Do the holidays stress you out?

Opening Scripture:
Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 Jews were overwhelmed with the 10 Commandments that became the 613 ceremonial laws. Rivers of blood from the sacrifices for sin flowed from the temple serving as a constant reminder of their failure. Even though Jesus spoke of rest, the Jews were surrounded by laws. Rest was earned after they prepared for it; it was a symbol of holiness rather than a relief from stress.

They were confused when Jesus talked about getting rest with no one earning it, worthy of it, or deserving of a gift given by the Savior.

Genesis 2:1-3  Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Creation was complete, everything God had done was perfect, and there was no need to improve on it. But sin came and everything changed. Man became a slave to the law. But Jesus says there is a redemptive rest, a rest where we cease from the works of the law and trust in the One who redeemed us.

Hebrews 4:9-10  So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.

How To Receive This Rest:

1) Come

Matthew 11:28   Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

Too often people are unwilling to come because they are concerned about their ability to do for themselves. Instead, they invite Jesus to come and join them rather than them joining Jesus. We ask Him to bless what we are doing assuming He is already for it. And yet, it is He who calls us.

We can do all the right things, say the right stuff, and nothing changes because we are in the wrong place.

We must first be connected to Him.

The call is for the humble of heart, those aware of their need of a Savior.

James 4:6  But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
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2) Take

Matthew 11:29-30  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.”

We must choose to exchange our burden for His. Christ never said you wouldn’t have a burden, only that it won’t weigh the same.

John 16:33  “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

James 1:2-4  Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The promise is not for lack of struggle; the promise is for support and direction through it.
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3) Learn

Matthew 11:29  “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.”

Learning involves ridding myself of preconceived notions about what I am to be taught. We ask for help but already have the solution in mind. We want Jesus to solve our problems, but we want Him to do it our way and in our time.

Matthew 11:25  “…that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.

How we approach Him matters.
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Questions:

1.  When was a time that you prayed for your own solution instead of praying for God’s solution?
2.  What are some false definitions of rest that the world uses?
3.  What in your life is causing you to be weary or heavy-laden?

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