Lighten up -Sermon #1 Randy Davenport
Isaiah 61:1&2
Luke 4:18
“Burdens are lifted at Calvary”
#1 Earthly Possession's
You've heard it said, "It's not the mountain ahead, it's the rock in your shoe.”
We all understand weight limits and also what a problem having to much clutter can cause. It's also true in the spiritual. In Luke chapter 12 and verse 15 Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” This is speaking specifically about natural materialistic things but the underlying principle can also apply spiritually. First we must look to understand why we are prone to accumulate possession's or wealth. For so many, enough is NEVER enough. This, I believe comes from an insecurity, a fear that we will run out of provision and be left poor and destitute, forgetting all about the fact that God is our provider, our Jehova-Jira. Jesus went on to tell of a man who had a bumper crop year and decided to build bigger barns to keep it all in and then he would kick back and live “The Good Life”only to end up dead before the next morning. Jesus said in Mark 10:24 “How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! There is nothing wrong with having wealth, but does it have you? Is it in your possesions that you put your trust or is it in God who giveth thee power to get wealth? Deuteronomy 8:18 God's desire for us is to be “rich toward Him”. Luke 12:21

#2 Cares of this world
For most of us, being rich or to wealthy is the least of our problems. But we can be carrying a load that God never intended for us to bare. We can become so preoccupied by all of the day to day obligations and urgent issues that we get loaded down with cares.In the parable of the sower, Jesus speaks of the “Cares of this world”among other things that can choke the word that is in our hearts and render us unfruitful. These heavy burdens that we carry, the “hurrys and the worrys” and concerns of everyday life can choke us out and erode our faith in God until we no longer bring forth the fruit of the Spirit, Love,joy,peace, long-suffering,gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance=Self control. Galatians 5:22. 1st Peter 5:7 Cast your care upon the Lord for He careth for you.

#3 Sin
Also the “Sin” that we allow can become a burden and a noose around our neck. Some people have made excuse and said, “Well thats just the way I am”. Jesus came to change the way you am! Hebrews 12:1 tells us, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset =(ensnare) us, and let us run with patience=(perseverence) the race that is set before us,Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

#4 Good things
We can also be disstracted and sidetracked by even good things. I heard this question, “Do you know what can ruin a perfectly good idea? Another perfectly good idea”. In the book of James 1: 6-8 We are admonished to be unwavering, single minded and focused. “A double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways”. In Luke chapter 10 we see the account where Jesus came to be guest at Martha and Mary's house. There was not anything especially wrong with what Martha was doing, preparing the meal but she was so preoccupied with the mundane chore at hand that she failed to recognize the awesome and unique opportunity that she had right there and then. To have a close and personel audience with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, creator of heaven and earth! Right there in her living room, WOW! Are we so busy that we fail to sit at Jesus feet and learn of Him? What are your prioritys?

#5 Legitimate concerns
Yes we do have needs and concerns. In Matthew 6; 31-34 Jesus assured us that “Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” But seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and ALL these things shall be added unto you”

#6 Busy verses Fruitfulness
So many of us go about being SO busy. We wear it like a badge of honor. "I'm so busy". Ask anyone “How are you?” and the answer so often is “I'm busy” Yes but are we fruitful? I see how it seems that so many people are running on a proverbial “Hamster Wheel”. We Christians so often have a hard time saying “NO”. So we often allow ourselves to get overloaded with more responsibility than God ever intended for us.

#7 Illegitimate Duty's
Religion and/or your own guilt complex can weigh you down. This was never meant to be.
Jesus spoke of the religious leaders of his day in Matthew chapter 23:4 "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be born, and lay them on men's shoulders: but they themselves will not move them with one of thier fingers. Jesus also speaking of the Lawers in Luke chapter 11:46 "Woe unto you also,ye Lawers for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be born, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers". Unfortunately, undue guilt and legalism has caused untold damage to the cause of Christ. I have heard of so many cases where unrealistic expectations from so called Christians have put a weight of condemnation on individuals and young people that have driven them away from the church and sadly from Jesus.

Have you ever seen an Olympic runner carry a suit case or wear a big back pack? No way! He could never hope to win a race with any of that.
2 Timothy 2:4 speaks concerning one who prepares to serve in the military. "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier"
In the song, What a friend we have in Jesus is a line, Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge-Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Psalm 55:22 "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer=(permit) the righteous to be moved=(shaken). I heard someone make this statement when they were asked if they would like to become a christian, "I have enough trouble as it is". How sad. Often times I think that people see a commitment to Christ is yet another problem to add to the stack of everything else they are already dealing with in life. We have such busy schedules, work, meetings, games, appointments and obligations. Our time is kept so full that there is no time for God. If only we could recognize the fact that seeking a relationship with the Lord does not add an additional burden on us but in fact lightens the load.
In Matthew 11:28 thru 30 Jesus said, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Stop struggling so much, remember,"Your not holding onto Him, He is holding onto you!"
I know of a fellow who travels the country in his RV and shares his adventures with the world on youtube. He recently went to weight his RV at a weigh station to see if he was under the legal limit. To much weight in a vehicle can be very problematic. It can cause undue wear and tear, poor fuel economy and can even be dangerous. He found that he was just below the limit by about 200 pounds. He took inventory and began to off load many items he had on bourd that was non essential. He needed to "Lighten Up". And so it is with you and me. What is weighing you down? What can you do without? What is impeding your relationship with Jesus?