Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com

Rest: God wants us to rest in Him

For most Americans, life consist of getting up early, commuting at least 23 minutes (on the average) to work, working 8 to 10 hours, commuting another 23 minutes back home, watching television, going to bed to get at least 7 hours of sleep, and getting up the following day to do pretty much the same thing over. Weekends are consumed with errands, spending time with family, and then comes Monday: back to doing pretty much the same thing over again. 

Most companies pay for only two weeks of vacation time. A lot try to bail out and start their own company in hopes of perhaps having more me-time, only to find out that it is often more stressful and confining. To say that most Americans are exhausted would be an understatement to many.

Wouldn’t it be nice if your boss comes to you with an all expenses paid coupon to an expensive spa, and insists that you go right away! Oh, how I wish someone would come to me and tell me just that! Oh, wait a minute! Isn’t that what Jesus said in Matt 11: 8? Jesus’ invitation rings out: “Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” His invitation is so much better than a spa! He brings relief that permeates deeper than the skin! It permeates our mind and our very soul! It is the kind that stays with you and you can carry while you are in the midst of any kind of tedious, tiring, draining work. Doesn’t that just make you want to run to Him?

Jesus’ invitation goes out to the Jews who are burdened by the yoke of the Law that their priestly scholars told them they have to perform to be on the good side of the Lord. But here the Lord Jesus Himself is telling them that His yoke is easier and His burden lighter than what they are used to. 

In the same way, a lot of people are burdened by the efforts they had been exerting trying to earn their way to heaven or to God’s favor: going through religious rituals, tithing and giving money to charities, trying their very best to live a good life, but all to no avail. At the end of their lives, they are still uncertain. “But as many as receive Him (that is Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His Name” (John 1:12). 

That is way easier than working our way to heaven! Indeed, His way is easier, though no less worthy and effective. The salvation He offers is made possible by the blood of Jesus, the ultimate sacrificial lamb that was shed, “to take away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). 

Jesus’ warned His disciples: “In this world you will have tribulations…” followed with an assurance: “…but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Life in general is burdensome and full of difficulties. In our daily struggle to live in the midst of the evil that resides in us and around us, Jesus’ invitation is all the more poignant: “Come…I will give you rest.” 4

Our job is simply to go to Him – while yet groaning and panting in sweat, and He will give us rest. That is His promise and Jesus never lies. He has the power and the ability to make good on His promises. He will not disappoint. So what are we waiting for? It’s time to cash in on the coupon He has given, and He wants us to cash in on it now!

“Thou has made us for Thyself Oh God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”

- St. Augustine

By Esmie Newman, 2011

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