Good afternoon, everybody. We’ve got a lot of families traveling, so please pray for them, that we can see them next week. So, would someone like to share a praise report about the goodness of the Lord, something the Lord has been teaching you, something the Lord did for you? If you’d like to give praise, thanksgiving, now is the time to come forward.
I have two things I’m really thankful for this past week and couple weeks. First, the last song we sang, it says, may your bad days prove that God is good. Yesterday was a bad day for me. I had a migraine and it was pretty bad and I haven’t had one in a long time and it was really painful. So, I was just like, that’s all I could pray was, Lord, take away the pain. But today is a new day and I feel like it’s 100% and so I just praise God for that. Those times when I get sick or get a migraine, the new day when it’s gone, it makes me so much more grateful. So, I’m so thankful for my health.
The second thing I’m thankful for is something that God’s been speaking to me a lot these days about how His truth sets me free and replacing the lies with the truth. So, that Jesus, He loves me, just basic truths like that, that my worth comes from Him and that I’m His child and that He lives in me. So, Galatians 2:20 has been something that’s been on my heart a lot. I’ve been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
So, I’ve been really rejoicing in that truth. But the first part of the verse I hadn’t been focusing on until recently, which is I’ve been crucified with Christ. And that’s the part that I realized, that part that’s crucified with Christ is our old self and living for myself. And so, I realized that, yeah, when we live for ourselves and live for our needs and our emotions and just that could go up and down and that’s where the root of a lot of worries and concerns come from. And that’s the part that has been crucified with Christ and He’s been just showing me like that is the reality of just dying to yourself is actually the freedom and where I can live out of His truth that He loves me and He’s in me, He wants to shine through me.
So, I’ve just been really experiencing God working in my life. I know it’s a lot of homework for me still to learn how to live out of the truth the majority of my week. But I just want to praise God for what He’s doing and how He’s speaking to me.
Thank you, Jackie, for sharing. We did not talk about this, but how about we read Galatians 2:20 altogether and maybe we’ll start there. I’m going to start actually in verse 17. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore the minister of sin? Certainly not.
For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law, that I might live unto God. I have been crucified with Christ: it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:17-20)
Father, please unpack this truth for us. We start at the very beginning when we got baptized. We proclaim to ourselves and to the world that we are no longer living for self and we are dead to self, dead to sin, dead to the law. Now we are a new creature living by faith according to the love that Jesus showed to us by dying for us and expressing His deepest love for us in that act. Thank you, Lord. We pray that You would minister to us, speak to us now in this time. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I think today’s going to be a short one. One line summary I’ll start with is living by faith is a process of giving Jesus your external burdens and internal heaviness and learning from Him how to live differently in order to find rest for your souls and to consistently live out of that rest. And of course that one line summary is from Matthew 11:27-30. I’ll read. All things have been delivered to me by my father and no one knows the Son except the Father nor does anyone know the Father except the Son and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal him. Come to me all you 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.
“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you 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.” (Matthew 11:27-30)
I’ve been boogie boarding these days and I think boogie boarding is giving me a picture of what faith looks like. I just like to kind of float and I imagine that’s what faith in the Lord looks like. You just float and it’s very peaceful. To get to that part of the ocean you have to brave the crash zone where things are coming upon you and the waves crash. And yesterday in particular it was pretty violent and I wonder if you don’t overcome that first hurdle and you just get scared off by the crashing waves, then faith will never be something you live out of.
And so for me it’s in the beginning I’m trying to see do I want to go? It looks a little dangerous today. The waves are a little more violent than normal and there’s a part of me that kind of holds back and I think faith is like that. You have to overcome. If you’re just entering the water and you’re scared by the waves then we’re probably not going to go deep enough to experience the peace that is promised. But if you overcome that and you get past that zone of crashing waves and you go a little bit out it is so peaceful. It is so restful. And that’s what living by faith looks like.
What I discovered when I read Matthew 11 this time around is Jesus welcomes those who are laboring and are heavy laden and he invites them to come. And he says I will give you rest. And that first word for rest is different from the later time when it says I will give rest for your souls. In English unfortunately we don’t see that difference but there is a difference. People who are laboring and this is somebody who is growing weary from physical labor, from mental labor and I think that can include all of us. We are being exhausted, fatigue is setting in from whatever you’re putting your energy in and it is physical slash mental labor. And that causes someone to be loaded down and weighed down and burdened.
