It’s awesome to see your faces. This is we’re in the middle of a series or the second week of a series that we’re calling Picking Up the Pieces. But we’re talking a little bit about how to get out of the rubble.
That was 2020 and to kind of establish something new and beautiful. That is 2021. This is a Konsuki cup or a mug. Have you ever heard of this thing? Yes. No, you have not. It’s a Japanese way of doing pottery, of taking broken pieces. So this is in fact a broken mug. And all of these gold things that you can see here actually are where the cracks were. And what happens is in Japan, this is a cheap one because we can’t afford the one from Japan.
But the what happens is they break the mugs. They basically put the porcelain back together. And what the way they do it is by infusing the cracks with gold or other precious metals. And the whole idea here is that is that the scar is produced in our brokenness make an object more beautiful and not less beautiful. And so it’s pretty cool, and after I shared last week’s sermon with the staff, Noel brought this to my attention and I thought it was just a good way of summarizing what we talked about last week, that God takes our brokenness and brings it forth as gold.
Brings it fourth as gold. And really, that’s what this series is all about. We’ve been trying to kind of get a perspective of what God will allow us to go through and to learn through and to grow through to begin to value our pain, to begin to value the fracturing in our country, to begin to value the frustration because we become confident that God will use those things, whatever they are, to bring forth something better and just an FYI.
Next week, I’m going to talk a little bit about what happened in our country this past week and the reason I’m not the reason I’m talking about next week and not this week because it really does tie into what we originally planned on talking about. But that’s next week. Last week, we were to kind of make the declaration that 2020 didn’t create the brokenness. It just exposed it in us. That everything that we felt was just something that was already under the surface.
It was just exposed by the traumatic times of 2020. An old friend of mine used to say that you don’t really know who you are until you’re squeezed until the juice comes out. And that’s really what we talked about last week, that it really just began to expose those things. And and so today we’re going to unpack some of the pieces of the puzzle that were shattered, some of the things that are most clear in our minds as things that are brokenness in our country, in our families or in our personal lives.
A few years ago, I preached a sermon called Anxious about Everything, and I started that sermon with the same question. I want to begin by asking the same question today. Would you say that you’re more anxious today than you were a year ago? If you had to think about your own life, would you say that you have more or less stress than you did a year ago?
More or less hope for the future. Are you more or less worried than you were last year? I asked this two years ago and ask it today because study suggests that each of us and each year Americans are feeling, on average, more anxious than the year before. Catch this. This is a kind of a staggering thing. Researchers suggest that Americans feel more worried about the future than any other time in US history. I read it that included World War One, World War Two, the Great Depression or the Great Recession.
Americans are feeling more anxious than any of those times. How about this? I read this is a direct quote from a study from the American Psychiatric Association. Studies show that Normal Children Today report more anxiety than psychiatric patients in the nineteen fifties. I’m going to say that again because it’s such a ridiculous statistic. Studies show that normal children today report more anxiety than psychiatric patients in the nineteen fifties are kids. Today, the high school children, the college aged kids, they are college age young adults.
They test for higher levels of anxiety than people who are hospitalized for psychiatric care in the nineteen fifties. That article goes on to say that we are living in the age of anxiety. People report, according to the same journal quoted above, that they say that they are feeling anxious about money, about covid, about keeping their families safe, about racial inequality, about social, student loans, about employment, about family, about raising children, about not having children, political division, pregnancy, new relationships, or the fact that they are still not married, that they are still married.
And the thing I found the most scary was that people report being anxious about being anxious. Think how crazy that would be. I’m anxious, so I get anxious because I’m anxious, and so then I’m more anxious because I’m thinking about the fact that I’m anxious. What a terrible feedback loop that would be. We are an anxious people, so much so that in our country, reports show that one in five American adults take psychiatric medicine. That’s 20 percent of the entire population, the highest demographic is women in the age in the 40s.
And I’m not saying this to make anybody feel bad about any of that stuff, I’m just trying to remind us that the emotional cracks of 2020 didn’t start in 2020. We’re living in an age of anxiety. And maybe you don’t like the word anxiety. Maybe you prefer the word feeling overwhelmed or overburdened. Maybe it’s too medical for you. And so what I want to do is I want to give you a quick quiz. We’ll get to the Bible in just a second, I promise.
