Devotion - July 28, 2014
"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."
The people to whom Jesus first spoke these words were very much like you and me. People who were looking. People who were searching. People who were tired. Jesus was calling all those who were weary from trying to work out their own salvation, from trying to make themselves right with God, from trying to find their own way to heaven. He was inviting all those who were weighed down by the burden of vainly, fruitlessly striving for peace, contentment, and happiness in ways that didn't work and in places where it could not be found.
All these people could come to Jesus. He didn't put up any walls. He didn't play favorites. He didn't cater to people who acted a certain way, or dressed a certain way, or talked a certain way. There was no "in crowd" when it came to Jesus' invitation.
So Jesus' invitation is extended to us. It is extended to all of us, regardless of our age or upbringing, regardless of our background or past. Regardless of who we have been or where we have been, regardless of who we are or where we are, Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
"Learn from me," Jesus says. One thing we learn is that God can't accept us as we are by nature. His holiness and justice won't allow it. Our sins separate us from God. And the wages of sin is death—physical, spiritual and eternal death.
Another thing we learn is that God did everything necessary to make us acceptable to him. Because he is gentle and humble in heart, he gave himself for us, that we might have rest for our souls.
That means an end to the weariness of trying to work out our own salvation, of trying to make ourselves right with God, of trying to find our own way to heaven. It means an end to the burden of vainly, fruitlessly striving for peace, contentment, and happiness in ways that don't work and in places where it cannot be found. It means knowing that you are a redeemed and forgiven child of God and an heir of eternal life. It means looking forward to perfect rest with Jesus in heaven.