Monday, July 14, 2014

Weary and Burdened by Martin Wiles

I’ll never forget the summer I helped a local farmer pick watermelons. The workday at my regular place of employment ended at 3:20 p.m., so I had plenty of daylight to burn before dark. This particular summer I chose to spend those hours making extra money in the watermelon field. The late afternoon humidity—combined with soaring temperatures, was almost unbearable. Added to this were the weeds…some as tall as me, that prevented me from feeling even the slightest breeze sneaking through the baked field. Pick up, hurl onto the truck, pick up, hurl onto the truck. My actions were repeated for four hours every day. By the time I arrived home for a shower and bed, I could barely move. I was weary and burdened. 

Unfortunately, there have also been times when my weariness and burdens flowed in the spiritual realm. Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest…For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28, 30 NLT)

Andy Griffith once remarked that while rules were good they sometimes get in the way. Jesus accused the religious leaders of burdening the people with a bathtub of rules that didn’t cleanse them nor make their lives enjoyable. Rules are important, but obeying them isn’t what gains me acceptance with God and gets me into heaven. A relationship with Christ does this. Having rules imposed from outside sources gives me no inner motivation to obey. However when Christ enters my life, he gives me an inner desire to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, nor do they make me weary. Obeying the One who gave his all for me is enjoyable because I’ve had a change of heart and mind. As God’s child, I’m forgiven and accepted. I don’t have to work to get Christ inside of me…he’s already there. I only have to permit him to work through me. 

Are you weary of obeying legalistic rules that weary and burden you? Learn to rest in Christ.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for freely giving us what won’t weary or burden us and what we could never earn by our best of efforts. 

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