Summary: Sinners who find the rest which is promised through having Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, have the Lord’s rest because they have responded to the Holy Spirit’s convincing influence with a right heart of repentance.
Turn your Bibles to Matthew 11:28-30
Title: The Christian’s Rest
Theme: Relief from Life’s Greatest Burdens
Series: Living in the Aroma of God’s Grace
Listen as I read Matthew 11:28-30, "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." Pray!
Introduction: It has been well said that “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay.” It is imperative that we understand that Christ came to redeem mankind from a sin-cursed world. Coming to Christ enables the child of God to overcome that spirit of religiosity and learn the joy of walking in step with the Holy Spirit who produces a purer and more spiritual way of worship to God and Christ. The key truth to today’s text concerns the salvation of mankind’s soul and how those who are heavy burdened with sin are to come to Christ for His yoke is light.
Propositions: I would propose to you that sinners who find the rest which is promised through having Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, have the Lord’s rest because they have responded to the Holy Spirit’s convincing influence with a right heart of repentance. He has convinced them of the righteousness of God and the fact there is a coming final Judgment. (John 16:8)
Repentant sinners live in the aroma of God’s grace because they became aware of their sinful condition without Christ. They grew sick and tired of service to the sinful nature, the world’s draw and the lies of the devil. They understand the dangers of living a life bound to the sinful nature.
Christians who find relief from life’s greatest burdens are those who express the heart of Ephraim who expressed godly sorrow for his sins. He prayed, “After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.” (Jeremiah 31:19) They are like the prodigal who came to his senses and confessed, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.” (Luke 15:17) They approach God like the tax collector who prayed, “…God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Luke 18:13) They are responsive to the preaching of God’s messages and say, “…"Brothers, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37) These are the heart attitudes of Christians who enjoy the full grace of God in their lives.
Interrogative Sentence: Just what are the blessings of living in the aroma of God’s grace?
Transitional Sentence: The first step to enjoying these blessings is to have an understanding of what is meant by saying the Lord’s yoke is easy. Jesus says, “For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The Greek word for “easy” (chrestos) means to furnish what is needed, it can mean well-fitting or able to be used. The yoke that Christ puts on the child of God is not harsh or galling. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: William Barclay; Vines)
The great Christian historian William Barclay gives a little history about the Palestine ox-yokes. He tells us they were made of wood and the ox was brought to the carpenter and measurements were taken. The yoke was then roughed out and the ox was brought back to have the yoke tried on. Then the yoke was carefully adjusted, so that it would fit well, and not gall the neck of the patient beast. The yoke was literally tailor-made to fit the ox so he could give the best performance possible.
In those days, as now, shops had signs above the door; and it has been suggested that Christ may have made some of these oxen yokes. No doubt He was a great carpenter. (Mark 6:3) Many signs like today had nice short slogans. It has been suggested that a slogan on a sign above the door were Jesus worked as a young man could say, “My yokes fit well.” I am not saying that Jesus had such a sign, only that the slogan would describe His ability to make yokes that would fit the oxen perfectly.
What the Holy Spirit wants you to catch is that the yoke the Lord Jesus puts on you will fit you perfectly. The life He chooses for you will not burden you and the task He sets before you is measured out to fit you well. Whatever God sends us is made first, to form us into the image of Christ, second, to fit our true needs, and third, to fit our abilities exactly. I have seen Christians who have Spiritual gifts, but they disregard them. They put on yokes made by their own self-will thus finding the religious life a burden. I have seen great men and woman of God take upon the yoke the Lord has made to fit them perfectly, enjoy that abundant life found in Christ Jesus, and oversee their ministries very productively.