Raising Children In A Frightening World! – III

Isaiah 54:13

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

The promise we have been working on is the second of 8 Promises From God About Your Children, from the Kenneth Copeland Ministries. It is just one verse of 18 words, Isaiah 54:13; but these 18 words are powerful!All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. ” We delved into the first half in the last Gem, now let’s consider the second half: “…great shall be the peace of your children.

First, let’s define the word peace, for there are ten words in the Hebrew Old Testament that are translated peace in the King James version of the Bible, and five seem to be related. According to Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions, the word for peace in Isaiah 54:13 is shalom. It is the most used word for peace in the Old Testament – 236 times! The Hebrew of shalom is שָÑלֹם or שָÑלוֹם, pronounced shaw-lome’ and meaning:

     ...completeness (in number)...safety, soundness (in 
     body)...welfare, health, prosperity...peace, quiet, 
     tranquility, contentment...peace, friendship...of 
     human relationships...with God especially in covenant 
     relationship...peace (from war)....

When I was in Israel, I learned that shalom was both a greeting and a farewell. I also learned that the Orthodox Jews usually pronounced it “Shaw’-lome,” putting the emphasis on the first syllable instead of the second, and often repeating it a second time in a row. It was my fiftieth birthday, and I challenged two young brothers one evening to a contest. We were walking through the Old Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, and we would greet everyone we saw with “Shaw’-lome, Shaw’-lome.” The person who received back the most “Shaw’-lome”s would win the contest. I won hands down!

It was an unforgettable birthday! On the Mount of Olives that day, I got a birthday kiss from my dear wife Hope, from John – an eighty-year-old man in our group, from an Arab camel driver, and from a female camel by the name of Michael Jackson! Camels are really messy kissers! From the upper lip to the lower lip, they can cover the whole side of your head, and they leave a green slime all the way down! I did not wish the camel Shaw’-lomethat day when she was done with me!

But let’s get back to our promise from God about our children – and let’s read the last half of Isaiah 54:13 this way: “…great shall be the shalom of your children.” Let’s take each of Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions and apply them to shalom:

  • Completeness (in number)
     	 Our daughter and her husband have six boys – from 
         teenager down to first grade! They are a handful, 
         not just for their parents, but also for their 
         grandparents who live just nine miles away! It 
         seems we have one, two, or three (once in awhile 
         more) grandboys at our house at least six nights 
         a week!

     	 My wife and I have two daughters, one natural and 
         one adopted. They are both our well-loved daugh-
         ters! But because of severe medical complications 
         during the birth of our daughter, we decided to 
         have only one natural child.

According to the mind and plan of God, I believe both our children and our grandchildren are the perfect number for their particular family! Whether you might have one child (or no children), or (like one family I grew up with) more than 20 children!…I guess that was the complete number for them!

If you bring God into the equation, asking Him how many children is the complete number for your family, He will guide you!

     ✡  Psalm 127:3 through 5  

          Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, 
          the fruit of  the womb is His reward. Like ar-
          rows in the hand of a warrior,  so are the 
          children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who 
          has  his quiver full of them.... 

We must have a small quiver or large arrows with only two daughters! But the size of the quiver of the family with over 20 arrows……..Wow! Let the Lord determine the size of your quiver and how many arrows are to be in it!

  • Safety, soundness (in body) – We all want our children to be safe in their environment, and sound in health (body and mind).
        Pray the Lord’s protection over them every day!

     	 Ask God to heal any mental and emotional challen-
         ges your children may face! 
  • Welfare, health, prosperity – I think health might cover all the bases here, especially if we think of health in terms of physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial, and spiritual health! This calls to my mind Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
  • Peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentmentTrue righteousness only comes through a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord! Here are three Scriptures that come to mind concerning the stated four related qualities of life:
     ✡	Isaiah 32:17 – “The work of righteousness will be 
        peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness 
        and assurance forever.	John 16:33 – Jesus said to His followers, “These 
        things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may 
        have peace. In the world you will have tribula-
        tion; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the 
        world.  Philippians 4:6 and 7

	  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by 
          prayer and suplication, with thanksgiving, let 
          your requests be made known to God; and the 
          peace of God, which surpasses all understand-
          ing, will guard your hearts and minds through 
          Christ Jesus. 
  • Peace, friendship – Some friendships can be peaceful, others can be contentious. I believe the closest friendship one can have on earth is with one’s mate! There are Scriptures that show that peaceful friendship (as well as the opposite):
     ✡	 Peaceful friendship

	 ➔   Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend loves at all 

	 ➔   Proverbs 18:24 – “A man who has friends 
              must himself be friendly, But there is a 
              friend who sticks closer than a brother.” 

     Who is that friend? Ultimately, it is Jesus Christ! 
     But we can find friends on earth who are closer than 
     a brother!

     ✡	 Contentious friendships (or a relationships that 
         is supposed to be peacful!) – “Better to dwell 
         in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared 
         with a contentious woman.”

     Ask God to guide you in your friendships, especially 
     that which is to be your best earthly friendship, your 
     life’s mate!

  • Of human relationships – This is very much akin to the previous part of the definition of shalom. But I think we can apply it more to the downside of human relationships. For if we would avoid the wrong choices in such relationships, we will have much more shalom in our life!
     ✡	 Proverbs 23:6 and 7 – “Do not eat the bread of 
         a miser, Nor desire his delicacies; For as he 
         thinks in his heart, so is he. ‘Eat and drink!’ 
         he says to you, But his heart is not with you.	 II Corinthians 6:14through 18

	 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbe-
         lievers. For what fellowship has righteousness 
         with lawlessness? And what communion has light 
         with darkness? And what accord has Christ with 
         Belial? Or what part has a believer with an un-
         believer? And what agreement has the temple of 
         God with idols? For you are the temple of the 
         living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in 
         them and walk among them. I will be their God, 
         and they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come 
         out from among them and be separate, says the 
         Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will 
         receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you 
         shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord 
  • With God especially in covenant relationship All of the above definitions can be applied to our relationship with God, but there are no downsides to this relationship!
     ✡	 Oh, there might feel like there are downsides 
         from time to time, as in Proverbs 3:11 and 12 
         – “My son, do not despise the chastening of 
         the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom 
         the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father 
         the son in whom he delights.”
     The writer of Hebrews also quotes these Proverbs 
     verses in a fuller explanation of the idea (see 
     Hebrews 12:4-13).

