Letting Jesus Bring Us Through Temptation

•April 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Romans 8: 1-17 (NIV)

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

So I walked myself right into a sinful dilemma, from a perspective that was new to me.  Recently it has taken a greater than usual amount of effort to avoid letting my eyes wander when women walk by.  Obviously, Jesus is clear that lustful meandering of one’s eyes is the equivalent of adultery – and cannot be allowed or tolerated as a part of a follower’s behavior.  I became increasingly frustrated with having to consciously avoid these thoughts, constantly asking Jesus to cover my mind and my eyes.  Finally, as we are commanded to do, I reached out to fellow brothers and my wife, in confession and request for prayer.

Praise God for brothers and wives!  My wife was quick to point out that seed is probably my pride, seeking affirmation from other.  As she noted, affirmation can ONLY come from The Lord.  When we seek this elsewhere, we are appealing to our flesh.  Thank you, my love.

A dear brother also pointed out that it is unacceptable to simply blame the fight with temptation simply on attacks from the enemy.  The Lord is clear, He will not allow us to face greater temptation than we can persevere.  Additionally, we will never be immune to temptation as we are of the flesh.  And, the only thing strong enough to pull us through temptation, is the Lord Himself.  This is where the scripture above comes into play.

Man I love how the Lord works, as Romans 8 was my devotional study this morning.  As my dear brother revealed, we are of the flesh, and because of this we will always face temptation from somewhere, somehow.  It is always a conscious decision, and although somedays less than others, it will never simply be automatic.

But as Paul tells us, in Christ we are no longer captive to our sinful nature.  Through relationship with Christ, the Spirit intercedes on our behalf  (Romans 8: 27″ 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will”).   In this and other scripture, Paul even tells us to be thankful for the perseverance required to pull through trial, tribulations, and temptation as it builds faith.  Why does it build faith?

Because we are not strong enough on our fleshly own, but seek Christ, with a joyful heart, and He will help us overcome!  Of course!

In my case however, I was pursuing Christ for cover, but with a contrite heart because I was frustrated that avoiding this sin took effort and was not “automatic.”  Because of this, the temptations became stronger over time – my frustration with sin was allowing sin to take hold.  My heart and mind were misplaced.

It is not up to us to conquer or avoid anything – I am by no means saying sin is justified, I am saying WHEN TEMPTATION COMES, AND IT WILL, WE ARE TO SEEK CHRIST & HE WILL OVERCOME. And when He overcomes, He will take us through with Him, and we overcome as well.  Through the blood of Chirst we are co-heirs with Him!

Romans 8: 35-39

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, I know this may seem dramatic, but for me, it was an amazing revelation.   To see that my own bitterness of having to avoid sin, was simply making me sinful, and giving it a hold is very humbling.  I am grateful for brothers and sisters that can see the heart of things so that we can dig to the root.  I share this prayerfully, in hope it will be helpful to someone else with a similar struggle.

Praise God for wives, brothers, and sisters!  May the Church grow in truth and be blessed!  Amen.


Being Husbands to Our Wives

•March 31, 2009 • 1 Comment

Since I started this blog, I have felt this compelling tug in my Spirit to write about what it means, Biblically, to be a husband.  Many times when marriage is discussed in church, or by spiritual leaders, much of the focus is on how a wife is supposed to treat her husband.  Seldom do we discuss the requirements for how husbands should treat their wives.   So, I looked up the scriptures that inform husbands how to be husbands but I have not written a post on it yet because “I wanted time to study it thoroughly.”

Well, as usual when we let the world slow what God asks us to do, we never find time for it, only the world.  So, I am writing this today – as I study it.  I hope you will join me.

