follow Jesus wholeheartedly?

Jesus says, “Come, follow me,” to you and to me. He is calling all of us, but are we willing? There is a cost to following to Jesus. We must die to ourselves.

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Mark 8:34, NIV

The rewards to following Jesus are greater than the losses. He says we will be fishers of men. We get the awesome privilege to participate with Jesus in His work. That’s big. That’s huge. God’s Son wants to use us in His Kingdom work.

May we drop everything and run with abandon to Jesus.

I want to follow Jesus all the days of my life.

Jesus is worth it.

Love you all,

Meghan

Heavenly Father,

You are awesome, holy God. The one true God. Thank you for Jesus. May we clearly hear His voice and answer His call on our lives with no reservations. We love you and praise you!

Amen

Jesus, Trials

Rest for the Weary

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Have you ever been so tired that even a good night sleep won’t take away your exhaustion?

Your soul is so weary you think you can’t make it.

Do you need rest today? Are you worn out from life’s battles?

There is good news. You are not alone. Jesus is reaching out His hand to you right now. He can help you and lift those heavy burdens that you were never meant to carry alone.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30, NIV

Jesus is telling us to come to Him. So come, to the One who can lift those heavy burdens. Come to the only One who can give you rest. Real rest for your weary and burdened soul.

“‘Come’; he drives none away; he calls them to himself. His favorite word is ‘Come.’ Not, go to Moses – ‘Come unto me.’ To Jesus himself we must come, by a personal trust. Not to doctrine, ordinance, nor ministry are we to come first; but to the personal Saviour.” Charles Spurgeon

The Jewish audience Jesus was speaking to had been burdened by the religious leaders of the day (Matthew 23:4). They were desperately trying to please God on their own.

The burdens that Jesus is talking about are the ones we place on ourselves. The burdens we were never meant to bear. We get so weighed down when we are relying on ourselves to carry the load.

The yoke of these burdens is unbearable. Heavy, awkward. They weigh you down so much that you can hardly move.

Jesus is the answer to our weariness. It’s all Jesus.

Jesus is gentle and humble in heart.

Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Bible commentator Adam Clarke noted that the ancient Jews signified yoke as their bond or obligation to God. There was the yoke of the kingdom, the yoke of the law, the yoke of precept, the yoke of repentance, the yoke of faith, and the divine yoke. (Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke, [1831], at sacred-texts.com)

“Christ’s yoke means, the obligation to receive him as the Messiah, to believe his doctrine, and to be in all things conformed to his Word and to his Spirit.” Adam Clarke

A yoke is meant for two, not one.

Jesus is in the yoke with us.

We get the privilege of working with Jesus. His burdens do not weigh us down because Jesus is doing the heavy lifting.

There is absolutely no one else I’d rather be yoked with than Jesus. He is the only One who can lighten my load and bear my burdens. I may get tired and worn out at times. We all will. Jesus says, “I will give you rest.

The rest Jesus gives us is unlike any other. It is a gift from God for those who follow Jesus.

Come to Jesus. He will give you rest.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
  In the light of His glory and grace.

Love you all,

Meghan

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God, Jesus

Birds Don’t Worry

photography of small blue and brown bird
Photo by Tina Nord on Pexels.com

If there was a contest for the best worrier I would have been in the running. I may have even won. The old me was a worry wart. I like to say that I was a born worrier. I was very good at it. The champion of worriers. This is not the kind of accomplishment to be proud of.

These days I worry much less. Worry still tries to rear its ugly head and take over my thoughts, but now it doesn’t have me captive. When worry threatens to take over, I know how to fight back. I did not learn this overnight. This has taken many years by the grace and mercy of God.

Jesus is quite clear that we are not to worry. He does not suggest or recommend that we do not worry, Jesus commands us not to worry. He uses the illustration of birds to show the importance of trusting God to take care of us.

Birds are beautiful, majestic creatures. I love bird watching. The lovely songs they sing, and their extraordinary colors are awe inspiring. With all their flying and forging they aren’t worrying. Birds don’t have barns or warehouses for their food, yet they are always fed because their creator, Father God, feeds them.

You and I are much more valuable than birds. We are made in the image of God, the pinnacle of His creation. If God takes care of the birds, won’t He take care of us?

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Matthew 6:25-27, NIV

I love this passage in Matthew. I have read it so many times over the years that the page is falling out of my Bible. These incredible words from Jesus have penetrated my heart and my mind to set me free from worry. That’s how much our Heavenly Father loves us. He does not want us worrying. He cares for our every need and we do not have to worry.

Worry does no good, only harm.

Worry changes absolutely nothing.

Worry places our focus on our problems, or potential problems.

Worry cannot take care of our needs.

Worry takes our eyes off of Jesus.

God loves all of His creation. He cares for the birds He made by providing food and shelter for them. We are much more precious to God then birds. God knows what we need.

God will take care of you.

There is a key component to trusting God for all of our needs. We must seek His kingdom and His righteousness first.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33, NIV

We must seek God first and foremost. If we are earnestly seeking God, we must expect to find Him.

God is sovereign over everything. He rules over all creation, including us. He is our provider and we need to look to Him and trust Him, because He is trustworthy. God loves us and will take care of our needs.

What are you worrying about today?

You can give every single worry over to your Heavenly Father. He is able to take care of your every need. Seek Him, and His Kingdom, and He will take care of your needs. He will replace your worry with peace.

Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

You are worthy of all our praise. Forgive us when we don’t trust You and we worry. Replace our worry with faith, peace, and complete trust in You. Thank You for loving us and providing our every need.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Read the entire passage in Matthew at the link below.