Feb 162017
 

“Come to Me, all who labour 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 your will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30).

One day a man went by to see a farmer who was plowing his field with a team of oxen. The man noticed that one of the animals was seemingly a little bigger than the other so he asked him about it.

The response from the farmer was very interesting. He said that the big animal was an older animal that was well trained and the smaller one was a young animal that was new to the yoke.

“Well you see it’s like this… That older ox is the best ox that I have ever had; he knows his way around the field. The reason I put the younger one with him is so the older, more knowledgeable ox could teach him how to plow. If I never put them together the younger one would never learn. By himself the younger ox would pull himself to death, but together he learns to cooperate with and rest in the strength of the older ox.”

Does your life feel like the ox that’s pulling himself to death?

Christ will give us rest from:

– struggling to live up to others’ or our own high expectations.

– busying ourselves unnecessarily.

– trying to prove our worth.

Rest comes from:

– responding to Jesus’ invitation: Come to Me.

– serve with Him: Take My yoke.

– live like Him: Learn from Me.

Jesus does not promise us a comfortable and indulgent life.  But when we take on His yoke, He promises to help us and give us strength to deal with many life’s challenges.

Success in life comes from faithfully doing the work He entrusted to us.

Rest in Him.

(MT)

Feb 102017
 

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
Even when you’re young and strong-

– life can wear you down sometimes,

– both physically and emotionally.

There is one form of weariness, however, that no nap, bubble bath, or summer break can touch-
-spiritual exhaustion.
This usually happens gradually and imperceptibly.

You might not even be aware that your spiritual strength is draining-

– but one day you realize your soul feels heavy from all you’ve experienced.

It happens…
-When you stop spending time with God as you once did. -When you allow unconfessed sin or bitterness to weigh you down. -When you hold on to your anxieties instead of giving them to God. -When you wrestle with decisions God has already made for you.
These things can subtly eat away at your spiritual strength until you finally hit the wall.

You’ll know it when it happens- – because you’ll consider your Christian life a drain- – a burden rather than a joy.
It doesn’t have to be that way, however.

Jesus offers you a perfect, peaceful rest that no human therapy could ever give you.

He can give you strength, not only to get back on your feet, but to “soar on wings like eagles.” Isaiah 40:31.

He loves you.

He wants to carry your burdens.

Go to him and find rest for your soul.

(PA)

May 292016
 

sunrise 3

“Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord” (Exodus 16:23).

In 24 hours the average adult accomplishes much:

– his heart beats 103,689 times,

– his blood travels 168 million miles,

– he breathes 23,040 times,

– he inhales 438 cubic feet of air,

– he eats 3 1/2 pounds of food,

– he drinks 2.9 quarts of liquid,

– he speaks 4,800 words,

– he moves 750 muscles,

– his nails grow .000046 inch,

– and he exercises 7 million brain cells.

It’s no wonder we need rest!

When God established the laws governing the lives of the Israelite people- He built into their schedule a time for rest.

Physically it enabled their bodies to recuperate.

Spiritually it reminded them that their salvation was not complete.

They needed a spiritual “rest”-

– that would come only when the Messiah would take away their sins.

The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that even though the Jewish people practiced Sabbath-keeping, the real “rest” was a future event.

He declared, “For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (Heb 4:8-9).

In the New Testament the command to “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” is the only one of the Ten Commandments not repeated, and for a good reason.

The spiritual rest that the Old Testament saints looked forward to and which the Sabbath represented is now a reality.

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28).

Taking a day to rest is still an important part of maintaining a healthy body.

But it’s a physical necessity, not a spiritual law.

Now we can rejoice in the true rest that comes in Christ.

Real rest is-

– in the Lord,

– not in the law.

Dare we do less?

 Rest  Comments Off on Dare we do less?
Sep 062015
 

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:30-31).

According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little boys.

He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity.

Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the ground.

Then he said to the critical Athenian, ‘Now, answer the riddle, if you can. Tell us what the unstrung bows imply.’

The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make.

Aesop explained:
“If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually.
But if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it.”

So many of us today, including me, are bogged down with being too busy.

Much of life seems to be controlled by the tyranny of the urgent-
– unforeseen crises or needs that daily pop up unexpectedly,
– all of which are a vivid reminder that I, too, need to ‘come apart and rest a while’.

Even Jesus and his disciples, in the midst of their busy ministry, needed to take time out to get some rest.

Dare we do less?
There are times when we, too, need to loosen the bow.

(PR)