Jesus, The Early Church

Come, Follow Me

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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

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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.

Christmas, Jesus

The Light of the World

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It was a clear, cold December night as Martin Luther was walking in the woods preparing a sermon. As the forest darkened Martin headed back home and noticed light through the fir trees. Stars illuminated the night sky. That beautiful starlight made Martin think of Jesus coming down from heaven to earth.

He was so moved by his experience in the woods that Martin brought a small fir tree home and placed candles on the branches. The lit tree in his house was a reminder of God’s light to the world. This was an unusual thing to do in 16th century Germany. Over time, others began to follow Martin’s example and decorate small fir trees with candles. 

The story of Martin Luther, the infamous protestant reformer, lighting a tree is well known. Though it may be just a story, it still inspires. I can’t help but think about God’s light piercing the darkness as I imagine Martin looking through the trees to the starry sky. I love nature and it speaks so loudly and clearly to me that God made it all, and He holds it all together. 

The lights on my Christmas tree aren’t just a pretty decoration. Each time I look at the tree in my living room all lit up, I see Jesus. He is the light of the world. Jesus came from heaven to earth as a tiny baby to save us from our sin.

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” 

John 8:12, NASB 

Light came into this dark world to save us. Without Jesus there is darkness, spiritual darkness. It can be a bright sunny day, yet totally dark without knowing Jesus as Savior. His beautiful light lives in those of us who have said yes to Him. It doesn’t matter how gray the skies are, or how dark the world is, Jesus’ light lives in His followers because He is the light. That’s a miracle.

“If a man could travel so fast as always to follow the sun, of course he would always be in the light. If the day should ever come when the speed of the railway shall be equal to the speed of the world’s motion, then a man may so live as to never lose the light. Now he that follows Christ shall never walk in darkness.” 

-Charles Spurgeon 

Every time you see a Christmas tree strung with beautiful lights may it be a reminder of God’s light. God’s only son, Jesus, is the light of the world. His glorious light lives in each of us who have received Him as Savior through faith. Do you know Jesus as your Savior? His light can live in you too if you trust in Him today. 

Merry Christmas!

Love and blessings to all of you,

Meghan 

If you need prayer just drop me an email. Go to my contact page for info. 

Faith, Jesus

The Widow’s Offering

I had a moment the other day. A moment of feeling less than. I usually try to keep my eyes on God, and just focus on what is in front of me. In my weakness, I looked around and saw everything that I wasn’t. Lord, how am I going to do what you’ve called me to do? I don’t have some huge sphere of influence. I don’t have thousands or millions of followers. I will never be that. My gifts are small.

Immediately the Holy Spirit said, “The Widow’s Offering”. I knew exactly what that meant. Right away I pictured a woman with two coins in her hand giving her small offering. This is not a Bible story I have read recently. I’ve never even given it much thought until now.

The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Mark 12:41-44, NIV

When Jesus was watching all the people leave their temple offerings, He knew each person’s heart. Jesus knew how much money each one gave and why. Jesus noticed what no one else did. While everyone was probably looking at the wealthy throw their money into the temple treasury, Jesus noticed the widow. 

The wealthy were impressive with their large amounts of money being deposited. It made a lot of noise as it went into the box, and made them look great. But Jesus paid close attention to the widow, not to the wealthy. That does not mean the wealthy do not matter. In that instance the widow stood out. Her offering was everything she had. When the widow dropped those two coins in, only Jesus noticed.

Why?

Because Jesus knew what she gave and He knew her heart. She was poor and a widow. That’s a double whammy in that world. Yet, with everything against her, the widow gave her two small coins. The widow had great faith, so much so that Jesus said, “she put more in the treasury than all the others.”

God always sees what we do not. The widow’s tiny offering was counted as more than all the others. She gave sacrificially, out of love. The wealthy were giving out of ease and obligation. It was no real sacrifice to throw in large amounts of money. 

The widow had big faith. She could have easily held on to her last two coins, but she didn’t. She gave her best. The widow gave it all to God. She trusted God to take her insignificant offering and do something great with it. 

I want the faith of the widow. So many times I take my two small coins, shine them up, and hand them to Jesus. He never turns them away. Then there are days and moments, like I had the other day, where I doubt myself. I doubt that God can use my tiny offerings of my writing, my prayers, my time. I drop my coins in thinking they are unnoticed. 

What I consider a meager gift is seen as a treasure in God’s eyes. He knows our motives. He knows our hearts. He also knows what abilities, and resources we’ve got. He gives to each of us differently. My best for God may look completely different than yours. 

The widow was a woman in need, yet she gave God everything. I want to give God my best. No matter how small that may look. No matter if all I’ve got to give Him is two small coins. I want to give God my best when it’s all I have left.  

God will take what looks like not enough and make something beautiful. 

Love you all,

Meghan 

 

Father God,

Thank you that you see things we cannot. Help us all to give you the best of our time, our money, our gifts and talents. May we glorify you in all that we do. Take our best, even if it’s two small coins and make it something great in your Kingdom.

Amen

 

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