Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
The Empty Tomb Is Still Changing Lives -Psalm 37:5-8 - Episode 102
Well hey there, hello to you today.
It is April, and that means we are nearing Easter Sunday. Resurrection Sunday. For Christians, the greatest holiday on our calendar. A time to ponder what Jesus obtained for us on the cross, total and complete forgiveness and a life of freedom - Galatians 5 tells us that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free and He doesn’t want us under a burden of enslavement to sin ever again. Stay free, my friend! That is the Lord’s will for you this Easter season, so grab hold of His will and live in it. Live fully free in Jesus, because of what He did for you.
We also think about the resurrection at Easter. The tomb is empty. Remember that! We have a living Lord, and that should give us daily hope. Hope that transforms. Because if Jesus is anything, He is certainly transformational. Our God transforms lives every single day. One of those lives is yours, my friend.
You’re listening to The Burt (Not Ernie) Show, part of the Spark Network, now playing on the Edifi app. This is episode 102.
So how does Easter fit with Psalm 37?
Let’s get into that.
I’m going to read verses 5 thru 8 from the NLT
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
And let me read it in the Amplified Classic, it’s worth the time to read it once more.
5 Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
6 And He will make your uprightness and right standing with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right as [the shining sun of] the noonday.
7 Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath; fret not yourself—it tends only to evildoing.
Okay so there is some word usage in the older version, the Amplified Classic, that isn’t the stuff we normally toss around when we chat. But isn’t it good? Roll and repose each care of your load on Him.
Look, our God never ever asks us to pretend that we don’t have heavy loads in life. Some days are just heavy, ya know? Here, right here, the Lord acknowledges that reality and offers a solution. Roll each and every care onto Him. Take a repose. I love that! Can you do that today? Can you remember that part of what Jesus did for us at Calvary was to obtain rest? Hebrews chapter 4 is all about God’s rest, and how we are to enter that rest. Honestly, I’d love to put together a study on rest from Hebrews 4. Maybe I will. I’m looking into a way to create courses that are audio based, because video takes longer to consume and we are living in a podcast friendly world, audio is kind of king as far as consumption. We can listen while doing the dishes, listen and drive safely, listen and go on a run. So to have course content not be all video and pdfs, which are great, but to be able to say access your course content right on your preferred podcast player, whatever app you use… I am seriously looking into that. And hey, rest is a big need. So don’t be surprised to see this coming your way soon.
Jesus has rest for us. And it is not like an afternoon nap, awesome as those can be, this is His perfect rest for us. Man, I always want the perfected version of something, the Jesus version, over the world’s copycat kind of version, ya know? So of course, it is this rest, Hebrews 4 rest, Psalm 37 rest, that I am after. And I want it for you, too.
This week, as we look toward Easter, can you make the choice to commit everything you do, your way today and all your ways tomorrow, to the Lord. He gives us this incredible promise here, that when we commit everything we do to Him, He will help us, He will bring things to pass for us. This isn’t a vending machine God type of promise. This is better. This isn’t junk food that can sit on a shelf for a dozen years and still be edible. This is life giving spiritual food, this promise means that if what we are doing can be committed to the Lord, will honor Him in some way, is fitting for you or me to do as an ambassador for Christ here on earth, He is going to do something in return. I want that! I want His blessing on what I do. I am guessing you do, as well. Roll your load onto Him, trust in Him, and see what He will do. Watch Him bring to pass things that you cannot bring to pass on your own. When the blessing of the Lord is upon what you are busy doing, there is nothing like it.
And at the same time, we get this promised rest. So rest and blessing, both. Does that not sound like Easter? It does to me!
Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act. That’s verse 7 in the NLT. Do you think, in those hours between the death of our Lord Jesus and the discovery of His empty tomb, do you think there was some stillness? You know, when grief is heavy, and that would have been the heaviest of all grief, when it is heavy there is a point when you kind of stop. You just are. Not doing, not exactly thinking, you just are. A stillness can come in our grief that is unlike any other kind of being still. It’s not a slow down, ya know. It is more like the world keeps moving and turning and that does not seem like it is what should be happening. My world has stopped. And it feels so abnormal for the rest of the world to continue on. Yeah, I suspect there was some stillness taking place. And it was the Sabbath. They were being still and could do nothing but wait. Think on that - there was nothing they could do but be still and simply wait. They didn’t even really know what they were waiting for! The women, they were waiting for dawn after the Sabbath ended so they could go to the tomb. But ya know, that’s not hope filled waiting. That’s waiting in tremendous grief. Honoring the Sabbath, and being still, waiting in their grief.
