This is for those of you who have bloodied your knuckles by beating your own breast while bemoaning your life of defeat.
I pity you poor folks. You have bought the lie that the yoke and burden Jesus has placed on you is so awfully heavy and burdensome. Of course you wouldn’t admit anything like that publicly with words. But what about your life? Has it spoken?
Wasn’t it you, sometime after your professed your need of Christ and said you believed the Gospel, who fell into the ditch of self effort. And isn’t it a fact that your present life speaks louder than words when it clearly proclaims to all others that you do not believe Jesus spoke the truth. He in fact lied to you.
You think I have the wrong person? Let’s see about that.
Does any of the following describe you?
- You feel like a ship adrift. There is no harbor of rest.
- You have learned along the way that your master is not so gentle. (You ask; What about my weary heart?)
- God and his demands are never easy on you. You often picture his rod upon your back but know little to nothing of his staff.
- There is always so much killing of sin and things to do, do, do to keep God happy.
- You are never pleased with yourself and sense God is not pleased with you as well.
- You project to others you are strong (they expect it) but down deep within you are crying out for help.
- The weight of your original burden remains. In fact it has been compounded by an increase in awareness of your own sin and guilt.
- Your constant struggle with sin and the weight of its guilt has worn you so down low –you have forgotten the way up. It is killing you.
- Works salvation has somehow replaced God’s salvation.
- Your “Christian” life is more like a performance treadmill and you are always running. There is no end to running.
- You are often stressed out.
- The Table of Remembrance is not something you look forward to. The days and weeks before you eat of the bread and drink of the cup speak more of death than life.
Now for the frosting on your home made cake.
You think the miserable life you now live is what a holy God demands of you,
so you can be holy in his sight.
I’m afraid some of you serve an imaginary tyrant and the devil is the only one smiling.
When your knees buckle under such a great man-made weight and think you have no where to turn for help, look once again into God’s Word for the true liberating King because somewhere along the line the Jesus of the Bible you thought you believed was replaced by a god of man’s imagination. The Good News you were told to expect for your already sin-sick troubled and guilt burdened weary soul was soon turned into bad news.
Need relief? Listen to Jesus. He truly does what he says.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
So do this believing:
- Take his yoke upon you, and learn from him,
- for he is gentle and lowly in heart,
- and you will find rest for your soul.
- For his yoke is easy, and his burden is light.”
So did king Jesus lie to you or did someone along the way turn the truth into a lie? Perhaps you are the guilty one?
We have freedom in Christ but this freedom is not a license to sin. Rather, we’ve been set free from the power of sin so that we may freely serve God. He has liberated those who believe in Him. The apostle Paul wrote of this freedom.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
But what about your life? Has it spoken? What does it smell like to others?
II Corinthians 2:14-17
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
Watch out for those snakes who through their lying words seek to undo what Christ has accomplished for his saints.
As for me, I have, and will continue to believe our liberating King Jesus. How about you?
Commentary: Moe Bergeron