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Restless Hearts

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
November 2, 2020 10:41 am

Restless Hearts

The Verdict / John Munro

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November 2, 2020 10:41 am

Dr. John H. Munro November 1, 2020 Matthew 11:25-30

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All of us enjoy receiving invitations.

I suppose with a caveat, it depends who's doing the inviting and what the occasion is. But generally speaking, we like to receive an invitation. I'm going to speak this morning about an invitation, an invitation which is for everyone. This invitation comes to you this morning and it comes to me. And at the end of the message, I'm going to challenge you to accept this magnificent invitation.

I believe it is the greatest invitation which has ever been given. Now, if we're going to receive this invitation, humility is absolutely essential. In chapter 11 of Matthew that we are studying, Jesus had said in verse 15, he who has ears to hear, let him hear.

That is, not everyone really hears and understands and receives this invitation. We want to be those who hear the Word of God, who respond to it, and who obey it. So I'm asking you to humble yourself this morning, not to be a critic over the Word of God, not to see if you can find fault with the teaching of Jesus, but rather to come in a spirit of humility because I don't want anyone to miss the impact, the importance, and the consequences of this invitation, both now and for all of eternity. This is a wonderful passage of Scripture. If you're visiting, let me explain that we're going consecutively through the book of Matthew, and this morning we come to Matthew 11 verse 25.

If you have your Bible, you can open there and follow with me. Matthew 11 verse 25. At that time, Jesus declared, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you've hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to me, all 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." Isn't that a magnificent passage of Scripture?

Very rich, and we're only going to, as it were, skate over the surface, but emphasize this gracious invitation. Come to me. Linda Lewis in her testimony, the last one being baptized, referred to the invitation in John 1, come and see. And this is what Jesus is saying, come, come to me, come to Jesus. Now, why should we come to Jesus? Well, notice what Jesus says, come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden. And we want first to understand that we have heavy burdens.

The invitation is given to those who are heavy burdened. Jesus is praying, notice He says in verse 25, Father, He is the Son of God. God is His Father who is Lord of heaven and earth.

What a claim. And then Jesus says something, perhaps which is a little confusing to us. He says, Lord of heaven, you've hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children. These spiritual truths that Jesus is teaching are hidden to some people. Some people just don't understand them. Some people may hear, but they don't really get the point. They are wise in the ways of the world.

They are well educated. There's nothing wrong with their intellectual capacity, but the problem is that they are spiritually blind. This is why Jesus over and over again tells us, He who has ears to hear, let them hear.

Don't miss the message is the point. Previously, as we saw a couple of weeks ago, the very cities which had seen the mighty works of the Lord rejected them. They heard, they saw, but they did not fully understand that in their midst was truly the kingdom of God. You come in the spirit of pride. You come and you think you know more than the Word of God. You come with a rather critical attitude. I pray you're not in that category, but rather are humble that you are like a child. Not childish, but childlike, humility, ready to hear, teachable, ready to grasp these deep spiritual truths.

Don't be a critic, but be humble. Now notice how wonderful it is that this invitation is given to everyone. Verse 28, come to me all who labor and are heavy laden.

Usually invitations are to a select group of people, but this is a universal invitation. Everyone is invited to come to Jesus. Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who loves to care for us, loves to take our burdens, loves to take our cares of life. And let's face it, isn't it true that you have burdens, you have struggles in life that sometimes overwhelm you? We heard some of that in the testimonies of people as they go through life. Circumstances come into our life and we may think we're reasonably good people. We may think we're quite equipped for life and yet there are circumstances often without our control which come into our life and we realize that we cannot handle them by ourselves. We're wearied, we're discouraged, we're drowned.

And these heavy burdens come in all shapes and sizes. But there is one, the most important burden, a burden that all of us have, whether we accept it or not, is that there is a heavy burden of sin. You say sin, someone who had come to Calvary told me that I talk too much about sin. I realize that our culture wants to eliminate the very concept of sin. Our courts, our legislature, our media, our educators have redefined some sins.

