Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jesus: Our Source of Rest

Chuckle:  A group of kindergarteners was on an outing to a police station. One youngster pointed to a picture and asked if it really was a wanted person. “Yes,” answered the policeman. “Well,” wondered the child, “why didn’t you keep him when you took his picture?” 
Quote: "Christ's life outwardly was one of the most troubled lives that was ever lived: tempest and tumult, tumult and tempest, the waves breaking over it all the time. But the inner life was a sea of glass. The great calm was always there." --Henry Drummond
Jesus said "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light" (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT).
A yoke is a heavy wooden harness that fits over the shoulders of an ox or oxen. It is attached to a piece of equipment, like a plow or a wagon, the oxen are to pull. It should come as no surprise that Jesus was a master at using familiar objects and circumstances to teach deep spiritual lessons. Doubtless, everyone hearing Him speak was familiar with oxen and the yoke they endured. A "yoke of oxen," meaning a team of oxen, is a familiar term to many of us older folks, even today.
Jesus used the "yoke" to suggest that a person may be carrying heavy burdens of (1) sin, (2) excessive demands of religious leaders (Acts 15:10), (3) oppression and/or persecution, or (4) weariness in the search for God. He understood the toll such burdens could have on the spirit of the bearer, and His concern caused Him to provide a way for us to have relief and rest.
How about you? Are you suffering from severe burdens? Is there a sin in your life that has you enslaved? You may be bearing the burden of disappointment, grief, stress, overwork, or loneliness. If so, Jesus wants to make these burdens lighter for His followers, and the rest that Jesus promises is love, healing, and peace with God, not the end of all labor. It is a refreshing and uplifting rest that can change our whole attitude toward Him and toward others. His rest is the absence of guilt, worry, anxiety, and lack of meaning. He promises meaning, hope, assurance, peace, and joy even in the troubles we must endure in this life. A relationship with Jesus changes meaningless, wearisome toil into spiritual productivity and purpose.
Jesus said, "Come to me" for spiritual refreshment and rest as you labor. We must make a conscience decision to "go to him" and allow him to give us his rest. This means the end of trying to relieve our burdens with our own strength. Jesus, and only Jesus, can give the kind of rest and peace that will change your life.
"When God's work is done in God's way for God's glory, it will never lack God's supply. God is not obligated to pay for our selfish schemes. He is obligated to support his ministry." --Hudson Taylor
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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