Rest For Your Souls
"Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11.28-30).
1. "Come unto me..."
The well known words of our master. For many people these words have given comfort, strength, peace and of course…rest.
They also have particular resonance for me, especially when I was going through an extremely challenging period in my life and I sought reassurance in God’s word and each time I opened the bible, it fell on those words.
This happened day after day for at least a week- for just as long as I needed to know that God was near and He had heard my cry for help.
Oh what a sweet testimony of our Lord’s goodness, faithfulness and providence- He Himself tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us. He will never leave us comfortless- He will come to us and what else-Lo He will be with us until the end of the age.
Father, show us how to come to you for rest with our whole hearts: all fear, weakness and guilt- so you can help us to deal with them.
2. "Take my yoke upon you..."
But there are conditions we have to fulfil to qualify for the rest… He says we must take His yoke. So first we have to be joined with Him with our burdens and our weariness. We meet Him, he meets us.
In Matthew Chapter 10 Jesus teaches His disciples about the cost of discipleship and pulls no punches: it is a life of hardship, poverty, self-denial, rejection, alienation from loved ones and abuse.
The price that is paid for serving God does not go anywhere near the reward of experiencing the abiding presence of the Almighty. The question is for us to – are we willing to forsake all for Christ? Is He worth it?
I picture an ox, a beast of burden huge and cumbersome, but being saddled with a yoke, not resisting but willingly accepting it.
Our sin, sadness and sorrows are sometimes like this large beast- they are heavy, overwhelming and insurmountable.
Christ requires us to join with Him and as we let go, He takes over. When we co-operate and obey His request, it is then and only then that we discover that "His yoke is easy and His burden is light."
Father, teach us how to take the yoke of Christ upon us and pass all our burdens over to him.
3. "Learn of me..."
He invites us to learn of Him while we are taking His yoke for He is meek and lowly. So there is a degree of humility, submission and surrender required on our part.
As we enter Matthew Chapter 11, a message is sent to Christ that John the Baptist is in prison. John sends his disciples to Christ in a moment of doubt, to ask whether Christ is the “one” or do they "look for another?" (Matt 11:3).
At this question, our Lord provides His testimony- He has been performing miracles, healing spiritual and physical conditions and even raising the dead. What better advocate do we have when faced with difficulty?
Do we rely upon ourselves or the one who is able to miraculously transform our lives?
It is a question for us all to ponder. Christ Himself says as a rebuke to both John and his disciples in verse 6 “blessed is he whosoever is not offended in me.” This is a message to us all- do we really believe He can give us rest? If we do we will respond to His call to Come Unto me…?"
Father, guide us help us to be teachable, to study the word to learn all about being Christ like and apply these truths in our lives.
4. "For I am meek and lowly in heart..."
Meekness and lowliness are the exact opposite of characteristics that are promoted as worthy in this world’s heroes and heroines.
Through his life on earth we are shown the real victory is gained by cross first- crown later.
Before He utters those memorable words we see the Son’s thankfulness to and utter dependence upon His Father. Here we are led into the awesome character of God who is the source of abundant life.
In Matthew 11:25-27, Christ reveals that the source of His authority and power is his submission and obedience to God “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he whomsoever the Son will reveal him” Matt 11:27).
Father enable us to bear our crosses in life with dignity, meekness and humility. Saviour, reveal the Father to us.
5. "Ye shall find rest unto your souls..."
When He invites us to “Come”, it is no ordinary invitation- He is no ordinary man. His strength is added to our weakness; our burden is placed in His yoke. He carries us along with our burdens.
When He offers rest- we are not talking about the temporary transient kind, He is describing rest of the soul- our very life- similar to the peace that transcends all understanding, it is not human in nature- it is divine.
Only Christ is qualified to offer such rest to us. Only when our human frailty unites with His divine strength that we can find "rest in our souls".
Christ is the only one who can change our lives. Through God’s power he gives us divine rest, regardless of the situations we encounter.
If we join with Him, He will not only provide rest for our souls now, but He will save our souls for eternity. Come, take His yoke and learn of Him…you know what comes next!
Father, we desperately need rest in our souls- we can only find it in You, through Christ and with the Holy Spirit’s Leading. We come to You, we are weary of this worlds counterfeit second-hand faulty offerings. We seek Genuine Heavenly Treasures, help us to find our way back to You, amen.