        II Corinthians 12:9 and 10 

	 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient 
         for you, for My strength is made perfect in 
         weakness." Therefore most gladly I will 
         rather boast in my infirmities, that the 
         power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore 
         I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproach-
         es, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, 
         for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then 
         I am strong.

James 1:2 through 4

	 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall 
         into various trials, knowing that the testing 
         of your faith produces patience. But let pa-
         tience have its perfect work, that you may be 
         perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
  • Peace (from war)
     ✡   Proverbs 16:7 – “When a man's ways please the 
         Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace 
         with him.✞   This also works for peace between nations!When 
         a nation's ways please the Lord, He makes even 
         its enemies to be at peace with it.This is one 
         of the main reasons why America needs heaven-sent 

All of the above is wrapped up in the idea of shalom! But it starts with peace with God ! As it says in Romans 5:1and 2:

     Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have 
     peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through 
     whom also we have access by faith into this grace in 
     which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of 

So the first step in experiencing shalom for ourselves and our children, is to obtain shalom with God through trusting Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as your Savior, and following Him as your Lord!

Read the Gospel of John! But before you start the portion you are going to read each day, start with this prayer, “God, what do you have here for me? Show me!I think you may be surprised at what the Lord reveals to you as you approach this gospel with an open heart!


Raising Children In A Frightening World! – II

Isaiah 54:13

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

How are parents to raise up children to be dedicated Christians in such a crazy post-Christian world? This has caused concern for many moms and dads who are looking for answers concerning faith-based parenting. In the preceding Gem we listed several challenges faced by today’s Christian parents, so I won’t go over them again here.

I was made aware of 8 Promises of God About Your Children, from the Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Whatever you might think of this televangelist, I am thankful for the eight Scriptural promises that were highlighted – plus I will add one or two more! We already considered Jeremiah 31:16 and 17; now let’s move on.

Number 2: Isaiah 54:13 – “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.

As with all these Biblical promises, there are two ways to approach them – the interpretation and the application:

  • The interpretation applies to the Scriptural context of the promise
     ✡   What is the wider Scriptural context of this 

     ✡   What is the historical setting of the Scrip-

     ✡   To whom was the Scripture directed?

     ✡   How would the recipients interpret what was 

This promise was given in the wider context of the southern kingdom of Judah’s seventy-year Babylonian captivity.

  • Isaiah chapter 48 gives a declaration of Judah’s chastening because of their turning away from the LORD God unto idols, and ignoring God’s warning to return unto Him. But the LORD will still be merciful to the Jews, and eventually deliver them from their captivity.
  • Isaiah chapter 49 outlines the mission of the Deliverer, the Messiah! The Jewish captives will be returned to their Palestinian homeland, and eventurally be restored to true worship of God. The Messiah will not only be the restorer of Israel but “…a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6).
  • Isaiah chapter 50 highlights the Messiah’s obedience, even to terrible suffering.
  • Isaiah chapter 51 through 52:12 delivers the Messiah’s encouragement to the captive Jews.
  • Isaiah chapter 52:13 through 53 is an amazingly detailed prophesy of the Messiah’s suffering, death, and mission of the cross!
  • Isaiah chapter 54 proceeds to the eventual blessings given to Israel because of the Messiah’s sacrifice!

Thus the Jews of Isaiah’s day would interpret Isaiah 54:13 as part of the blessings that the Messiah would bestow on a regathered Israel!

  • Israel was regathered from the Babylonian captivity in a small part when Zerubbabel and then later Ezra led a total of about 54,000 people back to Jerusalem!
  • But the main fulfillment of this Isaiah prophesy is for the future Millennial Kingdom when Christ will reign a thousand years (see Revelation 20:6), and “…all Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:26).

Now let’s get to the application of this promise: All your children shall be taught by the LORD….

  • What is too often being taught in America to our children today? Critical Race Theory, fluidity of gender, alternative sexual lifestyles, Socialism, sometimes other religions – but not Christianity!
  • In a Christian family, education is to start in the home! And as it continues in school, the parents are to be watching and aware of what is being taught!
        But the most effective Teacher is emphasized in 
         John 16:13 – “...He, the Spirit of truth...He will 
         guide you into all truth....The Holy Spirit is 
         God, the third Person of the Trinity. 

         ➔   We are told in I John 2:27, “...the anoint-
              ing [the Spirit] which you have received 
              of Him abides in you, and you do not need 
              anyone to teach you, but the same anointing 
              teaches you of all things....”

         ➔   Isaiah 30:21 is a Scripture whose interpre-
              tation belongs to the Millennial Kingdom. 
              But it can be applied to the Spirit’s lead-
              ing of a believer today:Your ears shall 
              hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is 
              the way, walk in it.’   But how does He teach us? He takes the Word of 
         God, the Bible, and applies it to our individual 
         lives! So this is where Colossians 3:16 comes in: 
         “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly....”  

         ➔   The Word is what the Spirit uses to teach 

         ➔   So how often are we to be teaching the Bi-
              ble to our children in our homes...?

     ✡   Deuteronomy 11:18 and 19, which instruction God 
          gave to the Israelites just before they entered 
          the Promised Land, gives us an idea of how we, 
          as Christians, should educate our children:

             ...you shall lay up these words of Mine 
             in your heart and in your soul, and bind 
             them as a sign on your hand, and they 
             shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 
             You shall teach them to your children, 
             speaking of them when you sit in your 
             house, when you walk by the way, when 
             you lie down, and when you rise up.

