It Doesn’t Have to Be This Hard It Doesn’t Have to Be This Hard

We started a new series last Sunday-Lighten Up: Loosening the Loads that Drag us Down. And right off the bat I want us to recognize two things:
1. A lot of us are dragging around way more baggage than we know, than we need, and than is good for us. The baggage we are dragging around is dragging us down.
2. Just like most of the airlines are now telling us, all that extra baggage is not free. It will cost you. It costs you focus and faith. It costs you peace, perspective, and purpose. It costs you time and money. It costs you relationships and joy.

 

Jesus steps into our overburdened, weighted down world and offers an amazing, world changing invitation. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).”

 

The immediate context of Jesus’ invitation comes from the excessive religious burdens being placed on the people by the religious leaders. Theirs is a legalistic, judgmental, works-based approach to faith to which no one can measure up. In response, Jesus offers rest for the soul. Jesus instantly lightens the load. God’s kingdom is entered by grace, sustained by mercy, maintained by love. It’s not about all you have to accomplish before you come to God nor is it all you have to accomplish after you do. It’s not getting things perfectly right. That’s God’s job.

 

Not that you and I don’t have a job. The invitation to take his yoke is an invitation to work, to labor in Him for the kingdom, but his is not a labor based on fear, shame, or to earn love. His yoke is light compared to the weights we carry around. What’s more, it is kind (a more accurate translation than “easy”). It’s good for us and to us. Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Come…and find rest for your souls!
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