04. Rest

Jesus said, “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” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Two things make us more weary than anything else we might do. One is sin; the other is trying to be holy through our own efforts. Sin is a heavy burden because it separates us from God, harms ourselves and others, leads to a cycle of addiction and bondage, and brings judgment and eternal consequences. The good news is that God offers forgiveness and redemption through faith in Jesus Christ, who took on the burden of our sins on the cross and gave us freedom and eternal life.

But being holy can also be a heavy burden if we don’t do it the right way. The Jews, for example, in their desire to show God how holy they were, added 613 commandments to the ten that God had given Moses and tried to follow them to the letter. And then they insisted others follow these laws too! Jesus scolded them, telling them that instead of helping people know God and follow his ways, they made following him a cumbersome and arduous task (see Matthew 23:3-5). Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) emphasizes the true intent of the Law over the letter of the Law. We can make the same mistake today.

Jesus tells us he can give us rest from both. Are you burdened with sin? Turn to Christ in repentance. As Scripture says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). What a relief to be forgiven! 

Are you burdened with trying to be holy? Jesus will take the pressure off you. How? He says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me” (Matthew 11:29). What’s a yoke? It is what binds two oxen together as they plow a field. Isn’t that adding a burden instead of taking it away? No. Imagine you are one of the two oxen, and Jesus is the other. Your burden disappears when you are yoked to Jesus because he is strong and can shoulder your entire load. Then, because you are yoked to him, you will go where he leads you, which is the path of holiness. Easy, yes? We will talk more about this when we choose to abide in Jesus. 

There are other types of rest we need. God rested on the seventh day after creating the world (Genesis 2:2-3), establishing a pattern of work and rest. His fourth commandment instructs us to observe a day of rest and worship (Exodus 20:8-11). Jesus recognized the importance of rest and often withdrew to quiet places to pray and recharge (Mark 6:31, Luke 5:16). We need to rest. We can rest from fasting, so feel free to take a break tomorrow. I will rest from these reflections every Sunday, so you won’t hear from me until the day after. Let us choose to rest!

God bless you.

Click here for the extended "LIVE" versions: 1. Abundant Life
2. Perseverance
3. Humility
4. Rest
5. To Abide
6. To Wait
7. To Look Ahead
8. Light
9. Grace
10. Contentment
11. Love
12. Repentance
13. To Forgive
14. To Surrender
15. Joy
16. Faith
17. Discipline
18. Hope
19. Freedom
20. Gratitude
21. To Listen
22. Truth
23. Peace
24. Encouragement
25. To Imitate Christ
26. Friendship
27. Unity
28. To Remember
29. Conversion
30. Generosity
31. Revival
32. Integrity
33. Excellence
34. To Serve
35. Tongue Control
36. Courage
37. Wisdom
38. Purity
39. Stewardship
40. To Evangelize
Choice 01 — I Choose Abundant Life
Choice 01 — I Choose Abundant Life
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose the *Abundant Life*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichooseabundantlife
Transcript
Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal Read More
Choice 02: I Choose Perseverance
Choice 02: I Choose Perseverance
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Perseverance*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit : https://bit.ly/ichooseperseverance
Transcript
One day Jesus told his disciples a parable to show Read More
Choice 03: I Choose Humility
Choice 03: I Choose Humility
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Humility*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichoosehumility
Transcript
One day when Jesus was dining with a group of Read More
Choice 04: I Choose Rest
Choice 04: I Choose Rest
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *To Rest*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichooserest
Transcript
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary Read More
Choice 05: I Choose to Abide
Choice 05: I Choose to Abide
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *To Abide*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichoosetoabide
Transcript
One of the loveliest pictures Jesus painted is the one Read More
Choice 06: I Choose to Wait
Choice 06: I Choose to Wait
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose to *Wait*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichoosetowait
Transcript
One of my favorite passages of Scripture — I have Read More
Choice 07: I Choose to Look Ahead
Choice 07: I Choose to Look Ahead
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose to *Look Ahead*. Please share the video and bless others. 
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichoosetolookahead.
Transcript
Disappointments are a part of life. So is failure. So, also Read More
Choice 08: I Choose Light
Choice 08: I Choose Light
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Light*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichooselight.
Transcript
Have you ever had to navigate a room in the darkness? Read More
Choice 09: I Choose Grace
Choice 09: I Choose Grace
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Grace*. Please share the video and bless others. 
To watch an *expanded 30-minute version* of this reflection, please https://bit.ly/ichoosegrace.
Transcript
John Bradford was an English Reformer who lived in the 16th century. One day Read More
Choice 10: I Choose Contentment
Choice 10: I Choose Contentment
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Contentment*. Please share the video and bless others. 
To watch an *expanded 30-minute version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichoosecontentment.
Transcript
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote: "I know what it is Read More

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