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When Your Load Is Heavy

Theme:

Jesus will help you carry the load.

Object:

Several items that are not too heavy - such as a brick or a ten pound dumbbell and an automobile jack.

Scripture:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 [NIV]

How strong are you? Do you think you are pretty strong? How many of you think you could pick up this brick? How about a dumbbell like this one? Well, you must be pretty strong then. How many of you think you could pick up a car? Oh, you don't think you could pick up a car? Well, I think you could if you had some help. Here is something that would help you. It is an automobile jack. If you put this jack underneath the car and pump the handle, you can easily lift a car that weighs over 3,000 pounds! Yes, with the help of a jack, you can lift a car, but you couldn't do it alone, could you?

Some of you have some pretty heavy burdens to carry in life. Perhaps you have a physical handicap that makes your life difficult. Or, perhaps your father has lost his job and your family is having financial difficulties. Maybe someone in your family has cancer or some other serious illness and you are worried about them. You may be having a hard time making passing grades in school. I don't know what the burdens are that you have in your life, but I do know that there are some that you just can't handle by yourself. Well, guess what? You don't have to!

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." There is no reason for you to struggle with burdens that are too heavy for you. God's Word is full of promises to help us in times of trouble. Here are just a few: "Don't be afraid, I am with you." (Gen.26:24) "I'll give you strength." (Psalm 28:7) "I'm with you in times of trouble." (Psalm 34:6) These words of encouragement are just what we need to face the hard times that may come our way.

Does that mean that if we will ask him, God will take all of our troubles away? No, but he will help us. In fact, some of our struggles may help us to grow and become stronger. They may also help us to learn to trust in Jesus. But when the load is too heavy, he will help us to carry it -- and there is no burden that is too heavy for Jesus.

Dear Father, we are thankful that when we struggle under the load of life's burdens, you are there to help us carry the load. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

 

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keys for kids

 

A Broken Friendship

"I am never going to school again!" Suzi announced as she came through the door. She flopped onto the couch and covered her face with a pillow. "And I'm never speaking to Christy again." Mom came over and sat down. "That bad, huh? Never is a long time not to speak to your best friend." "She's not my best friend anymore!" Suzi exclaimed as she adjusted her legs. "I'm never forgiving her." Suddenly, her foot caught the edge of Grandma's antique end table and knocked it to the floor. With a loud crack, the table leg split in two. Suzi jerked up and took the pillow off her face. Her jaw dropped. "I'm so sorry, Mom! It was an accident." With a heavy sigh, Mom quietly knelt by the table to inspect the damage. "I don't think its fixable," she said slowly. "Time to throw it away." Suzi gasped and jumped off the couch. "We've had that table forever! There must be a way to fix it." Mom shook her head. "I'm not sure it would be worth the effort." "You at least need to try!" Suzi protested. "You can't just throw something away that you love . . . " Suddenly, she noticed Mom was smiling. "You're absolutely right, Suzi," said Mom. "We don't just throw away the things we love . . . or the people we love. Your friendship with Christy is much more valuable than this table and is also worth the effort to mend." Suzi groaned and grabbed the pillow again. "But sometimes it's so hard to forgive!" Mom took the pillow off Suzi's face. "We don't forgive because it's easy. We forgive because Jesus has forgiven us of so much." Suzi frowned. "But Christy isn't even sorry!" "God didn't send his Son to die for us because the world was already so sorry for its sins," Mom replied. "He certainly didn't do it because it was easy. He did it because He loves us and wanted a relationship with us." Suzi sighed. "If God can sacrifice everything to have a relationship with me, then I guess I can try to forgive Christy . . . even when it's hard." She smiled at Mom. "Now, let's go fix your table." Bethany Den Boer How About You? Have you ever been in a fight with a friend? Perhaps someone said something mean or thoughtless to you. Or perhaps they wanted to play with someone else. Unkind words and actions are hurtful, and they can make us very angry, especially when they come from someone we love. But if you know Jesus, He has forgiven you for all your sins. Forgive others, even when it's hard. Today's Key Verse: Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. (CSB) (Colossians 3:13) Today's Key Thought: Forgive because you are forgiven

Leap of Faith

Austin didn't pay much attention to the animals as he followed his dad and little sister through the city zoo. All he could think about was how, in another week, they'd be moving to a different city. "Are you enjoying the zoo today?" asked Dad. Emma nodded eagerly, but Austin just shrugged. "We've been here so often, I know most of the information about the animals by heart." He began reciting. "The hippo is responsible for more deaths in the wild than any other animal. The flamingos are pink because of the shrimp they eat." "I guess you won't miss the zoo when we move," said Dad. "Not like I'll miss my friends. I really don't want to move," Austin replied. "I won't miss the zoo as much as my friends either," said Emma, "but I will miss the impalas. They're so pretty." She pointed to a field nearby where several deer-like creatures were grazing. "The impalas?" Austin asked in surprise. "I think they're the dumbest animals here. Do you know why they don't need to have cages? Because they're big chickens!" "No, they're not," said Emma. "They're a kind of antelope." "I meant that they're scaredy-cats!" said Austin. "They're great jumpers, but they won't jump unless they can see where their feet will land. If there's just a small hedge around them, they'll never escape." "Really?" Emma asked. "If I were an impala, I'd jump." "I doubt it," said Austin, "because if you were an impala, you'd be chicken too." "People can be like that sometimes," said Dad. "Sometimes we're afraid to try something new because we're not sure what it will be like." Austin sighed. "You're talking about me, aren't you?" "Well, I admit I'm a little nervous to be moving to a new place too," Dad said. "But God knows what's on the other side of the hedge, and we can trust Him to do what's best for us. After all, Jesus was willing to leave His home in heaven and come to earth to save us." Austin sighed. "Okay, I'll jump. I guess I can't live inside a hedge forever." He smiled at his sister. "Come on. Let's go see the impalas. Maybe we can convince them to jump too!" Heather M. Tekavec How About You? Do you feel afraid when you're facing something new? Big changes can be scary, but remember that Jesus will help you through them. Have faith in Him. He faced the scariest situation of all--dying on a cross for our sins--so you could have eternal life. You can trust Him to be with you and do what's best. Take a leap of faith and leave the landing to Him. Today's Key Verse: For we live by faith, not by sight. (NKJV) (2 Corinthians 5:7) Today's Key Thought: Trust God with life changes

