|Posted by Lorraine Serra on January 28, 2013 at 3:05 PM|
“Come to me, all who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest." When Jesus spoke these words, recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 11, what a comfort they must have been to his audience.
He had just explained to the people that all authority in heaven and earth had been given to Him, and then proceeded to invite everyone to come on in! He was offering the solution for the pains of every human heart!
Who was weary and who was carrying a heavy load? Can these words find a place in our hearts today? Do we have faith to believe Jesus?
The Jews were extremely weary and burdened by the endless rituals and ceremonies necessary to obtain forgiveness of sin. Remember, the Law originally given to Moses, was only 10 Commandments. The new and improved law given over time exploded into over 600 laws pertaining to every aspect of life. It certainly was impossible NOT to fail at one time or another.
The Jews were also burdened by their guilt and shame. The Law truly set everyone up for failure, so the most pious and devout Jew carried a nagging sense of falling short all the time. Wouldn't you? It was so evident that the Jews needed a Messiah, a Savior. So do we!
Jesus had a message so radical, so unbelievably simple, generous, and full of love, that a political and religious battle ensued. People were drawn to it, but were still somewhat divided by their allegiance to Jewish traditions. “Should I stay or should I go?” might have been the song of a good Jew.
Jesus had already proven He was someone special. He had healed the lame and the sick, raised the dead and, most outrageously, he granted forgiveness of sin to those who repented.
FREEDOM! SONSHIP TO GOD! A PLACE AT THE BANQUETING TABLE!
All this was possible because Jesus came to usher in the Kingdom of God! His was a kingdom of peace, acceptance, love and REST. This was good news, and it is transformational!
This kingdom was very attractive, but certainly a stumbling block to some who couldn’t see a life with no need of rituals and ceremonial sacrifices for sin. It still is a stumbling block to those who feel that somehow they have to earn God's love and forgiveness.
So, are we enjoying this REST? Sometimes we Christians say we believe that Jesus has purchased our forgiveness by His death and resurrection. But, we Christians can also continue to carry the burden of guilt and shame. I know I did for a long time.
The Enemy likes to play the old recordings and videos in our minds to renew the feelings of shame or guilt. He is a sly one. His name means “accuser of the brethren” and there is no doubt he regurgitates all our failures to bring us down.
So, if we don’t “know our enemy” we can fall victim to the lies. He wants to keep us burdened, ineffective, and powerless. Satan wants us doubting the Father’s love because that mindset will prevent us from ever entering His rest. The devil is restless, and he wants us restless so he can have access to our hearts and minds. But, a mind stayed upon the total love and forgivenessof Jesus cannot be swayed. That mind enjoys peace and rest as it focuses on Jesus.
Listen: As hard as it is to say this, when we continue to hold on to that junk, it is as though we are saying that Jesus’ sacrifice was not enough. It is as though we are refusing to accept the Freedom that Jesus achieved for us at the cost of His own blood. So, if you are stuck in the place of restlessness, doubt, shame or guilt, be assured that He still loves you. But, He wants to set you totally free!
He wouldn’t think of withholding any good thing from you, since it was His Father’s good pleasure to provide this for us. Today, He says to you and to me once again,and every day, “Come to me, and I will give you rest.”
Are your ready for peace of mind over your past and a dynamic future resting in the loving guidance of the Lord of Heaven and Earth?
LET”S PRAY: Lord Jesus, I give you my heart. I receive your absolute forgiveness. You paid for my every sin perfectly and completely. I thank you for such a love, the love that forgives and keeps no record of my wrongs. Today, I enter into Your rest.
Fill my heart with gladness over all you have done whenever my mind wanders to the place of shame or fear. You have called me your beloved child, accepted and loved, forgiven and welcomed into your kingdom. I am yours. Thank you for guiding my steps and showing me the path for my life. I want to live in your peace and rest. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
I sincerely pray this decision is yours today and that you will enjoy peace and rest in Christ from now on. If the enemy tries to tap in again, drop everything to declare who you are because of Christ, and praise Him for washing away all that junk from the past. You have been transformed from sinner to saint!
Practice J.O.Y…..Jesus Occupies You….literally He does occupy you by His Holy Spirit dwelling within, and as a choice, when you set your mind to meditate on who your Jesus is! Rejoice and be glad! Live for the King, because the kingdom is yours through Jesus Christ. God bless you.
As always, I welcome your comments and insights!
Categories: New Beginnings Practicing J.O.Y. 2013