A HEALTHY CHURCH… rests in the Gospel

Healthy Christians find rest in the Gospel.

Our lives move at a rapid rate. We rejoice when we get overtime. We get to work early and work late. Our list of responsibilities ends up being longer than we ever remember saying ‘yes’ to.

This mentality can follow us in our walk with the Lord. If we are not careful, what begins as a joyous journey with Christ, can end up feeling like a long to-do list or a nagging feeling that “we should be doing more” somehow.

Make no mistake. Being productive in the work place is a wonderful thing. Working effectively should be a hallmark of Christians in our home and professional lives. In the spiritual realm, serving Jesus with all of our heart is a very biblical principle. 

Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 

A healthy church should be full of healthy Christians who rest in the Gospel. Our salvation is not earned by “doing.” We serve a God who sent His son Jesus to die in our place for our sins so that it is “done.” Serving Jesus is something that we get to do (as opposed to being coerced to do), and we should serve Him as we are led by the Holy Spirit. As the beautiful hymn says, “There is Joy in Serving Jesus.” A Christian who is serving from the heart feels fulfilled, and enjoys the service to our Savior. 

Picture what the average Jewish listener would have been experiencing culturally when Jesus spoke these words. This was the time of the Pharisees, Saducees, and Scribes, the religious leaders who were full of detailed laws and pompous external religious show. Jesus was turning their religious system upside down when he told them how grievous their rules were and even going so far as calling them “white-washed graves.” When Jesus told the common man, “…I will give you rest;”  and “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” This was a new principle to them. They had never had a religious leader seeking to relieve their burdens.
 
A simple key that is easy to overlook is that serving the Lord is just that. Serving the Lord, not man. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”  I Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Romans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

So should we serve the Lord? Absolutely! But let us not forget who we are serving. We are serving our wonderful Savior. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. Serving him is intended to be a joy. Let us find rest in the service of our wonderful Lord and King.