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Be Encouraged, it is not all on you

Introduction:

Memorial Day was established after the Civil War. All these men served in the War Between the States. All these families sacrificed as the husband was gone, the father was gone. Families were torn apart. What was it like for the soldier? What was it like for the leaders? I wander if they ever felt the weight of the war was on them?

 

What about Lincoln? How did he make it through the war? How did he make it through the day? I am sure he felt like the weight of the war was on him. I am sure he felt like the future of the United States was on him.

 

What was it like for other soldiers and families in other wars? I listened to a “Backstory” program about the history of World War I. At first America was not going in. Funny as it may sound, at first we even had songs about not going to war. There was a song that had lyrics something like this:

 

Verse 1

Ten million soldiers to the war have gone,

Who may never return again.

Ten million mother’s hearts must break

For the ones who died in vain.

Head bowed down in sorrow

In her lonely years,

I heard a mother murmur thru’ her tears:

Chorus

I didn’t raise my boy to be a soldier,

I brought him up to be my pride and joy.

Who dares to place a musket on his shoulder,

To shoot some other mother’s darling boy?

Let nations arbitrate their future troubles,

It’s time to lay the sword and gun away.

There’d be no war today,

If mothers all would say,

“I didn’t raise my boy to be a soldier.”

Verse 2

What victory can cheer a mother’s heart,

When she looks at her blighted home?

What victory can bring her back

All she cared to call her own?

Let each mother answer

In the years to be,

Remember that my boy belongs to me![1]

 

Within a few years we went to war and the songs changed: Over there:

 

Johnny,[8] get your gun, get your gun, get your gun.

Take it on the run, on the run, on the run.

Hear them calling you and me,

Every Sons of Liberty.

Hurry right away, no delay, go today.

Make your Daddy glad to have had such a lad.

Tell your sweetheart not to pine,

To be proud her boy’s in line.

Verse 2

Johnny, get your gun, get your gun, get your gun.

Johnny, show the “Hun[9] you’re a son-of-a-gun.

Hoist the flag and let her fly

Yankee Doodle[10] do or die.

Pack your little kit, show your grit, do your bit.

Yankee[11] to the ranks from the towns and the tanks.[12]

Make your Mother proud of you

And the old red-white-and-blue[13]

Chorus

Over there, over there,

Send the word, send the word over there

That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming

The drums rum-tumming everywhere.

So prepare, say a prayer,

Send the word, send the word to beware –

We’ll be over, we’re coming over,

And we won’t come back till it’s over, over there.[2]

 

I wonder the burden our soldiers felt?

 

Do you ever feel burdened? Do you ever feel that the weight of the world is on you?

 

We can look at this topic two ways. Is our living all about us? Are all the pressures of daily living all on us? We may feel that way? What about salvation? What about our faith in Christ? Is our spiritual condition all on us?

 

I would say no to both of these.

 

As we look at these lies we believe some of you may think, “duh, I know that!” But can you justify what you know based off of the Bible. As we talk about the lies we believe it is imperative that we know Biblical truth, not American truth. It is most important that we know Biblical truth, not Ben Franklin quotes. Be schooled by the Bible.

 

Theme: Your eternity and daily living is on Jesus, not you.

Application: Surrender continually to Jesus. Pray continually.

 

Let’s read Matthew 11:28-30:

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

 

