From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Twenty-Four, Day Five
Like most of us, Jesus' disciples were sometimes caught up with a sense of their own self-importance, at times even arguing with each other about which of them was greatest. Jesus startled them by reversing the natural order in which it is the weak who serve the strong. He assured them, instead, that he came not in order to control and dominate but in order to serve.
Though prophets, judges, and kings were called servants of God in the Bible, Jesus is the greatest of all God's servants, the Man of Sorrows who laid down his life in obedience to his Father. He is the Servant who through his suffering has saved us. When you pray to Jesus as Servant or as the Man of Sorrows, you are praying to the Lord who has loved you in the most passionate way possible, allowing himself to be nailed to a cross in order that you might have life and have it to the full.
He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. Isaiah 53:3, NLT
The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve. Matthew 20:28
Promises Associated with His Name
One of the most winsome promises Jesus made to his followers was the promise of rest. But when was the last time you felt rested? Like the people Jesus was addressing, we often feel burdened by "laws" we have difficulty keeping. In our case, it may not be laws made by religious leaders but by our culture or by our families. Our children must be perfect, our bodies shapely, our careers impressive. The list of standards that we consciously or unconsciously adopt can be endless.
Of course we can also get bogged down in legalistic forms of religion that produce weariness rather than peace and joy. This is why some of us feel so fatigued despite Jesus' promise that his burden is light. Part of the secret of receiving the rest Jesus speaks of is to be sure that we are wearing the right "yoke." A yoke is an instrument used to harness two animals together so that they can combine their strength to carry a load. Jesus tells us his burden is light not because it is easy but because he is on the other side of the yoke, helping us to serve with his strength. Ask Jesus today to free you, his servant, from burdens he does not want you to carry. Tell him you want to rest in his promises and trust in his strength.
Promises in Scripture
The Lord redeems his servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28 - 30
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. Revelation 22:1 - 5
Continued Prayer and Praise
Remember that Jesus is the Suffering Servant. (Isaiah 42:1 - 4; 49:1 - 6; 50:4 - 9; Matthew 12:9 - 21; John 17:4 - 5)
Make your attitude the same as that of Christ Jesus. (1 Corinthians 9:19 - 23; Philippians 2:3 - 11; Hebrews 10:5 - 7)
Be ready when the Master comes. (Matthew 24:42 - 51)
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.