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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


Get the Point? (Part 2)

Beth and her dad were outside sitting on their half-built treehouse. Beth was hand-sewing a pillow, and Dad was just about to start on the third wall when Beth asked, "Dad, remember what we talked about last week? About nails being perfect for their user to build with, and about how I can use my talents to serve Jesus?" "Of course I remember," Dad answered. "Have you made any arrangements to play the piano?" "I'm going to play at the nursing home next week," Beth said as she looked down at her pillow. "But I feel like that's too small. I want to do big things for Jesus, not just little things like that. I want to make a difference." "I see," Dad responded thoughtfully. Then, seeming to change the subject, he said, "All right, let me finish this wall." He put the boards in place, and just as he pressed a nail against the wood and prepared to pound it in, he declared, "You know, these nails are so small. Let's just put them to the side and not use them." Beth looked up from her sewing. "But Dad! We need the nails to hold the treehouse together!" "Yeah, but they're so minor," said Dad. "How can something that size be useful? I mean, the lumber is what you see. Why should we use nails? And that pillow you're sewing. Why should you use thread to hold it together? Why not just wrap the stuffing in fabric and be done with it?" "Dad, nails and thread may be little, but they're so important! We need them to hold our projects together! We need--oh." Beth stopped when she saw her dad smiling. "You're talking about me, aren't you?" "Yes, I am. Just as a builder uses small, seemingly unimportant nails and a seamstress uses thin thread, Jesus uses small acts of love and kindness in His plan to bring people all over the world to Him. He can use your music for big things, Beth." "Thanks, Dad," Beth said. "I'll play at the nursing home and trust Him to use it however He wants." "Good for you, sweetheart. Hey, maybe I should start a class! 'Nail Lessons with Dad.' Can't you just see it?" Beth laughed. "Oh, Dad!" Natalie Crowe How About You? Do you ever feel like the things you do for Jesus are too small? He uses all gifts, both big and small, to help others know His love. Don't worry if the things you do to serve Him don't seem very significant. Trust Him to use your little acts of kindness to make a big difference. Today's Key Verse: Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them. (Romans 12:6) Today's Key Thought: God uses small gifts

Get the Point? (Part 1)

Bam! Bam! Bam! Dad's hammer pounded a nail into the board Beth was holding. "Well," Dad announced dramatically, "another board has been placed in the custody of the treehouse! Thank you! Thank you very much!" Beth didn't answer. "Uh, Beth?" Dad smiled sheepishly. "I'm waiting for some applause!" "What? Oh, sorry, Dad," came the answer. "I was just thinking." "What's wrong, sweetheart?" Dad asked gently. "I just wish I had a good talent to offer to God," Beth replied. "I can't do anything useful. Josie can sing; I can't. Rose is great with little kids; I'm not. I can't do anything!" "I see," Dad said. "Can you hand me that nail?" Beth picked up a large nail and passed it to him. He accepted it and gazed at it for a second. "Beth, I have a question for you. What if nails began to think they were useless? What if they said, 'If only we were boards, then we could help our builder'?" "Well, that would be pretty silly," Beth replied. "Exactly! They've been given sharp points so they can be driven into wood, long bodies that can hold many pieces of lumber together, and flat heads that make pounding a breeze. Nails have been given everything they need to serve the one who's using them. And so have you. Jesus gives each of us different abilities so we can serve Him alongside other Christians. Let's think. What can you do to serve Jesus?" "Well, I'm pretty good at playing the piano," Beth said excitedly. "You're catching on!" Dad said. "You could play at church or the nursing home, or even give lessons to younger kids. And we haven't even scratched the surface! You have so many talents that could be channeled toward serving our Creator. Are you starting to get the 'point?'" Dad grinned. "Get it? Like a nail? Oh, that's a good one!" Beth giggled and hugged her dad. "Thank you, Dad. And yes, I do get the 'point'!" Natalie Crowe How About You? Do you ever wish you were more talented? Do you look at your friends and think if only you had talents like them, then you could be useful and serve the Lord? Don't compare your abilities to those of others. It takes many people to build the body of Christ, and God uses them all. He's given you exactly what you need to serve Him in the way He wants. Be thankful for the talents He's given you and use them to serve Him. Today's Key Verse: Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. (NLT) (Romans 12:4-5) Today's Key Thought: God uses every talent

