Summary: This message from a series that looks at God's desire for us to live life in a way that avoids being overloaded and overextended.
Living life, parenting, retirement and ministry can all become burdensome. These burdens can often be almost more than we can bear. We have grown to accept this as a part of living life in the twenty-first century. Imagine if you will if Jesus would have chosen to live in modern America rather than ancient Israel. How would He have acted? Would He have carried a pocket calendar? Would He have worn a watch? Would have He went around with a Blackberry strapped to His side? Could you imagine Him receiving a text message during the Last Supper? As I examine Jesus’ life there is no indication that He worked twenty hour days. He went to sleep at night without having healed every disease in Israel and without ministering to everyone who needed ministered to. There also seems to be some needs that He chose not to meet. Why? I believe it was because He fully understood what it meant to be human. He understood the limits that were built into humanity. Jesus obviously knew how to prioritize and balance life. This allowed Him to make the best use of His time. However, we are so overloaded and burdened. We are busy doing so many good things that many times we fail to see that we are not busy doing the best things. Life has made us so busy we often look at ministry as an added burden rather than a joy. As we continue to look out how to make room for life, I want us to discover that Jesus desires our lives to be joyful rather than burdensome.
I. Life can often resemble running on a treadmill going no place.
A. Life has become so burdensome and predictable that we often dread getting up in the morning to face another day.
1. Modern Americans are a very fearful people. We are surrounded by so much uncertainty we fear what each day may hold.
2. The vast majority of Americans hate the lifestyle that we are trapped in but feel helpless to anything about it.
3. In the 1960’s people began to call this the age of anxiety. People started realizing that life had become too much for them to handle. However, in recent decades things have gotten worse rather than better.
4. In all honesty we need to rest more from the emotional anguish that accompanies life rather than physical labor.
5. Studies have shown that the majority of Americans spend ten percent more than they have. This includes not just money but time and energy as well.
6. We work hard, play hard and when it is all said and done we crash hard.
7. Joy and relief from burdens cannot be bought with money. The pursuit of wealth may be the single greatest obstacle to making life less burdensome.
B. Jesus’ words are so meaningful and relevant for a people that feel like they are working harder and harder but getting nowhere.
1. These words provide an attractive proposition to all of us who have been wearied and burdened by life.
2. The literal translation from the Greek would say, “All the ones laboring and ones having been packed.”
3. You have to admit that the idea of stepping off the treadmill is quite attractive. However it makes perfect sense we are called to follow Christ not society and no one has ever set a better example of living in the limits which God designed.
4. The problem lies in the fact that we are squeezing living out of life. We are so busy running that we do not have the time to soak in life and enjoy it.
5. Jesus is offering His followers a way to once again find joy and to begin living life.
6. Those who are burdened and exhausted need renewal and refreshment.
II. Our lives are so overloaded that there is no space for Jesus.
A. With the passing of each decade there is less room for worship and other church related activities in our busy schedules.
1. A recent study revealed this fact. The study concluded that Sunday morning is no longer "sacred" time: job responsibilities, sports leagues, family outings, housework and many other things get in the way of traveling to a church building for worship at a scheduled time.
2. Another study: The Obstacles to Growth Survey was a five-year study whose findings suggested that Christians worldwide are simply too busy for God. The survey collected data from over 20,000 Christians aged 15 to 88 across 139 countries. It found that on average, more than four in ten Christian people say they ‘often’ or ‘always’ rush from task to task.
3. It’s easy for us to be involved in many different efforts and good causes, but the truth is, busyness does not guarantee fruitfulness. It also does not confirm that we are in God’s will.