(Matthew 11:28-30; 1 Peter 5:7)

***ASK BILL: PASTOR BILL, CAN YOU GIVE ME ANY IDEA OF THE MEANING OF ZECH. 11:17/

ANSWER: Sadly, this is the description of the majority of pastors today. It talks about their worship of idols and forsaking their flocks. The Bible says those who are called to lead His sheep will receive a double judgment. It is a stark contrast to John 10, and the description of the Good Shepherd. Is it any wonder why the sheep are weak, ineffective, and sitting targets for satan’s schemes when the shepherds don’t do their job?

This message applies to every single person who is reading this right now. It doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you are a man or a woman, what your skin color is, what nationality you are, how much money you have or don’t have, this is a universal message that is applicable to everyone. You see, nobody that has lived very long in this sin-filled and evil world has escaped the trials and tribulations of this life and not experienced some sort of pain. EVERYONE reading this Devotional knows the pain that comes from time to time during this journey we are on.

For some, that pain was experienced in your childhood through mental, physical, or sexual abuse. Some have experienced that pain later in life through failed relationships, many through being divorced. Everyone has lived through the pain of the death of a loved one. Many of you have experienced the pain of financial hardships. Others have lived through the pain of losing your job or other employment and career issues. Sadly, some have lived through the experience of being a crime victim.

Everyone has experienced the pain from making poor choices at some point in their life. Most have had to experience the pain of some bondage such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, food, money, shopping, lying, or a myriad of other bondages that people get caught up in. NOT ONE PERSON READING THIS HAS NOT HAD TO LIVE THROUGH THE PAIN THAT COMES FROM LIVING THIS LIFE HERE ON EARTH.

Today, I want to share a word with you that could be one of the most important things anyone has ever told you. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KEEP LIVING WITH WHATEVER PAIN YOU HAVE FROM YOUR PAST. Let me repeat that, because I really want you to hear these words clear. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KEEP LIVING WITH WHATEVER PAIN YOU HAVE FROM YOUR PAST. If you are, that is only because you have CHOSEN to live with that pain!

The fact is, God has made a way through faith in His Son for you to put the pain of your past behind you and live your life in freedom. Jesus has told us to give Him our burdens, that He would carry them for us. The Bible tells us to cast our cares on Him, because He cares for us. You see, God doesn’t expect you to carry the pain of your past with you each day. He wants you live FREE from your past so that you can enjoy the abundance that this life has to offer.

Just hours before going to the cross, Jesus told His disciples that in this world, they would experience trials and tribulations. But He told them to “be of good cheer” because HE has overcome this world. You see my friend, trials and tribulation are part of this human experience, but God has made a way through His Son for us to still enjoy the abundance that this life can offer despite those trials and tribulations.

The only reason you are carrying the pain of your past with you today is because you have chosen to believe the LIE instead of the TRUTH. Jesus tells us in John 8:44 that satan is a liar. He is the “father of lies.” When he speaks, he speaks his native language, lying! God on the other hand is TRUTH. The Word of God is TRUTH. The lie of satan is that you have to carry the pain of your past around with you each day like a 1,000 pound anchor around your neck. The truth from God is that you can take that pain of your past and give it to Jesus. HE WILL GLADLY TAKE THAT 1,000 POUND ANCHOR FROM YOU TODAY!!!

I love you and care about you so much. Everyone reading this Devotional today has experienced some of the pain that this life offers. So many of you have never let go of that pain and have simply learned how to live your life each day with that pain. Because of that, you are missing the fullness of the joy, peace, and abundance that this life can offer. Because of that, you are not completely fulfilling your purpose in this life which is to serve and glorify God with your life. Because of that, you are not living in total freedom and victory each day.

Right now, this very moment, I want you to stop whatever you are doing. If you are at home, at work, at school, it doesn’t matter. Stop whatever you are doing right now and pray this prayer. “Dear Father, I thank you for this day. I know that today was not promised to me, but it is a gift from You. Dear God, You know the pain I have today from what has happened in my life. I am tired of carrying this pain with me day after day. It is robbing me of my joy, of my peace, of knowing the abundance that this life can offer. I trust Your Word today that tells me that I can give this burden to You, that You will take it from me. I trust Your Word today that tells me to cast my cares on You, because You care for me. In the name of Jesus, I give You the pain of my past today. In the name of Jesus, I surrender it to You. Take it from me, and fill me right now with Your joy, with Your peace, and let me live from this day forward in FREEDOM FROM MY PAST! In Jesus name I pray, AMEN!”

I will be praying for you today my friend. God loves you SO MUCH! He cares about you SO MUCH! We live in an evil and sin-filled world. Because of that, we all will experience pain in this life, but God has made a way so that we do not have to carry that pain around with us for the rest of our days. He has offered to carry it for us, to take it from us. I pray today that you will trust Him and give Him the pain of your past and live in FREEDOM from this day forward!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller

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