I want to give you a quiz. This is like a ten questions symptoms. Are you overwhelmed? That’s the question that. So I’m going to ask you 10 things. You kind of like calculate them in your fingers if you want. If you don’t want to have them in your fingers, you can do them in your mind so that no one can see your fingers. But it’s like, you know how like BuzzFeed does the Disney princess thing. This is like that, except about the worst thing ever.
This is come from John Mark Combers book that I’ve just I forgot the name of it. Relentless, something of hurry, which a lot of the stuff that we’re going to talk about comes from. But it’s but it’s about how burdended are you. That’s what this is about. Are you ready? Here’s the quiz. Are you you can put your little finger. Don’t show anybody. But are you feeling irritable irritability? You get mad, frustrated or just annoyed way too easily.
Little normal things urk you. Irritability, and if you wanted to self diagnose, don’t self diagnose, instead, you should be asking your spouse or your children, how is your irritability hypersensitivity? All it takes is a minor comment to hurt your feelings, a grumpy email to set off the rest of your day and turn you to kind of a normal day into one that just feels like you’re in emotional funk all day long. Restlessness number three, when you actually do try down, try to slow down, you cannot relax, you read the scriptures, but you find them boring.
You do have your quiet times. But but you can’t focus your mind. You go to bed early and you toss and you turn with anxiety. You watch TV simultaneously as you check your phone while you’re doing laundry, while you’re checking on sports, sports stuff. News on Twitter. Restlessness, workaholism, you just don’t know when to stop or worse, you just feel like you can’t stop another hour, another day, another week, just your drug of choice becomes accomplishment and accumulation, emotional numbness.
You just don’t have the capacity. You feel like to feel someone else’s pain. You don’t feel your own pain, for that matter. Out of order priorities, do you feel disconnected from your identity and your calling, you always get stuck in the tyranny of the urgent and you just kind of push aside what’s important. Your life is reactive, not proactive. You’re busier than ever and you still feel like something missing. Out of the priorities, lack of care for your body, you don’t have time for the basics.
Eight hours of sleep, daily exercise, healthy home cooked meals, any sort of margin. You gain weight. You get sick multiple times a year. You regularly wake up tired and you don’t sleep well. Escapism behavior. You’re too tired to do to do what’s actually life giving for your soul, so you disconnect whatever the drug of choice is for you, it’s overeating over drinking, binge watching, Netflix, browsing social media, surfing the web, looking at pornography.
Name your preferred cultural narcotic. Erosion of spiritual disciplines, the things that, you know, you should do, quiet times in the morning, fasting, praying, reading the Bible, spending Sundays at church or or being with people, having a meal with your community group and so on, just begin to erode from your schedule. Lastly, isolation. You feel disconnected from God, you feel disconnected from your own soul. And those rare times when you actually start to pray, you’re so stressed and distracted that your mind can’t even settle down to speak to your maker.
Ten questions, how did you do, don’t tell me. In your own brain, irritability, hypersensitivity, restlessness, workaholism, emotional numbness out of order, priorities, lack of care for your body, escapism behaviors, erosion of spiritual disciplines, isolation if you scored higher than you wanted to. This is not to shame you or make you feel guilty. The point is that I’m trying to drive home is that this actually has become the new normal in our world. After the first service, someone told me I’m all 10 and I didn’t even think that was bad.
It’s toxic. Psychologists tell us that anxiety is the canary in the coal mine. It’s our souls way of telling us that something is deeply wrong with us. When I ask you if you felt more anxious than you did last year, it was just to point out the obvious, that we are going through an emotional epidemic. And so what’s encouraging is that that idea doesn’t just stand on its own, but in fact, God has something to say about that.
He has some answers to the issues that we face in our minds and in our souls. And so I know that not one sermon is going to be able to fix any of this in your life. Like you’re not going to hear a 40 minute lesson and go, wow, I’m anxiety free. But hopefully what I can do is give you some instructions, give you some wisdom, give you some thoughts about how to begin to put the pieces back together or should I say how to begin to allow God to put the pieces back together.
