Faith, Jesus, Uncategorized

Get Some Rest

symmetrical photography of clouds covered blue sky

Achieve. Produce. Work. Don’t stop.

We are an achievement driven culture. At least in America. The message is consistently sent that our worth is based on our contribution to society. If we’re not doing, then we’re not living.

We’ve got jobs, and responsibilities. In order to thrive, work is required. It’s all part of the “being human” gig. Work can be good and rewarding.

Hard work and achievements do matter. As Christians, we have the important responsibility to serve the Lord. We give, labor, and strive, all for the Kingdom. We each have a “calling” to do good works for Christ.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)

Super important, and quite exciting to be a part of what God is doing. What about rest? What about just being? God is our maker and knows we need rest. He made us with the need for rest.

We are not designed to go nonstop. We are meant to rest in Christ. This beautiful act is not always easy.

In Mark 6 we read about the disciples needing rest. Actually, I don’t think they knew they needed rest, but Jesus knew exactly what they needed.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”(Mark 6:31, NIV)

Three things are required for rest.

Jesus, solitude, and quiet.

Sounds easy, right?

It’s definitely simple, but not always easy. We are so busy doing, that stopping to rest sounds like we’re doing nothing. Like, we’re wasting time.

Rest is a verb. When we choose to get alone, and quiet ourselves it’s an action. When we invite Jesus into that time and space it’s life changing. Only Jesus can give us real rest. Jesus will fill us up, if we let him.

The world takes from us, Jesus constantly gives to us.

Rest in Jesus is like breathing in the purest air. It’s like feeling the warm sun on your face.

Real rest comes from Jesus. He gives rest to our weary souls.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)

Is your soul weary? Are you tired? Maybe burned out?

You might be thinking Where am I going to squeeze in one more thing? It’s not to burden you. It’s to encourage and help you. I strongly encourage you to pick a time to step away. Even if it’s just five minutes. Find a quiet spot. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Closets work.

No phone. No noise. Just you and Jesus. Talk with Him. Listen to Him. Grab your Bible. Ask Him to speak to you. You can also do nothing and just sit with Jesus.

Jesus is waiting for you. He will give you the rest you so desperately need.

Love you all,

Meghan

Heavenly Father,

We are tired. Our souls can get so tired and weary. You know our limits and how much we need to rest in Jesus. Help us all to make rest in Christ a priority. Show us how to rest in you. Show us where and when to spend time alone with Jesus. We need you. We love you and praise you Father!

Amen

 

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Bible, God, Jesus, Uncategorized

Jesus & Coffee

CHIANGMAI, THAILAND, February 4,2015. Reading The New Internatio

Every morning I grab my Bible and stumble into the kitchen. I grind those beans and pray for the water to boil quickly so I can get that first cup from my French press coffee pot. Yeah, I’m fancy like that. Not really, but I do like good coffee. I plop down on the couch and say, “Thank you Lord”. I thank Him because I’m alive. I thank Him because I’ve got a nice roof over my head, plenty of food to eat, and coffee. I thank Him for three incredible men in my life; my two sons and husband. I thank Him for saving me.

I begin each morning spending time with Jesus. It was a discipline I started years ago out of necessity. I need Jesus in my life every moment, of every hour, of every day. I am not super spiritual or special in any way, just hungry. This is what works for me to strengthen my relationship with God, and keep me focused on what really matters in this life.

I start my quiet time, or Jesus time, or God time, whatever you want to call it, by reading my Bible first. I say a short prayer asking the Holy Spirit to speak to me and teach me what I need to learn. I always have paper on hand to write notes, which I do often. I have a prayer journal as well. I write in that throughout the month, but not daily. Bible reading plans have been helpful. Devotionals are also something I read as well. I’ve got three going right now.

You can read about the Bible I use here My Bible It’s broken in and comfortable, sort of like an old sweater. It’s marked up with highlights, and notes. I recently had to tape the binding of my Bible. It’s not pretty, but well loved. I have many reasons why I read the Bible. The more I read, the more I learn, the more I want to know. Only Jesus truly satisfies, and when I meditate on His word I am changed. Little bits at a time, I am being transformed by His word.

What does the Bible say about being in the Word?

“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105, NKJV)

“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4, NIV) 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, NIV)

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, HCSB)

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35, HCSB)

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11, NIV) 

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17, ESV)

This is not an exhaustive list. But these few scriptures tell us how important it is to study the Word of God.

Prayer is how I end my time with Jesus in the morning. I have a list going of prayer requests from family and friends. I lay my requests before Him knowing He will answer in His time, in His way. It is freeing for me to let go of whatever is weighing me down. I don’t have to carry it. After I’ve had my coffee, and read the Word, and read my devotionals, and prayed, I can face whatever lies ahead with confidence.

There are a few things I do to protect this quiet time with the Lord. I do not check my email or any social media when I wake up. It’s coffee to wake me up, and then the Word. If I get online or do anything else it’s very distracting and I lose my focus. This is what has worked for me.

Mornings may not work for you. My husband listened to a podcast every day that went through the entire Bible in one year. He was also going to school and working full time back then, and that’s what worked for him. Maybe you’ve got a night time routine that’s effective for you. Maybe you have no time alone with Jesus, squeezing in a quick prayer here and there.

Jesus and coffee is what starts my day but one of those I can live without. I would get an awful headache, but I can live without coffee. I can’t live without Jesus. I may start my day with Him, but He and I are talking all day. Jesus Christ is not only my savior, He is my friend, and constant companion through the Holy Spirit. The most important relationship I’ve got is with Jesus, so I try my best to make Him the priority to start off my day.

Do you have daily quiet times with Jesus? What works for you? Please feel free to share any ideas for alone time with God.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

Here are some Bible reading plans that can be a starting point:

https://static.crossway.org/excerpt/reading-plan/3-esv-mcheyne-reading-plan.1.pdf

https://static.crossway.org/excerpt/reading-plan/6-esv-chronological-reading-plan.1.pdf

https://static.crossway.org/excerpt/reading-plans/2-esv-a-psalm-a-day-reading-plan.1.pdf

https://static.crossway.org/excerpt/reading-plan/5-esv-a-proverb-a-day-reading-plan.1.pdf

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-reading-plan/chronological-new-testament.html

 

 

I recommend this devotional:

Renovating Your Mind. Read about it here: Q & A with Author Patrick Egle