Even some churches get rid of the term. We're told that we are all to be positive. People don't want to hear the negative things about sin. That's negative energy.

Let's be positive. Let's not talk about sin. It's antiquated.

It produces guilt. It belongs to a past age, it belongs to a past age, surely. So, sin is redefined. It's renamed.

It's removed from our language. And in that way, it is thought our personal accountability to God is evaded. Well Jesus talks about sin. The Bible talks about sin. And even if you deny the very concept of sin, let me ask you, don't you sometimes realize that you've done wrong? That God has given us a conscience.

That there is a God consciousness. And so many people have guilt, have shame. If there's not such a thing as sin, why are we so quick to cover up and excuse ourselves and often come over as complete hypocrites as we try to project an image which we know is not true because our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked, the Bible says. And this burden is the greatest burden. And can I tell you, you will never by yourself get rid of the burden of sin.

The burden of unforgiven sin is a very, very heavy one. Now, you know, if you come regularly to Calvary Church, I love Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. And here is a picture from the edition of Pilgrim's Progress that I have of the man that John Bunyan calls Christian. And he's about to begin his journey. He's in the city of destruction, John Bunyan says, and he's traveling to the celestial city, a picture of heaven.

And why is he trying to go there? Well, he realizes that he's got a terrible burden of sin. He's read the book, the Bible, and Bunyan pictures it as a heavy burden on his back, the burden of sin. Do you feel that burden?

I hope you do. I hope you're not one of these people that make out you're perfect, that you don't do wrong, that you've not offended God. This is a heavy burden of sin. There's also the burden and struggles of life. Life is hard. Life is often a burden, a struggle. There are struggles within families that are broken hearts, broken personal relationships, frustrations, and injustices at work, in society.

There is bereavement. There's loneliness. There's personal failure.

We're all dealing with COVID-19. There is injustice. There's betrayal. There's sickness.

There's terminal illness. There's frustration with our own failures. There's all kinds of burdens, and you'd be a very unusual person who says, I'm here today, and I don't have a struggle. I don't have a burden. Many of these burdens, in fact, are crushing.

We heard about some of them today in the Testimonies. I think burdens make life very difficult. You may be a child at school, a student, and I think you have burdens, don't you? There are children and students who are bullied at school. They're unfairly compared with a brother or sister. They're not chosen to play in the team.

They practice and they think they're better than so and so, but he or she gets selected and they don't. There's the burden of loneliness, of the stress of exams, of the unfairness and stress and rejection, which even children and students experience. We all carry burdens. But let me speak about the unique invitation, the unique invitation.

The invitation is given by Jesus himself. I could never say to this congregation, far less the whole world, come to me with your burdens and struggles. Over the years, I've been privileged to counsel and meet with numerous people who come with burdens and cares, and I have the privilege of praying with them, of counseling them, of looking at the Word of God, but in many cases I realize I can't solve their burden. It's too difficult. It's too painful.

The burdens that people carry. But Jesus says, come to me. How is it he can say that?

He's all authority. See, this is not so much a demand, it's a gracious invitation, and our Lord Jesus is inviting you to come to him with your heavy burdens. You say, well, who is he? Who is this Jesus? That's why Matthew is writing his Gospel.

The Gospel is an account of the life and death and burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and Matthew's already told us much about Jesus. He is the Savior. His name, Jesus, means I come to be the Savior of sins. He's the King, Matthew is saying. He's King Jesus, not only King of the Jews, but King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Matthew has reminded us that Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. Matthew has told us the beautiful scene at the baptism of Jesus when the heavens open and the Father says, this is my beloved Son, in whom I'm well pleased. He's the Son of God. This is no ordinary man, not even an ordinary prophet, not just someone who has special enlightenment of life and who can help you through the trials and struggles of life.

No, this is someone different, he's unique. He says in verse 27, all things have been handed over to me by my Father, that is God the Father. King Jesus has absolute authority in heaven and on earth. Matthew is going to make that clear at the very end of his Gospel as our Lord Jesus is sending his disciples to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and so on. And Jesus says, all authority is given to me in heaven and on earth.

