New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica
The Father Revealed in the Son
25 At that time Jesus said, I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
It is in knowing Jesus we find our rest.
Faith isnt all about doing (eg going to every available Christian event) nor is it just about Sundays. Somewhere, somehow we need to strike a balance between feeding ourselves and feeding others in a spiritual sense of the term feeding. We need to be fit and healthy mentally, physically and spiritually in order to feed others, and that involves resting but it also means thinking about the burdens we carry.
The RevTopsy Posse are using LifeShapes in their discipleship. The triangle model has an up, in and out dimension. (If I figure it out I will try and put a diagram up!)
UP the importance of resting in God. We have to get to know God which we do through the son Jesus. We often read the verse about resting without reading what goes before. We can only rest when we are comfortable with the company…hence the term comfortable silence. Resting in God, even resting with God means that we need to be comfortable with him. One other thing I encourage you to notice – Jesus offers rest first, partnership second and burden third. How often do we flip it round and rarely ever make it to rest?
· How do we rest in God? Suggestions prayer, retreats, bible study, reading spiritual books, practising spiritual disciplines, Sunday worship, Christian community fellowship.
IN looking to ourselves what burdens have we accepted? Have we accepted Gods burden or have we collected a few others along the way? This is not to say that the other things we do in Gods name are not valuable or important but have we collected more burdens than we should. In our language burden might make more sense if we used the word “responsibility”.
· Jesus said our burden would be light yet most of us carry huge burdens.
· Notice that Jesus only mentions one burden
OUT once we have a handle on our burden then we can start to live it out. The image of the yoke suggests that we work in partnership with another. In partnership with Jesus and in partnership with each other. A problem shared is a problem halved. A burden carried by two is lighter than when it is carried by one.
So what about you?
UP how do you rest in God?
IN what burdens are you carrying and for whom? Do you need to let go of some of your burdens and trust God to pass on your burdens to the right people? Do you need to accept the burden God actually has for you?
OUT Perhaps you recognise your burden but you need to work on it. Who has God called to be yoked to you? We all have a role to play in the great commission and this is just the beginning of our adventures.
In a world where we are told to keep doing – for example you show your deep faith through how much work you do, your loyalty by how many hours you put in, and your skills by how many things you can do at once, it is great to be told to lay your burdens down and rest in God.
Can I encourage you to reflect on your burdens (responsibilities)? How many have you acquired? What do you need to stop doing in order to start doing what you should be doing? Do you ever stop and rest in God?
I have been forced to rest because of ill health (winter bugs) and I find it frustrating! But the more you practise rest (as opposed to laziness) the more you realise its value.
God bless, and I will be back soon!