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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 was your good pleasure.
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.” (Mt 11:25-30 NIV)
Introduction: The greatest question in life, is “what is the purpose of life?” or “What is my purpose?” until we discover the answer to life we find ourselves adrift, lost, and weighed down with care. Only when we answer the question of our purpose are we set free to live life in peace.
I. Assume The Attitude of Discovery
A. Remember the span of Knowledge
- There is so much we don’t understand. The Lord of heaven and earth is the Lord of all knowledge. Only he knows everything, and only through his desire to reveal, can answers be found.
B. Reject the Conceit of knowledge
*** If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.
-- Thomas Carlyle, quoted by D.A. Wilson in Carlyle at His Zenith. Christianity Today, Vol. 34, no. 13.
C. Retain a Humility in knowledge
- James, my nephew, said that when we get confused, we just have to look at things another way until our confusion goes away.
***Pope John Paul II in Draw Near to God said “Christmas demands faith, because Christmas is a mystery. Our reason cannot succeed in trying to understand how God could possibly have loved us to such a degree. The shepherds are given a sign. They will find him in a manger. There the infant Jesus has been placed ... a sign of extreme poverty and of God's supreme humility. Such a thing baffles the intellect. It teaches us that to welcome the message of Christ, the divine Redeemer,” . . . [we must not trust our own intellect. We must confess that we do not know the end from the beginning] “Only humility, which melts into trust and adoration, can comprehend and welcome God's saving humility.”
-- Pope John Paul II in Draw Near to God. Christianity Today, Vol. 38, no. 14.
See: Mt 11:29; Jn 3:16; Php 2:7.
II. Accept The Avenue of Discovery
A. God Revealed by His Miraculous Signs
*** Too many times we miss so much because we live on the low level of the natural, the ordinary, the explainable. We leave no room for God to do the exceeding abundant thing above all that we can ask or think.
-- Vance Havner in the Vance Havner Quote Book. Christianity Today, Vol. 36, no. 14.
See: Ex 7:5; Dt 11:4-8; Ps 78:10-32; Mt 11:3-5.
B. God Revealed by His Manifest Son
- God in the flesh.
C. God Revealed to His Marvelous Satisfaction
- This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.
III. Answer The Appeal to Discovery
A. A Call to a Personal Savior
- Come to Me! Come to a person, who is the only one in which salvation can be found. Jesus calls people to himself as life’s answer.
B. A Call to a Plan of Service
*** The notion of "lite," says a university expert on popular culture, is a trend in American culture. "That is for everybody to be utterly selfish about themselves, for people to want easy cures, easy riches, easy jobs, and easy wealth." And easy salvation?
Well, yes, you might say; Jesus said that his yoke was easy and his burden light. Yeah, no sweat, no effort, easy does it--Christians are on a dreamship to heaven. "Light is right, man, 'cause Jesus, he said so." ... Not only is the burden light, there is none.
-- Henry Fehren in U.S. Catholic (Nov. 1986). Christianity Today, Vol. 33, no. 6.
See: Isa 58:6; Mt 11:30; Ro 12:2.
*** Rest is not quitting
This busy career;
Rest is the fitting
Of self to one's sphere.
'Tis the brook's motion
Clear without strife,
Fleeing to the ocean
After its life.
'Tis loving and serving
The highest and best;
'Tis onward, unswerving:
And this is true rest.
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in Sourcebook of Poetry (comp. Al Bryant). Christianity Today, Vol. 37, no. 6.
See: Ex 33:14; Ps 116:7; Mt 11:29.
C. A Call to a Peaceful Sabbath
*** Some time ago, a newspaper in Tacoma, Washington, carried the story of Tattoo, the basset hound. Tattoo didn't intend to go for an evening run, but when his owner shut his leash in the car door and took off with Tattoo still outside the vehicle, he had no choice.
A motorcycle officer named Terry Filbert noticed a passing vehicle with something that appeared to be dragging behind it. As he passed the vehicle, he saw the object was a basset hound on a leash.
"He was picking them up and putting them down as fast as he could," said Filbert. He chased the car to a stop, and Tattoo was rescued, but not before the dog reached a speed of twenty to twenty-five miles per hour, and rolled over several times.
(The dog was fine but asked not to go out for an evening walk for a long time.)
There are too many of us whose days are marked by "picking them up and putting them down as fast as we can." We must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives.
-- John Ortberg. Leadership, Vol. 17, no. 4.
See: Ps 46:10; Mt 11:28-30; Lk 10:40.
In a remote Swiss village stood a beautiful church. It was so beautiful, in fact, that it was known as the Mountain Valley Cathedral. The church was not only beautiful to look at--with its high pillars and magnificent stained glass windows--but it had the most beautiful pipe organ in the whole region. People would come from miles away--from far off lands--to hear the lovely tones of this organ.
But there was a problem. The columns were still there--the windows still dazzled with the sunlight--but there was an eerie silence. The mountain valley no longer echoed the glorious fine-tuned music of the pipe organ.
Something had gone wrong with the pipe organ. Musicians and experts from around the world had tried to repair it. Every time a new person would try to fix it the villagers were subjected to sounds of disharmony--awful penetrating noises which polluted the air.
One day an old man appeared at the church door. He spoke with the sexton and after a time the sexton reluctantly agreed to let the old man try his hand at repairing the organ. For two days the old man worked in almost total silence. The sexton was, in fact, getting a bit nervous. Then on the third day--at high noon--the mountain valley once again was filled with glorious music. Farmers dropped their plows, merchants closed their stores--everyone in town stopped what they were doing and headed for the church. Even the bushes and trees of the mountain tops seemed to respond as the glorious music echoed from ridge to ridge.
After the old man finished his playing, a brave soul asked him how he could have fixed the organ, how could he restore this magnificent instrument when even the world's experts could not. The old man merely said it was an inside job. "It was I who built this organ fifty years ago. I created it--and now I have restored it.
That is what God is like. It is He who created the universe, and it is He who can, and will, and is in the process of restoring it.
--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 244-245.