Summary: Many of us face many pressures on a day to day basis. We are often expected to find a satisfactory balance in making time for friends, family, ministry, job & ourselves. It is easy to become frustrated and exhausted. How can we learn to experience the res
Compiled by: Herman Abrahams (Pastor), Cornerstone Faith Ministries, P.O. Box 740, Westridge 7802, Rep. of South Africa.
Note to the reader:
If you have been blessed with this sermon compilation, I would be honoured to receive an e-mail from you simply stating where in the world you are based- I do not need any other information. This is merely so that I can have the pleasure of giving thanks to Almighty God that all over the globe, the ministry which he has entrusted to me, is blessing the body of Christ and helping to extend the Kingdom of God.
Cape Town, South Africa.
I first prepared this sermon in December 1995 and gleaned some thoughts from an article in GOSPEL HERALD & SUNDAY SCHOOL TIMES – not sure of the date of the publication.
LEARNING TO ABIDE IN CHRIST (MATTHEW 11:28-30)
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden (NIV - weary and burdened), and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28 KJV)
There is a church building where this verse can be read on the front wall of its sanctuary. To those who enter that building on Sundays, the words of the verse are a comforting reminder on the believer’s day of rest. Reading these words, one is reminded of the presence of Christ as He invites us to leave our cares at His feet and rest in Him.
In the quiet of the Sunday morning sanctuary, one finds it easy to let go of daily burdens for a while. The hard part is Monday morning, when all the cares of the workaday world crowd in again and we pick up our burdens once more.
In today’s world, many of us face many pressures on a day to day basis. We are often expected to find a satisfactory balance in making time for friends, family, ministry, job and ourselves.
It is easy to become frustrated and exhausted. How can we learn to experience the rest to which Christ lovingly invites us?
God’s intention is for us to experience rest for the whole person, including body, soul and spirit. This can come only from completely trusting Him and truly surrendering to Him all our burdens. We must choose to lay our burdens at His feet and leave them there.
The Psalmist was persuaded of God’s ability to satisfy the need of his soul when he said,
"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I shall never be shaken."
He encouraged his own soul,
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I shall not be shaken."
St. Augustine, a bishop in the early church said,
"Our hearts are restless o’ Lord, until we find our rest in thee."
1. "MY YOKE IS EASY" (Matt 11:30) _______________________________________________________
In order to fully understand this concept of rest, we need to also examine Matthew 11:29-30, which says,
"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"
It is Jesus’ invitation to take his yoke upon our shoulders. He uses an example from farming, so familiar to his disciples, to illustrate His teaching. In commenting on this text, William Barclay wrote,
’He says "My yoke is easy." The word easy is in Greek chrestos, which can mean well-fitting. In Palestine ox-yokes were made of wood; the ox was brought, and the measurements were taken. The yoke was then roughed out, and the ox was brought back to have the yoke tried on. The yoke was then carefully adjusted, so that it would fit well, and would not gall the neck of the patient beast. The yolk was tailor-made to fit the ox.’ (The Gospel of Matthew, The Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh, Page 19).
Jesus’ yoke (his commandments) fits us well. The life that he gives us to live is not a bitter, heavy burden; rather, it is a life-style that is made to measure to fit us.
The yoke was a wooden frame used to harness together a pair of oxen at their necks so that they could pull a plough or some other load. It was a balancing device. Sometimes a younger ox needed to be taught to work and thus was paired with an animal of more experience. This beautifully illustrates our relationship with Christ. As we walk by his side, sharing the yoke and burden, the load does not disappear but is made lighter.