Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Morning Quarterback

Each Monday I'll be posting a bit of a recap or highlight from the previous Sunday's sermon.  If I'm on the road you'll be blessed with a few notes from the sermon I sat under.  In Baileyville we've spent most of the last year going through Matthew's Gospel.  I find that the American church has many ideas about Jesus and his mission...and I find many of them to be entirely unfounded or at the least greatly misguided.  It has been my hope in the Matthew series to give Christ's flock in the congregation I serve a robust and healthy understanding of the one to whom all honor is due.  This past week we finished up Matthew 11 with a sermon on verses 25-30, "The Gracious Invitation".  

Check out this blurb from Sunday's Message:

A whole nation of people had been weakened by false teaching and burdened by extra rules and regulations. Jesus comes to these people, people who are being crushed under the weight of pride and self-righteous attempts at salvation, and he says, “come to me, you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”

What a relief. Perhaps you can feel it too. You’ve spent your whole life trying to be good enough, trying to do just the right things, trying to appear godly. But, somewhere deep down, you knew it wasn’t enough. You knew that your works weren’t up to the task, you knew your sin was too great to make up for on your own. You knew that just being a good person wouldn’t cut it with God.  You have felt the reality that your sins are entirely too wicked to be made up for with the good deeds you do which are never quite good enough. And so you too became weary and burdened, your soul was full of angst and your spirit was oppressed with knowledge of your own inadequacy. And now, into the midst of that chaos, Jesus says, “Come to me, you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” In other words: Stop trying to save yourself, stop trying to impress others with your goodness, stop trying to be good enough to earn God’s favor. Trust me. Come to me. Listen to me. And find rest in me.  

This passage was a familiar one for me, as it is for many people.  But there was still something refreshing, comforting, and deeply satisfying about it.  Even a pastor steeped in the Reformed faith can find the temptation to legalism and works-righteousness to be quite strong and it is good to be reminded of Chirst's sufficiency and his gracious invitation to sinners to find rest in him.  


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