     In other words, if you are an ancient Israelite, you 
     have to be teaching your children ONLY when you are 
     in the house, or outside of it, ONLY when you lie 
     down or when you get up!  There is no other time you 
     have to instruct your sons and daughters. But wait! 
     What other time is there?
  • The world will be infilling our children with ideas in opposition to God (see James 4:4; I John 2:15-17). We, as Christian parents have to counteract that! As it says in Ephesians 6:4, “…bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

The second half of Isaiah 54:13 is, “…and great shall be the peace of your children.

This second promise is only eighteen words long, but I will have to continue the study of the final nine words in the next Gem.

Raising Children In A Frightening World! – I

Jeremiah 31:16, 17

All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

I was talking to my friend Dex, and he had found online a short blog from Kenneth Copeland Ministries, entitled 8 Promises From God About Your Children. I like the eight Scriptures chosen to highlight these promises, and want to share them with my readers.

I have increasingly heard people question whether it is wise to bring children into this crazy world.

  • Inflation is heating up, so the cost of living is increasing (led by gasoline, up 42% from a year ago!)
  • Due to the cry to “Defund the police,” and the result of mandated Covid 19 vaccinations,
some cities are facing a reduction of 30% to 50% 
          of their police force!  Murders are up almost 30% across the US in 2020 
          from the year before, and the surge is continuing 
          into 2021.

     ➔   Overall violent crime (which includes murder, as-
          sault, robbery, and rape) was up 5% across the 
          nation from 2019 through 2020. 
  • Because of Covid 19 vaccination mandates, fire departments, health care workers, teachers, and other professions are suffering personnel shortages!
  • Covid deaths in the US are approaching three quarters of a million people! The per day (seven-day average) in America is just over 1,350, but on October 20th there were over 2,500 deaths reported!
  • Racism is on the rise with versions of Critical Race Theory being taught in many schools.
  • Research by Barna found that only about 16% of people born after World War II have a world view grounded in the Bible!
  • 70% of babies born to black women are born out of wedlock! All ethnic groups combined birth 40% of babies out of wedlock!
  • Almost three quarters of a million divorces were reported last year! People are increasingly opting for arrangements of living together rather than marrying.
  • It is expected that Social Security and Medicare will both run out of money in the not too distant future!
  • Another ‘cold war’ is heating up, this time with China. And it has the potential to turn into a hot war!

Not only are people worried about starting or growing a family, they are also searching for the best way to guide children who are already part of the family! But Paul reminds us in Romans 15:4, “…whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of Scripture might have hope.” God’s Word is true, and it will not fail! So let’s look at these eight promises (and I will add one more, making it nine!).

This will take several more Gems!

Number 1: Jeremiah 31:16 and 17 – Thus says the LORD: ‘Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the LORD, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the LORD, that your children shall come back to their own border.

The enemy is the devil! As it says in...

            John 8:44 – “He is a murderer from the begin-
             ning, and does not stand in the truth because 
             there is no truth in him. When he speaks a 
             lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he 
             is a liar and the father of it.   II Corinthians 4:4 (King James Version) – 
             Satan is called “...the god of this world 
             [who]...blinded the minds of them that be-
             lieve not, lest the light of the glorious 
             gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, 
             should shine unto them.He is the god of this world system because he stole 
     the rulership of this world from our first parents! 
     (see Genesis 3:1-7; Luke 4:5-7).

            I Peter 5:8 and 9 – “Be sober, be vigilant; 
             because your adversary the devil walks about 
             like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may de-
             vour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith....   Learn what the Bible says about our enemy, 
             and how to fight and win spiritual battles!The land of the enemy is the world, and the 
          things of the world! So many follow this path 
          and end up losing everything! As it says in 
          I John 2:15 through 17:

             Do not love the world or the things in the 
             world. If anyone loves the world, the love 
             of the Father is not in him. For all that 
             is in the world — the lust of the flesh, 
             the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life 
             — is not of the Father but is of the world. 
             And the world is passing away, and the lust 
             of it; but he who does the will of God a-
             bides forever.

     ➔   Jesus warned us in Mark 8:36 to follow Him all 
          the way to the cross:For what will it profit 
          a man if he gains the whole world, and loses 
          his own soul...?Follow Him, even though it 
          means dying to self so we can live for Him! 
          (see Mark 8:34, 35; Romans 6:1-14).

     ➔   The Lord can bring our children home even from 
          a far land, just like he did for the wayward 
          son who wasted his inheritance, and ended up 
          starving as he fed pigs! 

           When he came home, his father received 
             him with open arms! (see Luke 15:11-24) 

            ...just like God will receive us! (see 
             John 6:37).

The context of Jeremiah 31:16 and 17 is the restoration of Israel, as the LORD said in verse 1: “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people....” Jeremiah was to let the Israelites know who were taken captive to Babylon know that God would redeem them and bring them back to their homeland! But...

     ➔	  ...like many Bible passages, there is an 
          interpretation (speaking to the Jews).

     ➔	  ...and there is an application (speaking 
          to all believers today).

Your children (my grandchildren and great grandchildren) may be off somewhere in their own ‘Babylon,’ captive to the enemy but not really happy where they are! God can give them a hunger to comehometo Him, and live the life He has planned for them!

Keep praying for your children
to be gathered back from the enemy’s captivity,
to ‘home’ where they will find and
embrace their heritage of faith!

“Come To Me…” – IV

Matthew 11:28-30

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

This picture reminds me of what happened to my dear friend Dick. A man in his fifties, he had gotten himself into a bad situation involving theft and an extramarital affair. Dick’s wife came to me, her pastor, with concerns for her husband. I, and a deacon of our church, paid a visit to Dick. A gentle man, he graciously received us, and we sat and talked. We mentioned nothing of the theft or his affair, just that we were concerned that he was going through some hard times, and we were there for him. He thanked us for coming, and we left.

