Summary: There is no reason to stress out trying to follow Jesus.
Rest for the Stressed
June 14, 2009 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: There is no reason to stress out trying to follow Jesus.
Focus Passage: Matthew 11:28-30
Introduction: The driver of an ox wagon was on his way to market when he overtook an old man carrying a heavy load. Taking compassion on him, the driver invited the old man to ride in the wagon. Gratefully the old man accepted. After a few minutes, the driver turned to see how the man was doing. To his surprise, he found him still straining under the heavy weight, for he had not taken the burden off his shoulders.
I. Come to me…
a. Jesus didn’t say “come to church and find rest”
b. The rest comes from a personal encounter with Christ, not in following rules.
II. Take my yoke…
a. Yoke Pictures Three Things:
1. Connection “Be with Me.” Yokes are made for two, not one. We were not meant to go through life living apart from God. His yoke fits well and is lighter than the one we’ve been pulling by ourselves. Be connected to Jesus!
2. Direction “Follow Me.” The idea of a yoke pictures the forward motion of two connected together. You cannot be yoked to Jesus and go your own way anymore. We follow Him and His direction for our life. Follow Jesus!
3. Cooperation “Work with Me.” To be yoked together means that we cooperate with His work. Before we come to Him, we were living for this side of eternity. Now we are joined to His work and discover that our lives make an eternal impact.
We experience only when we obey: COME and TAKE His yoke.
Rest is the result of obedience! We rest in Him!
III. Learn from me… (When we take up His yoke, the process of learning begins.)
a. **Gentleness: Strength under control (Jesus as the example).
b. **Humility: Selflessness (Jesus as the example)
Invitation: One day a man went by to see a farmer who was plowing his field with a team of oxen. The man noticed that one of the animals was seemingly a little bigger than the other so he asked him about it. The response from the farmer was very interesting. He said that the big animal was an older animal that was well trained and the smaller one was a young animal that was new to the yoke. The man went on to inquire as to why he put them together and this is the answer that He got,
“Well you see, it’s like this. That older ox is the best ox that I have ever had; he knows his way around the field. The reason I put the younger one with him is so the older, more knowledgeable ox could teach him how to plow. If I never put them together the younger one would never learn. By himself the younger ox would pull himself to death, but together he learns to cooperate with and rest in the strength of the older ox.”
Does your life feel like the ox whose pulling himself to death. Rest comes from obedience to Jesus’ commands. COME to Me, TAKE My yoke upon you, LEARN from Me.