Summary: Jesus came with an invitation not a list of religious rules and rituals.
PATTERN: DEDUCTIVE TEXTUAL – EXPOSITORY
The top 10 reasons you are too busy to pray today:
1. You wake up feeling rested, then realize your alarm should’ve gone off an hour ago.
2. Your spouse is away on a two-day business trip that’s lasted all week.
3. None of the clean clothes you were able to find match.
4. Your teenager shaved…the left half of his head.
5. Your bills are due, and your toddler hid the checkbook.
6. A strange fluid is dripping from your car.
7. You accidentally delete your quarterly report ten minutes before a meeting with your boss.
8. You’re in charge of games for the church youth night tonight.
9. Your dog is throwing up.
10. Your toilet’s overflowing, but at least you found the checkbook.
Ten reasons you really should pray today:
(See list above.)
Citation: "The Top Ten Reasons You Are Too Busy to Pray Today," Marriage Partnership (1996)
Every day brings at least ten reasons you really should pray – sometimes before breakfast!
Listen Jesus’ invitation to people like you and me, people that are tired, worn out and exhausted.
Text: Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
"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."
Jesus came into the world with an invitation not with another list of laws, rules and rituals.
We all enjoy invitations but we often do not accept invitations to unknown places with strangers. With whom and to what does Jesus invite us?
I. Jesus invites us to come to him.
A. Jesus invites the burdened to come to him; we come to him when we sense our spiritual sickness.
B. The first step to take toward Jesus Christ is a frank and humble admission that we need him.
C. Jesus took the burden of our sin when he died on the Cross, and if we come to him, he will give us rest—a full and free forgiveness.
A website called muslimjourneytohope.com has video testimonies of many who have converted from Islam to Christianity. One video clip is of an Iranian-born man who had been a militant Muslim, trained by Hezbollah. While on a trip to Malaysia, he was arrested and jailed—which only fueled his passion for his religion. He taught Islam to the other prisoners. Every ten days he read the Koran cover to cover. Over time, he even developed extraordinary spiritual powers, including the ability to inflict curses on people. But one day this man had a terrifying vision of Satan coming for him. Without really knowing why, he cried out, "Jesus, if you are true, show me yourself!" Before he finished his sentence, everything was back to normal. "But that was not my conversion," the man says in the video. "That was the beginning of my confusion." He kept asking himself, Why would Jesus help a Muslim?
For two weeks he fasted and prayed, asking God, "What is the way you want me to follow?" No answer came. Then, just when he decided to give up and go his own way, the presence of God filled his cell. He was confronted with God’s holiness and had a crushing sense of guilt. He was sure he would die. Over and over he cried, "God, forgive me! God, forgive me! God, forgive me!" It was then that he felt a touch on his shoulder, and a voice said, "I forgive you." The man says in the video that in that moment, "I physically felt forgiven." Still, he was concerned. The Koran says no one can know they are forgiven till they die. With that in mind, he asked, "Who is this God who forgives now? Who are you?"
The voice replied, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
The man didn’t recognize those words so he said, "What is your name?"
"Jesus Christ," the voice said.
At this point in the video, the man begins weeping. "Eighteen years have passed," he says, "but I still can’t forget his love, his mercy. … I am forgiven!"
Citation: www.muslimjourneytohope.com (clip #47)
D. We must not stumble over the simplicity of this invitation; all we need to do to receive Christ is come to him.
II. Jesus invites us to take his yoke upon us.
A. When we come to Christ, he first eases our yoke and then fits his yoke upon us in its place.
B. To take Christ’s yoke upon us is to become his disciples — we must surrender our minds and wills to his sovereign control.
Jesus’ yoke fits each of his followers perfectly because “it is laid on us in love; it is meant to be carried in love; and love makes the heaviest burden light. When we remember the love of God (for us), when we know that our burden is to love God back and to love (people), then the burden becomes a song.”