Matthew11_28thru30

Message Scripture:

“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.”- Matthew 11:28-30 (NASB)

Introduction:

Well, glory to God!  I finally have an excuse to slide one of my favorite Christian rock out songs into a message, and it even fits with what I’m getting ready to talk about.  I have been sitting on these verses here all day, and before I get to any other message it’s time to let this one out. So, I’m not going to spend a lot of time introducing this message I thought for a while it was going to be the devotional message for today…but the Lord gave me something else to talk about for that. So, let’s get out of the introduction, pray, and get into this message.  Oh…and there’s going to be a worship video for this song too!

Opening Prayer:

Father, Thank You for this new day and the privilege of beginning it with You. As today unfolds Lord, I ask that You would give me wisdom to handle each and every situation that I encounter today. I ask, Lord, that my speech would be seasoned with grace, and that the love of God that’s shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost be felt by those around me. I am grateful to know that no matter where this day takes me You will be right there with me. Let my tongue, Lord God, be that as a pen of a ready writer speaking only of the oracles of You. Let those within the sound of my voice have ears to hear and hearts that will be receptive and respond to what You are about to speak to us this day. In Jesus name…Amen and Amen.

Praise and Worship:

As I mentioned a moment ago, this message will allow me to insert one of my all-time favorite Christian rock out songs into this message, and it actually fits in with where the Lord is taking us today.  It’s Don Potter’s “Come, Come, Come”…and here it is:

 

Come, Come, Come:

Good Evening Everyone.

By the time I get this message written, proof-read, and posted most of you will probably have called it a night.  I’m ready to call it a night too, but the Lord has this here message for me to write first.  This is one of those messages that the Holy Ghost would’ve kept me awake until I sat down to pen it, and who knows maybe as I start writing I’ll get on a roll and the Holy Ghost will give me that supernatural energy that comes some times.

So…I feel like I need to re-post our scripture for this message, and so I will.

“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.”- Matthew 11:28-30 (NASB)

Wow!  This is a first.  The Lord is taking me back to a message I penned a while ago on Matthew 11:28, and so I’m going to write this message based off that message.  So, for the first time I’m going to be using one of my own messages to illustrate a new message.  You know that you’ve written some good stuff when the Lord takes you back to something you wrote, but I’m guessing that He has some new things to say about what we’ve already said about this before. 

“Everything in the church today is about working, striving, pressing in, pushing, and having a “sense of urgency” with God. I agree that we need to seek God with all our being, I agree that we need to press past ourselves when it comes to worship, and I agree that there’s a hunger and a thirst that can only be satisfied by God.  What I disagree with, however, is that we need to strive, work, and EARN what we need from God…especially when we read that He’s already provided everything we need in Christ.”

We sure are working and striving so hard in the Body of Christ, aren’t we!?!  Don’t shout me down before we get started now.  I see your posts on Facebook and Twitter.  I can feel the weariness that is coming from them.  You are striving so hard to become the men and women God wants you to be, you are working so hard to clean up your lives so that you don’t feel so embarrassed and unworthy to approach Him, and you are trying so hard to earn the love of the Heavenly Father the way many of you are trying to earn the love of your earthly fathers.  I see your posts, and I can feel how tired you are just from what you are writing.  The main reason I understand and know how tired you are is because I was once just like you.

I once believed that I had to pray until something happened.  I once believed that I had to persistently badger God to get Him to move in my life.  I once believed that I had to clean up my life and stop doing some of the things I was doing before He would be able to even hear me over the enormous amount of sin in my life.  I once believed that I had to earn everything I got from God because God only helps those who helps themselves…and so I wanted and knew I needed His help.  So, I was trying to do and help myself so that I would finally be in a place where God would see me working, striving, and He would look at me with honor and respect because I was striving so hard just to get Him to take a glance in my direction.

Friends, let me be transparent and sincerely honest with you for a moment.  I was so worn out, broken, and destroyed that all this trying to do everything I could to earn from God what I needed almost cost me my life.  There are so many people who are completely worn out, and I know that if it breaks my heart it devastates God’s heart to see us wearing ourselves out trying to earn what He’s already provided for us.   He’s told us in His Word to draw near to Him, to come to Him, to cast our cares upon Him, and to exchange the burdens that have us so tired and worn for His…but still so many are wearing themselves out trying to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.  I was at that point.  I know how it feels, but I also know what it’s like to exchange those burdens and yokes for the Lord’s rest.

