Shoulders

Spoken:  “I look up to the mountains.  Does my strength come from the mountains?  No.  My strength comes from God, Who made heaven and earth, and the mountains…”  (Psalm 121)

When confusion’s my companion,  (Job 10:15)
and despair holds me for ransom,  (Ecclesiastes 2:20)
I will feel no fear –  (Psalm 118:6)
I know that You are near!  (Psalm 34:18)

When I’m caught deep in the valley,  (Psalm 23:4)
with chaos for my company,
I’ll find my comfort here  (2 Corinthians 1:4)
‘Cause I know that You are near…

My help comes from You –  (Psalm 121:2)
You’re right here, pulling me through! 
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness  (Isaiah 53:4)
all on Your shoulders, Your shoulders.
My help comes from You –
You are my rest, my rescue…  (Matthew 11:28, Daniel 6:27)
I don’t have to see to believe that You’re lifting me up  (2 Corinthians 5:7)
on Your shoulders, Your shoulders.

You mend what once was shattered  (Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18)
and You turn my tears to laughter;  (Psalm 126:5)
Your forgiveness is my fortress;  (Colossians 1:14)
Oh, Your mercy is relentless!  (Lamentations 3:22-23)

~ Written by:  Luke Smallbone, Joel Smallbone, Ben Glover & Tedd Tjornhom
Performed by:  for King & Country ~

BUSY

Satan called a worldwide convention of demons.  In his opening address he said, “We can’t keep Christians from going to church.  We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth.  We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their Saviour.  Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.  So let them go to their churches;  let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they don’t have time to develop a real relationship with Jesus Christ.  This is what I want you to do,” said the devil. “Distract them from gaining hold of their Saviour and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”
“How shall we do this?” his demons shouted.

“Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered.  “Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow.  Persuade the husbands and wives to go to work for long hours, 12-14 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!

Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that “still, small Voice“. Entice them to play the radio or MP3’s whenever they drive… to keep the TV, DVD’s, CD’s and their PC’s going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world play degrading and hateful music constantly.  This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.  Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers.  Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day.  Invade their driving moments with billboards.  Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes.

“Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what’s important, and they’ll become dissatisfied with their wives.  Women will forget how beautiful they really are and start to hurt themselves to fit someone else’s idea of how they should look.  Keep the husbands and wives too tired to love each other at night.  Give them headaches too!  If they don’t get the love they need, they will grow lonely and will begin to look elsewhere.  That will fragment their families quickly!

“Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they won’t talk about His resurrection.

“Even in their recreation, let them be excessive… have them return from their recreation exhausted.  Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God’s creation.  Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead.  Keep them busy, busy, busy!  And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, they will leave with troubled consciences.

“For those who resist all the temptations of television and worldly pursuits, crowd their lives with so many good causes that they have no time for inner search.  Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.”

“It will work! It will work!!”

Did you know, the only place in the Bible (KJV) where the word “busy” is written, is in a negative context?

1 Kings 20
39  And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, “Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, “Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver.”  40  And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone.”  And the king of Israel said unto him, “So shall thy judgment be;  thyself hast decided it.”

Could B-U-S-Y possibly stand for
B – bending
U – under
S – satan’s
Y – yoke ?

Jesus said:  “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me;  for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)

What a contrast between the rest that Jesus gives, and the stress and tiredness of being BUSY!

Come as you are

Come out of sadness, from wherever you’ve been
Come broken-hearted, let rescue begin
Come find your mercy, oh, sinner, come kneel
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens, lay down your shame
All who are broken, lift up your face!
Oh, wanderer, come home – you’re not too far…
So lay down your hurt, lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless and all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table, come taste the grace…
There’s rest for the weary, rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t cure

Chorus

Fall in His arms, come as you are

There’s joy for the mourning, oh, sinner, be still…
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal

Chorus

~ David Crowder
Album:  Neon Steeple (2014) ~

Matthew 11
28  “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  30  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God…”

Psalm 34:18  “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”

Psalm 51:17  “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Psalm 147:3  “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”

Isaiah 57:15
“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose Name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

Isaiah 61
1  “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me; because the LORD hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;  2  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;  3  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.” ~ Jesus Christ  (See Luke 4:17-21)

Don’t Quit

Romans 5:3-6 
“… we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

Don’t quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
and the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When funds are low and the debts are high,
and you want to smile but you have to sigh.

When things are pressing you down a bit,
rest if you must, but don’t you quit!
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
as every one of us sometimes learns.

And many a failure turns about,
when he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow –
you might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
it seems, to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
when he might have captured the victor’s cup.

And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
how close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out –
the silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

You never can tell how close you are,
it may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
it’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

~ Author unknown ~

1 Corinthians 10:13 
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Mark 13:13
“And ye shall be hated of all men for My Name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

John 3:16 – I don’t understand it, but…

A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner.  The people were in and out of the cold.  The little boy was so cold that he wasn’t trying to sell many papers.  He walked up to a policeman and said, “Mister, you wouldn’t happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep tonight would youYou see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and down the alley and its awful cold in there for tonight.  Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay.”  The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, “You go down the street to that big white house and you knock on the door. When they come out the door you just say “John 3:16″ and they will let you in.”