Let’s take a walk with Jesus for a few minutes in Matthew, Chapter 11, would you join me there? Matthew 11 is a chapter anchored by Jesus’s criticism of these towns and villages where he preached and healed. His rebuke, as always, is pointed towards those in the religious establishment, the people who were in control, who, by their controlled, oppressed and disenfranchised the masses. Jesus constantly rebuked those people. Jesus constantly spoke to those people. And and basically in Matthew, Chapter 11, he says to his father that he’s glad that God ahead his message from those who are learned and wise in their own eyes.
And instead, God brought to him the masses, the people who were going through the oppression, going through the difficult times, weighed down by society, weighed down by the cultural norms of the time. Jesus is like, look, I’m so glad you brought those little children to me. And that’s not a disrespectful comment. It was just an acknowledgement that they were guided by the worst of god’s and the worst of fathers, and they needed a better apprentice and a better way to think about their lives.
And so the chapter concludes with this amazing invitation that Jesus gives to the masses who are in need of something more.
Verse twenty eight. Come to me. All of you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble and heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. This is one of the most popular passages in all of the Bible. Jaycee Ryles, a 1800’s Anglican bishop, said this about the text that there are a few text more striking than this in all of the Bible, few that contains so wide and sweeping an invitation, few that hold out so full and comfortable, a promise.
The reason this text is so landmark is because it goes against the grain of the religious establishment, it goes against the grain of everything that was the culture of the day. And I’m here to prove to you that it goes against everything that is against the culture of our day as well. These words as we will see are life giving. So let’s walk through them. Jesus begins by calling these little children to himself.
He’s talking wearied and burdened. Each of those words are really meaningful in the Greek. The word wearied there is is the word for a beating. You ever heard the terminology? I’m just beat, I’m just spent. That’s kind of the same idea. It’s somebody who has worked so hard that they can’t even think about doing the next job. They’re so overworked, so physically exhausted. It also could mean emotional fatigue or discouragement. These people are exhausted.
They’re wearied, and then it says they’re burdened. The only translation says heavy laden. I like that. It means that there’s something heavy on their back.
The modern the modern view of this whole idea is that you’re overwhelmed that something so heavy has been placed on your back, that you’re turned over. If you’ve seen somebody who is kind of going through maybe the latter half of their life and they’re just like reeling in life, that’s who he’s calling.
He says if you’re tired, spent, you’re working so much you can’t even possibly grip life. And something heavy is on your back if you feel overwhelmed. Well, I have something to tell you. Why are these people overwhelmed? Well, the reason is because they worked manual labor for six days a week, mostly in farmland and agriculture or fishing. These people were rough people, people who live practically hand-to-mouth, poor and desperate. They were looking for some sort of expression of life burdened, laid down by the system and overwhelmed.
And so he says, hey, if you’re overwhelmed and you’re tired, I have something for you. That’s sort of my translation, if you’re overwhelmed and you’re tired, I have something for you and everybody must have just leaned in like, please, whatever you have to tell me is probably going to change my life. I have something for you. I have something for you, and this is the thing you need the most is the answer to your most pressing question.
I will give you rest. Rest, see, Jesus was able to speak to them at their level, that was the issue of the masses in the day. And I think if Jesus was here today, he would have maybe called us a little. He would have called those a little bit differently. He would have said, hey, all of you who are weary and burdened maybe would have had added the word anxious, depressed, burning the candle at both ends.
All of you who are irritable workaholics, all those 10 things I listed before he would have called the fearful those who who have who have just been battling in their hearts for what this world is supposed to look like. You may be burdened because of manual labor or you may be burdened because of your own heart or mind. Wearied, vexed, disappointed, disparaged, laden with sin and guilt and dread and remorse and the fear of death, laden with care of of older people in your household.
Anxiety, greed, ambition weighed down by your own sorrows, poverty, oppression, slander, doubt, temptation, conflict, inner faintness, overwhelmed and broken and addicted. And I bet you that’s all of you here today.
At least something right. And I believe Jesus spoke to them the same message He would have spoke to us, he had said, all of you come to me. And I will give you rest, here’s a question. Do you want rest? Do you want rest? Do you want restoration of your strength? Reinvigoration. Do you want your fatigue to fade away? Do you want to begin to kind of live again, revive, be restored, do you want rest?
