Friday, September 26, 2014

Finding Rest – Part 5

Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?  But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.  Acts 15:10-11
Grace Not Works!
The “yoke of the Pharisees” was the burdensome yoke of self-righteousness and legalistic law-keeping.  They believed that only keeping the law would bridge the gap between their sinfulness and God’s holiness.  Jesus’ yoke is light.  He knows that no amount of law-keeping will bridge this chasm.  Romans 3:20 tells us through the prophet Isaiah that no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law.  The good news is that Jesus promises to all who come to Him that He will give them rest from the heavy burden of trying to earn our way into heaven and rest from the oppressive yoke of self-righteousness and trying to earn our way through works.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart ... For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  Matthew 11:29-30
yoke (yk)
1. a. A crossbar with two U-shaped pieces that encircle the necks of a pair of oxen or other draft animals working together.
b. pl. yoke or yokes - A pair of draft animals, such as oxen, joined by a yoke.
2. A frame designed to be carried across a person's shoulders with equal loads suspended from each end.
The illustration of a yoke here is symbolic of Jesus helping to carry our load.  Most often a yoke was used between two oxen.  The two yoked together would lighten the burden and usually, a young inexperienced ox was paired with an older more experienced ox that knew what to do.  This is similar to Jesus helping us.  He knows just what to do and He will help carry our load. 

There's a great story I would like to share with you from Mrs. Lettie Cowman's wonderful book, Springs in the Valley. In the deep jungles of Africa, a traveler was making a long trek. Coolies had been engaged from a tribe to carry the loads. The first day they marched rapidly and went far. The traveler had high hopes of a speedy journey. But the second morning these jungle tribesmen refused to move. For some strange reason they just sat and rested. On inquiry as to the reason for this strange behavior, the traveler was informed that they had gone too fast the first day, and that they were now waiting for their souls to catch up with their bodies.  Then Mrs. Cowman concludes with this penetrating exhortation: "This whirling rushing life which so many of us live does for us what that first march did for those poor jungle tribesmen. The difference: they knew what they needed to restore life's balance; too often we do not." 

Waiting on the soul to catch up with the body...think about it.  Living without meaning (soul) brings weariness.  Only when we stop and reflect on what has happened do we truly experience life.  When we are rushing through life, all the things we are doing we fail to experience.

Jesus encourages those who are “heavy laden” to take His yoke upon them and in so doing they will find rest for their souls. The yoke of Jesus is light and easy to carry.  You can rest in His spirit.  Let Him help you with your load.  He is waiting to ease the burden and bring you rest.

Scripture to Claim

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

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