Resting in Christ
To the sinner, sick of his sins and tired of trying to run from God; to the Christian weary, worn out and burned out, trying hard to live for Jesus and serve Him- and failing; Jesus invites, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour 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 of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.
The key to salvation is resting in Jesus.
The key to living the Christian life is resting in Jesus.
The key to serving the Lord is resting in Jesus.
Sin is pleasurable. Sin is attractive. Sin is exciting. Sin is fun. No one, but God, is going to convince us otherwise. But we must understand that the Bible teaches that our sins infuriate God. He must punish us with eternal damnation in Hell. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die!” Ezekiel 18:4 “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable,(perverts) and murderers and whoremongers, (those guilty of illicit sex), and sorcerers,(fortune tellers) and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake of fire which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8
The fact is that YOU are a sinner. I am a sinner. Everyone born into the human race is a sinner and we all deserve to die and go to hell. This is the teaching of God’s Word, the Bible. What can you and I do to make ourselves presentable to God? NOTHING! We are helpless and hopeless to save ourselves. That’s the teaching of Ephesians 2:11-12
But thank God, there is good news for sinners and only for sinners. God can do nothing to help the self-righteous. But if God is speaking to you through His Word and has convinced you that you are a helpless, hopeless sinner headed for eternal damnation, then God can intervene and save you. The Good News is that God Himself came down to earth in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and paid the penalty for your sins on the cross 2000 years ago. Three days later He rose from the dead. His death and resurrection provide His gracious Gift of Eternal Life for anyone who will receive Jesus and REST in His complete, final sacrifice for our sins. Yes, salvation is as simple as RESTING in Jesus. Will you quit struggling and trying to impress God with your self righteousness? He describes it as filthy, smelly rags.. Isaiah 64:6
Perhaps you had taken the step of salvation earlier and you have been struggling to try to live the Christian life and all your efforts have failed. Though Christ has saved you, you still struggle with sin and are constantly defeated. I have a word for you also. Give up the struggle and REST in Jesus. His invitation to come to Him and rest is addressed to defeated Christians as well as to the lost. “Come unto Me, all ye that labour 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 of heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.
Throughout the Bible we are taught to rest in God. Read and meditate and rest in some of God’s promises to you.
“Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord.” Exodus 16:23 The seventh day of the week was given to God’s people, Israel. For further teaching on the Sabbath, go to my article on the SABBATH on this web site.
“My presence shall go with thee and I will give thee rest.” Exodus 33:14
In Deuteronomy 3:18-20 God challenges Israel to conquer the Land of Canaan which He has given them and possess it until He has given them rest.
Numbers 13-14 tells the story of how the older generation failed to trust God to conquer Canaan.
All the old generation wandered for forty years and died in the wilderness except for two men, Caleb and Joshua. These two men had the opportunity to conquer Canaan with the younger generation.
Joshua 21:43-45 tells of how God gave them victory and rest in Canaan.
In Hebrews 3-4 the Christian is instructed to learn from Israel the importance of resting in Christ. I encourage you to read these two chapters carefully and prayerfully and ask God to help you to learn of this rest in your own life. Note that our rest as Christians is the theme of these two chapters.
Going back to our text in Matthew 11:28-30, note that rest comes as we accept the yoke of Jesus. Think of the yoke on two oxen or two horses. Jesus is the strong one. You and I are the weak ones. But when we accept His yoke on our necks and bow to His will in our lives and allow Him to direct us, the load that was once heavy, becomes light. The neck that is yielded to Christ is not rubbed sore trying to fight the yoke. His yoke becomes easy.
In John 15 Jesus likens us to branches in His grape vine. He is the vine. We are the branches. How do we bear fruit? How do we live for Christ and serve Him effectively? It’s easy. Just abide in the vine and allow His life-giving sap to flow through us. Only then can we bear His fruit and He alone gets the glory. That’s how we serve Him without growing weary and experiencing “burn-out”.
Read, meditate and rejoice in this wonderful truth from Isaiah 40:28-31 “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
I encourage you to read and mediate on Psalm 37. Like the cow lying down in the pasture and ruminating on its cud, read and ponder this comforting Psalm.
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