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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rural Lancaster County pond scene (click to enlarge photo)
 Ice-covered pond in Lancaster County PA
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"Lay Your Burdens Down"

Today if you are able we suggest you listen to this song (mp3) prior to reading the message or perhaps in the background as you read it.

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens" (Psalm 68:19). "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

One of our favorite writers is Robert J. Morgan, a pastor in Tennessee. He recently shared an interesting illustration on his blog. He was on a long trip and was travel weary. He saw a long moving sidewalk and got on it. He had a bag in each hand but in his fatigue he didn’t even think to set them down. "I was still carrying my load while the moving sidewalk was carrying me. Not until halfway down the hall did I have the presence of mind to release my bags and let the moving sidewalk carry them too."

I can identify with Morgan's illustration, although in regard to my burdens I tend to set them down (trust) and then pick them back up again (doubt).

As we write this devotional today we consider several we know who face heavy burdens:
  • Jared, a young friend, facing surgery on Thursday in regard to a cancerous condition.
  • Several friends were recently laid off from their jobs and are working through the accompanying uncertainties.  We've been talking with them and praying for them.
  • Brooksyne counseled and prayed with a heavily burdened Christian woman whose husband has Alzheimers.  She gave up their home so that he could get proper care in a nursing home, but now his condition has worsened and he needs to be placed in a specialized Alzheimers facility which will separate them.
It seems that some people's troubles surface but then only go from bad to worse to seemingly unbearable.

We could list so many more here and we know you could as well. You likely have your own list that you regularly take to the Lord in prayer.  

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." In Scripture God often emphasizes the unit of time we call the day.  In fact it's the very first unit of time that is referred to in the Bible and the most frequently mentioned starting with Genesis 1:14.

And we all sure know about burdens. Surely we can identify with the Lord's statement that "each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34b). A commentary explains the further meaning of the daily text in this way: "God daily carries us as a manifestation of His protective and sustaining care." Such an interpretation brings to mind "Footprints in the Sand", a poem written by Mary Stevenson during her teen years in 1936 as she endured major obstacles in her young life.

What assurance His Word brings. Believing friend, God is bearing your burdens today. He loves you and the trial you are presently enduring matters greatly to Him. He is faithful and He will see you through it! Don't try to shoulder your burdens for the increasing load will surely break you.  Instead lay your burdens down at the foot of the cross. Jesus will meet you there.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, our faith rests in the finished work of Jesus at Calvary.  Because of His tremendous sacrifice our sins are forgiven and a place is reserved for us in heaven.  We also find rest from our unending troubles in this life as we respond to Jesus' invitation:  "Come to Me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." Help us to look to You for needed strength and an overcoming spirit as we daily encounter challenges and ongoing burdens.  Our burdens can be lifted at Calvary for that is where Jesus bore not only our sins but also our sorrows.    Praise be to You, our Father in heaven, who daily bears our burdens.  Amen.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
(Click on the link to open and play. In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Lay Your Burdens Down"
 Audio   I came across this song rather by "accident". I was actually looking for a song we recall singing many years ago by Chuck Girard with the same title. I don't know who wrote this song or who is singing it but I find it very spiritually moving.

If your dreams have seemed to dry up,
Like sea that's slowly dying
If you need a hand to hold you
And no one is around
If the darkness overwhelms you
And your fears are multiplying
You can lean on Me and lay your burdens down

Find your rest in Me and lay your burdens down.

If the road of life has led you
To a place you have not chosen
If you need a hope to cling to
But hope just can't be found
If an angry wind has left you
With a heart that's frail and frozen
You can lean on Me and lay your burdens down
Put your trust in Me and lay your burdens down.

If the ground your world is built on,

is feeling fragile and unstable.
If the cares of life consume you,
and weariness abounds.
Come and lay the things of value,
On a back that's strong and able
You can lean on Me and lay your burdens down
Come and rest in Me and lay your burdens down.

Lay them down, lay them down
Lay them down, lay them down

"He Knows My Name"  Audio

"I Cast All My Cares Upon You"  Video  We recall singing this chorus for many years. This version is especially nice as I sense such an earnestness in the singer's voice.

Here's the blog post by Robert J. Morgan referred to in the message.

A short video teaching by Robert J. Morgan.

Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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