This morning lay your burdens down before the Lord. Scripture tells us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Mt. 11:28) and to "Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). We are not meant to go through life alone. Let God and others come along side you and help you in your time of need. He desires to replace your heaviness with joy and your mourning with praise.

"Be Strong and Courageous"- that's a tall order when you are overcome by weariness in a struggle that only seems to get worse and never seems to end. Thankfully, Jesus has enough strength and courage for the two of you when you feel like you have completely run dry. Today, stop trying to muster up just enough fortitude to "get through" the day. Instead, ask the Holy Spirit to come and shower you with the courage of Jesus. That kind of strength will not just get you through the day, but will encourage your soul in the deepest part of your soul.

Those who confess their sins and repent (which means to turn away from them) will find mercy. Our God is not an angry judge in the sky waiting to watch you make a mistake - He is the very essence of love itself. His nature is the perfect balance of both justice and mercy. There is nothing that can separate you from His love - not life or death or your past mistakes or your present problems. His love is unconditional. You cannot earn it. You cannot lose it. Live in the reality of that mercy and love.

Are you ever overwhelmed with the commands of God? There are quite a few, and when taken out of context they can be incredibly overwhelming. Sometimes it helps to remember that God only commands us to do things He has already done Himself. For example, when the Lord reminds us to not be ashamed of the Gospel, remember that God is not ashamed of you. He does not look on you with disgust or condemnation when you sin. He convicts with love, and draws you even closer to His heart through grace and the power to be holy as He is holy. Praise God for His commandments!

Do you ever find yourself worried about the future, wrapped up in concern about what tomorrow might hold? Instead of scouring the internet for creative solutions and worrying about how you will overcome the fears you face, sometimes you just need to get back to basics: The simple Gospel. Jesus died for you: not just your soul, but he carried all your doubts, fears, illnesses, and burdens, nailing them to the cross on that holy day. When He rose again, He gave you the power to live in victory, trading every fear and doubt for faith and courage.

The word of the Lord is sharper than any double-edged sword. It is the guiding light in a dark and twisted world. Raising children to understand and appreciate the truth of God's word is critical to their future. The beauty of Scripture is that once it is imprinted on your heart, it never goes away. The lasting impression of God's word stays through the trials of teenage years and whispers truth in the tumult of adulthood. Whether your child is walking with God or not, we pray that God leads them into a deeper relationship with Him.

Do you want to hear some good news? The enemy has nothing to offer you that God does not have better. God is the Creator of all things, and the enemy cannot create. He can only copy, distort, and pervert the things God has called "good." Instead of focusing all your energy on resisting sin today, spend time asking God how good He is. As you taste of His goodness, you will eventually lose an appetite for all lesser things that try to pry your gaze from the One who calls you by name Jesus. He alone can satisfy your heart. He alone can bring you peace.

Do you ever struggle to show love to those around you? Sometimes the call to love can feel so daunting. How can you actually love others as Christ has loved you when people say and do hurtful things that make you want to retaliate in anger and fear?  If you feel like you struggle to love well, you are not alone. Everyone struggles in this area to some extent! The good news is we can get to know Someone who not only loves well, but is love Himself: Jesus. We encourage you today to spend time immersed in the presence of God. Really get to know Him.