A relationship with Him changes meaningless, wearisome toil into spiritual productivity, purpose

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, September 18, 2017

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

A person may be carrying heavy burdens of (1) sin, (2) excessive demands of religious leaders, (3) oppression and persecution, or (4) weariness in the search for God.

Jesus frees people from all these burdens. The rest that Jesus promises is love, healing, and peace with God, not the end of all labor.   A relationship with Him changes meaningless, wearisome toil into spiritual productivity, purpose. (NLT)

Matthew 11:28-30 – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”

Stephen Smith (Texas) titled his story “ALIVE AGAIN;” here is Stephen’s story:

“My life was in shambles. Working three jobs, I still couldn’t support my family. I felt like a failure. At home, my sons had drifted into destructive pursuits. My wife and I barely spoke. I felt isolated and alone. At night I would pray to die and awaken disappointed to still be alive.

“Finally, in despair, I walked into the garage, intending to end my life. Instead, I fell to my knees and prayed, ‘Jesus, I do not want to die. But I don’t want to go on living like this either. Take this burden away. Jesus, please save my life!’ In a flash, Jesus showed me the difference between his humility and my pride, his meekness and my anger, his faithfulness and my selfishness and deceit. Repenting of my sins, I asked Jesus to transform me – to come into my heart and make me clean. Immediately, rays of hope entered me, and I felt alive again.

“After that day, my relationship with my family changed. We cried and prayed together. We forgave each other. We studied the Bible and, with the help of other Christians, my wife and I reconciled. Finally, one Sunday, my family and I stood together before hundreds of witnesses and professed Jesus as Lord.

“Although none of us is perfect, our Savior is. We can know that whatever happens, Jesus will never leave us; and knowing this can give us peace.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When we draw near to God, God will draw near to us. (See [below] Jas. 4:8.)

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for loving and rescuing us when we cry out to you. Amen.

Prayer Focus: SOMEONE CONSIDERING SUICIDE

To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

* How can you draw near to God? James gives five ways: (1) Humble yourselves before God. Yield to his authority and will, commit your life to him and his control, and be willing to follow him. (2) Resist the Devil. Don’t allow Satan to entice and tempt you. (3) Wash your hands . . . and purify your hearts (that is, lead a pure life). Be cleansed from sin, replacing your desire to sin with your desire to experience God’s purity. (4) Let there be sorrow and deep grief for your sins. Don’t be afraid to express deep heartfelt sorrow for what you have done. (5) Bow down before the Lord, and he will life you up. (NLT)

James 4:8 – Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites.

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