Again, that’s what Christlike Ministries NWA is about.  My burden today is what burdens the Lord’s heart…introducing people who don’t know the Lord to Him, and helping those who do know Him to know Him better.  I’ve come to find that there isn’t much in the way of the cares of the world that weigh me down.  I’ve come to understand that the Lord will take care of those things.  Seek first His kingdom…and all these things will take care of themselves.  He’s more than adequate at providing as long as I’m leaning on Him.

 “I find myself saying fairly often that God is not moved by our sense of urgency He’s moved by our faith in Him and His Word.  He’s not impressed when we strive for things He’s already blessed us with…and finally He’s also insulted by us trying to work so hard for something that He has already provided.  The body of Christ is exhausted because we are so convinced that getting God to move on our behalf is like a dentist trying to pull a stubborn tooth.”

The opening line to the song is “Come, come, come…all who are weary.”.  Jesus says “Come unto me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you REST.”.  The invitation to come is a universal invitation.  The cares of this world are extremely heavy some times, aren’t they.  I know they are.  It’s hard to completely lay those at the Lord’s feet, and leave them there.  I know that because I lay things at His feet all the time, and then I turn around to pick them back up.  The Bible talks a lot about casting our burdens upon the Lord because He cares for us, and doesn’t want us to be weighted down with all the things that we’re so burdened with.

So, we add the cares of the world to trying to do everything we possibly can do to live right and holy lives and we are wearing ourselves out.  Religion has taught us that we have to strive and beg and be hungry and thirsty for God.  That’s true.  We have to love Him and seek Him and desire Him with all of our hearts, all our souls, all our might, and with all of our strength…but how many times have I written that God isn’t moved by our sense of urgency…God is moved by our faith.  When we take God at His Word, and really cast the things upon Him that weigh us down that’s were the peace and freedom and rest come from.

Listen, I know how heavy the load can get and be.  I’ve had that burden on my shoulders.  I was trying to do everything I could to not mess up my life, and the harder I tried the worse of a mess I made things.  I tried doing everything I possibly could within my strength to atone for the mess I made of my life, and I tried so hard to make myself become someone who I was certain would have God’s ear…but the more I tried to become that person the harder it was to be and the more out of reach it became.  That’s why the law couldn’t ever do what one drop of Jesus’ blood did.  I tried living by the law.  I tried being and doing and striving and doing all that…and I wound up being so exhausted spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically that it almost cost me my life.  I reached a point in my life in November of 2010 where I basically told God that I didn’t know what I needed Him to do, but I just knew that I needed Him to do something because I was literally at the end of myself…and do you know what happened…God showed up.

You see.  The reason I was so exhausted is because I refused to get out of God’s way and allow Him to do the work in my life, through my life, and with my life that He wanted to do.  The other reason is that I didn’t realize until I got out of His way is that He doesn’t need any help from me with the work He wanted to do…He just needed me to get out of His way, trust Him, and obey what He wants me to do.  That doesn’t mean that I do everything that God wants me to, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I have it all figured out.  I’ve said in many a message including the latest side journey A Faith That Works that I miss God all the time.

The greatest freedom I have ever experienced in my life was reaching that point where I was at the end of myself.  I went to church that way, and found myself at the altar a couple of different times.  One of the pastor’s that prayed for me that day said that in the spirit He saw what looked like the weight of the world (my world at least) being lifted off of my shoulders, and he was right because that was the day that God spoke to my heart that He loved me…and that changed my life forever.  That day was the beginning of the events that would eventually lead me to launch this ministry…and now I’m writing new messages based off of things in old messages I wrote more that three years ago.

We DO need to strive for a closer & more intimate relationship with God, but NOT for His blessings. I know there are times we will have to ask, seek, and knock. I know that we’ll have to be persistent with God sometimes with some things. But when we’re striving for His Goodness…we are working for something that’s available for free. .

