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Rest

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“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

God told the prophet Jeremiah to make a wooden yoke and use it as an illustration to the people of what God was planning to do.  He told them that the Lord was going to allow Babylon to take over their country as well as many other nations around him.  If they would submit to the Babylonian rule, they would be allowed to stay in their own country.  But if they rebelled, then they would be taken captive and forced to leave their country.

In Jeremiah chapter 38, we see Jeremiah going before the king with this message.  Another prophet, claiming to have heard from the Lord, took the yoke off Jeremiah and broke it in pieces, saying that within two years they would be delivered from the oppression of Babylon.  Jeremiah responded with a new message from God in verse 13, “You have broken a wooden yoke, but you have replaced it with a yoke of iron.”

When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, we come under subjection to Him.  But that yoke is so much lighter than the yoke of sin, that the world offers us.  There are many voices in the world that would tell us we are missing out on a lot of things. I have heard young people say that they want to go out and partake of the things of the world and see what it is like.  They do not realize that they are stepping away from the Lord and taking on themselves yokes of iron that will eventually destroy them.

Jesus said His yoke was easy and His burden was light.  He gives us rest and peace, something this world can never do.  It is not a hardship to bear His yoke, because He is always there for us, giving us strength and guidance.

Prayer:  Jesus, thank you for the rest and peace that we find in you, a shelter from the world, and our strength and guide.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust Him.”

Psalms 91:1-2

dawn, dust, evening

There have been countless times in moments of anxiety and worry that I have clung to these words “He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust Him.” I have declared these statements over tragedy and loss, and I have whispered them through tears, struggling so badly to believe them once again.

Through every season of life, God has proven Himself faithful time and time again. The only catch is, I must CHOOSE to live in the shelter of the Almighty. I have to place myself directly under His care, and I will find rest there. This world is so busy and chaotic, that sometimes I crave a moment of solitude. A moment of complete and perfect peace, and it can only be found in His shadow.

I read an article about a man who wore all of his clothing he packed for a trip on himself, just to save on luggage costs. I sometimes feel like this man, burdened and so heavy with the cares of this life. Fighting just to take another step, because I’ve allowed “stuff” to attach itself to me, and slow me down. This is when I must choose to strip away everything that is so unimportant, and find my shelter in Christ yet again.

Lord, I am sorry for straying from Your presence. I’ve allowed cares and worries of this world to cloud my vision and distract me from what’s most important, You. Today I make a choice to live in your shelter and to find peace and contentment at Your feet.

He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Psalm 100:3, Holy Bible, New Living Translation

I watched a shepherd relocate his large flock from a depleted pasture to a more nourishing grazing area. The sheep were not distracted by the line of impatient drivers as they crossed the paved road toward greener pastures. They recognized him as their master and followed through unfamiliar territory without fear.

The Lord cares for us as a tender shepherd. When we recognize His sovereignty―that He is the God who created us―then we, like those sheep, will understand that traveling through unfamiliar territory and rough terrain may be His way to guide us on an uncertain journey.

Prayer:  Lord, when I struggle on the rocky trails of the unexpected, I will trust You, my shepherd, to bring me to a place of quiet rest. Amen.

BY VIOLET CARR MOORE

Adapted from Moments of Meditation by Violet Carr Moore, copyright 2007.