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When Your Load Is Heavy


Jesus will help you carry the load.


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


"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


Good Advice

"How about this quote?" Kenton asked as he and Grandpa read a book together about Benjamin Franklin. Kenton's homework was to write down two of Ben Franklin's famous quotes. "'Haste makes waste.' What does that mean, Grandpa?" "Well, I think it means that when you hurry to get a job done, often you make careless mistakes," said Grandpa. "It's better to take your time and do the job right the first time." Kenton nodded in agreement. "What about this one? 'Well done is better than well said.'" Grandpa thought for a moment. "I think that means people judge us more by how we act than by what we say. For instance, we can say it's good to be generous, but if we never share anything with anybody, then our words really don't mean much." "Ben Franklin sure had a lot of good advice for people," said Kenton. "I wonder how he got to be so smart?" "Franklin was a very smart man with a lot of good advice, but true wisdom always comes from God's Word," Grandpa said. "We need to make sure the advice we follow agrees with what the Bible says. The wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon, wrote a whole book of the Bible full of wise advice." "Oh, I know which one that is--Proverbs!" Kenton said. "That's right. But even before Solomon became king, his father, King David, gave him some very good advice. King David was old and about to die, and he wanted to make sure Solomon followed God. He advised Solomon to obey God's commands and walk with Him faithfully. A little while later, God spoke to Solomon in a dream and said, 'Ask for whatever you want and I'll give it to you.' Do you know what Solomon asked for?" "Lots of money?" Kenton guessed. "Nope!" Grandpa chuckled. "He asked for wisdom because he remembered his father's advice to follow God. Solomon knew he needed God's wisdom to lead the nation of Israel. We also need God's wisdom to live our lives--the wisdom He gives us in the Bible and through His Son, Jesus. If something we're advised to do goes against the wisdom God gives us as His children, then it's not good advice." -Kendra Angle How About You? Have you ever read advice columns in magazines or online? While other people's advice can sometimes be helpful, we need to remember that if the advice doesn't line up with what God's Word says is true, then we shouldn't follow it. The Bible is the only place we can find true wisdom. Trust God to give you wisdom as you read His Word and follow Jesus. Today's Key Verse: My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart. (NIV) (Proverbs 3:1) Today's Key Thought: Wisdom comes from God

No Laughing Matter

Landon scuffed the toe of his shoe in the playground dirt. I don't like the jokes these guys are telling, he thought. They're not funny, and I don't like the way they mock different groups of people. But Landon wanted those boys to like him, so when they laughed at the jokes, he smiled or laughed along with them. For devotions that night, Landon's dad read from the book of John. Landon was startled when he heard Dad read a verse that said, "They loved human praise more than praise from God." That's just like me today, he thought. I cared more about what those guys thought than I did about what God thought. All evening the words of the verse ran through Landon's mind. Finally, he went to his room and knelt down beside his bed. "Dear Jesus, I'm sorry for laughing at jokes that are unkind and disrespectful to people You love," he prayed. "Help me not go along with things like that, no matter what others say about me." At recess the next day, Landon and several other boys decided to have a ball game. "Hey, did you hear the one about the Mexican in the candy store?" asked one of the boys as they walked out to the baseball field. "No," said Landon, "and I don't really want to." The boy laughed and started telling the joke anyway. Sighing, Landon turned and walked away. "Hey, where you goin', Landon?" someone called out to him. "Looking for your mommy?" Landon continued to walk, each step becoming a little easier. He heard footsteps behind him, and then Jordan was walking along with him. "I didn't want to hear that joke either," Jordan said. Landon suddenly remembered that Jordan's dad was from Mexico. "Wanna shoot some hoops?" Landon asked. "Sure." Jordan grinned. "I have to warn you though--I play with the guys in my neighborhood a lot, so I'm pretty good!" "Oh yeah?" Landon laughed. "Well, I play on a team at my church, so you're not gonna scare me away!" "You go to church?" "Yeah," said Landon. "You can come play with us sometime if you'd like." Jordan picked up a basketball on the side of the court and threw it toward Landon. "You're on!" -Carolyn E. Yost How About You? Do you care a lot about what other people think of you? Are you more focused on pleasing them than on pleasing God? Jesus is the one who loved you enough to die for you, and His opinion is more important than anyone else's. He wants you to love people others make fun of, even if it means you'll be made fun of too. Do what pleases Him, not other people. Today's Key Verse: For they loved human praise more than praise from God. (CSB) (John 12:43) Today's Key Thought: Seek God's praise

