Come to Me!


a crowd

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. " (Matthew 11:28 NIV)


A Heavy Burden

Jesus is calling each one of us to Him. "Come to me" He is saying. We all go through difficult times in our lives, when we feel weary and burdened. If we stop and listen we will hear the Lord calling us in our hearts: "Come to me". Read this passage carefully and slowly, letting the words sink deep into your heart:

"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)

What is meant by the yoke? When Jesus spoke these words to the Jews the burden He was referring to was the burden of the Law - not just the Law of Moses but also the many additional rules and regulations that the Pharisees had imposed on the people. Life for a devout Jew had really become a burden with so many observances to comply with that to obtain salvation through observance of these rules was an impossibility.

When God gave the Law through Moses His purpose was not to provide a means of salvation through its observance. Rather, it was a way of showing mankind our sinfulness and need of salvation: to achieve salvation through the Law it would be necessary never to transgress any item of the Law even once - an impossible task. The Law on its own just convicts us of sin and condemnation.

There are many still today who strive to please God through their own actions and observances, thinking that attending church on a Sunday, doing good works and adhering to the Ten Commandments will ensure them a place in Heaven. But it is so simple: we do not need to strive - all we have to do is to accept the free gift that Jesus offers us. In fact, unless we accept what Jesus has done for us, we cannot get to Heaven, however much we try with our own efforts.

The Yoke of Jesus

"Take my yoke upon you" says the Lord. What does this mean? Try reading it as: "Take my yoke upon you" and suddenly it becomes clearer. We must stop trying to earn our place in Heaven and accept what Jesus has done for us. Consider these three passages:

"Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:23-24)

"There is therefore no condemnation for those who are is Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:1-2)

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is a gift of God - not because of works, lest any man boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9)

It's so simple! Jesus wants to set us free from the burden of striving for salvation. He wants us to throw off the yoke of striving and put on His yoke, which is so much lighter. He offers us salvation as a free gift, available for the asking!

All our Burdens

It is not only the burden of achieving salvation that Jesus wants to lift from our shoulders, but every burden!

"Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares about you." (2 Peter 5:7)

"Cast your burdens on the Lord, and He will sustain you" (Psalm 55:22)

Instead of trying to cope on our own with every difficulty that life brings along, Jesus wants us to let Him carry our load. He wants us to hand over to Him everything that pulls us down, and let Him take control of the situation. What a relief when we finally realise this and are able to say "Jesus, I cannot manage on my own - You take over"!

A Personal Testimony

I have always been a practical type of person and like to be in control of the situation. Before I asked Jesus into my life I would try and overcome every problem on my own, through my own efforts. However, there came a point in my life, about 10 years ago, when things started to become very difficult - stress at work, financial problems - and I found myself sinking under the anxieties and suffering the physical symptoms of stress. In fact I realised that I was reaching a point where every waking moment was dominated by the problems and the worrying about how I could overcome them. Finally, the Lord came in to the situation and led me to a charismatic prayer group where I was prayed over and heard for the first time that I could invite Jesus into my life as Lord and Saviour. I was healed immediately of the stress and it has never returned! Then, I gave the financial worries to Jesus and He really took them from me! I realised that it was futile to spend so much time in worrying about the problems: if I really put my trust in Jesus He would provide.

"Truly, truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, He will give it to you in My name. Hitherto you have asked nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full". (John 16:23,24)

One of the passages from the Bible that really spoke to me is the story of Jesus walking over the water towards the boat in which were Peter and the disciples (Matthew 15:22-33). He asks Peter to step out of the boat and walk to Him. Peter steps out in faith but begins to sink when he takes his eyes off Jesus and starts to worry about the wind and the waves around him. It is only by crying out to Jesus that he is saved.

"But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea they were terrified, saying, 'It is a ghost!' And they cried out for fear. But immediately He spoke to them saying. 'Take heart, it is I; have no fear." And Peter answered Him, 'Lord, if it is You, bid me come to You on the water.' He said, 'Come.' So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, 'Lord, save me.' Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught him, saying to him, 'O man of little faith, why did you doubt?'"
(Matthew 15:26-31)

Now, whenever I realise that I am starting to sink again under waves of worries and anxieties I remember this passage and remind myself that I must keep my gaze fixed on Jesus. When I cry out to Jesus, "Lord save me" He will reach out and lift me up once again, saying "O man of little faith"!

No More Striving

Do you feel weary and burdened at times? It is a natural tendency to try and resolve all the problems of life through our own efforts. Likewise we tend to look at salvation in the same way, striving to be good, trying please God by our actions. However, we cannot manage by ourselves. But Jesus is calling us to Him, to stop striving and to invite Him into our hearts:

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him and him with me" (Revelation 3:20)"

It is only through turning to Jesus, inviting Him into our hearts and letting Him take over our lives, that we will find true peace. Jesus is saying to each of us "trust me". There is such a release when we can hand everything over to Him!

"Let not your hearts be troubled; you trust in God, trust also in me" (John 14:1 NIV)

"Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee. Trust in the Lord for ever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock" (Isaiah 26:3-4)

A prayer:

Jesus, I need you in my life. I am tired and weary from all my striving and I invite you to take control of my life. Lord, I hear you knocking at the door of my heart - please help me to open the door and invite you in.


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