Archive for the ‘The Freedom of Christ’s Yoke (Matthew 11:28-30)’ Category

The Freedom of Resting in Him

July 5, 2010

“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

Christ redeemed us to set us free. He offers us freedom from sin and from the bondage to any lordship that would enslave us. Taking on Christ’s yoke allows us to rest in His lordship. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

When we trust in Christ our souls (mind, will, and emotions) find rest. As a weaned child is satisfied simply enjoying her mother’s presence assured that her needs have been and will continually be met, we rest in Christ’s love and ongoing provision.

Personal Response

  • Rest through surrendering your false belief of needing to earn His love. Live in the awareness that you are completely and utterly loved.
  • Rest in the confidence that your past, present, and future needs are met in His abundance. His intimate knowledge of you releases you form the burden of explaining yourself or from anticipating and calculating your needs, they are already known. You are completely covered mentally, emotionally, and physically.
  • Rest realizing God is continually pursuing what is best for you. “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. “ (Philippians 1:6)
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An Incredible Partnership

July 3, 2010

“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

When Christ came to earth, He willingly and lovingly faced the challenges and pain that humans experience on earth. Jesus’ life, the conflicts he faced, and the agony He endured, blatantly oppose the false belief that once we embrace Jesus, we skip happily and merrily down the Christian yellow brick road.

When we are yoked to Jesus, we have adequate provision for the strength, guidance, protection and provision that is needed to complete the will of God. His leadership provides us with a partnership making our work manageable, good, and reasonable.

Everyone in life chooses a master to serve. It is our choice whether we serve Christ, others, or ourselves. We also must carry a burden. The question is whether we will carry the one custom designed for us by Christ, or one heavier than we were designed for.

No one is more intimately aware of you than Jesus. No one is as gentle, loving, and compassionate. Because of His love, He will not force His yoke upon you but instead invites you to chose it, wear His leadership, and in doing so, rest in His abundant provision for you.

Personal Response

When you find yourself burdened mentally, emotionally, or physically, close your eyes and picture yourself yoked with Jesus. Ask Christ to show you if you’ve taken on unnecessary pressures or responsibilities that you need to release. For those responsibilities that He’s asked you to carry, see yourself carrying them with Jesus while reminding yourself that His grace is sufficient for every load He’s asked you to carry. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Wear My Protective Yoke

July 2, 2010

“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

A yoke goes across two animals connecting them to a plow or wagon. Yokes are made specifically to fit the body frame of a particular animal. A friend of mine watched two oxen end their work day and observed the yoke being removed from their shoulders. She noticed that the skin of one of the oxen had been injured by the rubbing of the yoke which caused bleeding and skin abrasions. Upon asking about the injury, the owner shared that the injured ox was recently purchased as a replacement for his earlier ox that had died. The new ox’s injury was caused by wearing a yoke designed for another ox.

What a picture of the danger of carrying loads not designed for us and being yoked to a wrong master. Christ alone knows us intimately: our background, skills, talents and the baggage we carry from past hurtful experiences. He has adequate and complete knowledge to lead, direct, and work with us through life’s journey. He created us to carry His load under His gentle guidance and safe leadership, not the loads of others. Be cautious of the burden of performing for and pleasing others. Avoid carrying the load of others that He has placed upon their shoulders.

True freedom is found in surrendering to Christ’s lordship and in being protectively and securely yoked to Him.

Prayer

Father, help me to surrender to your lordship alone. Help me recognize when I am wrongly yoked to performance and carrying burdens not intended for me. Let me live in the freedom of obedience to you.

Learn to Rest

July 1, 2010

“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

Not only does Christ offer us rest, He is our rest and the reason we can rest. Christ is our shepherd leading us to green, grassy fields. (Ps. 23) Sheep, when led to pasture, will overeat until they bloat and die. Like sheep, we are bloated with worry, busyness, and striving. As sheep eat themselves to death, we work ourselves until we drop in exhaustion. Until we realize we are inadequate on our own, stop striving trying to be our own source, and find our security, identity, and provision in Christ’s sheepfold, we will labor in vain.