Let’s begin with one of the most cited scriptures when it comes to marriage:

Ephesians 5:21-27 (NIV)

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Colossians 3:18-19  (NIV)

18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Often cited to remind wives to submit to their husbands, these passages are actually commanding both the husband and the wife to submit to our spouses.  But what does this truly mean?  First, let’s focus on verse 21 and look at the definition of submit.  Two dictionary definitions jump out: “to yield oneself to the power or authority of another” and/or ” to allow oneself to be subjected to some kind of treatment.”  While many use this to point towards the man’s authority over the family, this truly points to combined authority in the marriage.  And when appropriate, each spouse will have to submit to the authority of the other, and subject themselves to the treatment of the other.  To accomplish this without resentment, or disdain, a couple must emphasize the fact that in a marriage, you are partners.  You have a comparative advantage when you work together instead of separate.  We must recognize the strength of each other, and submit to each other the control, the trust, to know when and where to follow the other’s lead.

Further, in Ephesians 5: 25-27 husbands are instructed to love their wives, not with any simple love however, but in the same way Christ loved the Church.  Wow!  This is no small task.  Scripture tells that there is no greater love than Christ’s love for us.  And we are to imitate this in the way we love our wives!  Considering that we cannot atone for her sins by going to the cross like only Jesus could, what does this mean practically?  How do we “make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

To love her like Christ loved the church, we must also remember that we have a covenant with her.  We are committed to loving her, at the best of our ability, with all due effort, regardless of how she loves us.  For we are wretched, sinful, fleshly, selfish and ignorant, but Christ loved us regardless.  And loved us PERFECTLY!  You are commanded to do the same.  So above all, we must maintain commitment to that covenant.  So how do we do this practically besides showing her love no matter what and at all times?

Well the first way is clear, we are to lead our marriage with guidance from God’s word.  This means we need to encourage and lead Bible study within the family.  We must hold ourselves and our family accountable, and encourage their pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus.   If we help our partner in these pursuits, we will see incrementally become more and more like Christ as the scripture asks.  Assisting our wives in developing an intimate relationship with the Lord, will allow her to come blameless before the church.  Don’t forget, we can’t just coach – we have to play as well – we have to do these things too in ourselves if we are to lead well!

Next, in Colossians 3:19, we see that although we are to be leaders and as noted above, be active in the accountability of our family’s walk with Christ, we are to be kind (i.e. not harsh) to our wives.  As many relational counselors note, women need an “atmosphere of affection.”  Being harsh does not get you there.  Let’s look at the definition of harsh:

1: having a coarse uneven surface that is rough or unpleasant to the touch;

2 a: causing a disagreeable or painful sensory reaction  b: physically discomforting;

3: unduly exacting;

4: lacking in aesthetic appeal or refinement (Websters).

Clearly, we would never objectively decide to treat our crown jewel in any way that is reflected by those 4 definitions.  But think about it, God is explicitly telling us as husbands to not be unpleasant or disagreeable, or physically discomforting, or to be unduly exacting, or to lack refinement.  But what does this really mean?  The first 2 should be easy to avoid if we let a 3rd party who can teach us about creating affection and affirmation (even in disagreement).  But the other two, require more detailed examination.

Do not be unduly exacting of our wives.  This tells us not to be unrealistic or unruly in our demands or expectations.  We are not drill sergeants.  Our wives are who they are.  They do not grow like we do, they do not learn like we do, they do things the way they do, the glorious way God made them.  The Lord knows I struggle with this.  But we simply cannot demand more from our wives than reasonable, based on who they are and the way they were designed to handle the situation at hand.  This requires discernment, and prayer as we are leaders to our wives.

This leads us to how we avoid lacking refinement.  As leaders, we should never lead in the ways or execute leadership in the ways WE deem best.  It is our duty to pursue an intimate relationship with Christ, so that we may have His guidance in the words we use, the actions we take, the motives of our heart, and what we ask of our wives.  God will refine us if we earnestly seek His will, and commit to it without hesitation.  His will is for us to be fantastic husbands, if we seek Him in that, we will be. As you may have noticed by now, we cannot accomplish any of our husbandly demands without consultation of the Word and an intimate relationship with Christ.  Now what if we don’t follow our husbandly duties that Christ has laid out for us?

Remeber,Yahweh is the ultimate judge.  Every knee will bow, regardless of belief, this is part of His covenant with us.  So, understanding what God wants of us as husbands should not be completed without looking at the consequences when we fail to abide in Him.  Lets look to The Word:

1 Peter 3: 1-7 (NIV)

1Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

7Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Once again, we see a lot of time spent on wives, an 1 verse for husbands.  But that does not make it less instructive or profound.  We see again a command to be considerate and respectful, which were indirectly addressed in the scripture discussed above.  But now we see the consequences.  If we do not treat our wives as God designed, our prayers will be hindered.  That means our ability to commune with the Lord will be hindered.  Our intimacy with the Lord will be hindered.  God is telling us that to have a relationship with Him of full potential, we must treat our wives as He designed.  He commands us to treat our wives in specific ways, as as Jesus said, those who love the Father will keep His commands, and relationship is only possible for those who love the Father.

Wow.  I don’t know if I did this justice, but it is something I have seldom, if at all, heard discussed.  The Lord is very intentional in telling us how to be husbands and informing us that it is vital to our relationship with Him.  Although He is more verbose in telling wives how to be, He is equally pointed with husbands.  I hope you will consider these commands in your daily walk as a Christian husband.

Father God, we thank You.  We thank You for the commands You lay before us, in all Your perfect holiness.  Thank You, Father.  For who You are.  Lord, I pray, that we will have the diligence to be husbands in the ways you command of us.  To fulfill our covenant to our wives, with the boundaries you set up for us.  Lord, thank you for your Word, the perfect instruction manual for our lives.  God I pray, that we take these commands seriously, and that Your Spirit cover our marriages.  That Your Spirit will hold us accountable daily.  And that Your Spirit will empower our wives to rebuke us lovingly, when we fail to keep these commands.  Amen.

Fantasy vs. Reality – the challenge of hard times in the world

•March 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I must confess, I am a little worried this discussion will come off as insensitive, but it seems too important to leave in the back ground.

As we are all very personally aware, the world economy is in the midst of a downturn, the likes of which our generation has never seen – nor ever expected.  In the gloomiest terms, it is a world economic crisis.  In the most uplifting evaluation, it is merely a severe recession.  Either way, it’s not pretty.  For the most part, if we have not felt the effects of these economic events personally, we know someone who has.  In fact, two people who read this blog have been laid off in the past 3 months, and struggle to find even part-time work for longer than a week.  Please understand, I do not mean to minimize the situation in the least.  It stinks! Plain and simple.  That said, some specific statistics that have been making the news frequently are of concern.

While all industries are struggling during this time, one is not.  HOLLYWOOD is full steam ahead.  Most claim this is because Americans are seeking an escape from the terrible “reality” of the economic times.  Seeking the wonderful “fantasies” of the movies.  Not only is movie attendance doing better than it has in years, the likes of Netflix and Blockbuster are seeing a boom in business.  All because we must seek fantasy to escape the reality of this WORLD.

Meanwhile, churches are closing, and  giving (offering and tithing) is tumbling.  This cannot be pleasing to God.  (Sidenote:  this is not me saying people who are without a job should be giving and tithing if they truly cannot.  In all truth, how can you give your first fruits, if you have no fruit.)  The fact is, people are uncomfortable and scared, which is understandable.  I can’t honestly say that I am not worried.  However, I gravely fear that we are still seeking solace through worldly investments during the exact time that the world’s inability to provide for us is clearly demonstrating itself.

I am afraid that we, like the people of Israel (Exodus), are quick to abandon our faith in the Lord due to worldly discomforts.  With economic distress all around us, we think it safer to stop tithing and increase savings as opposed to say, continuing to tithe and increasing offerings to those who desperately need it more than ever.  The world is falling apart, and our response is to invest in it, instead of the Kingdom.  Where is the logic in that?

We see such folly throughout the Bible.  The people of Israel repeatedly turn on Moses and the Lord whenever discomfort rises.  Solomon, with all the worldly possessions one could imagine, desperately regretted his failure to seek a life in the Lord’s presence.  The Rich Young Ruler, who wanted Jesus to tell him what he could acquire to finally achieve happiness – even though he had it all, and walked away sadly when Jesus’ response was for him to give it all up to the poor.  All these examples, and we invest in the world for security?

