The Promise of Rest

The Promise of Rest

Daily Reading: (Matthew 11:28-29):

“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.”

Did you know that God has promised you rest?We are a nation that for the most part is weary, tired, worn-out, depressed, agitated and afraid. Searching and seeking for the next thing that could help bring us relief. Every single one of us could benefit from finding rest. In fact, the Bible says in Hebrews 4:10-11 we are to labor or strive for only one thing: “For whoever enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:10-11). Let us make every effort to receive the rest Jesus is offering to us and we can do that by going to the promise of rest that Jesus made for us in Matthew 11:28-29.

Who should come to Jesus? The obvious answer should be everyone. Everyone needs Jesus. The text is clear. “All who are weary and burdened.” Should come to Him. Have you ever been weary and burdened in life? Yes! Come to Jesus- every single one of us.

Jesus is painting a word picture here this word in the Greek a metaphor is used of a man or woman who has a great load laid upon him/her, which he/she must carry to a certain place: every step reduces their strength, and renders the load all the more oppressive. The job of the Law was to help us realize how great a burden we carried that we are not going to make it to the grand destination of heaven if we try to carry the load ourself. Salvation happens when we lay our burdens down on the one who is willing to carry them for our sake, and we are given His rest (Matthew 11:28-29). “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).  

Each one of us were bound on heavy burdens; and laboring, by their observance of the law (which is unable to make any of us righteous), the Law and it’s requirements burdened us and weighed us down so that we might consider another way- a better way- an invitation to lay down your load, and receive the salvation procured for them by Christ. Come to me all you who are weary and burdened. It is a universal invitation to all.

The promise is that as you fill your mind with His word and take His yoke upon you, (which is His teaching) God will give you rest. Your situation doesn’t have to improve for rest to come. Your answer doesn’t need to be obvious for you to find rest. Come to Jesus and receive His finished work and there will be rest and there will peace in your soul today.

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness” (Proverbs 23:4). What this verse is warning us is that can wear yourself out trying to get to the place of not being weary anymore. You can’t achieve freedom from weariness or tiredness yourself. There is an invitation to all (the weary and burdened) and the promise is you will find/be given rest in Jesus.

Jesus wants to give you rest. And He says that the way you receive rest is to be yoked with Him, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. In ancient culture, the word yoke was a term that was used to describe submission. So, when someone was described as being yoked to someone or something, it was communicating the idea that he or she was in submission to that person or thing. To find rest is to submit ourselves to the teaching of Jesus.

A Kairos/Kodak Moment

A Kodak/Kairos Moment

Daily Reading: (Matthew 11:25, Acts 24:25-26, Galatians 6:10):

“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.”

“As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.”

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

God-ordained (Kairos) moments could turn into Kodak moments if we seize the opportunity before us. Kairos is related to the Greek word kara (“head”). A kairos moment is a time when things “come to a head,” requiring decisive action.

“At that time” (Kairos) [right time] in this moment of time Jesus says, “I praise you Father” or I fully agree with you – I am perfectly of the same mind that “you have hidden these things from the wise and learned.”

Jesus shows that He always operates in Kairos moments and by doing so reveals that God is always right on time (Matthew 11:25).

The context is Matthew 11:20: “Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent” (Matthew 11:20). 

They did not repent (metanoeo)- This is the key. They did not change their mind for the better. Jesus is before them offering something so much greater than miracles, He is offering His salvation. In order to receive the salvation He offers, a person would have to abandon their religious works-based salvation system. We don’t repent (change our mind for the better) to manipulate God into bringing his kingdom down; we repent because His kingdom is already at hand. In Christ we don’t repent to get forgiven; we repent because we are forgiven.

In the old covenant, repentance implied a turning from sin. But in the new covenant, repentance means a turning to God. This is clearly seen in the book of Acts. “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” (Acts 26:20).

“I praise you… because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned.” Our Lord does not thank the Father that he has hidden the path of salvation from the wise and prudent, but that, seeing they were hidden from them (they rejected the Gospel), Jesus is praising God for revealing the path of salvation to the others (Matthew 11:25). “and revealed them to little children.”

The Bible uses the word kairos 86 times in the New Testament. Galatians 6:10 says; “Therefore, as we have opportunity” (kairos).

Do you know when the right time is to do good to all people? “As we have” whenever there is a need. The right time to do good is whenever we can. “Let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Paul is writing to the Galatians, a church that almost didn’t exist anymore because of such division among them. Some were in the process of deserting Christ for another gospel (Galatians 1:6). After going back to the Gospel, there was some healing that needed to take place. Relationships needed to be mended, what better way to mend relationships in a church than to look for an opportunity to bless your own church family members by doing good to them.

“Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity (Kairos) I will summon you” (Acts 24:25, ESV). Felix wanted to pick his own opportunity to respond to the gospel, ignoring the opportunity of the present. In so doing, he did respond—he rejected the gospel.

Ephesians 5:16: “making the most of every opportunity (kairos), because the days are evil. You live wise (15) by making the most of every opportunity (16). Make the Most” (exagorazō) was a metaphor of Christ freeing the elect from the dominion of the Mosaic Law at the price of his vicarious death. Paul is simply saying to be careful to not fall into the trap of living under the bondage of the Law. Live free in the grace you have been given through the death of Jesus Christ. That is wise living. That is what it means to make the most of every opportunity. So, to put it plain, live in God’s grace and you will impart God’s grace to others. As you live free in the grace you have been given through the death of Jesus Christ you will see the opportunity (Kairos moment) and you will respond making for a Kodak Kingdom moment (Ephesians 5:16).