Lifeline, 4/21/2016

Lifeline 2016-04-21

Sometimes I need a reminder to help me keep my priorities aligned in a God-pleasing fashion.  There are several passage of Scripture the Holy Spirit uses to help me in this. One passage is found in Matthew 11:25-30. In verses 25-27, Jesus gives thanks for the revelation that comes from God (it is for the babes of this world, not the wise and prudent of this world.)  He is emphasizing the need to approach God with humility and a desire to learn. In verse 27, Jesus takes it a step further and shares that part of His ministry as the Son of God come to earth is to reveal the Father to those whom He wills to do so. Again, Jesus is emphasizing the need for His followers to be humble and hungry for God. 
 
Then, in verse 28-30, Jesus issues the Great Invitation, “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.” There are three aspects of His invitation that call for us to make a choice. First, it is to come to Him. This is an invitation to walk in intimacy with Him. The invitation is for those who labor and are heavy laden. The promise to those who respond is that they will find rest. Jesus is not looking for followers that are content to walk in a distant relationship to Him, but those who desire to draw close to Him. Which will you choose?
 
The pathway to the “rest” that Christ promises is found in the second and third parts of His invitation. Jesus says “take My yoke upon you and learn from Me.” Here, we are invited to embrace the “yoke of Christ.” His yoke, He says, is easy, and His burden is light. The yoke of the Law, obtaining righteousness with God through obedience to the Law, is burdensome and heavy. It promotes self-righteousness and legalism. It does not lead to rest, but to despair. We can choose to be yoked (joined) to the Law or we can choose to be yoked to Christ. As we choose the latter, we are invited to learn from Him. In particular, he calls us to learn to be gentle and humble in heart. Again, we face a choice, who will be our teacher, the Law or Jesus. Those who only learn from the Law will become like the Law, rigid and legalistic. Those who learn from Christ will become like Him, gentle and humble in heart.
 
Come to Him! Take His yoke! Learn from Him! Find His rest!
 
Still Learning,
Pastor Jeff