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Experiencing God 03 - Doing God's Will

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Reading: Matthew 11:25-30
“Come to me, all 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 in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

I.   Our burdens Overload us

     A.  We are burdened by Unrepentance

          1.  We think we can do it better

                a.  We think we’re capable of living a life better if we follow our own narrow ideas.

                b.  We don’t want to turn away from our cheap lives and toward the riches of His good life.

          2.  We think the consequences won’t apply to us.

                a.  Consequences always happen to other people.

                b.  We’re smarter than that. (!)

          3.  We find out that sin faithfully pays its wages.

                a.  Always. We always end up a little more dead.

                b.  We always get caught in the vicious cycle of needing more and more to get less and less.

                c.   At the end of the day, we find ourselves worse off than in the beginning.

     B.  We are burdened by Religiosity

          1.  The opposite of unrepentance? Not really!

                a.  Jesus preached as much against religiosity as about leaving a life of sin

                b.  His harshest words were for the brokers of religious propriety.

          2.  Jesus does not want us to substitute the yoke of sin for the yoke of guilt or pretense.

                a.  Jesus wants us to leave a life of sin, not cover it over with better words, or play acting.

                b.  Religiosity is another way to keep God from being God — we take God on our terms.

                c.   Religious burnout is about this: doing stuff for God, instead of doing what God asks.

          3.  Jesus wants us to trade our tiresome, heavy burden(s) for something good.

II. Jesus’ yoke Fits our need

     A.  Jesus’ yoke is Easy to wear

          1.  Easy means well suited.

                a.  Jesus’ yoke is made to order for us.

                b.  It fits but it’s not always convenient.

          2.  “Easy” can also mean pleasant.

                a.  The tasks that Jesus gives are good tasks.

                b.  Taking up the yoke Jesus offers has pleasant consequences.

          3.  But it is to be worn.

                a.  To know the joy of playing music, you need a lot of self-discipline.

                b.  Jesus didn’t come just to save us from the consequences of our sin, but from sin itself.

                c.   If we don’t wear his yoke, we soon find ourselves wearing another!

     B.  Jesus’ yoke is Learning relationship

          1.  What is the yoke? Glad you asked!

                a.  The yoke is God’s will in both the broad and highly personal sense.

                b.  We know God’s will in the broad sense by reading the Bible.

                c.   We know God’s will in the personal sense by applying that prayerfully in our own lives.

          2.  Take my yoke and “learn from me.”

                a.  The word “learn” is the same as “disciple.”

                b.  But not ‘head’ learning. ‘Life’ learning.

                c.   Try the life Jesus offers on for size.

          3.  “For I am gentle and humble in heart”

                a.  Jesus teaches us to be gentle and humble.

                b.  He gives us our yoke out of his gentleness and humility.

     C.  Jesus’ yoke is a Loving relationship

          1.  That’s the teaching: Love God with your whole being and your neighbor as yourself.

                a.  At its core, Jesus teaching isn’t about following a different rule book.

                b.  Jesus teaching is about living a life of loving devotion to God and each other.

                c.   It’s about the relationship!

          2.  “It is a yoke that is lined with love.” -Matt. Henry

                a.  What Jesus teaches us in the Gospels and throughout the Bible is out of his love.

                b.  Whatever Jesus gives us to do it is because he loves us.

III.     Jesus’ yoke Refreshes us

     A.  Jesus promises and gives us Rest

          1.  This is not an empty promise

                a.  If the yoke doesn’t fit, maybe it isn’t the one he has in mind for you.

          2.  When we know we’re doing what God wants, we find refreshment even in doing the work.

                a.  Jesus even found it better than food!

                b.  Even in the hard and painful times, I have found it fulfilling.

     B.  Doing God’s will is no Burden

          1.  His burden is light.

                a.  By comparison with the burdens of sin and hypocrisy, it is no burden at all.

                b.  What Jesus asks of us actually lightens the load of our lives.

                c.   What he gives us to do he equips us and strengthens us to do.

          2.  Sometimes his tasks seem overwhelming.

                a.  Thank God for tasks too big!

                b.  Thank God for giving us tasks we can only do if He is a key part of it.

     C.  God Wants us to know His will

          1.  God reveals his will to the humble (v.25)

                a.  As has been said, “for those who know, no explanation is necessary, for those who don’t no explanation is sufficient.”

                b.  We humble ourselves before him, and seek him through prayer, discussion and study.

                c.   Then we make our best choice and get ready for course corrections.

          2.  We are not servants but friends
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15 (NIV)

                a.  God wants us to know what he’s up to in our lives and in His church.

          3.  But we may not get the whole picture in the beginning.

                a.  Most Bible characters didn’t.

                b.  We follow as faithfully as we know how, as individuals and as a Church

                c.   (More on this as the series unfolds.)

The Bottom Line:

Set aside your Overload and take up the Gentle yoke of God’s Will for you.

Red#400 Have Thine Own Way vv., 1,4

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