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Matthew 11:28 (The Message)
28-30“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Long before we were born – in ancient days of old – man was struggling with the same things that we are today. His sin nature.
From the beginning – we were all subject to the human condition – because of the ‘fall of man‘ – and like King Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun’.
Today’s temptations and stresses are nothing new. Man has been facing them since the beginning of time – and just about any sin you can think of – is listed by example in the Bible. No one is immune to temptation and his sinful nature.
Jesus promised to bring rest from ourselves. He brought it in a new way. He gave himself. As long as we ignore and deny Him – His rightful place in our lives – we will forever be slaves to our dark sinful natures.
I’m not talking about religion. Religion is ritual and duty. Born out of guilt about our condition – and as a way to ease our bruised conscience. That sounds very motivating to me. NO WAY! The more you push – the more I’m going to pull – again the sin nature rearing its ugly head.
But Jesus came to bridge the gap of ritualistic religion for religion’s sake. He came to bring Himself – to offer forgiveness because He Himself IS God – and He came to offer relationship with Him by offering that forgiveness.
You want to live a life of balance and of joy? – then He is the key. He promises a life of rest and promise. Nothing too heavy will be hoisted upon you. He will carry you in the tough places. And He will bring the ‘lightness’ to your everyday world.
There is so much heaviness today in our world. Those of us that have that relationship with God through Jesus – have a different world perspective. We have a hope that others do not. We have a life of meaning and purpose while others live lives of quiet (and not so quiet) desperation. All sorts of issues today, politically, relationally and economically. And because it seems that the real enemy of our souls is busier than usual to get us to trip up – just remember this: Satan has been around a long time – spinning the same lies. There’s nothing new here.
It comes down to a life of balance. When I am off-balance – this is when temptation and trouble can find me – and I can find it. A life built on the Word of God and a relationship with Jesus will help to protect me from that temptation of just following my own sinful nature – that lurks in my heart. And we all have the ability to be off-balance. It’s very easy to do. We are stressed, busy, lonely, prideful, independent, etc. These all can lead to unhealthy habits in our lives. And take us down a road of temptation that starts out in an innocent way.
This is why we need Jesus to help bring back the balance to our lives. And He promises to do that.
So walk with Him today – listen to what He is calling, ‘unforced rhythms of grace’. The many things He allows as part of your journey – and the many times He covers you with much-needed grace and mercy. And if you’re tired and ‘burned out’ – this is the place you need to be. Bringing balance and order back into your crazy life. Walk with Him – watch how He handles it. Learn from Him. Watch how he transforms your hard unforgiving heart – into something soft and pliable – and shows you how to apply grace to your life with others.
He will bring that balance back into your worn-out and weary life. Teach you how to live lightly and freely.