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
Now more than ever, we are living in a world dominated and controlled by fear. Many Christians have given place to the spirit of fear, and look, live, act and talk like those who don’t know Jesus. If you happen to be one of those today, you need to step back, regroup, reset, and let Jesus re-establish Himself as your everyday Lord as well as your eternal Savior. In this passage from Matthew’s gospel, our Lord identifies the situation we face in our everyday lives. Multitudes of people are stressed out, emotionally spent, fearful and without hope. In short, they labor and are heavy laden. The cares of this world
(Mark 4:19) have crushed their hopes and dreams, and they’re terrified for the future (Luke 21:25-26). To alleviate that for true believers, the Lord gave us two invitations. First, He invites us to come to Him. Second, He invites us to learn from Him 
How do we come to Jesus? The early church leaders had the answer. We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). There is so much in this one statement! The early church leaders knew they had to prioritize their time. If you read the previous 3 verses, they were being hounded and badgered with the ongoing politics of running the church. (Brethren, as long as there is more than one person in anyone’s church, there will always be politics to deal with!) What did they do? They made a decision. They made a choice. They gave themselves to two things: prayer and Bible study. And not just every so often – but continually. That is such an important part of how we come to Jesus. We don’t just pray and read our Bibles – we do so continually. Our flesh never wants to cooperate, that’s why we must decide to do this, and make our flesh obey even when we don’t feel like doing these things. This was the topic for the first book I ever wrote years ago, which was originally titled CONSISTENTCY AND THE 7 PRIORITIES OF LIFE (it is now titled BE STRONG STAY STRONG). Unfortunately, the only thing most Christians are spiritually consistent with is their inconsistency. They may pray and they may read their Bible, but not the way these early Christian pioneers did. If you want to enjoy the rest that Jesus offers, you’re going to have to objectively assess your time management. If we fail to continually take time to pray and study the Word of God, we’re going to be like all the others out there – who labor and are heavy laden.  
We also come to Him with a humble heart. This cannot be emphasized enough. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble
(James 4:6/1 Peter 5:5).  David posed the question in Psalms 8:4: What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that you visit him? Personally, just to realize that God wants to fellowship with me because He loves me so much is astounding! He’s never too busy with other things when I come to Him in prayer. Never. It’s the same for you, and for all of us. Think about that! How He is able to do this simultaneously with millions of others at the same time – without being the least bit confused – is something we’ll never comprehend, but I’m just glad He can – and does! And remember, He chose to love us when we were unlovely, and dead in sin (Romans chapter 5). 

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet now I, but the grace of God which was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10.

Without His grace, we are nothing going nowhere. In Him we live, move and have our being (Acts 17:28). Remember that, whenever you approach the Lord to discuss life and receive His counsel.  
How do we learn from Jesus? We follow Him (Matthew 16:24). This is why I’ve exhorted Christians for years to devote much time to the study of the four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The reason the Holy Spirit inspired those four men to write about the life and times of Jesus Christ is so that we can learn and follow after the example He set for life in service to Almighty God. Yes, I fully understand the importance of learning from the whole counsel of God – Old Testament and especially New Testament. But nobody except Jesus has ever lived a perfect, sinless life. He was tempted in all points like us, yet never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Everybody else we read about in the Bible, no matter who they were, when they lived or what they did, made mistakes – plenty of them. Only our Lord Jesus did it right from start to finish – well pleasing to God in life, and as the spotless Lamb of God in death (Matthew 3:17/Hebrews 9:14). 

Read and heed. Find out how Jesus dealt with sinners, disciples, traitors, religious enemies and of course, with the devil himself. For all of this and more, we see He was the most spiritually disciplined Man ever to walk the face of the earth. From the time He was old enough to read and comprehend truth, He studied and knew the scriptures so well, He was confounding the most educated religious leaders in the temple at the tender age of 12
(Luke 2:42-47). And coupled with that, throughout His life He was a Man of prayer, especially during His 3 years of public ministry. Many times, we read how He would go off by Himself to pray. In short, this is what the early church leaders saw and learned from Him. This is what they used as the platform for staying in close contact with God. We would be wise to do the same. 
When we go to our doctor over some medical issue, many times he or she will prescribe medication to help. The written prescription is then filled at the pharmacy. When we get the medicine, the pharmacist will always counsel us, going over the directions for taking the medication. The doctor doesn’t just give us a bunch of pills, then let’s us decide how we’re to take them. Each prescription is given with instructions about how to take the medicine, what possible side-effects there may be, and other pertinent information. In like manner, if we follow our Lord’s instructions, we’re going to come to the place of rest for our souls. By the Spirit of God, I’m telling you that God’s prescription for 2021 is to REST IN HIM! 

Read and study Hebrews chapters 3 and 4. In Hebrews 3:1, we’re told to consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. How do we do that? We come to Him and we learn from Him. If we don’t do that, we run the risk of falling into unbelief, which is sin. Whatever is not of faith is sin
(Romans 14:23), and fear is what triggers our unbelief. We can’t live in fear and unbelief and at the same time, enjoy the soulful rest that Jesus promises. Its one or the other. We’ve been promised a place of rest when we give our hearts to the Lord, so let’s grab hold of that!   

Since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. Hebrews 4:1.  
God promises Divine Rest for anyone smart enough to take Him at His Word. Jesus said His yoke is easy, and His burden light. The hard part for us is making the choice to really trust God, and ignore the fearful noise all around us. Once we come to Jesus and learn from Him, living an emotionally abundant life is easy. It’s no burden at all! We cast all our cares upon Him, because we know He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). That’s what Jesus did when He was here, and that’s what we need to do today.  
This is Who We Are. This is What We Do.
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Facing Your Fears
We’ve produced a new audio teaching series entitled FACING YOUR FEARS. If ever there was a timely topic to address, this is it! We have this available for you in CDs or USB flash drives. Call our Tucson office to place your order now. 
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