By Pastor Paul Sheppard
Life comes with many challenges, and at times, it can feel overwhelming. But God is so gracious. Through Jesus Christ, He offers eternal life to all who call upon His name. Moreover, while you are here on earth, He promises to lighten your burdens.
Jesus said: “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
Know that your burdens are not heavy when you are walking close to Jesus. In the next articles, we will see how even our worst troubles become “light and momentary” when we put God’s kingdom first. Moreover, God’s blessings are “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.”
The main Scripture for our study is the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi. Like many of us, Paul was experiencing a heavy burden when he wrote this letter. He was imprisoned in Rome, in chains for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That seems like a huge problem, but not for Paul. Why? Because he knew how to keep the main thing the main thing.
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. – Philippians 1:12-19
This has been the first excerpt in a series from “Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing” by Pastor Paul Sheppard. You can hear Pastor Paul’s radio show, “Destined For Victory,” weekday mornings at 9 a.m. MST on 94.1 FM or online at www.941thevoice.com. For more information, please consult www.PastorPaul.net.