"Wherefore seeing we also are encompassed with such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down on the right hand of God the Father." (Heb. 12:1-2)
Many years ago in England, there lived a gypsy man. One day he called his wife and five sons together and said, “I am very burdened. A great weight lies upon my chest and shoulders. I am afraid my heart is about to burst and I will soon die”.
His wife pleaded, "No, my husband. You cannot and must not die. Your sons and I need you".
With a fearful and heavy heart, the gypsy man hitched up his horses to the old wagon and drove the long distance to the trading post to purchase supplies.
He had watered and fed his horses at the livery stable and was heading into the store, when he saw an unusual sight. A man was standing on a wagon, with a Bible in his hand, preaching to the farmers who had gathered around!
The preacher said, "There is no load as heavy as the load of sin. It will burden you down and wear you out. It will make you sick spiritually, mentally and physically. It can even kill you, and will eventually take you to hell.
"But, you can be free from the load of sin", continued the preacher. "Jesus Christ died on Golgotha’s Hill, to destroy the power of Satan and free you from sin!"
The preacher invited everyone to repent of their sins and receive Christ as personal Saviour. The gypsy had not been exposed to the gospel and his heart beat excitedly as he heard the good news for the first time.
He rushed forward and fell beside the wagon wheel, exclaiming, "You have explained my problem perfectly. That which is weighing me down is the load of sin. Now, I don't have to die because Jesus died for my sins and has the power to save me and remove the heavy load from my life"!
He prayed, "Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that You died on the cross for my sins. And that You rose from the dead! Please forgive me, come into my heart and lift this heavy load, so that I can be free".
A very different man drove his horses home that evening, singing the gospel song he had learned from the preacher.
"There is power, power,
Wonder working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb."
Arriving at home, he awakened his wife and sons, proclaiming, "I have good news; I am not going to die. The heavy burden I carried was the load of sin, but I met a preacher who prayed with me and Jesus Christ has made me free". One of those five sons grew up to become the great English preacher, Gypsy Smith!
There are some heavy weights we should all dispose of, excess baggage which weighs us down and becomes more burdensome as the years come and go!
DROP THAT HEAVY LOAD!
I concur with the writer to the Hebrews: Drop that heavy load! Here are some of the weights we must lay at Jesus’ feet!
Nothing weighs a person down like guilt and condemnation. Guilt comes by knowing that we have failed and missed God's moral and spiritual mark for our lives! Sinning brings condemnation!
Conscience makes a person feel guilty and vulnerable. The only way to satisfy a guilty conscience is through the knowledge of ‘sins forgiven’. And there is only one way that can happen, by accepting God's provision for the removal of sin - the shed blood of Jesus Christ!
The Bible says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God?” (Heb. 9,14)
Christ's death on the cross was vicarious - substitutionary. He did not die for His own sins, because He had none! The truth is, Christ died for our sins!
St. Paul admonished, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death”. (Rom. 8,1-2)
Again the Word of God declared, “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God”. (1 John 3: 20-21)
2) WORRY and ANXIETY
An Anglican Bishop was so burdened for his flock that he was staying up late almost every night. His concern turned to anxious moments of tormenting worry!
Finally, one Saturday at midnight God spoke to him saying, "You can go to bed now, Bishop. I will take the next shift!" Surprised and greatly relieved, he went to bed and slept soundly without a worry or care. He had left the responsibility of his flock in God’s hands!
The Bible says, “...casting all your cares upon Him (Jesus), for He careth for you”. (2 Peter 5: 7)
Jesus stated, "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment"? (Matt. 6: 5)
Then, He paralleled God's provision for the lillies of the field and the birds with His care and concern for us! Jesus made it quite clear that our Heavenly Father will take care of us and we do not need to worry about the future!
PLAINLY, IT IS SINFUL TO WORRY AND FRET, WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY PUT OUR TRUST IN GOD!
"If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more shall He not much more clothe you. O ye of little faith?
“And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
“But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12: 28-32)
St. Paul admonished, “Be careful (not anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”. (Phil. 4: 6)
John Wesley said: “I could no more worry than I could curse or swear.”
