"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
In his first speech as prime minister of England, Winston Churchill said, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat." It was the time of World War II.
What does Jesus have to offer as our Leader and Lord? He speaks with frankness: "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24). Again, this: "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword" (Matthew 10:34). Our Lord did not say anything new. Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve into sin, words similar to those of the prime minister and of Jesus, our Savior, have been spoken to mankind in its state of spiritual warfare with God.
If this were all that could be said, no one would want to follow Jesus. But there is much more to say. If it were not for Jesus and His saving work, this is all there would be to life: blood, toil, tears, and sweat. Since God's own Son came into our world to take all the misery of sin on Himself, a great change has come about. Now those who follow Jesus are richly blessed. For them there is now no sword or warfare in their relation to God, but perfect peace and reconciliation.
It is a by-product of that peace that we can be at peace among ourselves. In our fellowship with God as His sons and daughters, and with ourselves as brothers and sisters, life's toils and tears turn to joyful service to Jesus. The sweat of the brow in which Adam and his descendants were to earn their bread is wiped away because in another garden Jesus agonized to the point that "His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground" (Luke 22:44). And what happens to our tears? To His people God declares in a promise as good as fulfilled: "[God] will wipe every tear from their eyes" (Revelation 21:4).
So we say, "Yes, Lord Jesus, we hear Your invitation and accept it gladly: 'Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest'" (Matthew 11:28).
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for encouraging us to bring all our burdens to You. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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