Pastor Andrew Malek
message: Are you with me?
Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 (HCSB)
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned 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 and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
In these verses from Matthew, Jesus introduces the idea of being in relationship with him. As we pursue relationship with Jesus, it is important to build off of the right foundation (Matthew 7:24-29). Simply being in the vicinity does not equate to being in relationship. Relying on past knowledge and the effort to fulfil the Law will only lead to burnout, and instead, Jesus invites us into relationship with him.
1. Jesus wants us to get away with him
Jesus wants to bring us to a new place; away from our past, our struggles, or religious confines.
We cannot outrun our pasts, failures, or insecurities on our own; however, when we are in relationship with Jesus, he will fight for us, and we need only to be still (Exodus 14:14). Jesus wants us to get away with him to a place where we can rest. Instead of us fighting our own battles and striving for perfection, Jesus is fighting for us.
2. Jesus wants us to walk with him
Jesus knows that we cannot run in a place where we have never been. After we make the decision to follow Christ, we may feel pressure to “run” in our calling, in the church, or in our relationship with him. We may place burdens on ourselves that will ultimately lead to exhaustion and burnout.
Jesus urges us instead to learn the “unforced rhythms of grace” by walking with him. There is no need for us to work to earn the grace which has already been given to us. It is important to walk with other believers and allow them to stand in for Jesus by helping us through our problems, and that we don’t try to fight our battles alone.
3. Jesus wants us to stay with him
Keeping company with Jesus is a continuous process. The decision to do life and be in relationship diminishes in value unless you do it day after day. Similar to marriage vows, our commitment to be in relationship with Jesus must be renewed and pursued each day.
In Psalm 23 (TPT), David paints an image of being in relationship with God. Despite being rejected by the world, God placed a significant calling on David’s life. In turn, David refers to God as his best friend whose goodness and love pursue him all the days of his life. We too are called to a life of peace, rest, and joy through Jesus. Everything else we face in life is eclipsed by the value of being in relationship with Jesus.
Why is a building’s foundation so important? What about the foundation of a life? What foundation is your life built upon?
What do you think would happen if a professional athlete did not work out and practicing on a regular basis? What are some ways you can practice choosing to follow Jesus and strengthen your relationship with him each day?
Have you ever tried to work through a difficult season or a personal problem on your own? How would things have been different if you had worked through it with a trusted friend or family member?
Is there a part of your life you’ve been struggling with for some time? Have you thought about going on “vacation” with Jesus and allowing him to handle the situation on your behalf?
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