Yes, this I guarantee that if you come to Jesus, he'll deal with your burden, absolute burden of sin. His power, his strength, his grace, his love are unsearchable. Not only has Jesus all authority, he says, notice verse 27, all things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. You say, that's really deep.

It is very deep. Powerful statements that are only true of Jesus. He is the Son of God who comes to reveal the invisible God. God is Spirit, no one has seen God at any time and into time, into space so that we can see and understand. As the disciples touched Jesus, as they saw him in action, they realized that in Jesus Christ is God incarnate, God with us. And the Father reveals these truths to his Son so that to see Jesus is to see God. He who has seen me, says Jesus, has seen the Father. Everything that the Father knows is revealed to the Son.

Why? He's equal with God, God the Father and God the Son. And, says Jesus, the Son chooses to reveal the Father to others. And this is so important then that Jesus is the only one who can reveal God the Father to us.

This is why the invitation is unique, that Jesus is the only way to God. I realize people challenge that. People think, we're bigoted when we say that.

People say, you're not tolerant of other views. Listen, this is God incarnate saying it. This is not my idea, this is God. That to know Jesus is to know God.

And so respond to this gracious invitation. He is uniquely the one who can say, come to me, all who are weary, all who are laden, and I will give you rest. Come to Jesus with these heavy burdens. You say, how is it that the Lord Jesus can deal with our heavy burdens?

Because not only is that based on who He is, but based on what He has done. What about this terrible burden of sin, the biggest burden that any of us can have? What about that? Isaiah the prophet says these wonderful words as he prophesies the death of Jesus. And did you notice in the testimony that a number of them said that Jesus dies for our sins. The Gospel, the good news isn't just that Jesus died. He died for our sins.

There's our word again, don't try and evade it. He dies for our sin. Isaiah puts it this way, surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.

Do you know anyone else who can carry your griefs and your sorrows? The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Peter writes, he himself, Jesus, bore our sins in his body on the tree.

Here is my heavy burden of sin. And as Isaiah is saying, that heavy burden of sin is laid on Jesus on the cross. He who knew no sin is made sin for us. So John the Baptist brilliantly points to Jesus and says, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. How does He take away the sin of the world? He's the sinless one, God incarnate. And so when He dies on the cross, He is dying for the sins of the world, dying for my sins, paying the price for my sins, going into the judgment of God and the condemnation of God which I deserve.

Not only dying for my sins and being buried, but being raised again on the third day according to the Scriptures so that He is alive. So it is a living Christ who says, come to me and I'll give you rest. Here's another picture from Pilgrim's Progress. There he is. There's Christian, John Bunyan's character in Pilgrim's Progress. And there he is at the cross. You say, what about his sin? Do you see it?

It's beginning to roll away. And Bunyan writes, puts these words in Christian's mouth. So I saw in my dreams, says John Bunyan, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his back and began to tumble and so continued to do until it came to the mouth of the sepulcher where it fell in and I saw it no more.

Isn't that wonderful? How did you get rid of this burden of your sin? You come to the cross of Christ. There's Christian humbly acknowledging I've sinned and looks to the cross where there my Savior paid the price for my sins. And as he comes to Christ, this miracle, yes this miracle takes place, says Bunyan, the burden rolled away and he said, and I saw it no more.

Can you think of this? All of your sins of the past. But when you come to the cross, you're forgiven and just picture your sins as this big, big burden.

Big, big package and it rolls and it rolls and it rolls and you will see it no more. We sometimes remember when people malign us, someone has made life difficult for you and you say you forgive them but you still remember God doesn't do that. He remembers our sins no more.

They're totally gone. One of our candidates for baptism referred to 2 Corinthians 5, 17. That's what Paul is saying. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.

The old has passed away, the new has come. Come to Jesus. There's none like Him, nor will there ever be anyone like Him. And if you come with humility, He will forgive you. Notice how Jesus describes Himself in one of His few self-designations. He says in verse 29, take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heart. Don't be afraid to go to Jesus. You say I've messed up. I've taken His name as a curse word.