We rest when our minds, emotions, and bodies enter into a peaceful state of trusting God. When we realize the depth of God’s love and live like we are fully loved and adequately provided for by the shepherd’s care, concern, and oversight. Trusting God won’t eliminate conflict in our lives, but it reminds us that we are not alone or on our own when we face life challenges.

A chief robber of rest is worry because it is distrust in God. Thinking about a problem or concern over and over is worry. Although we are not able to prevent worrisome thoughts from hitting our mind, we have the ability to redirect our fears to a confident trust. Trusting God involves reminding ourselves that God is aware of our needs, committed to our constant care, and continually working His good in our lives. Recognizing these truths allows us to surrender control of situations to God. This releases us from the fear we experience when we try to control what is not ours to control.

Personal Response

 Make a choice today to rest by choosing to trust in God. Formulate the plan that when worrisome thoughts come to mind, you will respond my redirecting your thoughts to God’s promises to provide for you. Instead of thinking about a problem over and over in your mind (that’s worry), redirect fearful thoughts to trust by meditating on God’s Word. In doing so, you move from fear to a restful state of trusting God.

When Exhausted and Worn Out

June 30, 2010

“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

Are you weary and tired of performing, burdened from the non-ending effort of seeking to prove and establish your value? Christ calls us to come empty handed so we can freely grasp Him. He invites us to surrender our falsely assumed need to earn His love and acceptance through exhaustive striving and performing. To stop trying to prove our worth through works and performance when He’s already determined and secured our value at the cost of His death at Calvary.

Put down performance and don’t bring a resume. Simply rest confident in His love which is impossible to upgrade. He gave everything up for you at the cross and declared you were worth it all. He cannot love you or value you any more. You’re worth everything He gave up and you’re all He wants. He’s absolutely wild about you. Efforts to earn His love only demonstrate your refusal to accept it and the value He set for you.  

Personal Response

God’s love is rock solid, non-changing, and never-ending. Yet, thoughts will come that invite you to question God’s love, and emotions will arise that bring feelings of abandonment, inferiority, and insecurity. When this happens, it’s time for you to decide whether you will believe your thoughts and emotions or if you will accept Christ’s death at Calvary as your security of God’s love and His established value for you.

I urge you to believe and receive God’s love demonstrated at the cross. May you learn to rest in His love.

Come

June 29, 2010

“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

What I love about Christ is His desire to have a personal relationship with us. This is expressed in His personal invitation to “Come.” Unlike the friends you are always calling and suggesting getting together with, who eagerly respond and participate, but never extend an opportunity or throw out an idea for an activity, Christ is the initiator.

Unlike the childhood recess line-up for those wanting to play baseball, with Christ, you’ll never become the undesirable left-over who becomes a casualty for the unfortunate team. That’s because Christ picked you and called you before you even wanted to play. (Eph. 1:4, Col. 3:12)  A relationship with Christ is not about what you have to offer, Christ picks you and offers Himself to you.

Don’t be afraid that your sin will cause Christ to run away from you. Like Adam, whose sin in the Garden didn’t prevent God from seeking him out, it’s Christ’s love of you, not your abilities or skills, that cause Him to actively pursue you. You see, He’s wild about you, who you are, not what you can do for Him.

Respond to His call right now. Remember, He’s not calling you to religion, to comply to a list of do’s and don’ts, or to activity, busyness, or labor. Christ is calling you to Himself with three powerful words, “Come to Me.”

Respond to His invitation and come.

Prayer

Father, thank you for calling me to you. I accept your invitation. I want to come to you and remain with you. Help me to live in your presence. I want my mind, heart, emotions to rest in you.

Journey with Me

June 28, 2010

“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

I’m extending a personal invitation to you to travel with me through the words of Matthew 11:28-30 for the new few days. Spend time today reading, rereading, speaking the words out loud, and meditating on Jesus’ invitation. Reflect on the meaning and significance of the bolded words above. Refuse to only be informed of God’s Word, instead ask God to transform you through obedience to His Word.