Everyone has been around a bitter person. You can pick them out pretty quickly…Their personality is sharp, harsh, resentful, and poisons everything and everyone around. If you are able to delve into their past, you’ll find some hurt that has festered and grown into this bitterness. All of us have past hurts…but it’s what we do with those hurts that determine how we move forward in life…will we be bitter or better?
We humans tend to stray…mentally, morally, and spiritually from God. The shepherd David lamented in Psalm 119:176, “I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek Your servant, for I have not forgotten Your commands.” In all our wanderings, the Lord is ever-present… searching us out, always ready and willing to care for us.
I bought at least three rhubarb starts over the nine years we’ve lived here…all of which were bought at well-known Home and Garden stores locally. They all started out looking great, only to die during the harsh Idaho Winters. I had all but given up on fresh rhubarb pie, when a friend offered to give me a start from the huge plant in his garden. His 90-year-old mother couldn’t tell me just how old this rhubarb plant was, it had been there in the garden forever. How that start took off and grew!… and now a few years later, it’s firmly established in my garden. That old rhubarb plant reminded me of the settlers that traveled over dangerous, unknown territory to make the wiles of Idaho their home…To survive, they too had to acclimate to the harsh climate, and unforgiving winds. But like that old rhubarb plant they not only thrived, but flourished.
A yoke joins two oxen together to pull, or work as a team. Both animals are united in one cause, and pull as a unit. This yoke Jesus wants us to shoulder is not burdensome…because He’ll be shouldering the other side with us, and as a team we’ll forge ahead. And as we move forward together, we begin to know who this Jesus really is, and in knowing Him, we accept His teachings and learn to abide by them.
We somehow have the audacity to think we can decide where, when, and how God can use us. What the Lord only desires, is wholehearted devotion in whatever He gives us to do…wherever that may be. We tend to see ourselves doing only great and mighty things for the Lord…while on the other hand, He may see us cleaning toilets and serving meals. Whether great or small the task, do it unto the Lord.
The Lord’s creative revelation to us…the Bible…is perfect and pure, refined and purified like silver.(Psalm 12:6) We should never get stuck on one verse looking for error, but rather look at His divinely inspired Word in its entirety, in total context.
Great countries rise and fall…mighty world powers come and go…but some day soon the Anointed One, Jesus Christ, will return and have total predominance over the universe. His kingdom will be firmly established… His power and authority never to be questioned…His dominion to endure through all generations. (Psalm 145:13)
You’ve seen them around you…maybe you’ve even been one – the walking dead. Alive and breathing, but all but dead inside. When profound sadness and loss come to live within, we feel like we’ve been buried in the ground with no rescue in sight. But there is hope, there is restoration for us, if we look to the Lord. He will re-establish and strengthen us and bring us up from the grave of desolation and grief…to live again.
On this Easter Sunday, the Lord extends to you this invitation for a new life…a life unlike the one you have right now…a life new and fresh with endless possibilities. It’s there for you today…all you need to do is say “Yes” to Jesus.
Both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were members of the Jewish Council, but both were also secretly disciples of Jesus. Observance of the Law caused Joseph to boldly ask Pilate for the body, for it was Preparation Day, and the sun was quickly setting…they didn’t want the body of Jesus to remain on the cross during the Sabbath. So these two Teachers of the Law carefully prepared their Lord’s body according to custom, but pondering all the while what Jesus had said was to come.