In His apocalyptic warning, Jesus Christ included the fearful (cowards) with unbelievers, liars, thieves, adulterers, homosexuals, occultists and murderers, as candidates for Hell and the "lake of fire"! (Rev. 22,15)
Why would He do that? There is no room for fear in the life of a Christian, because "God is love" and "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment". (1 John 4,4, 18)
FEAR IS THE OPPOSITE OF FAITH! And the Bible teaches, "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11,6), but with faith, "all things are possible". (Mark 9,23)
St. Paul declared, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind". (2 Tim. 1,7) Even though Job was a godly man he confessed, “The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me...” (Job 3,25)
FEAR OPENED THE DOOR FOR SATAN’S ATTACK UPON JOB! Fear is a spirit which causes people to doubt God's Holy Word. Fear brings unbelief, confusion and torment, and since God is love, peace and joy, the two are diametrically opposed!
Medical Science has pinpointed at least 40 fear phobias from agoraphobia (a morbid fear of being in public places) to zoophobia (an inordinate fear of animals and zoos), and God can and will deliver us all from every fear and phobia!
In recent years, we have read much about people suffering PANIC ATTACKS. Like all other sickness and disease, panic attacks are also on the rise. Without a doubt or hesitation, I can say,
“There is total healing from these also, in the marvellous, wonderful and life giving name of our crucified and risen Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”!
The Bible says, “And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ”. (Phil 4,7)
Again, God’s Word states, “And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven”. (Col. 1,20)
4) BITTERNESS, UNFORGIVENESS, RESENTMENT and ANGER!
Jesus emphasized, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13, 34-35)
Again the Bible says, "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law" (Rom. 13,10), and "have fervent charity (divine love) among yourselves, for charity shall cover the multitude of sins". (1 Peter 4,8; James 5,20)
Jesus taught His disciples to pray by giving them a model, which we call 'The Lord's Prayer'. By studying this prayer, we learn how God wants us to conduct our private and public prayers!
It states, "And forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors". (Matt. 6,12) Then He declared, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses." (vs. 14, 15)
Please note, you may write for our FREE tracts on this subject called ‘Hate and Anger Makes You a Slave’ and ‘Fear, Mankind’s Greatest Foe’. - Editor
BITTERNESS, UNFORGIVENESS & ANGER BLOCKS THE CHANNEL TO GOD’S BLESSINGS!
St. John stated, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." (1 John 3,14,15)
Hatred is a heavy load no one can afford to carry! It is evil and will eat like a canker in your heart, if you allow it space there!
The Bible says, "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." (1 John 2,10,11)
Hate opens the door to evil spirits which lie and bring an individual into a “wilderness of envy, bitterness and resentment”!
The Bible warns against bitterness and anger, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice”. (Eph. 4,31); “Looking diligent lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” (Heb. 12,15)
The Scripture says, "Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall". (Prov. 16,18)
Let us not forget, it was the spirit of pride that BROUGHT LUCIFER DOWN! Satan was once a beautiful archangel, but his, “... heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness..." (Ez. 28,17-18)
PRIDE was his undoing, and so consequently he uses it every opportunity he can, in order to trick people into following him! We must guard against pride of face, pride of race and pride of place!
PRIDE WAS ALSO ONE OF THE FIVE SINS OF SODOM, BEFORE GOD DESTROYED THAT WICKED CITY, TOGETHER WITH GOMORRAH AND THE CITIES OF THE PLAINS!
The Bible says, "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
"And they were haughty, and committed abomination before Me, therefore I took them away as I saw good." (Ezek. 16,49-50) The Bible states, “God hateth a proud look”. (Prov. 6,17)
A person does not need to be handsome, beautiful, rich, talented or well positioned to be proud. I’ve met ignorant, ugly, poor and non-productive people who are arrogant, proud and bigotted against the truths of the gospel and the person of Jesus Christ!
St. John warned, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God, abideth forever." (1 John 2,15-18)
St. James strongly warns regarding the dangers of a lust-controlled life, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren." (James 1,14-16)
THE SIN OF LUST BROUGHT DOWN SAMSON. HE PLAYED THE FOOL and LOST!
The Bible says, “And she (Delila) said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.
“And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;
“THAT HE TOLD HER ALL HIS HEART, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb, if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.
“AND WHEN DELILAH SAW THAT HE HAD TOLD HER ALL HIS HEART, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.
“AND SHE MADE HIM SLEEP UPON HER KNEES; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.
“And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.
“BUT THE PHILISTINES TOOK HIM, AND PUT OUT HIS EYES, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.” (Judges 16,15-21)
Here is a song that warns about the pitfalls which lust can bring!
RUN, SAMSON, RUN!
“Run, Samson, run
Delila is going to get you
Run, Samson, run
She’s going to cut your hair
Run, Samson, run
You’re going to lose your power
You’re going to go to prison and die down there
You’re going to go to prison and die down there!