Servant of All

Ella groaned as her parents pulled up to the World Mission Thrift Store. "Why do we have to work here today? They never have anything important for us to do! All we do is sort through toys and clothes. It's boring!" "Ella," Dad said, "remember that we are working for God, not for ourselves. All the money from the thrift store goes toward helping people around the world hear the good news of Jesus." Mom nodded. "A lot of the people may have never even heard about Jesus! How wonderful it must be to hear the Bible in their own language." Ella sighed and got out of the car. Noel and Kristen, two girls from Ella's church, were already in the back of the store, sorting through shoes. "Hi, Ella!" Noel grinned cheerfully. "Come help us!" "Look at these." Kristen giggled, holding up bright orange heels with extremely pointy toes. "I would NOT want to wear these! Ouch!" The girls agreed. The rest of the hours passed by quickly as the families grouped items and sorted through spring clothing. Mrs. Sally, the store manager, clapped her hands in delight. "You all did a spectacular job today! I don't know how we would have finished all this without your help." Ella noticed Mrs. Sally stepping around carefully as she surveyed everything they had worked on. She recalled that her mom had said to be praying for Mrs. Sally because she had injured her back. Ella could tell Mrs. Sally was in pain, but she still had a bright smile on her face as she spoke words of encouragement and thanks to the church group. On the way home, Ella mentioned Mrs. Sally to her parents. "Yes, it's amazing all she does even though she's hurting," Mom said thoughtfully. "Reminds me of that verse--'The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,'" Dad said. "Even though He's God, Jesus served all of us by dying for our sins. Mrs. Sally is making a sacrifice to serve so more people can know Him as their Savior." "Yeah! I'm sorry I was complaining when we first started working. I want to be like Mrs. Sally and like Jesus--a servant of all." Ella grinned. "And actually, it was pretty fun to see all those crazy shoes!" -Savannah Coleman How About You? Do you ever feel like the work you do for God is insignificant? Not everything we do for God is going to be something "huge." When Jesus came to earth, He became a servant of all and died for our sins even though He was the Son of God. He even washed his disciples' dirty feet! Nothing we do for Him is too small. Joyfully serve Him by serving others in whatever tasks He gives you. Today's Key Verse: For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (NIV) (Mark 10:45) Today's Key Thought: Be a servant for Jesus

Sin Cleanser

"Oh, I forgot! Jake thought as he stirred his hot cocoa. I'm not supposed to bring this in here anymore because of the new carpet! But Mom was busy outside, and Jake wanted to watch a game on TV. I'll be careful, he thought. His eyes were on the TV as he reached out to set the mug down. But he tilted it too far, and some of the cocoa spilled out and made a dark spot on the new, light-colored carpet. Jake raced to get a towel and soaked up some of the cocoa, but an ugly dark spot remained. Hearing Mom come into the house, Jake scrubbed harder, but he could see it was no use. I'd better tell Mom what I did, he thought. Maybe she'll know a way to get the stain out. So Jake slowly headed for the kitchen and confessed what he had done. "Oh, Jake!" Mom hurried to survey the damage. "Well, I've got some new carpet cleaner that works really well on fresh stains." She went to get it. As she worked on the carpet, she said, "You couldn't get this stain out yourself, but this cleaner will take care of it. Does that remind you of something about God?" "Um you mean we need Him to get rid of our sin?" asked Jake. Mom nodded. "It makes me think of people who try so hard to earn their way to heaven through their own good deeds. I used to be one of them." "You did?" Jake asked, surprised. "Yes," said Mom. "I was sure the good things I did outweighed the bad ones and made me good enough for heaven. But I was wrong. God helped me realize I was a sinner and that the wrong things I'd done had left a nasty stain on me that I couldn't get out on my own. I needed Jesus, who took the punishment I deserved for my sin. When we trust in Him, He cleanses us from sin and forgives us." "Just like you forgive me for spilling on the new carpet?" Jake asked hopefully. "I'm sorry I brought my cocoa in here. I won't do it again." Mom set the cleaner aside. "Yes, Jake. I forgive you." -Karen E. Cogan How About You? Have you put your faith in Jesus and trusted Him to forgive you? No matter how many good things you try to do, you can't get rid of sin yourself. Only the blood of Jesus can wash it away. Make the verses in Psalm 51 your prayer today. Confess your sin to Jesus and trust Him to give you a clean heart. Today's Key Verse: The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7) Today's Key Thought: Jesus cleanses us from sin