  1. Our Salvation is not all on us.
    1. This passage is about salvation, not about daily living. Now, we can make the case that our daily living is not all on us and I’ll come to that in a minute.
    2. The people were burdened with the Jewish law. This law did not all come from Scripture. Jesus was saying that He fulfills the law for them. We can’t keep the law, but Jesus did it for us. Jesus died in our place.
    3. What is a yoke: ESV Study Note: The wooden frame joining two animals (usually oxen) for pulling heavy loads was a metaphor for one person’s subjection to another, and a common metaphor in Judaism for the law. The Pharisaic interpretation of the law, with its extensive list of proscriptions, had become a crushing burden (cf. 23:4) but was believed by the people to be of divine origin. Jesus’ yoke of discipleship, on the other hand, brings rest through simple commitment to him (cf. 1 John 5:3).
    4. It is not about religion, but about Jesus.
    5. It is not about religiously following rules, but following Jesus.
    6. We will follow one or the other. You will either follow Jesus or a list of moral rules. Are you committing to the church because you are supposed to or because you are committed to Jesus and the church is the bride of Christ?
    7. Lean in on Jesus. Christianity is NOT a religion. Christianity is about Jesus. Religion is about earning your way to Heaven, but Christianity is about what Jesus has done to give us eternal life.
  2. We have daily help.
    1. John 14:16-17: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
    2. We talk about the Holy Spirit a lot, but the point is that you can always place your burden on Jesus. Your eternal life is on Jesus and your life now is on Jesus. It is not all on you.
    3. How do you give it to Jesus. First, surrender your eternal life to Jesus, second keep a constant connection with Jesus.
  • The weight of the future is on God, not us.
    1. So, let me go back to the Civil War, or World War I, or World War II each soldier made a difference. Was the weight of the war on one soldier or another? No, all the soldiers came together and made a difference. But more than that each soldier had daily help.
    2. God gives us help through prayer.
    3. More than that, God is in charge. Amen.
    4. God is in charge, right? Do we believe that?
      1. NOW, this is where it gets difficult. Was God on America’s side? I think it was Lincoln who said: “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”[3]
      2. So, we can pray during anything and pray, “Jesus, I hope I am doing the right thing, please help.” We can always ask God for help.
  • We can give our burden to God.
  1. I really do not wish to get in the politics of war, but I will say that looking at Scripture God would absolutely NOT be happy with slavery. I can say that God absolutely was NOT happy with the concentration camps.
  2. I remember talking to John Blaser about our history and he talked about the things we went through as a nation and he said it was like God had to be helping us.
  3. I have recently been studying Winston Churchill more. It is almost as if God setup him as a leader for World War II. I am not saying he was a Christian, maybe he was. I am simply saying that God used him. It would have been easy for Churchill to think the weight of Britain was on him. The man was stubborn and strong willed to begin with. I am listening to an audio book about his younger years and I watched a documentary about him during World War I. It was like he was happy with war. He would walk right out into the “no-man’s land” in between the trenches. It was like God used him.
  • Here is a strong and true statement. God is in charge. God is available to help us. We can turn our burden over to God. The weight is on God and not us.
  • God is in charge. Your eternity and daily living is on Jesus, not you.
  1. Pray like a child.
    1. We are taught to pray continually in 1 Thess. 5:17.
    2. Jesus talks about the faith of a child (Matthew 18:3).
    3. How do children talk to their parents?
    4. I have two little ones at home, ages 3 and 5, and you know they don’t think about their vocabulary. They just talk. They beg and will repeatedly ask us questions. They don’t try to formulate their words carefully, they just ask. Many times while they are asking for something they are not making sense, but they ask.
    5. My children will ask for help, there is no hesitancy in a young child asking her parents for help. They just ask.
    6. Abigail does not hesitate to ask for help. She was once trying to get her coat on at child care and she turned around and asked a state inspector, “will you help me?”
    7. I believe we need to talk to God like a child. Keep an ongoing conversation with God going. Talk naturally to God, get rid of the King James English.
    8. I started an Evernote idea in my phone I call text messages to God. What does this mean? I don’t know about you, but sometimes I send a quick message to friends or family. This could be a text or a phone call. Sometimes I will be going somewhere and call to tell Meagan what is going on. So, I applied the same idea to my relationship with God. Many times I pray simple breath prayers, but instead I thought I will text them to myself and save them in Evernote. Evernote is a note taking app which will sync with computers and tablets.
    9. So, I could be going into a meeting and type out: “Jesus, I need your help right now.”
    10. Now, you don’t need to text that, just say it to Him.
    11. You could know that you are going to have a difficult conversation with a family member: “Jesus, I need You, I can’t have this conversation alone.”
    12. Maybe you are making medical decisions for a family member: “Jesus, I need your wisdom.”
    13. Pray specifics to God. You are not alone.

 

 

 

Conclusion:

I like what the Life Application Study Bible:

11: 30   In what sense was Jesus’ yoke easy? The yoke emphasizes the challenges, work, and difficulties of partnering with Christ in life. Responsibilities weigh us down, even the effort of staying true to God. But Jesus’ yoke remains easy compared to the crushing alternative. Jesus doesn’t offer a life of luxurious ease— the yoke is still an oxen’s tool for working hard. But it’s a shared yoke, with weight falling on bigger shoulders than yours. Someone with more pulling power is up front helping. Suddenly you are participating in life’s responsibilities with a great Partner— and now that frown can turn into a smile, and that gripe into a song.

 

Theme: Your eternity and daily living is on Jesus, not you.

Application: Surrender continually to Jesus. Pray continually.

 

Here is an idea for application: this week try to pray about everything, seriously everything. Talk to God as your good and loving Father and pray. At the end of the week record in a prayer journal or this bulletin how you have done. Set a prayer goal, you can do this in the bulletin:

 

This week I intend to try to pray about all things.

For recording at the end of the week: Write your thoughts on much more you were connected with God this week below:

 

Do you know Jesus? Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Didn%27t_Raise_My_Boy_to_Be_a_Soldier

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over_There

[3] https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/abrahamlin388944.html