Delila was a long haired pretty thing
With flashing dark brown eyes
And Samson was a servant of the Living God
Who never was to compromise
He met her in a little town one day
And her love was sweet to him
But the Lord saw it all and it grieved His heart
For Samson fell in sin
Samson fell in sin!
Now, Delila was paid by the Philistines
To see what made him strong
Three times she tried to tempt and trick the man
Who wore his hair so long
She begged and pleaded until one day
His heart could stand no more
He said, ‘If you cut my hair I’ll be weak
‘For it means I am the Lord’s’
It means, I am the Lord’s!
They cut his hair while he was sleeping
And he never heard a sound
But, when he awakened his knees started shaking
As they dragged him to the ground
The Philistines put out his eyes
And bound him with their chains
They made him grind in the prison house
And he died down there in shame
He died down there in shame!
Now listen boy, If you’ve been looking
At a girl with pretty eyes
Make sure she loves the Lord with all her heart
And never wants to compromise
For a worldly girl will take your life
And use it for her gain
Don’t trust her or you’ll end up with
The fools who are in chains
The fools who are in chains!”
Lust includes sexual erotic fantasy and behaviour, inordinate affection (perversion), lasciviousness which includes a filthy mind, conversation and impure infidelities and voyeurism!
Lust also covers an inordinate desire for power, wealth and pursuit of pleasure! Without a doubt, LUST IS A DEMON SPIRIT, that seeks to destroy individuals and turn nations from God! It was LUST FOR MONEY, POWER and POSITION that brought down Balim the Prophet!
7) GREED, AVARICE, COVETOUSNESS
Jesus spoke with conviction as well as compassion to the rich young ruler. "Sell all you have and follow Me", knowing he had great riches and was in love with his wealth.
The rich, young ruler who had approached Jesus with great simplicity and sincerity asking, "Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?", turned away sorrowfully, not willing to part with his money!
His love of wealth, position and affluent living far outweighed his desire to walk with God in total trust and confidence toward Him.
Jesus said, "... how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God". (Mark 10,24-25)
WARNING: LOVE OF MONEY!
St. Paul stated, "But they that be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows". (1 Tim. 6,9-10)
Then he admonishes, "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses". (1 Tim.6,11-12)
Money is not evil, but the love of money is the root cause of all evil! LUST, GREED, AVARICE and COVETOUSNESS is another heavy weight we must all drop and leave at the cross! It is a sin which besets a lot of people, and that is why so much is written in the Bible about the sin of covetousness!
THAT IS WHY GAMBLING IS A NOTORIOUS SIN! And why so many are being deceived by Satan to gamble with their soul's salvation. Multitudes who "take a chance" with their eternal destiny, are tricked by the devil to wait too long and are lost forever! How sad!
Moses spelled out the evils of covetousness in the tenth commandment, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's". (Ex. 20,17)
IT IS ALL BY
THE GRACE OF GOD
Many years ago in Ireland, a farmer was driving his horses and wagon home from the village grocery store. Walking slowly along the road was a well known hermit - who lived in same general vicinity - carrying a one hundred pound bag of potatoes on his back.
After some coaxing, the hermit agreed to accept the kind farmer's offer of a ride. A few minutes later, the farmer could hear strong groans and grunts coming from the hermit, who was in the back of the wagon.
Looking backwards, the farmer witnessed a strange sight. The hermit was sitting on his haunches still holding the bag of potatoes on his shoulder. The farmer asked sharply, "Why don't you lay down the bag of spuds"? The hermit replied, "I'm trying to help the horses".
St. Paul stated, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast". (Eph. 2,8-9)
The Bible says, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53,5-6)
Nearly every FALSE RELIGION is marked by their belief that their own efforts will help to save them! The lighting of candles, buying indulgences, making pilgrimages on one’s knees, paying someone to get people out of the “man made imaginary world of purgatory”.
Others knock on so many doors for X number of Saturdays, standing on the sidewalk with a Watch Tower Magazine or doing so many hours of work at a Mormon ‘Stake House’!
The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. (John 3,16)
My dear friend, none of us can do it alone. We all need help from God through Jesus Christ. He carried our burdens on Calvary's cross so many years ago.
The wise thing to do is to "drop that heavy load", since He has already borne it for us all!
Here is Jesus Christ’s invitation to us all,
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hearth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.” (John 5: 24-25)
Please reach out by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross and, receive Him into your heart and life today as your personal Lord and Saviour!
Then, make sure that you tell someone what God has done for you. And let us know as well!