Life Lessons

“Take My yoke upon you and . . you will find rest for your soul.” Matthew 11:29 NIV

“Life is better when invested in the eternal, not wasted in the temporary.”

My thoughts today are about “life lessons.”

Doing life God’s way will work. Your own way? Not so much! Read today’s verse again, slowly and thoughtfully. Does this seem a little strange to anyone but me? Jesus promises people the deepest kind of rest – “rest for your soul.” And just how would He accomplish that? By inviting them to work alongside Him. Work will bring you rest? Really? That contradicted everything they had ever experienced. Work was often exhausting for them, as it could be for you.

Make no mistake. When Jesus used the word, “yoke,” His listeners knew that He was talking about work. Their daily lives were agricultural. Their livelihood and lives depended upon the soil and the sea; they ate and bartered with what they could raise or catch. Neither was an easy task; both involved long, tedious, hard work. A fisherman’s net or a farmer’s yoke were the same – similar symbols of strenuous effort, physical weariness, and sometimes after all that, still with disappointing results. Exactly who was He was talking to? “All who are tired from carrying heavy loads.” Matthew 11:28 NLT.

Here’s Jesus’ secret for them and invitation to you, Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart . . My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV. You thought you knew how to make life work on your own, didn’t you? But the labor and cumulating burdens finally catch up with you; that’s when Jesus says, “Learn from Me.” Here’s what Jesus can teach you.

(1) Do what you know is pleasing to God. Learn from Jesus’ example: “I always do what pleases the Father.” John 8:29 NIV. Jesus lived without anxiety, uncertainty; frustration, or stress, fear of failure. Imagine the confidence with which Jesus lived. Trying to serve God without learning what pleases Him is needlessly exhausting. Read Colossians 1:10-11 NIV.

(2) Do what God is doing; that is sure to please Him. “Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and tells Him everything He is doing . . the very work that the Father has given Me to finish . . I am doing.” John 5:19-20/36 NLT/NIV. Life is better when invested in what is eternal, not wasted in the temporary.

(3) Do nothing without God’s power and anointing. “The Son can do nothing by Himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing.” John 5:19 NLT. Why live without including a great God? I cannot imagine anything worse than coming to the end of life, and realizing too late that so many years were wasted that could have been invested in what matters? Why waste a precious life busy about anything that doesn’t really matter to God? Such people are sadly described as “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:7 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you have a contentment in life that is soul deep.