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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - June 30, 2008

  • 2008 Jun 30
  • COMMENTS
 

Understanding Weariness

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.”

Jesus said I AM THE ANSWER TO WEARINESS, COME TO ME. This is salvation. Rest for the weary starts with salvation. The lost [and disobedient believers] have no rest in their sin. Restlessness is their lifestyle.

Isaiah 57:20-21 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 “There is no peace,” Says my God, “for the wicked.”

In God's Word listening to Christ, is listening to the Holy Spirit, is obeying the Word of God. Jesus called for us to completely turn unto Him as the way to live life. But Jesus says more, look at the second half of v. 28:

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

This sounds so beautiful in the word for word rendering of the Greek. Here is each word in order of the text: Come toward Me all the ones laboring and the ones having been packed on, and I will rest you.

This calls for us to admit that something is wrong. We have to acknowledge our need. Jesus calls for those who are overloaded, and as the verse literally says “all the ones laboring and the ones having been packed”.

Is life a labor? Do you feel packed in, piled so high you can’t take another step? Then He says you need to listen to Me.

One very gifted writer has expressed modern society’s problem as OVERLOAD. Let me explain what he meant. Think with me where you show up on a diagnostic test that detects this deadly condition called overload. Do you have any of these symptoms?

WE ALLOW OUR LIVES TO HAVE ACTIVITY OVERLOAD - we book our lives weeks into the future and often in the desire to be more efficient we book several things into the same time period. “Activity overload takes away the pleasure of anticipation and the delight of reminiscence.” But God says stop, hold still so you can know Me.  

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 46:10 Stand silent! Know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation in the world!” (The Living Bible)

WE ALLOW OUR LIVES TO HAVE CHANGE OVERLOAD - “nothing defines our age more than the furious and relentless increase in the rate of change,” summarizes historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. For thousands of years of recorded history change came in a slow, controlled and understandable rate, now we are brutally jerked forward at warp speed whether we like it or not. But God says seek out the old paths where you find rest for your soul.

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see,  And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

WE ALLOW OUR LIVES TO HAVE COMMITMENT OVERLOAD - Most of us make more commitments than we have time to give them. In his great book Balancing Life’s Demands Dr. J. Grant Howard says, “Some people can’t say no. They take on too many relationships and too many responsibilities. They enroll in too many courses, hold down too many jobs, volunteer for too many tasks, make too many appointments, serve on too many committees, have too many friends. They are trying to be all things to all men all at once all by themselves!”[9] But God says seek Me most, seek me with all your heart.

Psalm 27:4 One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.

WE ALLOW OUR LIVES TO HAVE CHOICE OVERLOAD - In the seventies there were 11,767 items in the average supermarket; in the 1990’s the number rose to over 24,000. Today that number is near 30,000. This includes over 186 different choices of breakfast cereal you can find at your grocery store. A satellite dish can serve you up 1,500 movie choices per month. Futurist Allan Toffler warns, “We are in fact, racing toward ‘over-choice’ ”. God says choose whom and what we will serve with all our hearts.

Joshua 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

James 1:8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

WE ALLOW OUR LIVES TO HAVE COMPETITION OVERLOAD - it's part of the American dream. To compete is American and it's constantly emphasized in school, business and athletics - but is it spiritually healthy? Jesus taught a non-agressive, non-self asserting, non-self promoting lifestyle for His children in the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 5:1-8 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.

What different counsel we get from man!  J. B. Phillips illustrates this when he alters the Beatitudes to read as follows:

  1. Happy are the “pushers”: for they get on in the world.
  2. Happy are the hard-boiled: for they never let life hurt them.
  3. Happy are they who complain:  for they get their own way in the end.
  4. Happy are the blasé:  for they never worry over their sins.
  5. Happy are the slave drivers:  for they get results.
  6. Happy are the knowledgeable men of the world:  for they know their way around.
  7. Happy are the troublemakers:  for they make people take notice of them.

WE ALLOW OUR LIVES TO HAVE DEBT OVERLOAD - from the White House to the bungalow on your street most of America is awash in red ink. It is debilitating and unbiblical! God says not to steal, not to hold on to another’s possessions more than love would allow.

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Does “Owe no man anything” refer primarily to the Christian’s financial practices? Some people believe that it does, and that it is a sin to have a debt. J. Hudson Taylor, the godly missionary to China, would never incur a debt, basing his conviction on this verse. Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher, had the same conviction The point of money is that we are not to be in bondage to wanting more and more. If we can’t pay for something we should be very careful about getting it anyway because we think we need or deserve it.

WE ALLOW OUR LIVES TO HAVE DECISION OVERLOAD - “every day we have more tough decisions to make and less time to do it in. The trivial ones are objectionable just because of how many there are [what flavor, which topping, mint or tartar control, low fat, low sodium, diet or regular] But we also are facing new choices generations past never dreamed of: whether or not  to wait to have children; whether to move and change jobs; whether both dad and mom should work outside the home; whether we should put grandma in the home or not. Too many decisions trivial or not in too short a time is vintage overload.” God says bring each decision in life to Me, wait for Me to lead, don’t be in a hurry and just go on through life your own way and miss My blessing, and My leading.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

WE ALLOW OUR LIVES TO HAVE HURRY OVERLOAD - “haste is a modern ailment. It is also fashionably American. Our lives are nonstop, lived at a breathless pace. We walk fast, talk fast, eat fast and then excuse our selves by saying, ‘I must run.’” Alexander Solzhenitsyn accusingly said, “Hastiness and superficiality - these are the psychic diseases of the 20th century”. God says wait patiently for Me, don’t run ahead, don’t lag behind. Walk in step with my Spirit.

Psalm 37:7-9 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth.

Galatians 5:16, 24 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

WE ALLOW OUR LIVES TO HAVE MEDIA OVERLOAD - a single edition of the NY Times has more information than a seventeenth century Britisher would have encountered in a lifetime... How well do you know God? How much depth is there in your personal relationship with Him? Do you know His Word as well as you know your favorite hobby or sport for instance? That is the danger of information overload—our minds are full of so much that does not matter to God, eternity and what will last forever. But even more than reading are the power of TV, movies and games. 99% of Americans have TV in their homes; the average US home has 2 and both are on 7 hours a day...Distraction robs us of depth. It neutralizes the benefits of meditation and it encourages restlessness. God says that to know Me we must guard our hearts.

Isaiah 33:14b-17 “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” 15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly [truthfulness], He who despises the gain of oppressions [compassionate], Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes [honest], Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed [non-violent], And shuts his eyes from seeing evil [consecrated]: 16 He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure. 17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will see the land that is very far off.

POSSESSION OVERLOAD - We have more ‘things per person ‘ than any other nation in history. Closets are full, storage space is used up, and cars can’t fit into garages. Having first imprisoned us with debt, possessions then take over our houses and occupy our time. This begins to sound like an invasion. Everything I own owns me. Why would I want more? [11] Jesus said beware of having so much in life that the care of things makes your heart grow cold.

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 13:22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

Luke 12:21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

1 Timothy 6:8-10 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

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

 

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