Summary: The only way to truly find rest is to trust in Jesus Christ for our rest. That's what He tells us in Matthew 11:28-30


(this is a re-work from one of my previous sermons for labor day)

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)

for audio and video of sermon:

Intro: Tennessee Ernie Ford sang, "You load 16 tons, & what do you get, another day older & deeper in debt."

. Someone else sang, "Up in the morning, out on the job, work like the devil for my pay. Fuss with my woman, toil for my kids, work till I’m wrinkled & gray. But that lucky old sun just rolls around heaven all day."

. Back years ago Johnny paycheck had a country hit with a song titled Take This Job And Shove It. A song about the hardship of work and life. It seemed that in the song, he was just tired wasn’t he?

. One of my brothers will call me and say how's it going? My answer is; same old same old. I get up, work, regular job and church job, go to bed and get up the next morning and do it again.

. That's how most of us live isn't it?

. Thank God there is a holiday for us to rest in.

. Today is Labor Day Eve.

. Labor Day never made much sense to me as I was growing up. My thoughts were that if this is Labor Day, why don’t people work.

. Labor Day actually has its roots in Canada back in the 1800”s. some American men who were involved in the labor movement here in the U.S. observed the holiday in Canada and pushed for the holiday here in the U.S.

. In 1894 Grover Cleveland proclaimed the first Monday in Sept. as Labor Day.

. At first it was to recognize the labor unions and their commitment to the American worker.

. Through the years it has evolved into nothing more than a day off work. There is no special emphasis placed upon this day in honor of labor unions.

. Instead it has evolved into the weekend that college football starts or the last taste of summer before fall comes.

. It means many different things to many different people.

. Most of all though, it’s just a day off from work. It’s been several months since the last holiday, (July 4) and we are tired aren’t we.

. A Tahoma, Washington newspaper carried the story of Tattoo the basset hound a while back. Tattoo didn’t intend to go for an evening run, but when his owner shut the dog’s leash in the car door and took off for a drive – with Tattoo still outside the vehicle, he had no choice. Motorcycle officer Terry Filbert notice a passing vehicle with something dragging behind it. He commented that the poor basset hound was, “picking them up and putting them down as fast as he could.” He chased the car to a stop, and Tattoo was rescued. But not before the dog had reached a top speed of 25 miles per hour, falling down and rolling over several times.

Too many of us are living our lives like Tattoo, picking them up and putting them down as fast as we can – rolling around & feeling dragged through life.

Time magazine noted that back in the 60’s, expert testimony was given to a Senate sub-committee on time management. They predicted that advances in technology would radically change how many hours a week people worked. They forecasted that the average American would be working 22 hours a week within 20 years. “The great challenge,” the experts said, “would be figuring out what to do with all the excess time.” Over 40 years later, after major advances in technology – how many of us are wondering what to do with all the excess time on our hands?

. It seems the experts were wrong weren’t they.

. Rest is what many desire.

. I asked several here at church last week what they were doing for the holiday and they said pastor, all I want to do is rest. It seems all I do is run around all the time and I’m going to take a day and just rest.

. As I meditated about today’s sermon, the desire of getting or having rest was impressed upon me . How do we truly rest.

. The Bible has much to say about rest.

. The Jewish people were constantly seeking rest or refuge in God.

. In Joshua Chapter 1, Moses has died and God has told Joshua to lead the Jewish nation across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land. Look at how this Promised Land is defined by Joshua as he talks to the tribes of Israel.

. Joshua 1:13-15: 13“Remember what Moses, the servant of the LORD, commanded you: ‘The LORD your God is giving you a place of rest. He has given you this land.’

14Your wives, children, and livestock may remain here in the land Moses assigned to you on the east side of the Jordan River. But your strong warriors, fully armed, must lead the other tribes across the Jordan to help them conquer their territory. Stay with them

15until the LORD gives them rest, as he has given you rest, and until they, too, possess the land the LORD your God is giving them.

. True rest can only come through and from God. That was one of the prevailing themes throughout the Old Testament.

Hebrews 4:1-3 tells us about the rest found through Jesus.

1God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it

.2For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God.

3For only we who believe can enter his rest.

. Only those who believe can truly rest.

. In our scripture this morning, Jesus tells us how we can have true rest. Not just physical but spiritual rest as well. True rest can only come through peace with God.

. Let’s look at our scripture. Matthew 11:28-30

28Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

29Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

30For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

. Jesus shares three things that we need to do in order to truly find rest.

. He says that we must Come To Him, let Him Carry Our Burdens and Commit to Him to truly find rest.

. Jesus says Come. Come to me Jesus says.

. Look at verse 28 again:

28Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

. Notice Jesus didn’t say come to church.