I assume you do because everybody wants rest. But the question is, how do you get it? I want to read the text one more time. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, that’s that invitation and I will give you rest. Amen awesome. Take my yoke upon you and learn for me, for I am gentle and humble and heart and you will find rest for your soul, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
The exchanges offer here is a yoke. Let’s talk a little bit about it. In Jesus’ time every rabbi had a yoke. A yoke was synonymous with the rabbis way. Jesus was a rabbi, a teacher of the people, and he had a way of living, a way of being human, a way to shoulder the weights, the at times crippling weights of everything that life was involved with. It’s an odd imagery for all of us because we don’t live on a farm.
But you can imagine two oxen being joined together. And beginning to shoulder the weight of the plow they were pulling and he goes, look, I have something that if I will make your life easier. And look at the invitation again, come to me, all you who are weary. We can say anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed, overworked, all those things. And I will give you rest, take my yoke upon you and and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your soul.
Then he says, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. See, what made Jesus unique was not that he was offering the people a yoke all the teachers were offering the people of yoke. What made Jesus unique was that he said his yoke was easy. And one of the coolest chapters in the Bible, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees, and when he rebukes the Pharisees, he uses a term that sounds very similar to what he’s talking about here.
Let me just read it to you. It says they tie up heavy and cumbersome loads here, talking to the Pharisees, that’s a yoke, that’s a yoke and put them on other people’s shoulders. The yoke again, you saw the image, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move it. What is Jesus’s invitation saying, hey? The rest of the religious world, the rest of the world in general, and really for them, the religious world was the world the rest of the world is offering a heavy, cumbersome load placed on your shoulders with no way of helping you.
That doesn’t describe America. I don’t I don’t know what does a heavy load with no way of carrying it. And they do nothing to help.
Read the message version, it just illustrated even more. Are you tired, worn out, burnt out on religion?
Come to me, get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me, work with me, watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t let anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. This is an invitation to the tired, to the burnt out, to the stressed out, everyone in traffic on Monday mornings, those who are so behind on their to do list, they don’t want to do anything.
Everybody who reaches for another cup of coffee at 10 p.m. because they still have to work until 12. Anybody like that today. This is an invitation for the people of our world who are overworked, overwhelmed. It’s for the single mom, for the college grad student. It’s for the young mother. It’s for the high school student trying to make it into college. It’s for the seventh grader trying to make it out of his adolescence. It’s for men and it’s for women.
It’s for young and it’s for old. It’s for black and white and for Spanish and Asian. It’s for every one of us who feels like I just can’t seem to find rest in the world. I’m tired and I’m exhausted. Jesus’ invitation is to take up his yoke, to travel through life at his side, learning from him how to shoulder the weight of life and step out, begin to step out of this crazy culture that we live in where it’s all about being burnt out and being overwhelmed and being anxious.
But the problem with this text, and I knew this was the problem when I started studying it, is that, you know, this text. You’ve read this text. And you think to yourself, I’m I’m a disciple. I’ve been a Christian for 20 years, I’ve been a Christian for five years, I’ve been a Christian for five months. And honestly, what you’re describing is me, I’m 10 out of 10 on that list. And I’m burnt out.
And I’m sick of people telling me that if I just follow Jesus, my anxiety is going to go away. So you may be wondering, what are we missing? Well, I have an answer for you. If you grew up in the church like me, you know, this verse, this verses is cross stitched on pillows, you know, it was like in your bathroom somewhere. But but hidden in plain sight is what this guy named Dallas Williams calls the secret of the yoke, he says he says this about Matthew 11.
He says, living as Jesus lived is in the entirety of his life and adopting his overall lifestyle is what Matthew 11 is talking about. So here’s the difference. We read this text and we think, OK, take my yoke upon me. Let me just do what Jesus, let me obey Jesus. So we we don’t drink and we don’t smoke or we don’t have sex out of marriage. And we are right. We don’t lie. We try to be obedient as best we can and and on that.
And then we’re still feeling burnt out and we’re feeling like what is happening with me and and what Dallard Woollett is saying?
