Faithlife Sermons

My Burden is Light

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Matthew 11:28–30 NKJV
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
An invitation here is given to those who labour who work and are burdened, heavy laden.
The action that they are called to is to simply come to Jesus.
The promise that they will find rest for their souls. But that rest does not come in the form of sleep but rather in the form of work. “Take my yoke upon you” The labour of the yoke of Christ however is very different in that it is easy and light.
But If Jesus says my yoke is easy and my burden is light, then why is it that we often find the Christian life so difficult? Or at least, so it seems as so many of us struggle with it.
going to church
praying every day
reading your Bible
overcoming sin
loving your neighbour
loving your enemies
I believe that our first clue is in the word “yoke” A yoke is a tool used to join two animals together so that they can pull at the same time. If we are to take on the yoke of Christ it means that someone must be pulling with us. That someone must be Christ. We will never bear the burden of the life of discipleship on our own.
In another analogy Christ also told us in
John 15:5 NKJV
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
So then if we labour without Christ in our own strength, then not only will we find it hard work and a heavy burden we will never achieve anything because we are not in Christ.
So there are two ways in which we can attempt to live this Christian life In our own strength or in the flesh and in Christ or in the Spirit.
As we have been gearing up for 2021 and discussing and praying about the ministry of Graceway this year one key thing we have identified is that it doesn’t matter what services we have or what outreach we do if it is not done in the Spirit then it will not be fruitful, it will not be edifying, and it will not be glorifying to God.
So obviously want to minister and serve in the Spirit and not in the flesh. But what is the difference.
Philippians 3:1–8 NKJV
1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
I came across scripture this week as I’ve been reading through 1Pet and I shared it with the prayer group. As I read this I’d like for you to imagine that this is written directly to us, to our church today.
1 Peter 4:7–11 NKJV
7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Works in the Spirit verse works in the flesh.
In the Spirit we serve in the strength that God supplies, so that God gets the glory through Jesus Christ.
As soon as we see our good works as a duty that we carry out in order to please God then we begin doing that work in the flesh. We must see the source of all good works as being in Christ done in the power that God supplies so that it is not I that receives the glory but God.
This is the difference between grace and works. Grace is the undeserved gift from God to me, works is my best efforts offered to God from me. As long as we see this Christian life as a duty that we have to God then it will be laborious and a great burden. I have to pray today, I have to read my Bible, I have to go to Church.
Until we see Jesus as the source of all joy and the fulfilment of our greatest desires then we will alway see our service to him as a drudgery.
But if we can see Christ as the living water and the bread of life, as the fulfilment or all our joy, then we will never see our service to Him as work but as grace. And then we find His yoke easy and His burden light.
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