Are you laboring hard?
In your school, are you going at it to make the grade or make the team?
In your business, are you pushing it hard to make a deal, make a profit, make a living and a future?
In your home, are you laboring to make a solid marriage and make a godly family?
In your political stance, are you focused on making America great, making America great again, or re-making it into something you deem more fair, just, and righteous?
In your heart, are you concerned on making up for lost time, making much of your days, making an identity and a legacy?
In your church, are you working hard to make a difference, make much of Jesus, make known your church, and make disciples.
In your relationship with God, are you focused on making amends, making things right, making resolutions,, and making others and God take notice of your righteousness, be pleased, stand, and applaud?
Are you weary and worn out?
Like the people before Jesus, you have received the Covenant of Works. You have received Moral Law of God. You are to love him with all your being and your neighbor as yourself. You have also been given the Ten Commandments, and you have been told to keep them every minute of every hour of every day. In addition, you have been given the Ceremonial and Civil Laws with detailed legislation about every aspect of life. You have been told you will get what you deserve or get what you earn. With perfect obedience comes blessings. With disobedience comes God’s curse.
Then, you are pastored by elders who have added tradition upon tradition to your life. As if God’s rules were not enough, now you have thousands more. The yoke they have put upon your back is unbearable.
You have tried and tried and tried. You have labored to be a good student, worker, family-man, and citizen. You have worn yourself out to do better as you get older, make a difference, and build a worshiping community. You have tried to keep God’s laws and man’s traditions — you have really, really tried, but have had no luck.
And now you are fatigued, overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, and defeated. You are like Pilgrim in The Pilgrim’s Progress with an immense burden on your back and soul and no one to help.
Friends, Jesus is near.
He is moving towards you and not away from you.
He is one whose heart or inner-most being is one of gentle humility. He is meek, tender, kind, and humble in disposition. And in position is not “high and lifted up.” He is lowly in heart. He is of low estate. He is approachable and welcoming. This is his heart. This is what drives him.
And he is calling you because he is calling all. Listen to him …
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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
He is calling you to him and away from the Covenant of Works.
He is calling you to him and away from the relentless oppression of Satan who wants to assault you.
He is calling you to him and away from the your own folly; he wants you to learn from him and think differently.
He is calling you to him and away from your own necessity to perform.
He is calling you to him and away from the religious leaders who are burdening you .
In place of the unkind yoke and heavy burden, he offers you his yoke and burden. His is kind and light. Using an illustration from Dane Ortland, Christ’s burden is like a life-preserver to a drowning man. It is a pleasurable and helpful yoke.
And twice he promises soul-rest, emotional rest, and eternal rest. This is the promise from the King of Kings!
So, what will you do?
Come to Jesus and reads Word. He wants you to learn from him and forsake legalism and folly.
Come to Jesus and commune in prayer.
Come to Jesus and receive his Gospel of grace. Leave behind the heavy yoke of performance and be clothed in the light yoke of promise.
Come to Jesus and experience him in the presence of his brothers and sisters. Worship with them, “small group” with them” and be blessed by their Spirit-given gifts.
And enjoy the benefit of his soul-rest even as you strive and labor in a world of unrest.
Friend, there is no reason for your soul to be downtrodden. Jesus is interceding. Jesus is inviting. Jesus is here with new yoke in hand. Won’t you give up, put on his yoke, learn from him, and receive his supernatural Sabbath care?