The next week, Dick came to our evening service, and continued to come each Sunday evening for about six weeks. After one particular service, as I was talking to someone near the front of the sanctuary, I noticed several people gathered around Dick in the church vestibule. He later told me what happened that night.

     As I was leaving to go home, I just broke down before 
     I got to the door, and cried. Several people gathered 
     around me to offer comfort. My head was down, and as 
     I cried, I noticed one person who seems to stand out. 
     I later asked those who had gathered around me, “Who 
     was the person standing next to me, who had his hand 
     on me? He was wearing sandals and a white robe?” The 
     folks looked confused. “There was no one there who 
     was wearing sandals and a white robe!” But I insis-
     ted, “Yes there was! He had his hand on my shoulder 
     and was offering me wonderful comfort!”

I firmly believe Jesus showed up (visible to Dick alone) to comfort this penitent man! By the way, Dick became one of the most dedicated and faithful members of our church, and a dear friend of mine!

But back to our series, “Come To Me…” based on Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11:28-30:

     “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, 
     and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and 
     learn from Me, for I am gentle, and lowly in heart, 
     and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke 
     is easy and My burden is light.”

We have gone over five reasons why people don’t respond to the Savior’s invitation:

  • Some think they have no (or few) burdens, that everything is going pretty well at this point in their lives.
  • Some feel like they can carry their burdens and solve their own problems themselves.
  • Some are laboring and heavy laden, but don’t know what to do with their burdens.
  • Some have never heard this invitation.
  • Some have heard it, maybe multiple times, but they don’t believe it is true.

Let’s consider the sixth reason:

  • Some don’t feel worthy enough to come to Jesus!
       Here are some of the excuses I have heard:

         ➔   “I’m just not good enough to come to God. 
              He won’t accept me.”

         ➔   “You don’t know what I’ve done. How could 
              the Lord ever forgive me?”

         ➔   “I have never felt accepted by others. Why 
              would God want me?”

         ➔   “I don’t even love myself. How could God 
              love me?   But none of these excuses are valid, because...
  • No one isgood enoughto come to God!
        Paul wrote this in Romans 3:10 and 23: “There is 
         none righteous, no, not one....for all have sinned 
         and fall short of the glory of God.”

     ✡   Solomon concluded the same in Ecclesiastes 7:20: 
          “...there is not a just man on earth who does 
          good and does not sin.”

     ✡   But the most defining statement (or perhaps I 
          should say ‘damning statement’) is found in 
          Isaiah 64:6:

             But we are all like an unclean thing, and 
             all our righteousnesses are like filthy 
             rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our ini-
             quities, like the wind, have taken us away.

     Our righteousnesses are the very best we can do...on 
     our own! And what are they like before God, who is 
     absolutely holy? They are like filthy rags! In a 
     sense, ‘filthy rags’ is a euphemism. What God is say-
     ing in Isaiah 64:6 is our righteousnesses are like a 
     used menstrual rag! 

         ➔   A woman experiencing her monthly period 
              was considered unclean for at least se-
              ven days (see Leviticus 15:19). And she 
              had to wait seven more days after her 
              menstrual flow ceased before she could 
              bring an offering for cleansing on the 
              eighth day. Only then would she be con-
              sidered clean! (see Leviticus 15:28-30).

         ➔   Anything upon which menstrual blood was 
              found was considered unclean and untouch-

     So the very best we can do on our own is considered 
     foul and unclean before our holy God! That does not 
     leave us in a good position! Left to ourselves, we 
     are damned!

We are all sinners, and sin wrecks havoc in our lives! Even when we want to do what is right and good, too often we end up doing the opposite – which is the same confession Saint Paul makes in Romans 7:14, 15, 17 through 20, and 24 (Good News Bible):

     ...I am a mortal, sold as a slave to sin. I do not 
     understand what I do; for I don't do what I would 
     like to do, but instead I do what I hate....So I am 
     not really the one who does this thing; rather it 
     is the sin that lives in me. I know that good does 
     not live in me---that is, in my human nature. For 
     even though the desire to do good is in me, I am 
     not able to do it. I don't do the good I want to do; 
     instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do. If 
     I do what I don't want to do, this means that I am 
     no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the 
     sin that lives in me....What an unhappy man I am! 
     Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me 
     to death? 

Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death?” Who? Jesus Christ, that’s who!

  • For He lived the perfect life before God that we could never live!
        Even His enemies could find no sin in Him! For 
         Jesus challenged them in John 8:46, “Which of 
         you convicts Me of sin?” 

         ➔   Now, if I had issued that challenge, people 
              could say, “Well, I remember when you....and they could probably name a bunch of 
              times that I have sinned!

         ➔   But those opposed to Jesus and His ministry 
              could find no sin they could truly lay upon 

       I Peter 2:22 (International Standard Version 
         quoting Isaiah 53:9) – Christ “...never sinned, 
         and He never told a lie.
  • Then He laid down that perfect life as a sacrifice for us, dying on the cross to pay for our sins!
        Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own 
         love toward us, in that while we were yet 
         sinners, Christ died for us.   I Peter 2:24 (Good News Bible) – “Christ 
         Himself carried our sins in His body to the 
         cross, so that we might die to sin and live 
         for righteousness. It is by His wounds that 
         you have been healed.
  • Having taken our sins upon Himself and paying for them completely, He now offers us His own perfect righteousness!
     ✡   Isaiah 61:10 – “I will greatly rejoice in 
          the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; 
          for He has clothed me with the garments of 
          salvation, He has covered me with the robe 
          of righteousness....  II Corinthians 5:21 – “For He [the Father] 
         made Him [the Son] who knew no sin to be sin 
         for us, that we might become the righteous-
         ness of God in Him.