Daily Bread

"Joel," Mom called. "Would you like to help make supper? We're having biscuits and gravy. I thought you might like to help make the biscuits." "Sure," answered Joel as he walked into the kitchen. He finished rolling out the dough. "This is a biscuit cutter," said Mom, showing him a round cutter. "Just press it onto the dough to make as many biscuits as you can." Joel liked the way the cutter squished into the soft dough. Mom put the biscuits onto a cookie sheet, but she didn't put it in the oven yet. "We're also going to make croutons," she said. "You know, those crispy bread things that go on our salad?" She gave him some slices of dry bread, then showed him how to brush melted butter on both sides. Joel brushed the butter on, but not without dripping some on the counter. "You're doing a good job, Joel," Mom said. "Here's some Italian seasoning to sprinkle on too." Mom cut the buttered bread into squares. Before she put the biscuits and croutons in the oven, she pulled out some cinnamon rolls. "Would you like to drizzle icing on the rolls?" "Yeah!" Joel breathed in the smell of the fresh cinnamon rolls. He made a mess with the icing as he tried to get some onto every roll. "This makes me think of one of the names of Jesus," Mom said. "Do you know which one?" She took the biscuits and croutons out of the oven. "I'll give you a hint. It's what we've been making." Joel looked at the biscuits, the croutons, and the cinnamon rolls. "I don't know. They're all different." "Yes, but they're all some sort of bread, and Jesus is called the Bread of Life." "Why is He called that?" asked Joel. "In Jesus' day, bread was a basic food. People couldn't live without it, and we can't live spiritually without Jesus. He died and rose again to save us from sin, and we can only have life through Him. Whenever we feel spiritually hungry, we can go to Him. He'll remind us that He loves us and is always with us." Joel popped a crouton into his mouth and smiled. Bonnie Clarkson How About You? Do you trust Jesus as your Savior? Or are you trying to satisfy your spiritual hunger some other way? Jesus says He is the Bread of Life because He's the only one who can give us life and fill us spiritually. Put your trust in Him. (To learn more, click the "Good News!" button in the right column of this page.) Then spend time with Him each day getting to know Him better. Today's Key Verse: Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." (NIV) (John 6:35) Today's Key Thought: Jesus gives us life

Clothing or Kindness

Sophie looked into her closet and sighed. School started tomorrow, but what could she wear? Her clothes were from the thrift store, and none were the brand names that everybody would be wearing. There were no cute new dresses, no stylish tops. "Why can't I just once have something fashionable to wear for the first day of school?" she whined to nobody in particular. She knew that her mom, a single mother of three, didn't have extra money for popular name-brand clothes. But Sophie still didn't like it. That evening, Sophie was sitting on the couch, frowning at a book, while her mom worked at a desk nearby. "Why are you looking so glum, Sophie?" asked Mom. "Is something wrong?" Sophie set the book aside with a heavy sigh. "I'm going to look so dumb tomorrow. None of my clothes are even close to being cool." "I think your clothes are fine, Sophie. They look very nice on you." "But I won't fit in with any of the popular kids!" "Did Jesus fit in with the popular kids?" asked Mom. Sophie stopped and blinked. She hadn't expected that question, and she had to think about it. "I guess maybe He didn't," she finally admitted. "He didn't at all. In fact, the teachers of the law--the closest thing to 'popular kids' in Jesus' time--hated Him so much they plotted to kill Him," Mom told her. "They didn't like the way He treated people who they thought didn't deserve God's love. People noticed him because of what he did, not because of how he looked." "And that applies to us too?" Sophie asked. "Yes, it does," Mom replied. "The apostles in the early church told Christian women not to wear expensive clothes and jewelry in order to stand out and make themselves seem better than others. It was their deeds, not their appearances, that should set them apart." Sophie smiled. "Okay, Mom. Instead of worrying about my clothes, I'll ask Jesus to help me get noticed for showing others kindness instead." Christiana Cudworth How About You? Do you like to follow the latest styles? Do you feel left out if other people are wearing brand-name clothes and you're not? While it's good to want to look your best, remember that Jesus didn't stand out because of how He looked but because of the way He showed love and kindness to everyone. Trust Him to help you get noticed for who you are, not what you wear. Today's Key Verse: The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (NIV) (1 Samuel 16:7) Today's Key Thought: Put on kindness