Posts Tagged burden

Rest

Matthew 11: 28 – 30 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

You’ve heard the song and now read the book. Come unto me for I give you rest. Are you tired, weary? Jesus gives restoration and healing. He is not arrogant, demanding or boastful. He is gentle and nurturing. He will not lay on you a burden. He will not charge a high cost for his rest and reassurance. The price is already been paid.

Do you know anyone who is worn out? Who has spent their energy striving only to fall on their faces or find that the prize was not worth the effort? Send them this word of encouragement. I just cannot think of a better word of encouragement. Jesus, himself, offers that which so many people are desperate for. Send this to someone today and spread this great news. We don’t have to strive any more. Jesus already paid the cost for our rest. We have only to go to him and receive that which he is warehousing for us. What do you want? What do you need? Jesus has it in abundance for you today.

Busy is a Four Letter Word

Luke 5: 16

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.

This topic just keeps popping back up. I think the reason is because we do lead very busy lives. Because of that, we have to carefully manage our lives. It seems to me that in simpler times this might not have been such a big issue but then when I think of Jesus I have to reconsider. Jesus was the busiest guy ever. He knew that he only had a short time in which to completely and radically change the world. He had a lot of work to do and just a short time to do it. Worse, he had to walk everywhere he went which took up a lot of his time. Still, he always managed to slip away to be with his Father. His ministry depended on that time with the Father. Could he have done the things he did if he didn’t go to the well himself and fill up?

I think this quiet time away must have been important because he taught his disciples this strategy. Look what he told them in Mark 6: 31, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while.” The passage said that there were so many people coming to them and they were so busy that they didn’t even have time to eat. Well, if they were that busy and had that many demands on their time, how could they afford to go away by themselves? How could they afford the time off?

Jesus taught them by his example as well and through the recorded history of the Bible, he is teaching us this lesson today. We see him living his advice in Mark 6: 46 where it says, “And after bidding them farewell, He departed to the mountain to pray.” He led by example showing his disciples that if they were going to do anything great in life, they must prioritize their prayer time.

I have noticed that even ministers have this problem. We can get so busy doing the work of God that we forget that our time with Him is the most important. Everyone has deadlines. Everyone has pressure and stress. Yet some people learn how to get this piece into their schedule every day. Is it simply a matter of setting it as a priority? Maybe we don’t love God enough. Maybe we need to meditate on our feelings about God. The best thing is to do it for a period of time and see how much smoother life is.

We have worn our busyness like a badge for years. People brag about how busy they are. Well, I am a recovering busy person. Yes, I am still busy but I am being healed of the obsession of it. The excuses I used to use to justify my out of balance lifestyle just don’t work anymore. Now when I hear other people talking about how busy they are and how they just can’t do something, in the back of my mind I hear, “There is healing for that.” The solution to this problem may be different for different folks but ultimately I think we just have to do whatever is necessary to unburden our lives so that there is time for God in our daily schedule.

What do you think? Are you stressed and overburdened? Jesus said that he came to take our heavy burdens. When we walk with him daily, he takes the weight and makes our burden light. If you are really that busy, then you need Jesus. You need a whole bunch more of him than you are getting right now. Take some time. Honestly, you can find a moment if you are intentional about it. Go talk with Jesus and ask him to help you with your load. Make a deal with him that you will give him some of your tasks and you will spend time in prayer. I promise you will be glad if you do.

Inspiration vs. Perspiration

John 14: 10

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

This is a great word for ministers but truly Jesus modeled life for us all. He is our example. Therefore, we can take inspiration from this message from the Lord.

One day, when I was a bit over-taxed with duties and responsibilities, it occurred to me that I could work through inspiration or perspiration. Well of course, I was working hard. I was sweating the deadlines, burdens and responsibilities. I was in my strength instead of Jesus’. You see, he has created a model by which we work, accomplish, rest, serve him and honor him all at the same time. When we yield our heavy burdens to the Lord, allowing him to carry the load, he is honored. We have also preached the word by our very actions because we have communicated a reproducible model. People can appreciate that we accomplish through Jesus’ labor and wisdom and perhaps recognize that since they have the same access to Jesus as do we, that they can do the same thing. 

Whatsmore, we are only doing what Jesus did. We model him. Jesus said he did nothing of his own initiative (John 8: 28). God was the one performing the works. He supplied Jesus with the words to speak. The Father directed Jesus steps. He navigated him to the town or village which was right for the time. Imagine how much easier our lives would be if we could learn to follow God’s voice within us the way Jesus did.

You know, there is an easy way and a hard way to do everything. When possible, let’s do things the easy way. I choose to live by inspiration rather than perspiration. How about you?

Rest Area

Mark 6: 31

And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves.

Jesus and his disciples were absolutely flooded with work; so much so, in fact, that they did not even have time to eat. Have you ever been that busy? If so, look at the teaching Jesus gave the disciples. Take time out. Do not keep up this pace. Jesus took them away from their work to a quiet, lonely place so that they could have rest. The work they were doing was important. It was the work of the Lord. They were ministering to the needs of the people and people were getting saved. Yet even though they were doing Jesus’ own work, working in his own ministry he took them away from it. It was important to Jesus that he teach them balance. This lesson was so important to Jesus that he took his disciples away from the needy and hungry children of Israel. Can you really grasp how significant that was? Jesus’ ministry was only to last three years and yet he took his disciples away from work.

