August 21, 2006

Finding True Rest For Your Soul

“Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

I had recently heard this verse of Scripture mentioned during a sermon and I felt encouraged to write about it a little more to share with people in the blogger world a little bit more about these two verses.

Every day we come across people who are working tirelessly at their jobs either because they are striving for a promotion, a salary raise or bonus, or they are just workaholics and find it completely satisfying to spend long hours each day at the office. You might be one of those people if you are reading this. There are many benefits that result from hard work, I understand this, but to do this excessively just does not make sense, especially if time with your spouse and family is being sacrificed because of selfishness and greed.

The dangers here lie not only emotionally but physically too. When one becomes overworked, overstressed and receives little rest in between the result becomes damaging to one’s health, even life threatening. Don’t get me wrong now. I am all for working hard, especially when I am reminded of a verse of Scripture in Colossians that reads, “And everything, whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” (
Col 3:17) It is a great way to be productive in your work on a daily basis. In addition to that, our attitude can be influenced even more when we view to whom we are presenting our work too. (Col 3:22-24)

As defined by the American Psychiatric Association, presenteeism occurs when employees put in unnecessarily long hours, take work home, and fail to take sick leave and vacation time because they see that behavior as admirable. Then they underperform because they are tired, bored, sick, depressed, stressed or distracted by family issues or other problems outside the workplace.

A study in the Harvard Business Review recently estimated that presenteeism costs American business $150 billion a year. It can result in employee medical problems such as depression and substance abuse, leading to higher medical costs. (
Virginia Business Magazine)

So many people though work 70, 80, 90 or more hours each week only to put their lives in jeopardy for something dangerous or deadly to occur to their bodies.
The story of the man who worked tirelessly all of his life, climbing the corporate ladder, sacrificing time with his wife and family, because of business trips and long hours at the office to provide for them, one day finds himself lying in a hospital bed on the edge of death, because he neglected to take care of his body. You would hardly find a person like this to say, “I wish I had spent one more day at the office.” The preciousness of life holds an entirely new meaning to someone in this condition. All that time spent in selfishness can never be bought back and there may not even be enough time to make up for the time that was lost. Years of emotional pain cannot easily be repaired and nor can our physical bodies.

Jesus was teaching his followers that He can give every person true rest for their lives. He says, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden (or burdened) and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, emphasis mine) Jesus is saying to those who are overworked, overstressed and just running on so little energy in their lives, to come to Him to find rest and relief. I believe that Jesus is also speaking about those who labor for spiritual rest yet cannot obtain it.

So many people continue to live their lives with a casual attitude and belief that they will immediately be granted a place in God’s Kingdom upon their death. This is a great misconception. No one is entitled to enter Heaven especially if his or her sins have not been forgiven. Yet people mistakenly believe that passage from death to eternity in Heaven is as automatic as collecting $200 to pass go in Monopoly. No such automatic passage exists for someone who has not been forgiven of his or her sins.

The burden of God’s eternal judgment that a person carries truly is too much for any person to bear. This is why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for the sins of the world. The burden that Jesus took upon Himself to bear the sins of the world physically was enormous. There isn’t a single person on earth who could satisfy God’s punishment for their sins within themselves. His wrath is too great to endure and the torment of eternity in Hell is also too great to comprehend.

Hell is patiently waiting for those who have refused to acknowledge Jesus Christ in their lives as the One who paid the penalty for their sins. Hell is pleased to see the continuous rejection of God’s love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness.

Yet God is, “longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Yet God, "desires that all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4)

Yet God, has “one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (5,6)

Yet God, “did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Thessalonians 5:9)

Yet God, “demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

God will never force Himself upon anyone to love Him or receive His gift of grace and forgiveness. It has to be personally obtained.

Take note of this commentary from Matthew Henry regarding this passage.
Our Saviour has invited all that labour and are heavy-laden, to come unto him. In some senses all men are so. Worldly men burden themselves with fruitless cares for wealth and honours; the gay and the sensual labour in pursuit of pleasures; the slave of Satan and his own lusts, is the merest drudge on earth. Those who labour to establish their own righteousness also labour in vain. The convinced sinner is heavy-laden with guilt and terror; and the tempted and afflicted believer has labours and burdens. Christ invites all to come to him for rest to their souls. He alone gives this invitation; men come to him, when, feeling their guilt and misery, and believing his love and power to help, they seek him in fervent prayer. Thus it is the duty and interest of weary and heavy-laden sinners, to come to Jesus Christ. This is the gospel call; Whoever will, let him come. All who thus come will receive rest as Christ's gift, and obtain peace and comfort in their hearts. But in coming to him they must take his yoke, and submit to his authority.
God offers to people the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, as the satisfactory payment of their debt of sin toward Him. The wealth of Bill Gates, Donald Trump and Warren Buffet combined multiple times over cannot even come close to the price that Jesus paid for the sins of the world. His blood that was shed for the forgiveness of sins is priceless to everyone who freely receives Him.

The yoke that Jesus carried was the cross that He was crucified on. If a person brings their burden of sin that God will judge him or her for on their day of judgment, Jesus will give you a peace in your heart and remove the enormous weight of punishment from you that has already been placed on Jesus Christ. Receive God's free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. (
Romans 6:23)

The bible says, “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) There is no second chance when the last bit of life is exhaled from your body. You may not even have the energy to confess your sins and receive Christ at that time either. No one should vainly acknowledge knowing that his or her sins are forgiven. That is just lip service and God can see right through the lies knowing that their heart is truly not right with Him.

There is not enough work that could be humanly done for anyone to earn God’s gift of grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. The true rest for one's soul can be found only in Jesus Christ.

God does not want anyone to carry the burden of judgment for their sins. He wants you to receive redemption from His judgment, through Jesus Christ and I would encourage you to come to Christ, to find rest for your soul. Place your faith in Jesus Christ alone and not in the things that you have done or could do, to earn God’s grace and forgiveness.

You may be old enough to remember the commerical about Rolaids. Do you remember the question that was asked in every commercial? How do you spell relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S. Rolaids may offer temporary relief, but God gives permanent redemption to anyone who wants it and His plan of redemption is spelled, J-E-S-U-S.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross. Colossians 2:13-14

No comments: