Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.
- Matthew 11:28-30
In a life where it is easy to be task-focused and driven by pleasing others, I can sometimes find it difficult to rest. We are consumed by work, school, relationships, and other responsibilities, but our hearts long for a break. While the things we do might be productive and God-honoring, it is easy to get into the mindset of “checking the boxes” and making sure we’ve done enough to earn the favor of those around us, including God. Sisters, this is burdensome, and it doesn’t have to be that way. We could never earn the grace of God on our own so living with the pressure to do that only leaves us weary and left with our own works.
When Jesus spoke about the light burden that is offered, He was speaking in contradiction to the people during His time, who placed so much emphasis on following rules that they missed out on the freedom He offers. While we are unable to earn the grace of God, Jesus made a way for us to receive it by dying on the cross. His death and resurrection took away the legalistic burden of following laws and sacrificing animals for forgiveness. Now, we can simply accept the free gifts of love and grace that He offers us and live free from the burden of trying to earn His favor.
There is no striving for perfection in the perfect love that Christ gives us. Serving Him is not a duty that can be fulfilled through works, but something that we can joyfully do and find rest in the process. All of the commands given by God are for our good and given so that our lives may be more abundant.
Throughout the Old Testament, we see many commands the Lord gave His people. While some of them may seem strict or just plain weird, they were given because God knew what was best for His people during that time. If we think of the commands that Christ gives us in the same light, it is easier to understand and submit to what He is asking. The greatest commandments we are given are to love God with every fiber of our being, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). All of the commandments Christ gives show us how He loves us, wants the best for us, and desires that we show this to everyone else.
If you are feeling weary and burdened today, be encouraged by knowing that Jesus has offered a life of rest for you. It is gentle and pure, and He only wants the best for your heart because He loves you so deeply. There is not a list of requirements that need to be met for you to receive this gift, simply listen to Jesus’ words: “Come to me.”
1. In what areas of your life do you feel heavy-burdened or stressed? Take some time to reflect on those areas and ask the Lord how you can find rest in Him.
2. Are you receiving God’s love in order to follow the second greatest commandment of loving others as yourself? Ask God to give you understanding and wisdom to trust that He knows what is best for you.
Father, thank You for taking the heavy burden of earning salvation away from me. Thank You for sending Your Son to carry my sin and weariness so that I don’t have to strive for perfection or Your favor. I praise You today for providing me with rest and carrying my burden. I love You! Amen.
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