In Worship by Bruce LogueLeave a Comment

Devotional Guide

Daily Bible Readings:

Monday, October 10. Read Jeremiah 6:16-21. 1) Israel was famous for rejecting the wisdom that God offered to them. What does he tell them to do in verse 16? 2) What do you think a contemporary version of the “crossroad” might be? 3) What do you think the “old, godly way” might be today?

Tuesday, October 11. Read John 6:35-40. 1) What was Jesus offering to his audience? 2) What benefit did that gift provide? 3) Do you take up Jesus on his offer?

Wednesday, October 12. Read Matthew 23:1-4. 1) What was Jesus’ criticism of the religious leaders in his time? 2) What did Jesus teach his listeners to do in response?

Thursday, October 13. Read Exodus 33:12-14. 1) What did Moses ask God to do in this text? 2) What did God say God would do, and what would the result be?

Friday, October 14. Read Psalm 55:20-22. 1) What did the Psalmist say about his companion? What were the consequences of what his companion did? 2) By contrast, what does God do for us? And what is the result of that?

Saturday, October 15. Read Matthew 11:25-30. This is Sunday’s sermon text.

Prayer for the Week:

O God, remove our complacency. May we be ashamed or embarrassed if we have become indifferent about sharing our affection for a teacher who is nothing like what we’ve heard before. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.

Hymn of the Week:

I heard the voice of Jesus say
by Horatius Bonar, 1846

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
lay down, O weary one,
lay down your head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary, worn, and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
the living water, thirsty one;
stoop down and drink and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s light.
Look unto me; your morn shall rise
and all your day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus, and I found
in him my star, my sun;
and in that light of life I’ll walk
till trav’ling days are done.

Devotional Article of the Week:

The Added Burden
Is your faith lifting burdens or adding to them?
by Alan Smith

I read once about a missionary who was living in Africa. He was disturbed over something he was seeing. The women walked around with heavy loads of wood piled on their backs. Their husbands, on the other hand, carried nothing more than a walking stick and walked several yards in front of them. It was considered an honor for the women to carry these heavy loads for their husbands.

Feeling sorry for them, this missionary saw a need for some wheelbarrows. So he sent a telegram back to the United States, ordering 200 of them to be shipped immediately. When they arrived, he showed the women how to load the wood in the wheelbarrows.

A few weeks later, he returned to the village to find the wheelbarrows all parked in a neat row — unused. He asked, “Why aren’t you using them?”

One woman explained, “Well, you see, when we got the wheelbarrows loaded and all of that up on our backs, they were just too heavy!”

That incident suggests the way a lot of people have experienced religion. It holds out a promise to them of a fuller, richer life where all their problems will disappear. In reality, it just brings additional burdens — one more thing to do, one more thing to worry about.

That’s the way, in fact, that the Pharisees saw religion — a list of rules to be kept, a pile of commands that they saw as their responsibility to enforce. Jesus rebuked them, saying, “You load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.” (Luke 11:46)

But Jesus offered something that the Jews found nowhere else – a relief from those burdens.

“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)

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