So if you are trusting anything else other than the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to us (as Paul writes in Romans 10:9, 10, and 13)…

     ...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and 
     believe in your heart that God has raised Him from 
     the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one 
     believes to righteousness, and with the mouth con-
     fession is made to salvation....For whoever calls 
     upon the name of the LORD will be saved.

Trust Jesus Christ as your Savior!

I apologize for the delay in publishing this Gem. Sometimes the demands of life and family take precedence over my time at the computer. I will try to adhere more to my schedule of publishing Gems twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

“Come To Me…” – III

Matthew 11:28-30

All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

With His hand reached out, Jesus gave this invitation to all who would hear:

     “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, 
     and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and 
     learn from Me, for I am gentle, and lowly in heart, 
     and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke 
     is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28 
     through 30).

While many have responded and come to Him to have their burdens lifted, especially the heavy burden of sin…

  • …a great many more still need to come and be saved!
  • …even those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior…
        ...are still burdened by transgressions they 
         carry because they haven’t given them over to 
         the Lord!

        ...still need to respond to be relieved of the 
         heavy burdens life can lay upon us!

Between the two classes of people mentioned above, I see six reasons why people have not yet responded to Jesus’ invitation:

  • Some think they have no (or few) burdens, that everything is going pretty well at this point in their lives.
  • Some feel like they can carry their burdens and solve their problems themselves.
  • Some are laboring and heavy laden, but don’t know what to do with their burdens.
  • Some have never heard this invitation.
  • Some have heard it, maybe multiple times, but they don’t believe it is true.
  • Some don’t feel worthy enough to come.

We have covered four in the two previous Gems, so lets consider the last two:

  • Some have heard it, maybe multiple times, but they don’t believe it is true!
        Let me be very clear! I believe what Christ stated 
         in John 14:6 is the utter truth:Jesus said...‘I 
         am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes 
         to the Father except through Me.’”

         ➔   This makes Christianity very exclusive – 
              The one and only true way to be reconciled 
              to God...Faith in Jesus Christ and what He 
              has done to bring us to the Father – dying 
              on the cross and rising from the dead!

         ➔   If this is true, all other religions, past, 
              present, and future, lead people astray...
              because they are false!

        It is written twice, in Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25, 
         and ten of the seventeen versions, including the 
         King James Version, have it translated aright: 
         “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, 
         but the end thereof are the ways of death.”  Here 
         is why the way it is thus translated is so impor-

         ➔   “There is a way which seemeth right unto 
              a man....”  A person does not hold multi-
              ple ways to order his or her life. It is 
              one way, a way, and a person will follow 
              what seemeth right to him or her! By the 
              way, that one way which seemeth right may 
              involve the belief that there are multiple 
              ways to heaven – or there is no God at all!

         ➔   “...but the end thereof....” that is, the 
              end of that way which seemeth right – if 
              you follow a path you think is the right 
              way, you eventually reach an end, not mul-
              tiple endsone end to the one way that 
              seemeth right!

         ➔   But since there are so many different ideas 
              of how to please God and get to heaven, 
              probably thousands of ways held in belief 
              by people around the world! And if, as 
              Jesus said, He is the only true way to eter-
              nal life, that means there are multiple ways 
              that end in eternal death! An individual’s 
              way is just one of the ways of death!

        Why is there such unbelief in the one way through 
         faith in Jesus Christ? The answer, which is the 
         main reason for such unbelief, will raise a lot of 
         controversy!Satan, in II Corinthians 4:4, is called, ...the god of this world...! He pulls 
              the strings of the nations of the world, 
              the societies that make up those nations!How did he get such authority? According 
              to Genesis 1:28 (English Standard Version), 
              God told Adam “Be fruitful and multiply 
              and fill the earth and subdue it, and have 
              dominion...over every living thing that 
              moves on the earth.But when Satan tempted our first parents (see Genesis 
     3:1-5), and Adam fell (see Genesis 3:6, 7), Adam, as 
     it were, bowed before Satan and transferred his God-
     given authority over all the earth to the devil!That’s why the evil one could make such 
              an outrageous claim when he tempted Jesus 
              on the mountain in Luke 4:5 through 7:

                Then the devil, taking [Jesus]...up 
                on a high mountain, showed Him all 
                the kingdoms of the world in a moment 
                of time. And the devil said to Him, 
                “All this authority I will give You, 
                and their glory; for this has been 
                delivered to me, and I give it to 
                whomever I wish. Therefore, if You 
                will worship before me, all will be 

         Satan had usurped the dominion and control of the 
         earth that God gave Adam!
Someday, perhaps soon, “The kingdoms of 
              this world have become the kingdoms of 
              our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall 
              reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:
              15). Jesus will have it all anyway!

        Above I said that Satan is called “...the god of 
         this world....” Now let’s look at all of the sur-
         rounding context, II Corinthians 4:3 and 4 (Modern 
         King James Version):

             ...if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden 
             to those being lost, in whom the god of 
             this world has blinded the minds of the 
             unbelieving ones, so that the light of 
             the glorious gospel of Christ (who is the 
             image of God) should not dawn on them.

     You might say, the devil is the king of unbelief! But 
     God is so much more powerful! Just two verses later we 
     read in II Corinthians 4:6 (Good News Bible):

         The God who said, “Out of darkness the light 
         shall shine!” is the same God who made His 
         light shine in our hearts, to bring us the
         knowledge of God's glory shining in the face 
         of Christ. 

But I warn you, because the Bible warns you in Proverbs chapter one: you can only reject for so long the Holy Spirit’s leading to come to Jesus and trust Him as your Savior! There will come a time sooner or later when you will not be able to come! (Read carefully Proverbs 1:20-33. Read also the Gems from September 13, 2013 and October 27, 2014 – both named Sealed From Beneath! A third Gem from September 16, 2013 called Almost Sealed From Beneath! may also help explain the warning).