And what I’m trying to say is that what happens is we may be obedient, but the rest of our lives is lived just like everyone else around us. It’s just moral Christianity. It’s not discipleship. Discipleship is living the way Jesus lived, not just checking all the boxes of obedience, it’s learning to live like him. And honestly, moral Christianity is a strategy bound to fail if you wish to have peace in your mind. Think about it, if you do everything right, you obey all the rules.
And you’re still heavily ladened and you’re still overwhelmed, then maybe the way you’re living is wrong. John Mark Homer says this, If you want to experience the life of Jesus, you have to adopt the lifestyle of Jesus. Jesus didn’t come just to bring a truth. He came to bring a way of living to offer us a new way to be alive, see, your life is the byproduct of your lifestyle. Your life is a byproduct of the way you organize your time.
You spend your money, then how much time you spend on Instagram, how much time you spend drinking, how much time you you get, or how often you get angry at people in the car while you’re driving, how you respond to your wife. Your life is all about all of those things.
And basically there’s a saying in businesses that says this that every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets. I love the saying because it’s perfect. Here’s the thought, right? If the results of your life are lousy, you’re full of anxiety. You’re constantly burning the candle from both ends. You have high stress and high tension. You have high emotional burnout, little to no access to the presence of God.
You lack the ability to focus your mind on the things that really matter. Then the odds are very good that something about the system that is your life. Does not look like Jesus. Jesus didn’t live chronically with anxiety. He didn’t he didn’t live chronically burnt out, he didn’t live that way, and so we’re disciple’s we’re not supposed to live that way, but if we’re living that way, that means we’re not living like Jesus. You get what I’m saying here.
This is just an observation. But if your life stinks. And you don’t want to live, you wake up sometimes or you go to bed sometimes, you go, look, it would be better if I just didn’t wake up tomorrow. I’m sympathetic to this, and this is kind of a secret. My parents are sitting in the front row. It’s not a secret. But when I was younger, I was like 15 years old. I remember walking into my house where my dad kept in the closet, where he kept his gun safe and trying to open up the gun safe.
The goal was to end myself. I know what it feels like to be overwhelmed to the point of not wanting to exist anymore, and there have been times even in the not so distant past where I just was like, you know what? If I could just fall asleep and just wake up in heaven, that would be fine. I just don’t know if I want to be where I am anymore or live the way I want to live anymore. And if that’s been your feeling ever, then there’s something wrong about your system of living because Jesus didn’t have those thoughts.
There’s something about the way you organize your time or your morning or your routine or your schedule or your budget or your relationships or the way you manage your resources or spend your your attention, there is something wrong. There’s a stupid saying that says that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over results. But that’s exactly what happens. You know, you guys come to church. I mean, I do this and then we’re like, OK, all right, this is great.
We get all the, you know, the encouragement we can muster in our own selves. We go home and we’re like, I’m going to change my life. And then we go back and sit in the same seat we’ve always been sitting on in the same place on our couch, we open up the same bag of chips. We’re always eating. We jump on the same phone that constantly gives us anxiety. We watch the same news channel that constantly berates our minds with darkness and evil.
And we go, Oh, and we just get lost. And then we’re like, Man, I’m so disappointed. I’m not emotionally healthy. I’m like, You’re not doing anything different. You’re living the same way because you heard a message and expecting that your life will be different. If your lifestyle is exactly the same, then your life will be exactly the same five hours a day on your phone Millennial’s it’s like eight hours a day on your phone on average.
Wake up in the morning. You don’t read your Bible, you don’t spend time with God. You just hop onto the same device that gives you anxiety. You never get away from the world. You’re always attached. You never fast. You never have real intimacy with God in your cycle. Just repeats itself again. Tiredness, stress, distraction, inspiration to change for a second. Then you go right back home. Tiredness, the stress, tiredness, distress and stressed out and distracted.
And we feel stuck yet again and yet again. And we wonder what is missing. And here’s what’s been missing. Jesus is giving you a way to live, but you’re just taking you’re trying to just take the yoke without taking the way to live.
