Antioch Devotionals- September 7-11

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER  7TH Matthew 11:28-30
Labor Day by Shawn Hammontree

Are you tired? Does your job have you exhausted?  Did you lose your job recently and you are trying to find a way to make ends meet?  Does life have you carrying a load of burden?  Chances are life has, or has had, each one of us answering a big “YES!” to at least one of these questions. Life can be difficult.  “Adulting”, (as the millennials often call it.), is just plain no fun often times.  However, there is good news!  There is good news if you are laboring under a yoke of burden- be it an emotional, physical, economical, and especially a spiritual one.  You can bring all your cares and lay them at the feet of the burden lifter, Jesus Christ.  He can carry them.  So, on this Labor Day 2020, may you read these words of Jesus, (some of my very favorite in all the Bible), and find rest for your weary soul for today and every day.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Why not pause, even now, and ask the Savior to take the yoke you are carrying?  He’s waiting and He is willing.  Trust Him.
By Terri Scharn
Bro. Jason, shared this week about a “look alike” he has. Has anyone ever told you, that you remind them of someone?  I have several times. Of course, unlike Bro. Jason’s situation, this person was not near me for folks to get us confused.  It was so funny listening to him share how people mistook them for each other, not to mention how embarrassing it was for the people who thought that.  I too have spoken to someone I thought was another person. I could have crawled UNDER the earth.
On a serious note, it sure is a good lesson for us, me especially, how people look as us.  Unfortunately, I don’t think of that a lot, but maybe I should.  How do I present myself when I go about my daily life?  Even at home around my family.
I have heard people who use the excuse, ”Look how they act, and they go to church”.  Could someone be talking about us? You bet they could.
Let us take heart, and learn from the resemblances, Bro. Jason shared, and make sure that our walk, will be the kind that people will know exactly who we represent.

Father, help us to remember, our life may be the only Jesus, some people see. In Your Sweet Name we pray. Amen
Refining by Fire/Persecution by Kerry Stitch
“…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”-2 Timothy 3:12

Close your eyes and inhale.  Did you get a whiff?  Fall is just around the corner even if your thermometer didn’t get the memo.  While some of you may be ushering in leggings, leaves and lattes; I’m sure we can all agree that the cozy bonfires and pumpkin spice mugs of liquid gold will be welcome retreats, especially in a Covid crazy, chaotic 2020. May I remind us that those “fires” have lots to teach us spiritually as well?  
1.  Fire illuminates.  Even wearing the mask-mandated fashion accessory, we cannot hide our face from the Father. How much investment are we intentionally setting aside to warm up in His presence? It shows…ask Moses. Prayer allows our sight to adjust in the darkness and focus on the light of His leading.
2.  Fire refines.  Examine our responses.  Are the BE-attitudes our default setting?  Burning can serve a godly purpose to slough off the buildup of self and create a new layer that has tenderness toward God’s that only the Sonshine can produce. Be sure to apply the SPF! (Spirit-Produced Faithfulness)
3.  Fire produces flexibility.  Ask any jeweler.  Those precious metals need heat applied to redirect their shape and ultimate beauty.  On their own, they tend to be hard, cold, and “set” in their own ways.  Endurance and yielding to the properties of divine heat is crucial for the Master to yield them treasures He can use.
4.  Fire will warm you.  Although it may arrive in the form of persecution, prejudice, or personal struggle; its attributes are bone-deep and totally satisfying.  Ditch the flannel for the Father.  Swap the sweater for the Savior.  Instead of the leaves, jump into the joy of Jesus!  
So…carve the pumpkins, toast the marshmallows, and enjoy that walk in the woods. Just be reminded that more life-changing that s’mores, hayrides, and cider is the captivating life of abundance in choosing Christ.  Haul the wood, enjoy what’s coming…delight yourself not only in this season called fall, but in falling in love with Jesus!