. Rest comes; true salvation comes when we meet Jesus personally.

. Just being a member of the church doesn’t make you a Christian.

. Church membership without that personal relationship with Jesus makes you a hypocrite. You are pretending to be someone you are not.

. Just because we walk into a garage when someone is working on our car and someone sees us in there doesn’t mean that we are a mechanic. We are just there.

. The same goes for church membership. Just because we are in the building doesn’t mean we are Christians.

. Gathering information about Jesus does not make you a Christian.

. Joining a group does not make you a Christian.

. Having Christian parents doesn’t make you a Christian.

. We must first Come to Jesus if we are to be truly at rest in who we are in this life.

. Harrison Ford is an actor. I’m sure most of you have seen some of the movies he has been in. The Indians Jones Movies, Star Wars, etc. He was being interviewed one day and he was asked about his success. He said this, “ a man only wants what he aint got” when asked what that was, his answer was “peace”.

. Everyone is searching for peace or rest for their soul.

. Jesus said “Come to me” and I will provide the rest that you are searching for.

. It is an indescribable rest and peace that you have when you Come to Jesus.

. Next Jesus says come to me and I will Carry your burdens.

. Carry your burdens

.Look at verse 28 again:

28Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

. Let me carry all these burdens that are on your back making you tired and weary.

. We learned in our study of Judaism that the teachers of the law had placed 613 rules and regulations upon the Jewish people in order to be right with God.

. No one could possibly keep all of them and the people were despondent and downtrodden.

. They were seeking rest and peace form all this man made religion.

. Jesus was saying to them, if you are tired of trying to please god by keeping all these rules and regulations that man has put on you, Let me carry your burden of sin and shame and come to me and I will give you rest from all of this. Let me carry this for you.

. In me you will find rest.

. You try so hard to be good enough to have a relationship with God and you carry these burdens around with you all the time.

. Am I good enough to have eternal life?

. Has my good outweighed my bad so that I can go to heaven when I die?

. Jesus says let me carry those burdens for you.

. Let me make you good enough.

. Let me take your place in punishment for sin.

. I will carry all your sin to the cross with me so that you no longer have to carry your sin.

. We read this after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

. These people were hearing it before the cross.

. They understood what a works religion Judaism had become.

. They so desperately needed the Grace that Jesus offered them.

. Try as we might, sometimes we forget that we are saved by Grace, not by works as Paul tells us in Ephesians 2: 8-10.

. 8God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

9Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

10For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, ...

. We try to place rules and regulations on ourselves and others in order to be saved.

. Jesus says no, I will carry your burdens.

. Aren’t you weary of trying to be good enough?

. Come to Me and find rest for your soul as I carry your burden of salvation.

. Jesus says Come and Let Me Carry your sin and then Commit Yourself to my teachings.

. Look at verses 29-30 again.

. 29Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

30For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

. A yoke is made of wood and was hand made to fit the particular shoulders of the animal or animals that were to be yoked. The yoke was used to control animals.

. It was used as a metaphor for submission in the world at that time.

. Many used the term to describe their allegiance to a particular teacher.

. They were referred to being under the yoke of a particular teacher or philosophy.

. Jesus was saying commit to my yoke.

. Commit to my teaching because my yoke is easy.

. What I expect from you is different from all you have been taught.

. Your eternal destiny will no longer be determined by works and rules and regulations.

. I have a new way to eternal life.

. Just yoke yourself to me. Commit to my yoke.

. Guess what Jesus’ yoke was folks.

. Love God, Love each other.

. His two commands.

. The yoke of the Pharisees is 613 rules and regulations.

. My yoke is two.

. Love God, love each other.

. When you do this, you will find true rest for yourself.

. If you soul isn’t able to rest, there’s no way you can find physical rest.

. As I close this morning, I want to share some definitions of rest that the dictionary gives and how they parallel with the rest that Jesus offers.

1. Rest- a cessation from action, motion, labor or exertion


. To enter into God’s rest is to cease all efforts at self-help in order to earn salvation.

2. Rest- freedom from that which wearies or disturbs.

. God’s rest gives us freedom from the cares and burdens that rob us of peace and rest.

3. Rest- Something that is fixed and settled.

. God’s rest gives us an assurance that our salvation is settled.

. Christians have this assurance that eternity is fixed and settled for us through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

. Jesus said come to me , let me carry you and all you have to do is love God and love each other.

. This labor day we can rest in that assurance from Jesus.


*** To my Christian brothers and sisters, thank you for taking the time to read this sermon. I ask that you take another second and score this for me. I am always open to feedback so that I can continue to grow in the proclamation of God’s word.

May God bless you as you continue to strive to walk worthy of His calling.

Sources: The Holy Bible, NLT

Illustration from sermon central