It All Begins with Rest

Religion often conveys the message that there is always more to do, and that if a person doesn’t do enough, they are not considered a good Christian. However, the gospel presents an opposing message. The gospel begins with rest. The rest is in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. People come burdened and weary from sin, labor, and works, and they are embraced with Jesus.

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 11:28-29

Life can often feel like an endless cycle of striving and struggling. We labor under the weight of our responsibilities, worries, and expectations, feeling burdened and exhausted. In the midst of this weariness, Jesus extends a tender invitation: “Come to Me.”

These words from the lips of our Savior are a balm to our weary souls. They remind us that in the midst of life’s demands, there is a place of refuge and rest found in Jesus Christ. He doesn’t offer us a temporary reprieve or a quick fix. Instead, He offers us something deeper—a rest that permeates our very being, bringing peace to our hearts, minds, and our wills.

Jesus promised rest for the weary. The rest of God is our inheritance in Jesus Christ. Rest is not something that we do at the end of a busy day. Rest is meant to rule our hearts. Rest is meant to be our habitation place in Christ!

Sometimes, people receive the rest of God at the point of salvation, but then they begin to work for God as if it all depends on the individual’s self-effort. To the contrary, the rest of God is not based on our performance. What we do in the Kingdom is meant to begin with the rest in God. When the Lord settles our minds, emotions, and will and we are not worried about missing out on anything, then we give an opportunity for God to speak and direct our lives in His way and in His timing!

The work of God doesn’t begin with our initiative. When we are yoked to Jesus, He is the one who takes the lead. We only follow and stay in step with the spirit of the living God. The Biblical characters did not start with bright ideas trying to do something for God. Instead, it was God meeting them and telling them what He was calling them to do. Anything that begins with our initiative will cause the person to grow weary and discouraged and will not bear lasting fruit.  God’s burden is light and his yoke is easy because He takes the responsibility to do most of the work, but when we are running the show, we are taking responsibility to work in our fleshly strength to make something happen.

When Jesus invites us to take His yoke upon us, He is calling us to walk alongside Him, to learn from Him, and to surrender our burdens to Him. His yoke is not heavy and oppressive like the burdens we often carry. Instead, it is light and easy to bear because He carries the weight for us. He invites us to release our striving and to trust in His strength and guidance.

As we journey with Jesus and learn from Him, we discover the true source of rest for our souls. We find rest not in our own efforts or achievements, but in His presence and His promises. In His gentleness and humility, we find comfort for our weary hearts and minds.

Jesus promises that in Him, we will find rest—not just for our bodies, but for our souls. This is a rest that goes beyond physical relaxation; it is a deep-seated peace that comes from knowing that we are loved, accepted, and cared for by our Savior.

Do you enjoy walking alongside of Jesus? Is Jesus the source of your life or the means to an end? Are you living in the rest of God? If not, why not? What are the hindrances that cause you to lose your rest? Do you tend to take initiatives and run ahead of God? Do you have an accountability partner to help you slow down, so you can remain in God’s rest?

We just celebrated the risen Christ on Resurrection Sunday! Let’s remain in Him and believe that His finished work on the cross in enough.  Let us heed the invitation of Jesus and come to Him with all our burdens, desires, and dreams, laying them at His feet. Let us take His yoke upon us and learn from His humility and gentleness, trusting that in Him, we will find true rest for our souls. And as we abide in Him, may we experience the lightness of His burden and the joy of His presence every step of the way.


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