THE STRASBURG CHURCH OF CHRIST
Strasburg, VA

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REST UNTO YOUR SOULS

May 17, 2015

L. John Bost
L. John Bost
Last week: Such Were Some Of You
Feel as if your burdens are just too heavy to bear? Feel like like your labors are too hard to endure? Many are just like you. The burdens of sin and guilt, and the labors of life seem just too much to bear. It may be an illness or a financial or family problem. Sometimes is seems as if there is no hope, or help. But there is!
Please read Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus says, "Come unto me...." This has been called, "the great invitation," and for good reason. The Son of God invites us to come to Him. Could there be any greater invitation? God had given this invitation to Israel Isaiah 55:3. We do not have to beg and plead for the Lord to come to us. He pleads for us to come to Him. That invitation is extended again in Revelation 22:17: "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Notice that those who hear the invitation are admonished to hear and to extend the invitation to others.
To whom is the invitation given? Jesus continues, "....all ye that labour and are heavy laden" (Matthew 11:28). This is a metaphor for one who has to carry a heavy load for a long distance. He happens upon one who sees his burden, and his distress in carrying it. He offers to help him carry his load. Jesus offers to help the sinner to carry his load of sin. He also offered the Jews help in carrying the burden of keeping the Law of Moses and the "heaven burdens" which the Pharisees and lawyers required of everyone but themselves (Matthew 23:4; Luke 11:46).
Jesus continues, "....and I will give you rest." Rest from your burden of sin. Rest from your burdens of the law and the Pharisees and lawyers. Isaiah prophesied of a "glorious rest" when the "root of Jesse" (Jesus Christ) came. Later, Paul would write of "rest" that would come to the persecuted when the Lord Jesus would "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels" (2 Thessalonians 1:7). Paul speaks of the eternal rest that "remaineth ..... to the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9). He urges, "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" (Hebrews 4:11).
Paul comforts those who work diligently for the Lord in 2 Corinthians 4:17. He writes, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." No matter what we have to endure - hard work for the Lord, persecutions, etc., it will all be worth it when we enter the rest that remains for us. (See Romans 8:35-39 and 2 Corinthians 11:23-33: 1 Peter 5:10).
The savior continues, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.... and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:29). Seems strange that He encourages one overloaded with his burden to take yet another burden upon him. But what is the Lord really saying? He is saying, "Take my yoke upon you, and I will carry you and your burden!" Why does Jesus offer this rest? He answers, "For I am meek and lowly in heart." If you take His yoke upon you, you will carry a yoke that comes from being "meek and lowly in heart." As Adam Clarke comments:
Wherever pride and anger dwell, there is nothing but mental labour and agony; but, where the meekness and humility of Christ dwell, all is smooth, even, peaceable, and quiet; for the work of righteousness is peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
Jesus concludes, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:30).
Peter writes, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7). That includes every care. John writes in 1 John 5:14-15, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
Why not come to Jesus and cast your care upon Him? Contact us, or a church of Christ near you, and let us help you learn how to come to Jesus.
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