Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY NOV. 3, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11.28-30

Something To Consider:
For those who mistakenly think the message of Jesus is excluding of anyone, Jesus announces His open-ended invitation to all loud and clear, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden [or heavy burdened]. The message of the good news of Jesus is all inclusive and spiritually liberating to all who respond by actually coming to Him. Jesus does not offer the freedom from labor but the freedom from fleshly exhaustion in our laboring for Him.

Jesus said, “Come to Me…” to all who labor, to all who are exhausted from the heavy load of trying to keep the law. “Come to Me…” all those weary of searching for the truth by struggling to satisfy the law and the commandments. “Come to Me…” all those laboring under the heavy weight of religious rules and restrictive regulations. “Come to Me… and I will give you rest.”

Coming to Jesus begins with our being born again, spiritually. Coming to Christ means our being convicted of our sins and converted to Jesus’ leadership for the first time or once again after hearing the Word of God. Now, I know that flies in the face of all who have been deceived into believing the heresy of Once Saved Always Saved. But, if Scripture contradicts certain man-made traditions or demon instigated false doctrines, we must proclaim the truth of God’s Word.

Something Else To Consider:
Jesus, in Matthew 18.3 proclaimed the truth of being converted or born again by emphatically stating; “Assuredly, I say to you [those who have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the true church], unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Wow! In other words, come to Jesus and be converted as little children, humble, meek, and mild, or suffer eternal separation from God and the kingdom of heaven.

Webster’s dictionary of 1828 defines converted as; “turned or changed; turned from one religion or sect to another; changed from a state of sin to a state of holiness.” The biblical fact is that without holiness no man, woman, or young person will see God or enter the kingdom of heaven. But holiness is not a topic of 21st century preaching or discussion among Christians. And maybe that is part of the problem with the church and with all nations who have forgotten God.

The apostle Paul writing in 1 Peter 1.15 revealed; “But as He [Jesus Christ] who called you [and me to come to Him] is holy, you [who respond to Christ’s call to come to Him] also be holy in all your conduct [lifestyle].” Should holiness be our goal in life? Should our becoming like Christ be our life ambition? I am not speaking about our attaining perfection this side of eternity in the flesh of these bodies. But, in answer to Jesus’ call to come to Him, should we not be attempting to resemble Him in word and deed? And when, not if, we fall short due to our fallen nature, let us again come to Jesus seeking forgiveness and mercy!

Jesus made a most remarkable statement in Luke 22.31-32 concerning the revelation that Peter was not perfect and still retained a sinful nature by stating; “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me [found your way back after his and our sinful lapse of judgment in the heat of the battle] strengthen your brethren.”

Even Peter, one of the first century inner circle of Christ’s followers needed to return to Jesus, according to Jesus. In the King James version of the bible, the word used for returned is the word converted. Our sin separates us from our God, whether we believe it or not! But that biblical concept is also being neglected and is missing from the flesh appealing messages of many church pulpits today. But, according to Christ, it is a much-needed message for every generation!

Conversion is turning back or turning our attention, our efforts, and our labor to the things of God, and towards our observing all things Jesus has commanded such as; “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden [or burdened], and I will give you rest. How many of us could not use some much-needed rest from our sinful nature? How many of us could not use some much-needed rest from our attempting to follow the world and only becoming more burdened?

Something More To Consider:
Early in the ministry of Jesus He told His prospective leaders in training, “Come and see!” And later He would say to them, “Come follow Me.” Coming to Jesus with a believing heart will bring about spiritual satisfaction that spills over into every aspect of a believer’s life. Coming to Jesus enables a person to rest securely in peaceful assurance of the providential care of our heavenly Father.

Finally, Jesus, in His attempt to spiritually stretch us beyond what we could think or ask, provided one more opportunity for us to cross over that invisible but undeniable line of surrender and spiritual submission to His Lordship, by declaring to all those who come; “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me.” To an agricultural society of Jesus’ day, the yoke was a symbol of submission.

Jewish teachers spoke of the yoke of the law, the yoke of the commandments, the yoke of the kingdom, and of the yoke of God, as if it had become a burdensome taskmaster. But Jesus spoke of another yoke. According to Jesus, “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

In the culture of that day with many being involved in farming, it was customary to work the land with oxen. The ox was considered a beast of both strength and of a willingness to submit to a life of service. It was also customary and very wise of the owner of oxen to have tailor-made yokes constructed for his oxen. The best yokes were made from wood and were painstakingly measured, cut to proper size and shape, adjusted and re-adjusted to finally fit each individual animal.

Jesus, as a carpenter, could have made many well-fitting yokes. He is still in the business of creating well-fitting tailor-made yokes that are easy and light and a delight for all those called to come to Him and willing to come unto Him and to take their yoke upon themselves. Have we placed our personal order for a Christ created tailor-made yoke?

Have we submitted to the sizing and customizing regenerating process that accompanies all who are converted from the deceived wisdom of this world to the truth revealed to those who humble themselves in the sight of the Lord? Have we answered the call of Christ as He declares on a regular basis, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest?”

A Few Final Words:
According to John writing in 1 John 2.15-16, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him [or her]. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.” The world and the lust and pride of the world cry out daily, “Come and indulge yourself, you deserve a break today, tomorrow, and forever!” Listening to that carnal voice has led and will continue to lead many to an eternal grave of agony and gnashing of teeth.

But, our responding positively to Christ’s call, “Come to Me, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light”; will lead a person to eternally enjoy the fact that they submitted themselves to a tailor-made yoke for them! As believers in Jesus, if our yoke, that which we have committed to doing and accomplishing for Christ, if it is heavy or hard beyond measure, chances are it may not be the right yoke for us. For according to Jesus, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Our Father in heaven, place within our hearts a willingness to serve You through submission and humility. Tailor Your yoke for us to fit Your will for our lives. In Him Always, Amen!

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