Keeping In Step with Christ

Keeping Step with Christ - Matthew 11:28-30

We always get out of step when we try to bear our own burdens, solve our own problems, and operate in our own power.

We need a yoke* that connects us with Christ so we can move in step with Him:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Keeping Step with Christ - Matthew 11:28-30
Yoked to Christ, we walk where He walks:

1. Dwelling on His Word (Colossians 3:16).

2. Rejecting popular worldly philosophies (Colossians 2:8).

3. Following His purposes (Ephesians 2:10).

4. Walking in His power and strength (Philippians 4:13).

Jesus says, "Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be" (John 12:26).

Best of all, when we move in step with Christ, we find rest for our souls.
*Yoke: "zygós – properly, a yoke; a wooden bar placed over the neck of a pair of animals so they can pull together; (figuratively) what unites (joins) two people to move (work) together as one."

For a deeper understanding of taking Christ's yoke:
Which Yoke?
Yoked But Unburdened
Learn From Him
Jesus Invites Us to Come, Take, Learn

Share the Gospel Honestly

Let's not forget that Christ said salvation has a "cost"...

Many modern evangelism methods seek converts through promises of peace and joy without stressing repentance and personal responsibility.

No wonder so many people fall away when they discover Christianity also brings changed values, self-denial, and persecution (Matthew 13:20-22). (See Salvation Changes Us.)

What did Christ and the apostles stress when they shared the Gospel? Repentance and personal responsibility (Matthew 4:17; Luke 9:62Acts 26:20). (See 3 Warnings.)

What should we stress when we share the Gospel? Repentance and personal responsibility.

If we don’t tell people they’re dying in their sins, they won’t understand the value of forgiveness.

If we don’t tell them there’s a price for the peace and joy Christ gives, we misrepresent the Gospel (Luke 9:23-24).

Christ said, “Count the cost” before following Him (Luke 14:25-34).

He said people who weren’t willing to deny themselves weren’t worthy of Him (Matthew 10:37-38).

We aren’t saved by our goodness or our good works, but we are saved so that we can pursue righteousness and do good works (Ephesians 2:10; 1 John 3:3).

Whether or not that’s attractive to unbelievers, it’s still the Gospel.
If Jesus presented it that way, so should we.

Jesus Always Tips the Scales

Are Your Problems Weighing Heavy? Jesus Always Tips the Scales

I was mentally weighing the “pros and cons” of my present circumstances, and the cons were getting heavy. Then I remembered the Lord’s love and the pro side of my scale dropped with enormous weight.

Are Your Problems Weighing Heavy? Jesus Always Tips the Scales
Life can be tough at times. Jesus warned us it would be:
“In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33

But Jesus finished that sentence by saying, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 

Philippians 4:8-9 says it this way:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Sometimes our con list is weighing heavy and our pro list is miserably short. But when we have Jesus, He will always tip the scales!
Some other devotions to encourage you during adversity:
Those Who Suffer
Beauty for Adversity
or check out the Overcoming Adversity Archive of 1-minute devotions.

Do You Know Your Burger Better Than Scripture?

We memorize whatever we hear repeatedly

According to a 2007 study: “Put to the test, Americans recalled the seven ingredients of a McDonald's Big Mac hamburger and members of TV's 'The Brady Bunch' more easily than the Bible's Ten Commandments.”(1)

We memorize whatever we hear repeatedly
Our memories are incredible. If we hear something repeatedly, we memorize it, whether sights, smells, sounds, names, places, phone numbers, or song lyrics.

Without looking it up, I know a Big Mac has "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” I don’t even like Big Macs, but I’ve memorized the ingredients from repetitious McDonald’s ads.

I’ve memorized Scripture too, but I’m wondering which I know more – God’s precious Words or empty words.

Let's consider how we might add repetition of God’s Word to our schedules this week.

“The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” Psalm 19:8

Copyright 2012, Gail Burton Purath
(1)-2007 Survey

Did you know that repetition serves other good purposes in our spiritual lives? Never Enough
Have you ever wondered about the childlike desire for Repetition? Do It Again, Poppy!

Don't Confuse Persecution With Consequences

Don't Confuse Persecution With Consequences - 1 Peter 3:17

People often confuse consequences and persecution.

1 Peter 3:17 says, “it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 

That means:

1. When we share Biblical truths in a rude manner and offend people, we're not being persecuted for the Gospel. The problem is our method, not our message.

Don't Confuse Persecution With Consequences - 1 Peter 3:17 2. When we're doing something sinful and another Christian corrects us, we're not being unfairly judged. We're refusing correction.

3. When others return our selfishness or inconsideration, we're not going through a trial. We're reaping what we've sown.

Scripture teaches:
1. Boldness with grace.
Colossians 4:6; 1 Peter 3:15

2. Gentle warnings and humble acceptance of correction.
2 Timothy 2:25; Galatians 6:1; Proverbs 19:20,25,27

3. Consideration and self-denial.
Philippians 2:3-4

It's very easy to create our own problems and blame them on something or someone besides ourselves. 

Our love for Christ compels us to accept responsibility and repent.

See: 4 Things that Happen When We Fail to Repent

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