Last week I had a chance to share with a friend this truth. It was hard sharing with him that he would never be able to carry this burden on his own, but the shear joy came from the part that Jesus Christ wanted to take this burden off of him and give him peace and joy and purpose. And to my amazement my friend surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and now his burden has been lifted off of him and I can already see evident in his life the peace that Christ has brought him.
“For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. He was chosen before the foundation of the world but was revealed at the end of the times for you.” (1 Peter 1:18-20)
All of us have burdens and hard stuff we deal with. I am here today to tell you some hard truth: you will never be able to deal with it on your own. You can try to lug this heavy load around all day by yourself and it will just leave you exhausted and depressed, because the fact is we were not made to do this on our own. Believe me, I tried for twenty years of my life to carry my own burdens and it drove me to depression and anger. But Jesus Christ wants to take all of that frustration and depression off of you. He wants you to know that yes you can never carry this burden on your own but that you don’t have to. He wants to take all the pressure off of you right here and right now. He already took all of our sins upon Him when He died on the cross for all our sins and I do mean all. He died for our past, present, and future sins. We will never be justified in God’s eyes by what we do, or how good we are. We can never be good enough. But Jesus Christ steps in front of us and covers us with His blood, so that when God looks at us, all He sees is Jesus Christ. He doesn’t see our mistakes and failures and the disgusting sins we have committed, He sees Jesus Christ’s blood covering us. You may think that you have done way too much for Jesus to be able to take your burden. That’s the lie satan told me too, but it is just that, a lie. Jesus wants us to come to Him no matter where we have been, no matter what we have done. He can redeem anyone’s life, I’m a testimony to that. No matter how far you think you are from Christ, He is closer than you think. He is calling out to you today, wanting to redeem you. Don’t let your past or your present hold you back.
Cast your burdens on the Lord and just watch and see how He will redeem you completely.
As I listened to the voice mail that he had left me, I was overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving. I thanked God for revealing Himself to my friend, for allowing me to be a part of this process. God pulled me out of my own darkness and then gave me this friend to show His love to. I was so overwhelmed at first. Didn’t even know where to begin with him but throughout the year God showed me what to do. It all just started with giving my time and spending time getting to know him. God used my friendship to show him that God loved him, and what exactly a life changed by the Lord looks like.
As this semester started I knew the Lord wanted me to be more intentional with my life, and really do intentional ministry the rest of this year. And last night I knew it was time to really tell my friend about Jesus Christ and explain to him how much the Lord loved him. God used me last night to share with him the gospel and then just to back away, and let the Lord reveal Himself to him. Well last night God did just that, and I’m just so blessed that I had the opportunity to see the before and after of a life changed by Christ.
I was beyond happy when I heard the news. I was overwhelmed by God’s goodness and as I drove home I thought to myself, “If this is the only person God uses me to reach, then I would be okay with that, because God used me, an empty vessel, to bring a friend to Him. This will change this guy’s life, and ever since he poured out his heart to the Lord last night, he has become a new creation.
Tonight I’m reminded how God specializes in the crazy and the impossible.
Tonight I’m speechless and overwhelmed by God’s goodness.
Tonight I’m thankful that another life has been changed forever because of the love of Jesus Christ.
Have a blessed night to you all,
third teachers, next miracles,
then gifts of healing, helping,
managing, various kinds of languages.
Are all apostles? Are all prophets?
Are all teachers? Do all do miracles?
Do all have gifts of healing?
Do all speak in other languages?
Do all interpret?
“Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away. Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
At the end of chapter nine of first Corinthians, the apostle Paul describes life as a race. A race in which everyone runs in a manner of winning the prize. He encourages believers to run in such a way as to win this prize. What prize is he talking about? Is it a trophy? Medal? Plaque? Paul describes that all runners exhibit self control but that some that race or compete, compete for a prize that will fade away, but as believers we run to gain a crown that will never fade away. This crown that Paul is talking about is the crown of life, the abundance that Jesus Christ pours out onto our lives when we follow Him and do this life in a matter that brings glory to His name. Paul says that we should not run aimlessly or without purpose. We need to intentionally seek out God’s purpose for our lives each and every day. We also need extreme discipline to make sure that we are practicing what we show and tell to others. We have to train ourselves just as athletes do, so that we can continually be made into the image of Jesus Christ.
Life is such a long race, but also a short one as well. We never know how long this race truly is but we must persevere with the love of Christ to use all the time He has given us to bring others to Him and to show others the hope, purpose, peace, love, Jesus brings. This race is not easy. There are bumps and kinks in the road that try to trip us up. But as long as we keep our eyes on the prize we will persevere. As long as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, no matter what comes before us, and whatever may come against us, we will make it through. Jesus will pick us up and carry us to the finish line and we will receive the ultimate prize of all, basking in the glorious and holy presence of Jesus Christ in heaven.
Have a blessed night ya’ll,
:Have a blessed night ya’ll,