And I’m talking to me and I’m talking to you, but here’s the really cool thing about a yoke. A yoke is a work instrument. Thus, when Jesus offers a yoke, he you might assume that, like what he needed to offer was them a bed, you know, like come to you all you who are tired and I’ll let you go on vacation. But he doesn’t say that because he knows that life isn’t lived in escapes. And life isn’t lived in vacation and life isn’t lived in the fantasy world, he realizes the most restful gift you can give a human being who is tired is a new way to carry the burden of life, a fresh way to bear responsibility because there is no way to escape. That is just the truth.
This is not Kumbayah, you know, if you go to a church or a place or you hear a message or you hear someone say, life can be easy, it’s a lie. It’s a lie.
Life is just a succession of more burdens. You cannot get away from it. And so in Jesus, instead of giving them escape, which would have been a lie, Jesus offers them some construction equipment or some plowing equipment. I like to build things. This is my latest project. I’m very proud of myself and something to show it to as many people as humanly possible. So here it is. If you are on social media right now, if you can go to Instagram and like it, that would make me happy.
I’m just kidding. I don’t care about Instagram at all. So. So this is I built this. Isn’t that so cool, I imagine. Like you. Thank you, Mom.
That’s my mom. Imagine you had nothing and then you build something that that’s what I did. That’s so cool.
But when I started building, I was a really bad builder. My dad taught me a lot about building, but I’m very cheap. So I try to be frugal. But but but I try to be not spending a lot of money. And so I would have like a like a something that needed a hammer or needed a nail. Right. And I would be like, I don’t have a hammer. You know, I’d have like a kiddie hammer, you know, with those plastic ones that I try to hit, it wouldn’t go down or or I’d be like, I’ll just take one of those wrenches and I’ll hit it down.
Like, it’ll be fine. And eventually what I learned was that that’s the most frustrating process in the whole world. The most frustrated thing is using something that’s not made to build it, to try to build it. It’s the most frustrating thing. You imagine trying to get a screw in with a hammer. It just doesn’t really work or trying to get, you know, trying to cut down a tree without a chainsaw and just a handsaw. It’s miserable. It’s miserable.
And this is what I’m learning about my own life. The one who constructed the world is giving you equipment to construct your life. And what we do is we think, you know, I’ll just be a little bit cheap and I’ll take the construction of the instruments, the equipment of the world to try to construct my life.
But the world has no idea how to build a life.
It just creates and causes anxiety and frustration and being overwhelmed and being frustrated and all of those things. Next week, we’re going to talk a lot about the way of Jesus and how to begin to carry the load in our life.
But what’s amazing is that Jesus offers us a way of dealing with the life that we’ve been given new equipment to deal with it.
It’s not an easy life. That’s a lie. It’s an easy yoke. Life is hard. Period, end of story. Don’t listen to the news that says or any commercial that says a new technology is going to make your life easier. Your phone didn’t make your life easier or any substance is going to make your life easier or a pill that’s going to make your life easier. There is no escaping the difficulties of life. Once we left Eden, we left Eden.
There’s no escaping it. That’s why Jesus, the most amazing thing he could have possibly done was not give those people an escape, but instead telling them, hey, this is how you should walk through the difficulties of life. You can be a new human. I want to talk just as we close here. Do you know that the most common illustration for salvation in the Bible is one of two things, rebirth or death? And there’s a reason that is like a John Chapter three, Jesus says you need to be born again in Romans Chapter six. It says that that we are killed with him, crucified with him. We’re buried. When we come out of the waters of baptism, we’re buried then raised to life again.
In Romans Chapter 12 there’s a really awesome verse. It talks about becoming a whole burnt sacrifice. It’s this imagery of us like sort of falling on the coals and burning up our whole lives, I used to think I even preached this. And I’m so sorry for anybody who heard me preach this, but I used to think that that idea of, like, jumping on the coals was becoming someone who burnt out for God. Like, I used to think, like, here’s what we need to do. We just need to burn it all up until you’re left with nothing.
And when you make it to heaven, you’ll rest. And I mean, that was one way of thinking. I guess it was just really wrong because that’s not the way Jesus lived, nor is it the way Paul lived or Peter lived or really any biblical person. But instead learned was that in that moment, what the Bible is teaching us is that we’re supposed to throw our entire way of living on the coals. Everything about who we were and all that should go away and which should come to life was a brand new way of living.