He doesn't want me. I'm gentle and lowly in heart. You don't need to hide anything from Jesus. He knows it all.

Every single thing about you. But Jesus says, the one who comes to me, I will in no eyes cast out. If you come humbly, if you come with repentance, if you come believing that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins was buried and rose again and receive Him into your heart as your Savior, He will forgive all of your sins, He will not cast you out. You will never, ever be disappointed with coming to Jesus. His grace, His love, His compassion are infinite. He will receive you. This is why I say this is the greatest invitation ever given. It's come to me.

All, all who labor and are heavy laden. And notice, as we had in that wonderful song that Vicki sang and Linda in her Testament, this great word, come, come. That's one of the great words of the Gospel. Come to me. Can you hear Jesus speaking to you?

Put your name there. Come to me. I heard the call of Jesus come to me when I was 12 years old at a Christian camp where I went to play soccer. Come to me.

It's a boy of 12. I came. I knew I had sinned. And I came to the cross. And that burden on my back rolled away, and I've never seen it again.

It's gone. And I received the forgiveness of God. I received His peace. I received His joy. And for all of these years, with His help, I have followed Jesus Christ. And anyone here who has come to Jesus and is following Him would never, ever say they were disappointed.

They would never say they regret it. Come to me. Heavy burden, unique invitation, finally the greatest rest. Here is rest for restless hearts. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I'm gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." What a wonderful rest, He will give you rest. What a promise. Don't you long for that rest?

I trust you've realized as you've lived your life with the ups and downs, the joys and the disappointments, your mistakes, things beyond your control, that you understand that things of this life, that the possessions, your portfolio, that your education, that your achievements, that your pleasures, that your enjoyments are not lasting. Are you restless? The answer is yes. Think of it this way. If you have a fever, it produces restlessness, doesn't it? You're in your bed and you just can't get a comfortable spot. You blame the pillow. You blame the blankets. You blame the mattress. You blame the noise. You blame the room temperature. They're not the problem.

What's the problem? You've got a fever. Makes you restless. We are restless people. But you see, God created us in a certain way. Augustine got it right. He says in a wonderful prayer to God, thou has created us for thyself and our hearts can never rest until they rest in thee. Do you understand that God created you? God created you with a spiritual dimension.

And if you ignore that, you live life on the physical level only concerned with this world, putting yourself at the very center of your universe, you're missing the whole point. Of course you're restless. We heard some of the testimonies about that restlessness that is within us and people turn to alcohol or drugs or sexual experiments.

Money, unbridled freedom are used to hide and to deny and to escape this sense of restlessness. Someone left the other day where I was a copy of the People magazine. Now I confess I don't buy it, right? Some of you do. That's one of your sins, but we're not going to ask you to identify yourself. But I was reading it.

It's not heavy reading, most of it's pictures. And it's about these celebrities. I mean you think, who cares?

Obviously a lot of people do care. But their lives are a mess, aren't they? Somebody's on their fifth marriage.

Somebody is trying to get their life together. They're 45 years old. They're successful. They've been in all of these movies.

They're one of the beautiful celebrities in life that so many people want to be like, but their life is a mess. Oh, now it's a little better. So you wonder how long that's going to be. Restlessness. Jesus says, come to me and I'll give you rest.

I want you to understand this. Restless hearts only find a rest in Jesus Himself. God made you for Himself, and therefore your true rest, the true center of gravity, the true north in your life is not yourself.

Don't make yourself as the captain of your life. Surrender it to Jesus. Horatius Bonar, a Scottish hymn writer, writes in 1846 this beautiful line, I heard the voice of Jesus say, come unto me and rest. I'm praying that many of you here will hear the voice of Jesus. Not the voice of John Monroe, the voice of Jesus. I heard the voice of Jesus say, come unto me and rest. Lay down now weary one, lay down your head upon my breast. Notice what Horatius Bonar writes, I came to Jesus as I was. Isn't that marvelous?