Well, I thought I would conclude this series with this third Gem, but it looks like there will be a fourth!

“Come To Me…” – II

Matthew 11:28-30

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Jesus gave this invitation in Matthew 11:28 through 30:

     “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, 
     and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and 
     learn from Me, for I am gentle, and lowly in heart, 
     and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke 
     is easy and My burden is light.”

Before we go any further, it would be beneficial to understand what the Lord is saying here. I wrote a Gem concerning this back on April 24, 2013 entitled The Light Yoke. I would encourage you to go back and read this particular Gem. But here I will briefly describe what Jesus meant when He said, “Take My yoke upon you….”

  • A yoke is designed to go over the necks of oxen so they can both share the heavy load and pull it with more strength than just one ox alone.
  • We must understand that Jesus is all-powerful! How powerful is He? In Colossians 1:15-17 it is written:
    He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn 
    of all creation. For by Him all things were created 
    that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible or 
    invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principal-
    ities or powers. All things were created through Him 
    and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him 
    all things consist. (see also Hebrews 1:1-3).
  • Being so powerful, He can carry a load of amazing weight! But He doesn’t take it all off our shoulders! He shares the load, and that’s where the idea of the yoke comes in.
  • Jesus invites us to share the load we carry, and pull together with Him. But His side of the yoke is so much bigger than ours, so He carries the MUCH heavier load! That’s why He says, “Take My yoke upon you…for My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Why don’t people take advantage of this marvelous opportunity to greatly decrease their burdens? We already looked at two of six reasons why this is so:

  • Some think they have no (or few) burdens, that everything is going pretty well at this point in their lives.
  • Some feel like they can carry their burdens and solve their own problems themselves.

Let’s go on to the next two reasons:

  • Some are laboring and heavy laden, but don’t know what to do with their burdens.
     John 5:2 through 9 – The man at the pool of Be-
         thesda was sick for 38 years! 

         ➔   He didn’t know what to do with his burden 
              of severe infirmity, because he was depend-
              ing on the tradition of an angel stirring 
              up the waters of the pool. And “...whoever 
              stepped in first, after the stirring of the 
              water, was made well of whatever disease he 
              had.” (verse 4). But when the water stirred, 
              he could not get there first!  Another step-
              ped in ahead of him! It must have been very 
              discouraging for this man.

         ➔   But then Jesus came on the scene! And He 
              “...said to him, ‘Rise, take up your bed 
              and walk.’ And immediately the man was made 
              well...” (verses 8 and 9).

         ➔   Jesus took the big part of the burden when 
              He healed the man! What was the healed man’s 
              part of the burden? “Rise, take up your bed 
              and walk.” I think the Lord was saying “Rise, 
              take up your bed and walk...and live your 
              life to glorify God hereafter!”     

     I met Cathy years ago. She came to the parsonage 
         of my first church. She sat in our living room 
         and cried. She told me she had been to several 
         ministers in the area trying to find out how to 
         get rid of the burden of her sins! They were a 
         heavy load on her life! I shared the gospel with 
         her, that Jesus already paid for our sins com-
         pletely! When we come to Him in faith believing, 
         “As far as the east is from the west, so far has 
         He removed our sins from us.” (Psalm 103:12). 
         Cathy prayed to receive Christ as her Savior, 
         and her tears of sorrow became tears of joy! She 
         had her burden lifted! Her part of the bargain 
         was to live in obedience to the Lord Jesus.....
         which she did faithfully thereafter!

        David carried his terrible sins of adultery and 
          murder for a year by himself. Finally he turned 
          back to God. Here is what he wrote in Psalm 32:5, 
          “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity 
          I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my 
          transgressions to the LORD,’ and You forgave the 
          iniquity of my sin.David had his heavy burdens 
  • Some have never heard this invitation.
     Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “...you shall be witnesses 
         to Me...in all places where people need to hear 
         the good news of Jesus’ procured salvation...which
         is in all places! (see also Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 
         16:15; I Peter 3:15).

We who live in America live in a very blessed 
         country. We are free to share the gospel with 
         very little persecution!  Perhaps the ‘persecu-
         tion’ we might experience in this country is 
         someone laughing at our witness, or telling us 
         to “Bug off! I don’t want to hear what you have 
         to offer!   In Romans 10:13 and 14, Paul wrote (quoting Joel 

           ...whoever calls upon the name of the Lord 
           shall be saved. How then shall they call on 
           Him in whom they have not believed? And how 
           shall they believe in Him of whom they have 
           not heard? And how shall they hear without 
           a preacher?

        But statistics tell us that 90 to 95 percent of 
         Christians in America have never led anyone to 
         faith in Jesus Christ!  We who have Him as our 
         Savior also have to make Him Lord of our lives! 
         We have a big job to do! A lot of sinners need 
         to hear the gospel! They have burdens – especial-
         ly the burden of their sin! – that Jesus invites 
         all to let Him bear that sin load!

We need one more Gem to finish this study of “Come To Me”.

Trials and Tribulations!

John 16:33

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

I will shortly get back to the Gem series, “Come To Me”. But as hinted from the above photo of a doctor, I want to share with you a few medical problems I have run into lately…which, by the way, has gotten me off track of my publishing schedule.