I don’t know about anyone else, but as the old saying goes I am tired of being tired.  I am tired of being worn out, and the only way to find the rest I need today is at the feet of Jesus.  That’s what Mary found that Martha was frantically searching for the day Jesus said Mary was doing the needful thing.  That’s kind of the perfect picture to paint as we close out this message.  Most of us are frantically trying to live the lives we think God wants us to live…when really what God wants is for us to realize that everything we need is found at His feet.  Everything we need is found in coming to Him, laying our burdens, cares, and worries at His feet, and allowing Him to take over when (and only when) we reach the end of ourselves.

Give yourself a break today, and stop working so hard. Instead read Matthew 11:28-30…and try giving Him some of the things that are weighing you down. There’s an old saying that if you don’t enjoy the peace & rest of God…you can return to your misery.

Can’t you hear Jesus calling:  “Come…come…come.”

Let’s Pray:

Teach us, Lord God, to learn to rest in Your grace and providence more and worry less. We want to surrender our burdens to Jesus and let Him teach us His way and how to find His rest. Sometimes we get so tired and weary that we don’t think we can continue.   Give us courage, Lord, to face the challenges that we must confront. Give us charity to deal appropriately with those we meet. Give us thankfulness for all that you have done to bless us. Give us clarity to see that living for Jesus is the best of all choices.  Father, we want to know You better and to live for You with undivided hearts. We want to find rest in Your presence, meaning in Your service, and significance in Your acceptance. Please bless us as we journey toward a deeper relationship with You, and as we gain a more profound knowledge of Your Son.  Most of all help us, Lord Jesus, to find rest in Jesus.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

In Closing:

Where do you go when you are exhausted and in need of rest? No bed, no vacation, no retreat can give us a truly refreshing rest if that rest doesn’t involve coming to Jesus. So what are you waiting for? Come to Jesus and enjoy the blessings of his presence, his love, his forgiveness, his grace, and his rest!  True rest comes from knowing God. King David reminds us of this in Psalm 23. Jesus makes it clear again. Only Jesus can fully reveal God to us. Only Jesus can take away the burden of seeking to please God without an understanding of grace. Only he can remove the burden of our past sins and enable us to stand holy, blameless, and free from accusation before God Almighty.

So, why not accept Jesus’ invitation to Come to Him today, and leave all those burdens and yokes you are trying to carry at His feet.  Jesus never scolded Martha for trying to do everything she could to serve God.  He said that Mary was doing the needful thing.  Most of you know that I believe that the only way that we truly have the right heart and motive for serving God is when we get up from sitting at His feet.  I am convinced that had Martha sat at Jesus’ feet first, and then got up to do everything she was trying to do she would’ve done it out of a heart of want to and a heart of love…instead of a heart of have to.

Let me ask you.  Do you serve God because you love Him and because you want to…or do you serve Him because you feel that you have to?  If you’ll take some time to give yourself that break, and sit at His feet like I did…you’ll discover that you’d been going at things all wrong…and for the wrong reasons.  When you get up from sitting at His feet that is when you understand all  that sitting and resting at His feet wasn’t just for you to learn..but so that you can appreciate why you do what it is you do for Him.

I’ll just say that I enjoy the heck out of writing these messages.  It’s a joy to be able to take a gift that God blessed me with, and be able to use it as a ministry.  Christlike Ministries NWA isn’t a burden to do…it’s an absolute joy because I am serving God out of a heart of love that desires to bless and honor Him.  I say it quite often that I am sharing my testimony one message at a time, and that by doing this my hope is that there will be people who come to know God and will be encouraged to step into the roles He has set them aside for because one thing I know is that when I reached the end of myself…that’s where I found Him…and that’s also when He took over and helped me to become the man that is writing these messages today.

Why do you do what you do for God?  I hear that question in my heart, and so I’m just going to put it out there.  It’s not really a question that I want you to answer for my benefit.  I’m not asking because I want you to comment, and tell me why you serve God or why you do what you do for God.  This question is really there simply because it’s some times good to sit back, get alone, and really take a moment to ask ourselves why it is we do what we do for God.

So…I guess I have some homework for you…take some time to get into your quiet place, turn everything off, and really take some time to meditate upon this question:  Why do I do what I do for God?  And as you are asking this question…I want you to take a moment to ask God to do this…

Search me, O God, and know my heart…Try me and know my anxious thoughts…And see if there be any hurtful way in me…And lead me in the everlasting way.

Have a blessed night, Christlike Ministries NWA Family, and God Bless!

Blessings & Grace to you,

Pastor B

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