Sunday 29 July 2012

Matthew 11 v28

I wonder if there is anyone in who can stand up and say, ‘I have no worries in my life?’ If there is, would you like to stand up so we can all admire you?

There must be very few Christians or non- Christians who have not experienced some worry, some anxiety. We need hardly ask whether worry harms, it causes us to lose sleep takes the joy out of living, causes our hair to fall out or turn grey, even leads to an early grave.
There are so many fears in modern life. Young people facing life away from home for the first time. The man in his 40s fearing redundancy. Young managers worried at having to achieve ridiculously high targets. The business man working such hours he hardly has little time to see his family.

There is the fear of marriage breakdown, or serious illness;fear of losing someone dear. These are all perils faced by people every single day. As Christians we need to ask, ‘what is life all about’? So many people, especially the young, have no meaningful purpose. They have a hard outlook of, ‘live life to excess, get what you can out of it by any means whatever’.

What is the answer for the growing number of older people frightened to venture out of their homes? The one parent abandoned by their husband /wife. Wherever you look you find sadness and heartache and despair. The Bible says the answer is that life has no meaning apart from God. But for many God is unreal.

You can’t however come to God except through Jesus Christ. Not by Mohammed, Buddha, or anyone else. Christ came to seek and to save the lost, the fearful and the lonely, the worried and the broken hearted. God is willing to pour His grace upon you so that you no longer need to fear if you repent of any sin and turn to Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

The Bible says that God is separated from us by sin. Sin is not just immorality; it is an attitude of rebellion and independence, saying ‘I go my own way’. The Prodigal Son went his own way to be free and independent, but failed to find any true purpose in life, and found he was cut off from the only person who really loved him.
Jesus came, sent from God with the sole purpose of bringing us into a living relationship with Himself and to all who are worried, afraid or anxious, Jesus says, ‘Come to me and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light’

So who can come? All those who are weary and heavy laden with care. This is a selective invitation. You have to recognise a need and be prepared to admit it. All who are weighed down by sin or guilt.

The Bible says, ‘there is no distinction since all have fallen short of the glory of God’. It doesn’t matter what the past has been, if you repent and turn to Christ, God is ready to blot out your sins and give you a clean sheet. We have all broken God’s laws but if we are prepared to admit this, then Christ’s invitation is for us.

What happens if you come? Jesus said, ‘I will give you rest’. These are words spoken by someone who fulfils His promises. So many people make promises they either cannot, or have no intention, of fulfilling. Jesus is ready to be faithful to His Word. He says, ‘I can set you free for I am the Way, the truth, and the life. Come just as you are. We rely on what He has done for us, and at His invitation in a spirit of simple trust.

Jesus said, ‘take my yoke upon you and learn from me’. A yoke was a wooden frame placed on a persons shoulder in order to make a load easier to carry. So Jesus is saying ‘let me help you carry your burden. Instead of going your own way turn around and come with me’.

You see it is not just being religious or even coming to Church that brings peace and rest, or indeed makes you a full Christian. A person can be baptised, confirmed and be regular at Church and not be a true Christian. Many Church people are really unpleasant, arrogant and very un-Christian. Coming to Church should be a delight like sons and daughters coming to meet their (heavenly)Father in complete harmony, as children go their earthly parents home In far too many Churches there are dominant personalities who, instead of looking for the good, want to put their own interpretation on matters, such interpretation not always being favourable. In such cases it is because their own personal life is unhappy, disturbed or there is something lacking.

In one famous promise Jesus said ‘behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and sup with Him’. As He stands outside the door of your life, He longs to come in to make His presence and friendship real. But the door handle is on the inside. All you need do is turn it in faith.

Jesus was brought up in the East, and there the greatest act of friendship is to dine with someone. Jesus is offering to dine with anyone who invites Him.

At the end of every one of his Crusades, Billy Graham asks people to make a commitment to Christ and to demonstrate that commitment to go forward to the front of the stadium. At the same time, the choirs sing the hymn, ‘Just as I am…I come to Thee’

Believe His promise, take Jesus at His word, come just as you are.

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