Devotion – August 22, 2015 – Come To Me All Who Are Weary

matthew11_28Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
—Matthew 11:28

I usually hear this verse being quoted to people who’s schedules have worn them out.  It’s easy to become tired and weary in our lives, especially in America today, where busy-ness has taken over and this can sound wonderful for that; but that’s not really the rest Jesus was talking if you read the surrounding verses.  It’s better than that…

Jesus had just said, “Woe to you.” to several towns where the people of Israel had rejected Him.  You see, God’s chosen people, Israel, had gotten caught up in works righteousness, the belief that by obeying commands, following certain traditions, and making sacrifices, they would be made right with God and would be saved.  They weren’t willing to listen to Jesus simple message of grace and forgiveness.  It’s too easy and they knew better.  Then Jesus says,

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

“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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
-Matthew 11:25-30

In this context we see that what Jesus is really saying here is even more wonderful than a comforting word for busy people.  Jesus is telling them that they are taking far too great a burden on themselves trying to earn their way into Heaven.  They can’t do it.  All they are doing is making themselves weary from the heavy burden they have put on themselves.

Today, we too can fall into the trap of thinking we have to earn God’s love.  We love to “do”.  We like having 12 steps or a check list.  But Jesus is tell the people of Israel as well as us, today, to lay that burden down.  You can’t earn His love and even the greatest effort to make yourself right before God by your own works will fail and only serve to make you tired and overwhelmed.  We are made right with God by the work of Jesus Christ.  It is by faith that you are saved, not by works.

Sure, finding rest from busy-ness is good, but Jesus offers us something even better, rest from our own efforts to make ourselves with God.  If you have been struggling to earn God’s love, if you are wondering if you “have done enough”, lay your burden down.  Know that Jesus has already done the heavy lifting on the cross.  Simply believe and trust in Jesus and find rest.

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for doing the hard work of our salvation.  I lay down my own works, my own efforts, and trust in You.  Please give me rest.

Amen

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