At age 75 I suppose I should not be surprised with the challenge of some health issues. Here is a brief review of what has been happening lately:

  • I have general osteoarthritis, inherited from my mother (gee, thanks Mom!), affecting hips, knees, back, shoulders, wrists, and a few other body parts.
  • I have had two knee replacements in my right knee (due, I think, to old sports injuries). The first allowed too much lateral movement, so a second one was done four years later.
  • I had surgery on my right knee earlier this year to remove a bone spur from my kneecap. Since then, I have had a lot of pain in that knee.
  • In May I fell hard on a cement floor, and it stirred up a lot more pain in my right knee, shoulders, hips, and so on.
  • I have had two major lumbar surgeries: a laminectomy, and then fusion of the three lower vertebrae about five years later. Since then, the vertebrae just above the fusion has slipped forward almost half an inch.
  • About a week ago, I started coughing up mucus mixed with a small amount of blood. Yes, I was concerned, because I used to smoke (I quit 54 years ago, but was up to three packs a day when I quit!) So lung cancer was in my mind as a possibility. Several doctor appointments later, I was diagnosed with a minor case of pneumonia, and put on antibiotics. I praise God for a good diagnosis! It eases my mind!
  • Today I have a ‘nerve burn’ in my lower back to relieve some of the pain.

Why is all this happening to me? Although we can suffer maladies because of our own wrong choices, I believe there are spiritual implications!

  • A year ago this month, I started a prayer ministry in our church, praying for revival. We desperately need revival…
     ✞   ...in my own life, and that of my family!

     ✞   ...in the church in which my wife and I are 

     ✞   ...in all the churches in our town, county, state, 
         across the county, and around the world!

     ✞   ...it has been slow going!  Only a handful of 
         people are involved, out of a membership of 
         about 350!
  • Satan hates God, and does not want to see the arrival of revival…
     ✞   ...where Christians come alive!

     ✞   ...when outreach is dramatically increased to 
         those who don’t know Jesus as Savior!

     ✞   ...when the ills of America will be healed, ac-
         cording to II Chronicles 7:14:

         If My people who are called by My name will 
         humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, 
         and turn from their wicked ways, then will I 
         hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins 
         and heal their land.

The few who are involved in this prayer ministry have all experienced trials and problems in their family, health, and finances. It is because the devil…puts himself against all authority, lifting himself up over all which is named God or is given worship…” (II Thessalonians 2:4 – Bible in Basic English). But according to what Saint Paul said in II Corinthians 10:3 and 4 (English Standard Version), we have the weapons to fight against Satan and win:

     For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war 
     according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare 
     are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy 
     [Satan’s] strongholds. 

And so, I ask for prayer for this small band of Christians seeking revival! And this includes me! I don’t fear dying because I have eternal life – guaranteed! But I still have a lot of work to do on this side of heaven, including writing Gems so others can be blessed by them!

“Come To Me…” – I

Matthew 11:28-30

All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Jesus said,

     “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, 
     and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and 
     learn from Me, for I am gentle, and lowly in heart, 
     and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke 
     is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28 
     through 30).

To whom is this directed? Jesus is inviting everyone! But this particular invitation will greatly limit the number of those who come. For the one who responds comes to the Lord because he or she realizes that they are belabored and burdened with a heavy load!

But there are reasons that keep people from responding:

  • Some think they have no (or few) burdens, that everything is going pretty well at this point in their lives.
  • Some feel like they can carry their burdens and solve their problems themselves.
  • Some are laboring and heavy laden, but don’t know what to do with their burdens.
  • Some have never heard this invitation.
  • Some have heard it, maybe multiple times, but they don’t believe it is true.
  • Some don’t feel worthy enough to come.

Let’s look at these six conditions that keep people from responding to Jesus’ invitation:

Some think they have no (or few) burdens, that everything is going pretty well at this point in their lives.

  • Things may be going pretty well at this point in their lives.
     ➔   They may not be facing any serious medical is-

     ➔   Their financial situation may not be presenting 
          a strain on their enjoyment of life. 

     ➔   They may feel that family and other relation-
          ships are good.

…and the future looks bright!

  • But…
...they don’t realize there is a life threatening 
          condition presently at work in their lives!

 It is called sin! And everyone has this dead-
             ly disease! 

     For all have sinned and fall short of 
                 the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

             The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 
                 18:4, 20).

             Jesus will say to them at the judgment, 
                 “Depart from Me, you cursed, into ever-
                 lasting fire prepared for the devil and 
                 his angels....” (Matthew 25:41).

         ...all [sinners]...shall have their part in 
             the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, 
             which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8).

     ➔   ...they are not aware of the temporary nature of 

         ✡   Proverbs 23:5 (Easy-to-Read Version.) – “In 
              the blink of an eye, money can disappear, 
              as if it grew wings and flew away like a 
              bird.Matthew 6:19, 21 – “Do not lay up for your-
             selves treasures on earth, where moth and 
             rust destroy and where thieves break in and 
             steal....For where your treasure is, there 
             your heart will be also.I Timothy 6:17 – “...those who are rich in 
             this present age [must] not...trust in un-
             certain riches....” 

     ➔   ...they don’t think close relationships will ever 

         ✡   Deuteronomy 21:18 – “...a man has a stub-
              born and rebellious son who will not obey
              ...his father or...mother, and when they 
              have chastened him, [he] will not heed 

         ✡   Deuteronomy 24:1 – “...a man takes a wife 
              and...he has found some uncleanness in her
              ...he writes her a certificate of divorce
              ...and sends her out of his house.John 7:5 – “For even [Jesus’]...brothers did 
            not believe in Him.Matthew 26:14 – “Then one of the twelve, 
            called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief 
            priests and said, ‘What are you willing to 
            give me if I deliver...[Jesus] to you?’

Some feel like they can carry their burdens and solve their problems themselves!

  • But…
Job, the richest man and most blest man of the 
          Middle East, lost everything in a matter of hours 
          (or days at the most).

         ✡   His wealth! (see Job 1:14-17).

         ✡   His family!

                 ...all his children! (see Job 1:18, 

                ...the support of his wife! (see Job 

         ✡   His health! (see Job 2:7, 8; 30:16-19).

         ✡   His respect! (see Job 19:13-20; 30:1-15).

