tired

Rest, but Don’t Quit

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walk: the way you conduct yourself; to live in obedience; to move; to go through

Throughout his ministry, Jesus walked a lot.  There was this one time that he needed to travel through Samaria.  When he arrived to Sychar, a city of Samaria, he was tired (John 4:4).  What I love about this passage of scripture is that when Jesus got tired, he didn’t quit.  He didn’t give up.  He stopped and rested.

Jesus, therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well  (John 4:6, KJV).

So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down [to rest] by the well  (John 4:6, AMPC).

As believing Christians, we walk a lot too.  Well, we are supposed to.

Let us walk honestly  (Romans 13:13).

For we walk by faith  (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Walk in the spirit  (Galatians 5:16).

And walk in love  (Ephesians 5:2).

Walk as children of light  (Ephesians 5:8).

That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing  (Colossians 1:10).

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments  (2 John 1:6).

Throughout the bible, we are told how we should walk.  I know we don’t always walk how we were taught to walk.  I know you’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I want to encourage every person who is reading this.

Keep walking!

Do you remember when Paul was in a ship with some other prisoners?  While they were sailing, Paul perceived that they would suffer hurt and much damage (Acts 27:10).  He wasn’t just talking about the ship, but he was talking about their lives being in danger.  But the centurion wouldn’t listen.  He believed the master and owner of the ship more than the words spoken by Paul.

Sometimes we believe the words of people more than the word of God. 

When a violent wind came, they were tossed about on the ship.  To save themselves, they had to throw things off the ship to reduce the weight.  They experienced seasickness, stress and they were without food for a long time.  Have you ever thought back to some decisions you made and said, If I had only listened?  Paul told them that they should have listened to him, but he knew they were already feeling bad so he didn’t make them feel worse.  He didn’t condemn them.  He told them to cheer up.  There will be no loss of life among you, but only loss of the ship  (Acts 27:22, AMP).

Maybe you didn’t listen when God warned you, but don’t dwell over it.  Don’t beat yourself over it.  Cheer up.  The enemy wants you to feel like you’re a failure.  He wants you to think that you can’t do anything right.  You’re always messing up.  You do good for a little while, but then you do something foolish just before the breakthrough or before the promise can be fulfilled in your life.  For some of you, there are people who have blamed you for the choices they  made.  They made you think it was your fault.  They made you feel like you were a bad person.  Yes, you have made some bad choices, but that doesn’t make you a bad person.  Everything wasn’t your fault.

I don’t care what people have said about you.  You won’t miss it this time.  You have been the tail for too long, but things are about to turn around for you.  No, God hasn’t changed His mind about you.  He wants to bless you.  If you will obey His voice and do all that He has commanded you to do, God will make you the head (Deuteronomy 28:1, 13).  You don’t have to force it.  HE will do it.

So don’t look back.  I don’t want you to regret anything.  I don’t want you to worry about it anymore.  I don’t want you to sit too long.  Get up and ‘walk’.  Don’t stop doing what works just because it seems like it’s not working.  I know you wish you could have done some things differently, but guess what?  You still can.  It’s not too late for you.  Every day that God gives you is another chance and another opportunity to do things differently.

I told you earlier that Jesus needed to go through Samaria.  When Jesus sat down to rest, he ministered to a woman who was ‘tired’ too – tired of going from man to man, tired of the hurt, tired of the disappointment – looking, searching and hoping.  Is he the one?  Will this one love me the way I deserve to be loved?  This woman was so busy looking for someone to love her that she never learned to love herself.  But she met Jesus – and he spoke to her like no other man had ever spoken to her before.  What this MAN did for  her made her forget about what all the other men did to  her.

You need  to go through what you’re going through.  It’s going to help somebody.  Someone has lost hope, but you’re about to give someone hope again.  I know you get weary at times along the way. Sometimes you want to give up, but keep walking in what God told you to do.

And when you get tired, rest.

Rest in the promise God made to you.  Become like Paul who believed God and believed that it would be as it was told to him (Acts 27:25).  Be at peace with what God said and as you place your hope in Him, He will renew your strength and you will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

Rest, but don’t quit.

Let His Grace Teach You

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God knows my heart.

God is a forgiving God.

God will never stop loving me.

All of those statements are true.

He does know your heart.  He knows the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.

If you confess your sins, He will forgive you.

Nothing can separate you from His love.

But God gets tired, too  (Hebrews 3:10, CEV).

For 40 years, the children of Israel tested God (Hebrews 3:9) and He was very patient with them.  The Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them during the day and in a pillar of fire to give them light during the night.  He brought all of them safely through the waters of the Red Sea. No one drowned. He didn’t lose anyone.  He took very good care of them.  God gave them food to eat and water to drink while in a dry place. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink.

Yet after all of this, most of them didn’t obey God.  Most of them did not please God. They died in the wilderness. They died before receiving the promise. They never got to where God wanted to take them.  They weren’t defeated by satan.  They were defeated by their own lusts.  It didn’t matter what God did for them.  His miracles, wonders and grace just weren’t enough for them.

They engaged in sexual immorality.  One version of 1 Corinthians 10:8 tells us that some of them sinned with other men’s wives and 23,000 fell dead in one day.  (That’s a lot of people).  Other versions of the bible use such terms as whoredom, fornication and prostitution.  And some of us have done the same things.  We have brought God into conversations that He didn’t want to hear, we have taken Him places that He didn’t want to go and we have done things that He didn’t want to see.  We have put ourselves in situations that were hard to come out of.

Not only has it been said, but it has also been writtenYou shall not tempt the Lord your God  (Matthew 4:7, Luke 4:12; paraphrase).

They tried the Lord’s patience and died from snake bites (1 Corinthians 10:9). They murmured and complained against God and His dealings with them and were destroyed by the angel of death (1 Corinthians 10:10).  They didn’t know His ways and they didn’t want to become acquainted with them.  God never brought them out of Egypt to die in the wilderness, but that’s what they believed.  They said it all the time – and what they believed is what happened.  They wanted everything to come easy and when it didn’t, they gave up.  They didn’t endure during the hard times.

God has brought us out of a lot of things.

The moment you hear His voice, don’t harden your heart.  Don’t be stubborn (Hebrews 3:7-8).  Don’t act like you don’t hear Him.  Whatever the temptation is (and it doesn’t have to be sexual immorality), God will give you a way to escape it.  He will provide you with a way out.  He doesn’t want you to go back in what He brought you out of.  He is able to keep you from falling.  The things that happened to the children of Israel were written so that we would read about them and learn  from them in these last days (1 Corinthians 10:11).  These things were written to warn us.

Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid.  (Romans 6:1-2)

Shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace?  (Romans 6:15)

Does this mean that we can go ahead and sin and not worry about the consequences or not worry about who it will affect or hurt later on?  No.  God hasn’t given us grace to continue in sin.  He has given us grace to obey Him.  He has given us grace to repent.  He has given us grace to change.

If our remaining time on this earth is short, then that means our opportunity for doing the Lord’s work is short also.  Don’t continue in sin, don’t tempt the Lord, don’t let anything keep you from doing what the Lord has told you to do and don’t take advantage of (exploit or make unfair use of for your own benefit) His grace, but take full advantage of (make good use) the outcome and opportunities that His grace gives.

His grace not only saves us, but it teaches (to communicate to another the knowledge of that which he was ignorant of) us.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world  (Titus 2:11-12; paraphrase).