You don't need to clean up your act. You come with your brokenness, you come with your sin, you come just as I am. I came to Jesus as I was, weary and worn and sad. I found in Him, what a resting place, my rest. And He has made me glad.

Will you come? And then says Jesus, my yoke is easy. Verse 30, my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Some of you are saying, well it's wonderful to come to Jesus and have your sins forgiven and know when you die you're going to heaven, but I don't know I want to be restrained by anyone. I don't like this idea of a yoke. What's a yoke?

Well, we have a picture of it. It's a wooden bar used for joining two animals. In this case oxen. They're going to plow a field, they're going to pull a cart and they're yoked together. They've got to work in harmony.

They've got to go in the same direction. They're yoked. Jesus says, take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I'm gentle and lowly in heart and you'll find rest for yourselves. Take for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. A yoke may seem very restrictive to us, it may seem bondage, it may stop us from going our own way. Why would we be yoked to Jesus?

I can't think of anyone else I'd like to be yoked to eternally. Yoked to Jesus. Not the burdensome yoke of the Pharisees. Not the burdensome yoke of a legalistic religion. No, yoked to Jesus, drawing on His strength, His wisdom, His gentleness, His love, His joy.

That's the promise of this invitation. You come to Jesus and you will be in Him, in Christ, learning from Him. This is then true freedom. Not going your own way but rather be yoked to Jesus, surrendering your life to Jesus, living as God intended and as you do that. Here is a paradox of the Gospel.

You try to save your life, you'll lose it. If you lose your life for the sake of the Gospel, if you surrender your life to Jesus Christ, in fact you'll find it. A way of joy, a way of rest. When you come to Jesus, you'll find rest for yourself, He'll never leave you. The mountaintop experiences, He's with me. The valley, He's with me.

In the humdrum of routine life, He is with me. He's promised never to leave us and when we wander, we're prone to wander, aren't we? As followers of Jesus, we sometimes get a bit off track, don't we? Don't we? Somebody say yes. Yes, of course you do, right?

When you get a bit off track, isn't it wonderful that we have a Savior who gently brings us back, right? Say no, John. That's not the way to go. That's not the way to speak.

That's not the way to act. And we confess our sins and we get back and continue to walk with Jesus. Not only are there joys in this life, there are joys of the eternal reward because Jesus says, I give you eternal life and you will never perish. And this is offered, this rest is offered to you without money, without price. You don't pay for it, but it comes at an infinite cost as Jesus gave Himself for us on the cross. The question for you as I conclude is this. It's a simple one, have you come to Jesus?

If not, what's preventing you? Your pride. What someone will think. Your future? Leave it in His hands. He's claimed the promise, I will give you rest for your soul.

The world can't give you that. This is supernatural. This is Christ within us. There is no other place in heaven or on earth where you can find that rest.

For there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Today, listen to Jesus. He's graciously speaking to you. Do you hear His voice?

We hear Him. Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart and you'll find rest for your soul.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Will you come to Jesus with the burden of your sin? Will you come to Jesus with these burdens that are on you now and claim this rest? I'm going to pray and then we're going to stand and sing a wonderful song.

I think some of you at least know it. Burdens are lifted at Calvary. And when we say burdens are lifted at Calvary, we don't mean Calvary Church here.

We trust that is the case, but we're referring to the Calvary of the cross, that their burdens are lifted. Will you pray with me? If you have never yet opened your heart to Christ, will you do that as we pray?

He says, come to me. Our Father, you who are the Lord of heaven and earth, you who know our hearts, you who made us, forgive our pride, forgive our sin, have mercy upon us this day. I pray for those who have never yet come. Perhaps they've embraced a form of religion, but it's never penetrated their heart.

It's never made a difference in their life. May they even now open their heart and come to Jesus. Some are here with heavy burdens to do with their family, to do with health, to do with work, personal struggles, whatever they are. We bring them to you and thank you that burdens are lifted at Calvary. For the precious invitation and for our wonderful Savior, we thank you in His name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-30 21:08:15 / 2024-01-30 21:20:06 / 12

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