Friday, December 14, 2018

Thursday Thoughts: Learn From Me

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  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.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible.  It is comforting to me because I know that Jesus is always there.  All of us have those times when things are hard and we are heavy laden and need strength and help from somewhere and Jesus says that He will always be there to provide that strength.  Men who are called upon to serve as shepherds of God’s family understand the heavy load that we are sometimes called upon to carry.  There are issues that come up that you are not sure that you will be able to bear under that load.  These special problems added to the daily care and concern for the brethren, demands that we call upon our Lord for His comfort and strength to get us through these hard times.  This does not mean that we will always do the right things or make the best decisions but it does mean that we will survive these hard times and allow us the opportunity to correct anything that could have or should have been done differently.  I am thankful for that and am comforted by that knowledge.

For many years I used the King James Version of the Bible and when I read this passage it says, “Take My yoke upon you and learn of me”.  I thought that in order for us to have rest we would have to know about Jesus and that is true but later I began to use the New King James Version and the passage says that we are to “learn from Me”.  This caused me to think about this a little differently.  I know that they are really saying pretty much the same things and there is much to be gained from either version but when we consider those who labor and are heaven laden we must remember that Jesus had the sins of the whole world upon him and He says to learn from Him.  I should look at how Jesus conducted Himself and at His character as He dealt with His pending death on the cross and His concerns for the people of the world and their need for a Savior.  He says that we should “learn from Him” because “I am gentle and lowly in heart”.  Jesus is telling us that His approach to these problems is with gentleness and with lowliness of heart or with humility.  Jesus tells us to “Take My yoke upon you” or let Jesus be Lord in your life and He will take care of your problems.  If your problem is sin He can bring forgiveness; if your problems are hard issues of life He can bring rest and He will do so with gentleness and lowliness of heart.

So, what is my point in this writing?  When I consider the problems of life or a particular issue that is threatening the body of Christ I tend to attack that problem and feel like I must overcome this problem myself.  I have learned that this generally causes me to labor and become heavy laden and I have little rest.  It is not until I “learn from Jesus” to be gentle and lowly in heart and come to Jesus with my problems that I find rest and my approach to these problems takes a different direction.  None of us alone can solve those things that trouble us and cause us to lay awake at night with no peace.  Only when we “Take My yoke upon you” and turn these things over to Jesus will we ever have any hope for rest.  When I consider all the weight that Jesus carried to the cross and how He dealt with the unfairness of the crucifixion with gentleness and lowliness of heart and a quiet spirit, I am ashamed of my lack of patience, my determination to resolve my problems myself and generally my lack of faith that Jesus can bring me rest.  I thank God that Jesus said that I could come to Him and He will give me rest.

I encourage you to learn from Jesus to be gentle and lowly at heart and cast your burdens upon Him and find rest for you souls.

–Don Davenport

 

 

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