Charles Stanley – When We Feel Burned Out


Matthew 11:28-30

What emotions come to mind when you hear the words burden and burnout? These terms make us sigh, don’t they? In this fast-paced, overworked world, most of us have felt the tiring numbness of carrying too much on our shoulders, in our schedules, and on our minds. Here are three ways a Christian should respond to these feelings:

Surrender to Christ. Jesus said to come to Him. There’s peaceful rest in surrendering our load to the Lord. His hands are large enough to hold anything and everything we need Him to handle. If we try to control and manage everything, we will wear ourselves out and eventually start dropping it all.

Depend on Christ. Jesus invites us to take His yoke and let Him bear our burdens. Although at first we may readily relinquish our concerns to the Lord, after a while we may try to take our burden back in an attempt to fix things ourselves. But by doing this, we interfere with the solution God wants to bring, and we end up wearing ourselves out once again. The truth is that only God has both the power and perspective to bring all matters to their proper conclusion (Rom. 8:28).

Trust Christ. The Savior encourages us to learn from Him. As we fill our minds with the truth of His words, our trust in Him grows. His yoke will become easy, and we’ll see it as the safest and happiest place to be. When we know we never have to carry burdens alone, they get lighter.

What do you have to lose by coming to Jesus, taking His yoke, and learning from Him? Nothing but your burdens of exhaustion, stress, and anxiety.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 18-19

Our Daily Bread — The Art of Forgiveness


Read: Luke 15:11–24 | Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 9–11; Luke 15:11–32

While he w still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20

One afternoon I spent two hours at an art exhibit—The Father & His Two Sons: The Art of Forgiveness—in which all of the pieces were focused on Jesus’s parable of the prodigal son (see Luke 15:11–31). I found Edward Riojas’s painting The Prodigal Son especially powerful. The painting portrays the once wayward son returning home, wearing rags and walking with his head down. With a land of death behind him, he steps onto a pathway where his father is already running toward him. At the bottom of the painting are Jesus’s words, “But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion” (v. 20 kjv).

I was deeply moved by realizing once more how God’s unchanging love has altered my life. When I walked away from Him, He didn’t turn His back, but kept looking, watching, and waiting. His love is undeserved yet unchanging; often ignored yet never withdrawn.

We all are guilty, yet our heavenly Father reaches out to welcome us.

We all are guilty, yet our heavenly Father reaches out to welcome us, just as the father in this story embraced his wayward son. “Let’s have a feast and celebrate,” the father told the servants. “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (vv. 23–24).

The Lord still rejoices over those who return to Him today—and that’s worth celebrating!

Father, as we receive Your love and forgiveness, may we also extend it to others in Your name.

God’s love for us is undeserved yet unchanging.

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Beautiful and Terrible

In one of Shakespeare’s most known and loved passages, the young heroine, Portia, urges Shylock, the moneylender, to show the kind of mercy that “droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,” that “is enthroned in the hearts of kings,” and “is an attribute to God Himself.”(1) This arresting image of mercy is both noble and other-worldly, rousing images like that of Caravaggio’s “The Seven Acts of Mercy,” in which an angel’s outstretched hand reaches over seven scenes of mercy: burying the dead, feeding the hungry, refreshing the thirsty, harboring the stranger, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, and ministering to prisoners.  The seven scenes are based on the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:35-36: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Though Jesus does not specifically reference burial of the dead as an act of mercy, it was deemed merciful by the church during the time of plague, when care of the dead was literally care of one’s neighbors.

Similar depictions of sympathy, provision, and kind leniency often come to mind at the mere thought of mercy wherever it is found. As Caravaggio paints it and Shakespeare depicts it, mercy is beautiful. Images of quiet humanitarianism and heavenly acts of concern afford mercy a reputation worthy of Portia’s words.

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Joyce Meyer – Cultivate Healthy Relationships


The man of too many friends [chosen indiscriminately] will be broken to pieces and come to ruin, but there is a [true, loving] friend who [is reliable and] sticks closer than a brother. — Proverbs 18:24

Everyone wants friends, and God wants us to have them. He encourages relationships throughout His Word, but it is important to have healthy, safe, and godly relationships.

Some relationships are not safe for us because we are being used, manipulated, and taken advantage of. God wants us to pray for and love everyone, even our enemies, but that doesn’t mean we should let people take advantage of us.

I personally am not interested in having what I call one-sided relationships in which I do all the giving and the other party does all the taking. God does use us at times in the lives of selfish, self-centered people, and we do make sacrifices, but there is a point at which we are hurting people if we let them manipulate us for their own pleasure.

Stand up for yourself and always be willing to confront unhealthy relationships. Speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15). You are very valuable and entitled to have good friends who will respect and honor you properly.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me always be a good friend. I ask You for safe, healthy relationships in which I can flourish and grow. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Place of Privilege

“For because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be” (Romans 5:2).

Interesting, is it not, that because of our faith, which is really His faith imparted to us, He has brought us, you and me, to a place of highest privilege.

What are some of the benefits that constitute this highest privilege?

First, we are justified – considered righteous in God’s sight.

Second, we are admitted into His favor and we abide there.

Third, we have the hope and prospect of even higher and richer blessings, in the fullness of His glory, when we are admitted into heaven.

Strange, then, that you and I often chafe at the bit when things become a little rough. At such time as that, I need to remind myself that I do not deserve any better. All the mercies and blessings of God are undeserved – gifts of God’s grace (“God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense,” as the apt acrostic expresses it).

What, really, is the “bottom line” of everything that happens to the believer – to you and me? After confessing that we are receiving our just deserts, we must always go back to the all-inclusive promise: “All things are working together for our good.” They may not feel good, they may not seem good, they may not even be good, but they are accomplishing good in us.

Bible Reading:Ephesians 3:8-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will meditate on the rare and high privilege that is mine as a child of God and look forward to becoming all that God wants me to be.

Max Lucado – God’s Good Idea


Listen to Today’s Devotion

If a basketball player stands at the foul line repeating, “I’ll never make the shot, I’ll never make the shot,” guess what? He’ll never make the shot! Fear of insignificance creates the result it dreads; and arrives at the destination it tries to avoid. If you pass your days mumbling, “I’ll never make a difference; I’m not worth anything,” you sentence yourself to a life of gloom without parole.

Even more, you are disagreeing with God. Questioning his judgment. Second-guessing his taste. According to him you were “skillfully made” (Psalm 139:14). He can’t stop thinking about you! If you could count his thoughts of you, “they would be more in number than the sand” (Psalm 139:18).

Why does he love you so much? The same reason the artist loves his paintings or the boat builder loves his vessels. You are his idea. And God only has good ideas!

Read more Anxious for Nothing

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

Denison Forum – What Time’s 100 “most influential people” says to the American church

Time‘s annual list of the world’s one hundred most influential people has been published.

Forty-five women are on the list, more than ever before. As the magazine notes, one of them is New Zealand’s new prime minister, the youngest female head of government on the planet. A wide variety of ethnicities and nationalities are represented as well.

It is encouraging to see this cultural icon honor our national commitment to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” for all people. The news reminds us each day that while we have come a long way, we have a long way to go.

Starbucks, the Olympics, and two universities

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America yesterday. After they were arrested for trespassing last week at a Philadelphia Starbucks, their story made national news. On Monday, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized to the men. The store employee who called 911 is no longer with the company.

Starbucks plans to close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the US for an afternoon in May to teach workers about racial bias. The training will be provided to about 175,000 employees.

In another story making headlines, Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney has told Dateline that the USA Gymnastics team doctor used food to manipulate her. She said she was molested by him hundreds of times.

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