It’s often been said that it’s been a hard life and there have been many tough times. Well, l guess most of us can resonate with that… after all, who hasn’t lost a little sleep through worrying?
We’ve all carried burdens real and unreal… and, if we are honest, we have worried most about some things that never materialised. So here is the word of God that applies to our worries –
Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you… and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’ (Matthew 11:28–30).
A yoke is something Jesus would have made in a carpenter’s shop. It’s a wooden frame joining two animals (usually oxen) at the neck, enabling them to pull a plough or wagon together. The function of the yoke is to make the burden easier to carry.
Jesus makes it clear that the Father wants his children to be fruitful and tells us that… ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful… Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing‘ (John 15:1-5).
Remaining… to bear much fruit
If we remain (abide) in him, we will do just that – bear fruit.
And if we bear fruit, the Father will prune us so that we will beeven more fruitful.
But the warning comes to us twice in this short passage… remain in him, otherwise you cannot bear fruit, you can do nothing!
Not only is it the Father’s desire that we bear much fruit by abiding in him, but there is that oft-missed warning that unless we remain in him, we cannot bear fruit, nor can we do anything of true value!
With all the gifts we have been endowed with there can often be a tendency to take ownership and believe that we can use them whenever and however we so choose… but the truth of it is,we are simply stewards of the manifold gifts of God and to really see lasting fruit from what has been entrusted to us, we must take our direction from the Lord – we must abide in him.
(June 4, 2021) Carol Round encourages us to draw closer to God…
I’m a recovering perfectionist addict. Rest doesn’t always come easy for me.
Recently in a national advice column, a woman wrote in about her ‘drive to be productive, to take action, to keep things organised, and stay perfectly on top of everything.’ In other words, she was battling perfectionism. Oh, how I could relate. At least to the ‘old’ me.
The writer, a young woman, recognised her problem. She was so overwhelmed by her drive to do everything perfectly, she had trouble sleeping. Her question for the advice columnist at the end of her letter read: ‘How do I learn to become okay with being still and to rest better?’
Learning to become okay As I read the advice columnist’s reply to this young woman, it was as if she were speaking to the younger me. The younger me could have written this letter, seeking help for the desire to please others by striving for perfection. However, I hadn’t recognised at my younger age what the advice columnist explained to the letter writer.
Perfectionism is often inherited. I was in my late 40s when I realised my mother was a perfectionist. And so was I. But it wasn’t until I experienced new life through a relationship with Jesus that I was able to begin my journey of letting go.
(February 04, 2021) Carol Round, having experienced an exhausting moving home time, encourages us to relax in Jesus…
Packing! Moving! Unpacking! I questioned, once again, ‘Why did I have so much stuff?’
It’s not the first time I’ve moved in almost 20 years, it’s the sixth! I know others who have moved more times than I have, and I don’t envy them.I’m still trying to recover from my latest move.
I’ll confess! If I’d had my way, I’d still be in the first place I moved to four years before retiring from my 30-year teaching career in 2001. My post-teaching career plans included freelance writing for area newspapers and continuing my 20-year photography business that exploded when I went digital.
But Jesus had a greater plan for me. That’s the reason behind my many moves. Although it took him nine months to convince me to move the first time, I’ve learned to say, ‘I want your will, not mine.’
Obedience means surrendering Each time I’ve moved, it’s been in obedience to his calling on my life.
I don’t take it lightly. For someone like me, who was used to being in charge, and thought she was in control of her life, it meant surrendering. Even though I still struggle sometimes, I’ve learned his way is the only way to live freely and lightly. (more…)
(September 17, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share…
Seems that every day TV newscasts share more bad news stories either about the current worldwide pandemic or crime, rebellion against authorities, government opposition groans instead of encouraging support… it’s rare to hear some good news, something to makes you laugh, even smile.
So let’s begin this article with a good news item!
Zimbabwean friend Raviro emailed a very touching story about a 93 year-old Italian being told the hospital bill for ventilator one-day usage was 5,000Euro (approx.. $8100AUD).
As he suddenly began weeping a doctor kindly advised him not to cry over the bill.
To his surprise the old man responded, ‘I don’t cry because I have to pay. I cry because I’ve been breathing God’s air every day for 93 years andnever had to pay anything for it.’
He added, ‘But for using a ventilator in your hospital for just one day, I have to pay EU5000! I realise now how much I owe God… I never thanked him before for his free air!’
Now doesn’t that makes you smile – and think?
Powerful kick-start Genesis 2:7 confirms that God himself gave his creation the ability to breathe and live life – ‘he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live’ (GNB). (more…)