Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
The beauty of the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ is that Jesus did everything needed to reconcile us with God. When we accept Jesus, we become children of God and co-heirs with Jesus. We get everything that Jesus gets, not through our performance and good deeds but because we are born into the family.
Jesus says in Matthew 11:30 that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He can say this because He has done all the heavy lifting. If you are finding that trying to please God is a heavy weight on your shoulders, you are going about things the wrong way! Stop trying to please God with your good works and accept what Jesus did on the cross for you. Jesus died and rose again to free you from the power of sin. You are totally and fully forgiven, you are made just and righteous through the blood of Jesus and you have His power to overcome temptation and live in victory.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Live your life through the power of Jesus. We do this by accepting Him and identifying with His crucifixion and resurrection.
Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
You cannot earn God’s love and favour, it’s a free gift through Jesus!
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?” When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, “Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.” Then the commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” He said, “Yes.” The commander answered, “With a large sum I obtained this citizenship.” And Paul said, “But I was born a citizen.”
There are strong parallels between the story of Paul above and the Born Again christian life. In Roman times it was illegal to punish a Roman citizen without first convicting him of a crime in a properly constituted court. This legal protection was not available to non citizens who could be punished without a trial. When the centurion in charge heard that they were in danger of punishing a Roman without trial, he rushed to ensure this did not happen. He asked Paul to confirm he was a Roman citizen and asked how he obtained his citizenship (he knew Paul was ethnically Jewish). Paul told him he was a Roman citizen by birth. The centurion was impressed and told Paul that he too was a Roman citizen but that he had paid a vast sum of money to purchase this status.
When we are born again, we are born into the kingdom of God and we get all the rights and privileges that come with being a child of God. We did not have to pay anything for this, Jesus paid the price. So many people are trying to be like the centurion and buy their way into God’s kingdom through good works and good living. We need to embrace the truth that through the new birth we are born free, not earned free though our works!
There are three big deceptions out there that keep Christians from true freedom:
1> Performance – The belief that I have to do certain things to earn God’s love and acceptance.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
1 Corinthians 1:28-29
and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.
2> Legalism – The belief that if I obey a set of rules and regulations, this will make me Holy.
Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
3> Self Righteousness – The belief that the good things I do through my own strength can make me right with God.
But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
When the Bible says, the truth will make us free (John 8:31-32), it means the truth of the Gospel that when you are born again, you are born into total freedom and all the privileges of being a child of God. If you do not understand and believe in your heart that you are free, you will never act or feel free (Proverbs 23:7a).
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
It is not popular in our modern world to make absolute truth claims, especially when those claims are that Jesus is the only way to God and eternal life. As Christians we need to speak the truth in love to a lost and dying world. There are not many ways to God, there is only one and that is through accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and His gift of salvation. We are not helping people by not telling them the truth so as not to offend them, they may curse us now but should they respond and accept Jesus, they will bless us for all eternity.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
God speaks to us today, both through His written Word and directly to us through the Holy Spirit.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
God does not play favorites (Romans 2:11), listen with expectation and hear what He has to say to you!
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
God wants you to try Him out and see that He is good and that you can trust Him! Place your life in His hands as He only has good things in mind for you.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Bad things come from the devil, not from God. Bad things are bad things, not God’s blessings in disguise!
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (Jesus)
This is the truth as declared in God’s Holy Word, don’t let how you feel in the moment prevent you from living this! Ephesians 2:13-19 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.For He Himself is our peace, who has made both … Read more Peace with God!