         ✡   His friends! (see Job 12:4; 16:1-4; 19:
              1-5, 14).

     Yes, he was eventually doubly-blest by God at the 
     end of the book, but it took weeks, or even months 
     for Job to recover!Moses was physically, spiritually, mentally, and 
          socially powerful! But he became overwhelmed and 
          needed help!

         ✡   Apparently Moses had a speech impediment 
              (see Exodus 4:10). So God gave him his 
              brother Aaron who spoke well. “...he shall 
              be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to 
              him as God.” (Exodus 4:16).

         ✡   He tried to be a judge who decided matters 
              for every Israelite – and there were about 
              two to three million of them! Moses’ fa-
              ther-in-law came to the rescue with sound 
              advice to appoint under-judges (see Exodus 

         ✡   God supplied manna when the Israelites com-
              plained that they would starve to death in 
              the desert, and all Israel ate manna for 
              forty years! (see Exodus 16:35).

       Numbers 11:4-6 – But after awhile, they 
                 wept and longed for the food of Egypt! 
                 They cried, “Who will give us meat to 
                 eat? We remember the fish...cucumbers...
                 melons...leeks...onions and...garlic...
                 we ate freely in Egypt...now...there is
                 nothing...except this manna...Numbers 11:14, 15 – Moses had a melt-
                 down before God! He thought he had to 
                 supply all the people with meat. “I am 
                 not able to bear all these people along, 
                 because the burden is too heavy for me.  
                 If You treat me like this, please kill 
                 me here and now...!” 

         ✡   Moses even required physical help!  

                Amalek, a Canaanite tribe who was an 
                 enemy of Israel for centuries, attacked 

           As Joshua led the troops in the valley, 
                 Aaron and Hur accompanied Moses up a hill 
                 overlooking the battle. Moses took the rod 
                 by which God had done previous miracles 
                 (see Exodus 9:23, 24; 14:16; 17:5, 6). As 
                 he held the rod high, the Israelite sol-
                 diers prevailed! If his arms got tired 
                 and drooped, the Amalekites started win-

       Exodus 17:12, 13 – So Aaron and Hur “...
                 took a stone and put it under him, and he 
                 sat on it. And [they] supported his hands
                 ...until the going down of the sun. So 
                 Joshua defeated Amalek...”

         ✡   Deuteronomy 1:9, 12 (Lexham English Bible) – 
              Just before the Israelites entered the Prom-
              ised Land, Moses again pleaded with God for 
              help: I am not able to bear [the Israelites]
              ...alone? ...How can I bear you by myself, 
              your burden and your load and your strife?”

     So if Moses, this mighty man of God needed help, what 
     about us?
  • Americans are an independent people! Individualism is pronounced and promoted in this country more than just about any other nation. But that old saying is still true: “No man is an island!We all need help at different times, and Jesus offers that help…
...to those who are...burdened and heavy laden
          ...! They are invited to come to Him for help!  

      And if the burdens we carry are not per-
             ceived to be that heavy, the sin that we 
             all carry is the heaviest burden of all! 

     For about a year David ignored his sin of 
             adultery with Bathsheba (see II Samuel 11:
             4, 5), and the  murder of her husband Uriah 
             (see II Samuel 11:14-17). But, when Nathan, 
             his advisor challenged him about his terri-
             ble actions, and when the reality of all 
             his iniquity broke upon him, this is what 
             David wrote in Psalm 38:1 through 4:

                 “O LORD...Your arrows pierce me deep-
                 ly, and Your hand presses me down. 
                 There is no soundness in my flesh be-
                 cause of Your anger, nor is there any 
                 health in my bones because of my sin. 
                 For my iniquities have gone over my 
                 head; like a heavy burden they are 
                 too heavy for me.” 

     ➔   David finally repented. But if we ignore the 
          burden of sin life-long like David did for a 
          year, we are in for a terrible end!  We are 
          told in Proverbs 14:12, and repeated in 16:25 
          (King James Version): “There is a way that 
          seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof 
          are the ways of death.
  • By the way, the burdens that we try to carry have a surprising description in Psalm 55:22 – “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you…. The burden you cast upon Him turns out to be YOU!
But God has been in thecarrying business for 
          a long time!  For He said to the Israelites in 
          Isaiah 46:3 and 4 (Easy-to-Read Version), and 
          it surely applies to us as believers today: 

             “Family of Jacob, listen to me! You who 
             are left from the family of Israel, lis-
             ten! I have carried you since you left 
             your mother's womb. I carried you when 
             you were born, and I will still be carry-
             ing you when you are old. Your hair will 
             turn gray, and I will still carry you. I 
             made you, and I will carry you to safety.”We...are the body of Christ...” (I Corinthians 
          12:27), guided by...the mind of Christ...” 
          (I Corinthians 2:16). As many of the Old Testa-
          ment Scriptures have application to New Testament 
          Christians, so Ecclesiastes 4:9 and 10 apply to 

             Two are better than one, because they have 
             a good reward for their labor. For if they 
             fall, one will lift up his companion. But 
             woe to him who is alone when he falls, for 
             he has no one to help him up.

     ➔   As this is applied to Galatians 6:1 and 2, it 
          turns out we are to help carry one another!  

             ...if a man is overtaken in any trespass 
             [burden], you who are spiritual restore 
             such a one in a spirit of gentleness, con-
             sidering yourself lest you also be tempted. 
             Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill 
             the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1, 2) 

          The law of Crist is loving one another as He 
          has loved us! (see John 13:34, 35).

So when in Matthew 11:28 Jesus invites us to

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, 
     and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and 
     learn from Me, for I am gentle, and lowly in heart, 
     and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke 
     is easy and My burden is light.”

     ➔   His invitation is valid, and...We are involved...

         ✞   ...both in experiencing His rest 

         ✞   ...and restoring His rest to others!

More on this in the next Gem.