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. THE CONDITIONS FOR CHRIST’S PEACE AND REST. Every believer has found sweet refuge in today’s scripture. Sit down with a “seasoned believer” who has lived the Christian life for a good bit of time and it won’t be long till this comforting truth of the Lord Jesus is shared. Equally so are the those believers who will tell you though this truth is real and comforting, it is often elusive when the heart is hurting, emotions raging, and circumstances overwhelming. Why is that so? Well, there are multiple reasons. First, the power of our flesh won’t give up easily when the hurting heart attempts to run to the only source of real peace and rest – Christ. The sinful flesh wants us to take the easy ways to temporary relief when pain and suffering come our way. And those easy ways are seek earthly pleasures, get busy, allow distractions to keep one from the situation causing pain, use drugs or alcohol, excessive sleep, become a workaholic, and the list goes on and on of the fleshly tactics tempting us away from Christ; the true source of peace and rest. But there exists another reason why Christians often find the promises in today’s scripture hard to experience. They won’t be known and experienced without our effort. God’s doesn’t “zap” us with His peace and rest. Jesus tells us some very exact conditions which must be met if we are to know His peace and rest.
First, getting the peace and rest Christ promised demands obedience – Come to me, take my yoke, learn from me. The Christian experiences the peace and rest of Christ in a diligent seeking of Christ. Lazy Christians, those who refuse the self-discipline to come to Christ, take His yoke, and learn of Him will never know His peace and rest. This means disciplined in the Word; disciplined in prayer; and disciplined in obedience to His commands. The promise Christ gives is awesome and satisfying, but the promise fulfilled comes AFTER the commands obeyed. Don’t be deceived and ask God for rest and peace if we are not willing to seek Him with all our hearts, minds, and souls to obtain it. He grants not the experience of His promises to the slothful believer.
Another condition to meet to enjoy Christ’s peace and rest is notice that we come to Him, not a book, a church, another Christian, a seminar, a conference . . . we come to HIM. Now don’t misunderstand me. Read good Christ-centered books. Be active in a Christ-centered church. Fellowship with Christ-centered Christians. Attend Christ-centered seminars and conferences, but these are not ends in and of themselves. We must come to Christ; be consumed with finding and encountering Him. The words the seeking Greeks gave to Philip must be ours by ownership and direction – “So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus’” (John 12:21). Here is another important relative to this. Don’t ask Jesus for peace and rest. He has already promised it. Ask Him for more of Him. Get close to Jesus, get His peace and rest. If we simply go to Him for what we want from Him, not Him, we miss the whole point He makes in the promises. It is about us getting close to Him; coming to Him, learning of Him. Focus more on the Person of our rest and peace and we will get His rest and peace.
Yes, there are great promises in today’s scripture, but promises with conditions. May the Lord help us meet them in order to enjoy both Him, the Promiser, and the promises fulfilled.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for giving me Your Son – my sufficient place to find rest and peace for my troubled heart.”
QUOTE: “Christ offers us peace and commands us to come to Him for it. To live in stress and worry is to disobey Him.”