Why do we need the fantasies of Hollywood, when have the reality of the Lord’s promises in all His eternal glory!?  This is a time where churches should be opening, giving should be increasing, instead of glorifying Him, instead of seeking to spread the Kingdom at a time where the Gospel could have more reaching capacity than ever, we are hiding in the world’s comforts.

Isn’t the existing situation evidence of the world’s inability to provide fruitfully?  Greed, lust, gluttony – all caving in the world’s economy.  Meanwhile churches close and movie theaters turn record profits.  Why?

We have and know the ultimate reality, the promises of our Lord, Jesus Christ and His eternal Kingdom.  We should be spreading this reality.  Glorifying this reality.  Relishing this reality.  All instead of hiding in the world’s fantasy.

The Lord give us clear directions for these times.  Remember these verses from Matthew, the 6th Chapter:

19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6: 19-20, NIV)

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6: 25-34, NIV)


So I challenge myself as I challenge you.  Take heart in the promises you know to be true.  Invest in the Kingdom at the exact time it seems unsafe to.  Spread the glory of the Lord.  These are the only investments with a guaranteed return.  The Lord will provide.  Help Him as He helps you!

I pray that we will trust Him and spread His word.  That we will give like we have never given before.  I pray that the Lord will bring peace to our hearts in a time of worldly distress.  For by the blood of the Lamb, and word of our testimony, and the glory of He and His grace, WE WILL OVERCOME!  Amen!


•March 9, 2009 • 1 Comment

What is it about “me” that we all guard so dearly? What is it about “me” that causes our sentences in passing, event or experience driven conversation to start sentences with “I”? What is it about “me” that, during emotional conversations, or conversations dealing with difficulties (i.e. troubles, conflict, failures), causes us to start sentences with “you” – at exactly the time a sentence should begin with “I”?

We are so easily annoyed with that “self-centered” person, who always has something “me” driven to discuss but casts forward plenty of “you” when all is not peachy keen; yet if we really did a self-inspection, aren’t most of us “that self-centered person.” In confession, this man is guilty. This is revealed to me often and so frustrating, often it is not revealed to me by other people, but by a simple whisper from the Lord “Curtis, hush!” I’ve noticed often in recent weeks. Just the other night, for instance:

After church, I had a phone-conversation with my wife that crumbled because of too many sentences beginning with “you.” Then, I went out for dessert with friends from Bible study, a young couple I met recently with much more wisdom and experience with both the Lord and marriage than I, yet probably 97% of every sentence I spoke began with “me.” I could hear the Lord telling me that this was a time to be quiet and gain wisdom, but I couldn’t shut “me” up. The same with my wife, Praise God, His presence is so great – “everything you say to her begins with “you”, why wouldn’t she be defensive?”, He says. Do I listen and reign in this tendency? Nope, not until the damage has already been done.

I find very often that we are exactly like Israel in the Book of Exodus. We want it our way when we want it. When things are well, let us celebrate us, but if things are not, let us “blame Moses.” It certainly can’t be “ME!” I wonder sometimes, if God made me that offer to me as He did Moses, “take all you want, as you want it, but I AM not going with you” – would I take it? To have my world and its possessions, my wife, my child, my relationships be structured and move just the way I want them in exchange for losing the presence of the Lord? Is “me” that important to me?

What is it that makes us protect “me” so desperately? Is it a life-time of parents and teachers programming to be ourselves? Years of pop-culture telling us that making “me” happy is the most important thing? We tend to only notice these destructive tendencies when, well, destruction occurs – the broken marriage, the alienated friendship. Sometimes we will head off destruction at the pass, but typically we merely add a knee brace to simply prolong the inevitable need for surgery – or worse – an un-repairable blow out. And when destruction does show us the truth, don’t we often point to how the “me” problem destroyed THEM, ignoring the warning signs of how “me” might be catching up to us?

Although the origin may be complicated, we certainly know what the origin is not. It’s not of the Lord! Jesus commanded us, to 1st – love our God more than anything, and 2nd– to love others more than ourselves. Telling us that we should place ourselves above nothing…nothing! God first, all other people second… where does that leave us? Last!

