Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Yoked to Truth...

This email from our Uncle Tim Baker is marinating in our hearts.  Uncle Tim is the pastor of Shepherd's Heart in California.  He faithfully sends encouragement from the Word to family and friends and this one came in a few days ago.  It was massively encouraging and we want to share it with you.

“Arested” by Jesus
Restfully being kept on and being brought back to the restful path

“Come to Me (Jesus), 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 meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Dear Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

    Compassion, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

    We have been for some time learning about the ancient paths with the promise of rest for our souls. (Jeremiah 6:16) Some of us are eager for the next step, others are having trouble keeping up, and some have wandered far off it. There is always the temptation to “work’ the path rather than be yoked to our Shepherd, who is Himself  “the Path, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6) We fall from grace and become entangled in a yoke of bondage when we work it alone. And we suffer wreckage when we do not follow Him in faith and a good conscience. (Galatians 5:1,4; 1Timothy1:18,19) We need to keep in heart and mind that our faithful Shepherd has not only the ancient path but also the ancient pathways back to the ancient path.

    Imagine you are one of these very lost sheep. You have fallen and tumbled a long time and a great distance. At one ledge you look up and you are overwhelmed by how far you have to get anywhere near where you once were. As you lie down in despair and brokenness you bleat a mechanical call into the void for help. You feel a strong breeze and then a firm hand pull you up and on powerful shoulders. The climb seems nothing to Him as He carries you far beyond where you originally left off!

   Let me offer to you three simple truths that even if you say them out loud with no apparent faith or feeling they will bond you to Him who carries you:

        “Jesus, without You I can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

        “I can do all things through You, Christ, who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

       “Since it is not by might nor by power but it is by Your Spirit, fill me with Your Spirit.” (Zech. 4:6)

    Wonderfully, faith comes by hearing the Word even if it comes through your faithless voice. (Romans 10:17) Let’s go deeper into His Word regarding rest. All of us would have to admit that we are too performance, pleasure, and emotionally driven to enjoy continuous rest for our souls. Even when we know we are weary and heavy laden and come to Jesus, we still experience the restlessness of guilt, anxiety, and doubt. Let me offer you what has helped me. I yoke myself to Jesus’ lighter yoke and easier burden by inviting Him to fulfill His promise to be the Lord of my Sabbath (rest). (Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:27) Then I let Him lead me along His paths of rest recorded in Matthew 11:16-12:21.

                  1. Restore the simplicity and sensitivity of childlikeness (Matt. 11:25, 16-19)

                  2. Let Him shelter and me from the prejudices and judgments of others. (Matt. 12:1-8)

                  3. Let Him sift me from my focus on the chaff of external things to the grain of eternal                             ones.

                  4. Let Him affirm my priesthood by eating with and of Him. (Matt. 12:3-8; Rev. 1: 5,6;                               3:14-22)

                  5. Let Him make me merciful and to desire mercy for others I judge. (Matt. 12:7)

                  6. Let Him identify, restore and re-stretch the withered (atrophied) areas of my life. (12:9-                       13)

                  7. Let Him rescue me and others from the pits we have fallen into. (12:11-12)

                  8. Let Him restore our confidence in His temporal and ultimate justice for everyone.                                 (12:18)

                  9. Let Him heal or help you embrace the bruised areas of your life. (12:20)

                 10. Let Him rekindle your passion and energy (12:20)

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