The idea is that he wants your old way of living to go away. Your old way needs to go away. The old way that you thought about life needs to go away. You spent time with people, the ideas and the concepts you subscribe to, you need to go away. If you grew up all your whole life thinking one way that life was supposed to be, throw it away and start with the yoke of Jesus, burn it away, start new a new system, become a new person doing what Jesus would do if he were you.
And you’re able to begin to carry the burdens of life with ease, not that life is easy, but you can carry it a little bit easier. And your tied shoulder to shoulder with the one who knows how to do it, and sure, the rest of the world may not help you, but Jesus carries all the heavy lifting and it’s methodical and it’s slow and it’s full of joy, full of love and full of peace and easy life.
Not really an easy way. Absolutely. In a second, we’re going to sing a song to close, and there’s a line in the song, it says, My hearts, our hearts are restless until we find rest in you. I love that line. But this week, I was thinking and I was thinking about the idea that as long as we think we can find rest in this world, what we will do is begin to settle for the rest of this world.
If you think that rest is going on vacation, you’re going to settle for that rest by going on vacation is just like a fun blessing attached to a life has nothing to do with rest. Sometimes you go on vacation, you’re more tired when you come back. If you think that the rest of this world is rest, you will settle for that rest and then you will miss the rest of Jesus. You can be a disciple and kind of live your life like an atheist, spending your money like an atheist, spending your time like an atheist.
I’m just letting you know that doesn’t work. So if you’ve been emotionally broken, if you scored higher on that quiz then you wanted to, if you’re stuck, I’m trying to tell you today, choose the yolk. Choose the way of Jesus. Learn from him and live like him.
So here’s a quick assignment this week. I want you to journal something. And if you say to me, I’m not a journalist. Just remember to that old illustration, you’re going to go back and just do the same thing and watch a bunch of football. Is that really going to help you find rest? Go home and think about this question, maybe have a conversation with your wife, what would Jesus do if he were me? Jesus was a man who lived in Israel in the first century, a Jew, a rabbi, an unmarried man with no children, but just imagine if he were married. Let’s assume you’re married if you had children, let’s assume you have children or if he was a college student or if he was a whatever you are, you know, he owned a bakery.
I don’t know what you do, but whatever you do, just imagine that he were you and think about, OK, what would he do if he were me? Talk about it, if he had the job you have, if you had the children you have you have, the spouse you have, the house you had, what would he do if he were you?
How would he spend his time, how to spend his resources, what time when he wake up in the morning to spend time with God? How would you value the people around him? And what we’re going to do is going to come back next week and we’re going to talk about the characteristics of a disciple, how to live, picking up the pieces that were shattered. I used to think, you know, before Covid, I thought I had to be busy because that showed that I was like alive.
But now I learned with Covid that nobody really cares if your home or here or whatever. And I just got myself even more busy because I thought that was really living. And then I learned very quickly that that’s not living. That just causes more stress and more anxiety. Do your work and work hard for Jesus and work hard for God or work at everything as though you’re working for God. But, you know, we’re learning things. We’re beginning to pick up the pieces in different ways.
And so if you want to change the system of your living, why not begin this week to change your lifestyle? Let’s pray together. Father, we. We know that we have no real way of becoming exactly like you. Got in some ways, it’s a great adventure for us, then we get a chance to picture what it looks like to to be you in our own lives. God, I pray that we can really take that seriously, that we can think about what you would do if you were just us, if you had our family, if you had our home, if you had you lived in our neighborhood, if you had the time we have and the money we have.
God and I pray that we can begin to adjust our life so that we can begin to have the peace that you promise us in Matthew 11. Lord, we also know that on Sunday we take communion, we take bread and juice that represents your body in your blood, and we take it because we want to be reminded that you were willing to give up everything so we can actually find rest one day. God, I pray that we won’t wait for heaven, for heaven to begin to invade our lives, that we can have the rest of you for the rest of our lives.
We love you so much. We thank you for the time we have today. You are king. You are our God. We hold on to your yoke and we allow you to lift the burden off of us to Jesus name. Amen.