Pitching Curves

Ravi wound up for the pitch and let the ball fly, but it went too high. It sailed through the air over Logan's head, and there was an awful sound of breaking glass as it crashed through Mr. Garcia's store window. Logan gave a quick backward look over his shoulder. "Come on, Ravi! We've got to get out of here!" Almost before he knew it, Ravi was trailing after Logan, who was tearing across the playground and down the street as fast as he could go. "Whew!" Logan said when they were far away from Mr. Garcia's store. "That was close, but we're safe now." "Yeah," Ravi replied. He hesitated. "I think I should go back and own up to breaking the window." Logan stared at him. "Are you crazy? He'll make you pay for it!" Logan turned toward his street. "I'm going home." Ravi watched him go, still feeling very disturbed. Telling Mr. Garcia I broke the window is the right thing to do, he thought. So instead of going home, Ravi headed back to Mr. Garcia's store. Mr. Garcia was looking at the damage when Ravi arrived. "Uh, Mr. Garcia, I I'm the one who broke your window," he managed to say. "I was trying to pitch a curve, and the ball just " From beneath bushy eyebrows, Mr. Garcia looked sternly at Ravi. "Pitching curves, eh? Well then, there's only one thing to do," he said gruffly. Ravi trembled. "Learn to control them!" Mr. Garcia's chin was quivering, and his eyebrows were raised. Ravi suddenly realized he was chuckling! "I'm glad you didn't try to pitch a curve to me by lying about what happened," said Mr. Garcia. "I know you're a Christian, Ravi, and I'm very proud of you for coming back to tell me about the window. I can see your love for Jesus in how straightforward and honest you were today. Only pitch curves in baseball--not in life. Now, about the window. Do you think you could come and do some sweeping and cleaning for me to work off the cost of replacing it?" Ravi gladly agreed. Hazel M. Percy How About You? Are you truthful and honest even when it might get you into trouble? Or do you try to pitch curves by lying about something you've done? Always tell the truth, even when it's hard. If you're at fault, admit it and accept the consequences, whatever they may be. When you're truthful with others, your actions show them you belong to Jesus. Today's Key Verse: Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight. (Proverbs 12:22) Today's Key Thought: Always be honest


Glad that's over," said Daniel as he, Matt, and Josh left church. "Let's go have some fun." Ten minutes later, they were on the footbridge over the highway. Opening his backpack, Daniel said, "I took these out of the 'Free Veggies' box at church. Let's throw them off the bridge at passing cars!" "Cool!" said Josh. "There's nothing cool about vegetables," said Matt. "Besides, we'll get in trouble." "Nah, my brother does it and he never gets caught. Watch this." He grabbed a cucumber and dropped it on a car passing below. It hit the trunk smoosh! "Cool!" said Josh again. He tossed a ripe tomato at a pickup truck and watched it disintegrate on the truck bed. "Your turn," said Daniel, shoving a large round squash at Matt. Matt hesitated. It did look like fun, and so far, nothing bad had happened, so he dropped it. But there was no smoosh. Instead, there was a sickening thud that shattered the windshield, and the squeal of brakes as the car skidded onto the roadside in a cloud of dust. Then the driver jumped out, looked at the bridge, and pointed right at Matt. "You almost killed me!" he yelled. Matt turned to his friends, but they'd already fled. In a panic, he ran too-- through the woods and over his back fence. Hiding behind a shed, he prayed, "Help me!" When he opened his eyes, there stood his dad, a police officer, and the driver, Mr. Barnes. The only thing Matt knew for sure was there would be consequences. After a long talk, Matt apologized and agreed to work every Saturday to pay for a new windshield. Before Mr. Barnes left, he said, "Matt, I want you to know, I forgive you." Before bed that night, Matt told his dad, "I almost killed Mr. Barnes. I don't deserve forgiveness." "Yes, this was serious," Dad replied. "But Matt, the Bible says, 'All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.' That's why Jesus paid for our sins Himself by dying on the cross--He knew we couldn't get out of our sinful mess ourselves. It doesn't matter how big or small a sin seems to us. He'll forgive you and wipe the slate clean." Teresa Ambord How About You? Have you done something that caused a serious situation? Like Matt, you may think you don't deserve forgiveness. But the Bible says we all sin and fall short of God's standard. That's why Jesus died to save us from sin--because none of us can save ourselves. He offers forgiveness for every sin, no matter how serious. Confess your sin and trust Him to forgive you. Today's Key Verse: He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. (NLT) (Psalm 103:12) Today's Key Thought: Jesus forgives all sin