MATTHEW 11:28-30 – Come to me, all 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.”
THEME OF THE DAY. DON’T BE AFRAID. Today’s scripture is one of the most heart-warming invitations found in scripture. It has been the source of deliverance and comfort for many souls throughout history and continues today. Here we see the heart of Jesus, the compassionate heart of Jesus, inviting sin weary individuals to come to Him to receive what only He can give – soul rest through forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God.
As inviting and warming is this invitation, and none of us would ever deny it, there are times in the Christian life that we are “sheepish” when it comes to seizing this invitation. Allow me to explain. Have you ever fallen into the same sin for the umpteenth time, knowing you failed the Lord, and feel a little fearful to come to Him? Maybe even fighting the battle of doubt if He will restore you? Maybe the whisper of the devil is a loud roar saying, “He won’t receive you, sinner. He won’t take you back still yet another time.” It is in those intense spiritual battles we must learn to let the mind of Christ rule ours, not ours rule His. The only way to fight the lies of the devil questioning God’s restoring love for us is by the unchanging truth of God’s love for us. This invitation is one of those truths to throw back to the devil. And this truth of God’s pursuing and unchanging love for us is not just a New Testament truth. Ponder these words from the prophet Jeremiah as he tells us of the aggressive love of God for His wayward and sinning people.
Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, “ ‘Return, faithless Israel, declares the Lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the Lord; I will not be angry forever. 13 Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the Lord your God and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice, declares the Lord. 14 Return, O faithless children, declares the Lord; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion (Jeremiah 3:12-14).
Do we see the heart of God for His people? First, He knows they have failed Him, like He knows we have – “Return, faithless Israel.” Yet, He doesn’t deal with them or us according to our sins, but according to His mercy. And all the Lord requires of us is a heart and actions of repentance and returning – “Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the Lord your God. Return, O faithless children, declares the Lord; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.”
Friends, our God is not a tyrannical taskmaster. He is a God of love who seeks His people for restoration, reconciliation, and relationship. Yes, even when we fail Him miserably and consistently. Don’t listen to lies about God, but listen to the truth of God; the truth that He says of Himself, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). We need not be afraid of rejection, but come with confidence of acceptance. He has said so. It will be so.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to see You as You always are – full of mercy and forgiveness.”
QUOTE: “Don’t be afraid to come to the Lord in all your sinning and failing. He has promised to receive such people.”