Date: Tuesday, July 15
Scripture: Matthew 11:25-30
Verse: Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
Studies increasingly tell us we are not getting enough rest. A 2009 sleep study, indicated only about 1/3 of American adults say they get enough sleep each night. We stay up late watching television, checking emails, and helping our kids with their homework. Then we get up early the next day to get ourselves and our families ready for the day ahead. I’m guessing you already know this. Many of us are tired, and not matter how hard we try, we find it difficult to rest. Not only is there too much to do in too little time, we also have worries and fears which make it difficult for us to be able to get the rest we sorely need.
Jesus was concerned about his followers being able to rest. He knew there were many religious leaders who taught about a whole host of rules and regulations between ordinary people and God. The burden of these rules was so great for so many, Jesus compared them to a yoke, that gigantic piece of wood put on the shoulders of oxen to pull a plow. People were feeling a need to perform for God, to do all the right things, and to worry when they had made a mistake.
If you are one who is tired — physically, emotionally, or spiritually — I hope you hear Jesus’ words today. He has come to alleviate all those burdens. His yoke is not heavy. He wants you to know peace and rest. “Come to me,” he says, “and I will give you rest.”
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for loving me so deeply. Teach me how to give you my burdens so I can rest. Amen.
Action: Go to bed an hour earlier one night this week.
Respond: Do you get enough rest? If so what do you do? If not, what keeps you from getting resting more?
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One more thought:
OK, this may be a bit of a stretch, but here is the video for “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen. I hear the gospel in this song, and I hear Jesus’ words about him taking our burdens — a 60 pound stone or 1/2 mile of line — and giving us rest. What do you think?[youtube:=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i-fiRgbpr4]