So he did.  He walked up the steps and knocked on the door, and a lady answered.  He looked up and said, “John 3:16.”  The lady said, “Come on in, Son.”  She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom rocker in front of a great big old fireplace, and she went off.  The boy sat there for a while and thought to himself:  ‘John 3:16…  I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy warm.’

Later she came back and asked him, “Are you hungry?”  He said, “Well, just a little. I haven’t eaten in a couple of days, and I guess I could stand a little bit of food.”  The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table full of wonderful food.  He ate and ate until he couldn’t eat any more.  Then he thought to himself:  ‘John 3:16…  Boy, I sure don’t understand it, but it sure makes a hungry boy full.’

She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub filled with warm water, and he sat there and soaked for a while.  As he soaked, he thought to himself:  ‘John 3:16…  I sure don’t understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy clean.  You know, I’ve not had a bath, a real bath, in my whole life.  The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of that big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out.’

The lady came in and got him.  She took him to a room, tucked him into a big old feather bed, pulled the covers up around his neck, kissed him goodnight and turned out the lights.  As he lay in the darkness and looked out the window at the snow coming down on that cold night, he thought to himself:  ‘John 3:16…  I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a tired boy rest.’

The next morning the lady came back up and took him down again to that same big table full of food.  After he ate, she took him back to that same big old split bottom rocker in front of the fireplace and picked up a big old Bible.  She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face.  “Do you understand John 3:16?” she asked gently.  He replied, “No, Ma’am, I don’t. The first time I ever heard it was last night when the policeman told me to use it.”  She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain to him about Jesus.  Right there, in front of that big old fireplace, he gave his heart and life to Jesus.  He sat there and thought:  ‘John 3:16…  I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.’

You know, I have to confess I don’t understand it either, how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing.  I don’t understand the agony of the Father and every angel in heaven as they watched Jesus suffer and die.  I don’t understand the intense love for ME that kept Jesus on the cross ’till the end.  I don’t understand it, but it sure does make life worth living.

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

~ Author:  Robert Bentson ~

James 2:1-5, 14-17

“My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.  For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;  And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, “Sit thou here in a good place;” and say to the poor, “Stand thou there,” or “sit here under my footstool”:  Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? …  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  And one of you say unto them, “Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled;” notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

Matthew 25:31-40

“When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory:  And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  And He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”  Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, “Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink?  When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee?  Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee?”  And the King shall answer and say unto them, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” “

Oh, the deep deep love of Jesus

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

~ Written by:  S. Tre­vor Fran­cis (1875) ~

Hebrews: Our humble, loving High Priest

Hebrews 2

9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour;  that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10  For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

16  For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels;  but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.
17  Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
18  For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Hebrews 3

1  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
2  Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

6  But Christ as a son over his own house;  whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  (Psalm 95:8)
14  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

17  But with whom was He grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
18  And to whom sware He that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Hebrews 4

1  Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them:  but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, “As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest”:  (Psalm 95:11) although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4  For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, “And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.”  (Genesis 2:2)
5  And in this place again, “If they shall enter into my rest.”
6  Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7  Again, He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, “To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Psalm 95:8)
8  For if Jesus had given them rest, then would He not afterward have spoken of another day.
9  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.
11  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight:  but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.
14  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16  Let us therefore come boldly (with open hands) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Heb 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Picture obtained from:  https://gracestories.wordpress.com/tag/did-jesus-choose-to-die/

2 Chronicles 20: Victory in praises

1  It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
2  Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, “There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.”
3  And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
4  And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
5  And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,
6  And said, “O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?
7  Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?
8  And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying,
9  If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.
10  And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not;
11  Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit.
12  O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.”
13  And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
14  Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation;
15  And he said, “Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
16  To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
17  Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.”
18  And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.
19  And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
20  And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
21  And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
22  And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
23  For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
24  And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.
25  And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.  (What army takes such abundance of riches and precious jewels with them to battle except the LORD made them do it?)
26  And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.
27  Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies.
28  And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD.
29  And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.
30  So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.

I refuse

I refuse to be discouraged, to be sad, or to cry;
I refuse to be downhearted, and here’s the reason why:

I have a God Who’s mighty, Who’s sovereign and supreme;
I have a God who loves me, and I am on His team.

He is all-wise and powerful, Jesus is His Name;
Though everything is changeable, my God remains the same.

My God knows all that’s happening, beginning to the end,
His presence is my comfort;  He is my dearest friend.

When sickness comes to weaken me, to bring my head down low,
I call upon my mighty God – into His arms I go.

When circumstances threaten to rob me from my peace;
He draws me close unto His breast, where all my strivings cease.

And when my heart melts within me, and weakness takes control;
He gathers me into His arms, He soothes my heart and soul.

The great “I AM” is with me, my life is in His hand,
The “Son of the Lord” is my hope, it’s in His strength I stand.

I refuse to be defeated, my eyes are on my God;
He has promised to be with me, as through this life I trod.

I’m looking past all my circumstances to Heaven’s throne above;
My prayers have reached the heart of God, I’m resting in His love.

I give God thanks in everything, my eyes are on His face;
The battle’s His, the victory is mine – He’ll help me win the race!

~ Lita Kurtzer ~