Can we be better about our waiting on the Lord? We know what happened three days later. The resurrection is the reality that we live in daily as disciples of Jesus. Can we be still and wait patiently, but also expectantly? I think we can. It tends only to evil doing.
Don’t fret. Don’t fret over wicked people, even when they are prospering. Psalm 37 says just don’t. Don’t do it. No fretting. And God even gives us a reason not to fret. Because it only leads to evil. It only leads to harm.
Ya know, it is a whole lot easier to let my mind, my thoughts, go toward some measure of fretfulness when I don’t think about this verse, Psalm 37 verse 8. My fretting is only going to lead to evil doing. To harm. Well then. Maybe I need to just not fret!
And this is meant to safeguard us. Our God is too loving to just let us meander down the road of fretting and worrying and fussing over whatever. I mean, I could make a list right now off the top of my head of wickedness and evil doers that are really doing actual harm in the world en masse right now. But God says, don’t fret. Don’t fuss. Don’t spend your day worrying. Don’t be a worry wart. He wants me safe, and for whatever reason, maybe this is one of those things that in the spiritual realm, the stuff happening that we cannot see with our eyes, maybe stuff happens when we fret. And so God, in His infinite and never ending love, warns us not to do that. If He says it only and always leads to evil doing and to harm, well, as children of God, we don’t want to be on a path that leads to evil. We don’t want to do something that we know leads only to harm. We are the harbingers of peace, of joy, of hope, of life eternal through Jesus Christ our Lord. We are not those who bring harm, who trot along paths toward evil.
Isn’t it amazing that God makes sure we know what the result will be if we fret? He didn’t have to tell us that. He is well within His authority as God to just say, No - do not do that. Period. And don’t ask why, just don’t do it. I said so, that’s that.
Parents do some of their parenting like that, I mean, I sure did. Sorry to my kiddos for being a schmuck!
He went out of His way to give a cause and an effect.
We are foolish to ignore that.
So what does that mean?
For the next few weeks, up to Easter and then for a set amount of time afterward, would you join me in this challenge? To not fret. Not to worry.
When you find yourself worrying, make yourself stop, remind yourself that God says it only leads to harm and evil, and you want no part of that. Write Do Not Worry at the top of your to do list or your planner or put a reminder in your phone to go off five times a day.
It’s not that hard to remind ourselves to stop with the worry. We have all the tools to make the reminding process a breeze. Set up some things, some stop gaps, and join me in this. I personally am going to start today and continue on through May 5th, a date easy for me to remember, and maybe you can pick a date that you can easily work toward, and I am going to not give over to fret or worry or subsequently fear of any sort, cuz often when I worry it is linked to fear. I have a heart failure diagnosis and sometimes umm I feel my heart doing something and my portable EKG can tell me what that something is, usually not something good. Even in those circumstances, I am committing to you that I am not gonna worry or fret and it will be my daily habit thru early May. And guess what? By that time, it will become for me a habit and worry will be much less of a thang, an issue, than it is right now.
I’ve done this before, at the Lord’s leading, and it was one of the most transformative things I have ever ever done in my walk with Jesus. Literally changed my life because it literally changed my daily thinking, my daily stress level, how I spent my time and ya know I’m reality not kidding. It changed my life. I’ve heard others say it changed theirs too.
So, you in?
Easter is the perfect time of year to do away with the fretting. Cannot think of a better time. To get free of this thing that pretty much everyone deals with, doesn’t that sound awesome!?
Let’s do it.
I will create a pdf that you can print out and use with this challenge, this no fret for X number of days challenge. I’ll put the link in the show notes, add it to the main page on my website, which is my name Jan L Burt dot com, and I’ll send it out in my next couple of weekly emails, 3 Quick Things with Jan L Burt (you can get on that list at my website too).
And I actually just came up with that idea of a study on rest from Hebrews chapter 4 as I was recording this today, so I think I’ll work on that. As an audio course. Because a life of rest and no fretting, well, that sounds like something super great to me.
Okay, that’s it for today. Thanks for joining me and jumping on the no fret train with me today. Looking forward to hearing how God responds and provides and blesses you in the coming weeks. And He will, His word promises as much and He never ceases to stand behind His word.
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Thanks so much for that!
You’ve been listening to The Burt (Not Ernie) Show, which is part of the Spark Network, available via the Edifi app.
Remember, God’s promises are true. And they are true for you, today.
Scott Macneil of Cross City Church in Freson, CA
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