In some ways it’s funny, when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, he told us (well Peter, because without Peter, whom I share so many traits – who would be stubborn enough to allow Jesus to teach us these valuable lessons – so really us), we would not understand this act of unmatchable service. He was right, of course. Not only did He give us commands, not only did He give His life for us, HE WASHED OUR DIRTY STINKY, NASTY FEET!!! OUR SWEATY, DIRT COVERED, FEET!! Our Savior, our Rabboni, our Lord… He washed our feet with gladness…

And do we get it? Of course not.

I hang my head in shame just typing this. The promises, the commands, the story is so clear. If we put Him first, others second, and our-selves last, He will poor out blessing upon us that overflows. More than we can hold in our laps, or even imagine, really. What would the world look like, then? Have you ever wondered how many of the world’s problems we could solve through this?

But do we trust in that? Is that good enough? Or would we rather have all the world can offer, without Him? I think we would rather have our way, make people accommodate us, legislate to make the world more favorable to us, trusting and working for others is just too hard.

I sure hope I choose Him instead of “the land of milk and honey.” For the sake of all that is dear to me, I really wanna be like Moses! Remove the “me” from me, Lord. Replace it with You. This I pray, in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

How bout you?

So what can we do to deal with “me”?…………please share your ideas…..

Prepare ye the way…

•February 27, 2009 • 2 Comments

In recent weeks, I have been compelled to put faith to action and begin seeking the Lord in a new and deeper way than ever before.  This Journey, although it has a beginning, has no clear end – at least an identifiable end.  This Journey will not come to an end until that glorious day, when the Lord returns to make all things right.  My prayer is that my family and friends will join me on this Journey.

The essence of this desire, is to develop an increasingly intimate relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ, to cast away complacency, and implement the sense of urgency with we are called to act out our faith.  If we are to do greater things than Jesus, as scripture promises, we must master the art of living as the Lord commands us to – and do it like there is no tomorrow (which is never promised).  The Lord is clear when he says “those who love me, will keep my commands.”  I believe that if we seek a life in which we intentionally live every moment for Him, then greater things will follow.  The Father will make sure of it.  We will then, truly be preparing the way.

In order to “prepare ye the way for the Lord” we must urgently pursue the Father and a life that pleases Him.  Many of us are not willing to make the choices necessary to follow this path.  “Every thing is permissible, but all is not beneficial.”  Unfortunately, much of “The Church” is complacent – I do not mean to throw stones, complacency of my own is exactly what I am so desperately seeking to overcome.  Most of us are willing to think “church is enough” and join the Lord on Sunday’s, and only from time to time in our daily lives.  But scripture commands us to “pray continually.”  By definition, this means we are to carry consistent, two-way communication with the Father through his Almighty Son, 24/7/365. What follows from this pursuit is truly learning to identify the Father’s voice.  Enabling you to pursue the life that He wants for you.  His will!  nothing could be more beautiful.

In essence, seeking the Father, and thus learning to walk in His will, is the ultimate preparing of the way.  When we pursue His will, we kill our own.  We perform life in all of God’s glory, bringing joy to Him, and unmistakably to ourselves as well.  Although we often think we know what can bring us joy and how to attain, no joy is greater than what He has planned for us, things that we cannot even imagine – He is the great, big, God!  And if we are so lucky enough to learn to live in His will, we are in essence leaving less work for Jesus to do when He gets here!

This requires us to eliminate the assumption that His return “won’t happen anytime soon.”  This may be true, and I certainly do not mean to say that I see the end is coming or can predict when it will be, to the contrary I take the scriptural point that figuring out such things is beyond us.  However, we must explore our definition of anytime soon.  25 years? 50 years?  These probably don’t fall into anytime soon – but they will fall in most of our lifetimes…something to think about.  So if we can agree that just maybe, His glorious return will happen in our lifetime, then should we take preparing the way as an urgent and serious task?  Let’s do His work for Him.  Let’s make so our glorious Lord can spend less time setting things right, and more time celebrating the Kingdom with His people.  With us.

If we love Him like we say we do, would we not want to ease His burden?  He did give everything to ease ours.

So I ask, will you help prepare the way?