Respond to Christ
"Come to Me, all you who labor 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 you will find rest for your souls." -Matthew 11:28-29, emphasis added
From these verses, we can easily see how Jesus is the Refuge for the weary. Note the three imperatives: come, take, and learn. There is no sheep of Jesus' pasture that He doesn't invite to find rest in Him. He seeks us, finds us, and offers His perfect rest to us. Jesus said, "I am the answer. Come to Me!" This is salvation. Rest for the weary starts with salvation because the lost (and disobedient believers) have no rest in their sin. Restlessness is their lifestyle: "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest. . . . ‘There is no peace,' Says my God, ‘for the wicked' " (Isaiah 57:20-21).
In God's Word, listening to Christ is listening to the Holy Spirit and that means obeying the Word of God. Jesus called for us to completely turn unto Him as the way to live life. Now look at the bold second half of verse 28: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Emphasis added). 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, and I will rest you. This calls for us to admit that something is wrong. We have to acknowledge our need. Therefore, Jesus calls for those who are overloaded-"all the ones laboring and the ones having been packed"-to come to Him.
Is life itself a laborious effort for you? Do you feel packed in, and piled so high, that you can't take another step? Then Jesus says, "You need to listen to Me." How can you best do that? By getting to the root of the problem.
Dr. Robert Swenson has expressed modern society's problem as OVERLOAD. Today, we will cover the first part of a diagnostic test that can help you discern whether you are suffering from this deadly condition called "overload." As you read, carefully think about whether or not you have any of these symptoms (most people do!).
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." God says: "Stop! Hold still so that you can know Me." (See Psalm 46:10.)
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, but now we are brutally jerked forward at warp speed-whether we like it or not. God says, "Seek out the old paths where you can find rest for your soul!" (See Jeremiah 6:16.)
Have you spotted any symptoms so far of this deadly condition called overload? If so, I encourage you to pray about each of them, asking the Lord to continue to open your eyes to areas in your life that need His gentle touch.
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