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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - July 1, 2008

  • 2008 Jul 01
  • COMMENTS
 

Finding Rest in Christ

 Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

“Take my yoke”. Yoke is the universal sign of submission. The Bible begins and ends with the call to submit to Christ. Look with me at the opening words of God to Adam and Eve in Genesis. They are to obey Him or face the consequences and that is how Revelation ends—with those who rebel facing God’s endless wrath forever.

Does SUBMITTING to Him take that place in my life? Have we given obedience to God the highest place in our lives, as the inspiration for every action and motivation? If we yield to the searching of the Holy Spirit, we may find we have never given to Him the place of our total submission, or that we have some how over time taken it back. Let us unite in prayer that the Spirit may show us:

  1. How defective the Christian life is where obedience doesn’t rule all;
  2. How that life can be exchanged for one of full surrender to absolute obedience;
  3. And how sure it is that God in Christ will enable us to live it out![12]

Become Christ's Life long Disciple

 Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Surround yourself with His true Word. Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the Old Testament, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend them against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time. (Is. 41:17, Lu. 18:1-8)

Gentleness or meekness stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will. (Gal. 5:23);

How Do We Come to Christ Our Refuge For the Weary?

How can we start cultivating coming to Christ's promised refuge for the weary? Jesus demonstrated it is our priority, but where do we start? Here are some suggestions:

1. Read God’s Word every day.

Rest for your soul comes most readily by reading God's Word. This is the voice of God, and we must listen. No Christian can lead a Spirit-filled life full of power without regularly reading the Bible.

There are truths God has for us that we have not inconvenienced ourselves enough to discover. No wonder we are empty. What a difference reading the Word can make in our lives! Dr. Harry Ironside, a man of little formal education but great power, read the Bible fourteen times by the age of fourteen. His mark is still on Chicago and, indeed, the entire world.

2. Memorize God’s Word.

Rest for your soul comes through memorization. Mrs. Barnhouse said of her famous preacher husband:

Someone once asked him how long it had taken him to prepare a certain sermon. His answer was “Thirty years and thirty minutes!” He had immersed himself in the Bible from the time he was fifteen years old, when he memorized the Book of Philippians a verse a day until he knew the entire book by heart, then went on to other passages. He felt it was not enough to learn by rote — it had to be by heart; because you loved and believed it.[19]

3. Meditate on God’s Word.

Rest for your soul comes also by meditation. This is the secret of God’s great warriors. Hudson Taylor conquered immense hardships by daily meditation on God’s Word. Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor record this in his biography:

It was not easy for Mr. Taylor, in his changeful life, to make time for prayer and Bible study, but he knew that it was vital. Well do the writers remember traveling with him month after month in northern China, by cart and wheelbarrow with the poorest of inns at night. Often with only one large room for coolies and travelers alike, they would screen off a corner for their father and another for themselves, with curtains of some sort; and then, after sleep at last had brought a measure of quiet, they would hear a match struck and see the flicker of candlelight which told that Mr. Taylor, however weary, was poring over the little Bible in two volumes always at hand. From two to four a.m. was the time he usually gave to prayer; the time he could be most sure of being undisturbed to wait upon God.[21] 

Meditating upon the Word brings us immediately into the intimate presence of God, but too few are willing to pay the price. For those who do, however, the rewards are great. According to Psalm 1:1-3:Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season. Whose leaf does not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.  

Repeat these refuge words ‘Come unto me, all ye labouring and burdened ones, and I will give you rest, 29take up my yoke upon you, and learn from me, because I am meek and humble in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls, 30for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

“I will give you rest” is literally, “I will rest you.” “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” refers to the salvation of the sinner through Jesus Christ. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” refers to the practical sanctification of the believer. There is a rest which Jesus gives, and it is the rest of redemption. There is also a rest which the believer experiences, and it comes through commitment and consecration to Christ.

“Come.” The Pharisees all said “Do!” and tried to make the people follow Moses and the traditions. But true salvation is found only in a Person, Jesus Christ. To come to Him means to trust Him. This invitation is open to those who are exhausted and burdened down. “Take.” This is a deeper experience. When we come to Christ by faith, He gives us rest. When we take His yoke and learn, we find rest, that deeper rest of surrender and obedience. The first is “peace with God” (Rom. 5:1); the second is “the peace of God” (Phil. 4:6–8). To “take a yoke” in that day meant to become a disciple. When we submit to Christ, we are yoked to Him. The word “easy” means “well-fitting”; He has just the yoke that is tailor-made for our lives and needs. The burden of doing His will is not a heavy one (1 John 5:3). “Learn.” The first two commands represent a crisis as we come and yield to Christ; but this step is into a process. As we learn more about Him, we find a deeper peace, because we trust Him more. Life is simplified and unified around the person of Christ. This invitation is for “all”—not just the people of Israel (Matt. 10:5–6).  [26] 

Jesus invites us to take his yoke upon our shoulders. It is light and easy and will give perfect and complete rest to the weary sinner or saint who would come to the Christ: A Refuge for the Weary.

 

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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