And why did this story find its way into the Bible? Of course it is so that we will not make the same mistake that the disciples were making. Jesus wants us to learn to balance our lives. He takes no joy in a work-a-holic. Our society applauds busyness and over work but in Jesus’ book those are the signs of someone who is out of balance and headed for a crash. Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden light (Matthew 11: 30) so if we are struggling under a heavy burden then we know we have stepped out of Jesus’ yoke and picked up a burden of our own. Jesus would “often slip away to the wilderness and prayLuke 5: 16. He taught his disciples to slip away so that they could rest and pray. If he did that and he taught his disciples to do the same, then why do you think that he wants something different for you? Luke says that Jesus would “often” slip away. That means that he didn’t just wait for his annual vacation. He lived a life of balance and he wants us to do the same. I once heard Kenneth E. Hagin preach a wonderful message about living a fasted life. Some people live life full steam in one direction and then full steam in another direction. Hagin was teaching balance. Work when it is time to work but rest when it is time to rest. Take time to pray and take time to live. Don’t overload in any direction but rather keep yourself in peace and balance. If Jesus was not only willing but dedicated to leaving his work in order to get rest and prayer time, then don’t you think it is wise for us to do the same thing? I know this can be a difficult lesson to learn but listen to the Spirit of God. He is trying to tell you something. It is in your best interest and for God’s glory.

Care Giver

Psalm 55: 22

Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

Jesus made us the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5: 21). That means we need not ever be shaken. That is good news, yes? But there is another aspect of this right standing with God that we need to appreciate. Peter wrote about it in 1 Peter 5: 7, “casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” The King James Version says to cast all your care upon Him. The promise of God is that He will sustain us but we must first cast our care upon Him. How can He sustain us if we are carrying the burden? We have to give Him our cares if we want Him to carry them.

 It may sound like a small thing but I really do cringe when I hear Christians telling each other to “take care.” I have said that for so many years myself and now I try to arrest myself and even correct that expression when I hear it coming out of my mouth. It is unscriptural, unbiblical and it kinda bugs me because while it may seem like a small thing it still is undermining the operation of the Kingdom of God. There are properties of the Kingdom of God just like there are the properties of physics. If you try to defy the laws of physics you will get a revelation in a hurry. When we violate the Kingdom principles we will experience the ramifications of those choices as well. Then many of us end up saying, “This faith stuff doesn’t work” or “God didn’t come through for me.” That is like saying God threw me down on the pavement when you jumped out of the third story window. Hello! The laws always work. Gravity doesn’t turn off just because we pray. The Kingdom laws are the same way. We cannot concurrently take care and give our care to the Lord. It is one or the other. And the Lord cannot sustain us if we don’t give Him the care of things. Do you see how the package all fits together? Really it is about our relationship with Him and trust. We are encouraged to cast all of our burdens on the Lord and let Him take care of them. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Implied in there is that you are supposed to give him the weight of those heavy burdens. It is all consistent. God wants to be our care taker. He wants to sustain us and carry our heavy burdens but we must first release them to Him. Then we will not be shaken because He is the keeper of our souls, the bearer of our burdens and the sustainer of our lives.

Matthew 11: 29 – 30

Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.

Here is a bit of familiar scripture but I want you to play a visualization game with me today. Picture two oxen yoked together and pulling a heavy wagon. You can see in your mind’s eye each of them pulling equally against the yoke. Now picture, if you will, Jesus standing with a yoke over his shoulders and no one standing in the other half of the yoke. You can hear him saying, “Come, be yoked with me. I will make your burden light.” Well, of course your burden is light when you are yoked with Jesus. He does all of the pulling and we just walk along beside him. That is how it is meant to be.

Jesus calls us to take our heavy burdens and throw them in the wagon. Then he takes up the yoke and begins to pull the cart. If you observe him, though, you will see that the wagon isn’t even heavy to him. He can pull it with ease. If you take that burden onto your shoulders, though, you find it much too heavy to bear. Jesus is telling us that he wants to be our partner in all things. He wants us to be yoked together so that he can help us carry the load. Take note that you are not sitting in the wagon while Jesus does all of the work. We walk side by side with our Lord. We have our little part to do but he does all of the hard part.

Don’t miss that he says that he is gentle and humble. Why does he say that in the midst of this talk of yokes? He tells us to learn from him. He will teach us. He will lead us into all truth. He will direct our paths always steering us in the right courses and if we begin to go astray he will correct our path. He is the lead ox, if you will allow me that analogy, and we follow where he leads. At all times while he is teaching us, leading us and even correcting he is always gentle and humble. Isn’t that good news?

I really like this imagery because we learn that all we have to do is walk. Jesus’ yoke is light, not really even noticeable as it sits on us. You begin to realize that you can do all things through this tandem pairing. You are never alone. He is with you every single step making sure that you never have a misstep. You come to Jesus with all your baggage, all your concerns and woes, and with all of your responsibilities, goals and dreams. He relieves you of all that weight taking it on to his shoulders and you are free.

Take ahold of this image today. Understand that you never have to walk alone. If you are tired and weary, take all of those burdens to the Lord and slip into the harness with him. You will receive rest and grace.