And the very specific context where this heavy laden comes into view is the context of church leaders. And the other place where this word is used is in the context of Pharisees. They put such heavy burdens on people like you need to do this and the teaching from that church leader is so heavy. The leader is not even lifting a finger but the congregation, the sheep, they are listening to that teaching and they are so weighed down.
That is what Jesus is talking about. He is trying to set people free from that type of religious mindset. And he says there is rest and of course we all know this. When we first meet Jesus, there is rest. There is rest from directionlessness, there is a rest from purpose, not knowing your purpose, there is a rest from just the weight of sin and condemnation and that is the first offer of rest that Jesus gives and all of us know this.
And that is a very, I would say it is a momentary rest. We all know this. We have all experienced this if you have met Jesus at least once. But then he invites us to a deeper rest. He says take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heart. So Jesus is not like the Pharisees. He is not proud. He is not coming, He is not asking for people to serve Him and serve the church. He is not that kind of a heavy handed, lording over it kind of a leader. He is gentle and He is lowly in heart.
And so Jesus is making a stark contrast to the leaders and the authority figures that you might have witnessed and in their presence it just feels heavy. You just feel like so weighed down and burdened and so many rules and so many regulations and I am going to get in trouble because I missed rule number 601.
And so this type of portrayal of the Christian life is not what Jesus wants. And Jesus says I am gentle, I am lowly in heart. And then He says you will find rest for your souls. And this kind of a rest is not momentary. This is a deeper inner rest and that is why I started with living faith as a process of giving Jesus our external burdens as well as internal heaviness and learning from Him how to live differently in order to find rest for your souls and to consistently live out of that rest.
Jesus is inviting us to learn from Him, to be yoked to Him, to be close to Him and this rest that we learn over time is not momentary. It was momentary when you first met Him and if you stop there the rest ends. And for many Christians our rest ends, ended with that first encounter and we did not learn from Jesus, instead we learned from man. We learned from pastors, we learned from YouTube and that is not the kind of discipleship that Jesus wants for His sheep.
He wants to disciple each of us. He wants to provide this deeper rest, this internal tranquility. It’s a cessation from work that refreshes the soul. And this rest for the soul, the soul can be divided into mental, mind, it can be divided into emotions, it can be divided also into the will, mind, emotions and will. The soul is a complicated thing and we, you know, if, there are certain situations that burden us.
Like if you’re a parent and you see a wayward child that is potentially burdensome and you lift up that child to the Lord but as soon as you stop praying you feel burdened again. Meaning that that prayer for the child was not with faith and so that external thing is now weighing you down. That is not what it means to live by faith. When we pray to the Lord about the situation, the external situation, we fully believe God is out for the good of my child. And so that burden is lifted, it should be lifted. That external thing should no longer weigh you down.
And so how many times have we prayed and allowed external situations to weigh us down? And the reason for that is because we prayed for that external thing, that situation, with zero faith. If you pray with faith, that external thing may not change. The child may stay wayward for year after year. But if you pray with faith, it does not burden you. Because we’re praying with faith. We must live out of faith.
But I think what Jesus is suggesting here is, of course there’s external things that weigh us down. But the chief thing that weighs us down is us. It’s internal. It is our own soul that is weighing us down. It is mental, emotional, willful acts that are weighing us down. Even if you’re not labeled with some kind of a mental illness. Don’t we all have mental issues? Don’t we have days when you just lack motivation? If somebody tried to diagnose you in that moment, they would say, oh, you’re depressed. Let me give you some medication. We all have moments when mentally we’re not as sharp, as strong as we need to be.
And so what happens when this depression, this lack of motivation sets in? If you don’t give it to Jesus, that thing will weigh you down and that day will be lost. If you stay in that mental state, you will lose an entire season of your life. But if you live with faith, that mental issue, you bring it to Jesus, and then Jesus takes it, He cleanses that part of your soul, and He gives you a burden that is now light before you are heavy.
And so it’s like some people, they walk into the room. They’re sucking all the life out of that room. There are others who walk into the room and everything gets lighter. They are bright. They are light. Versus somebody who’s like a black hole, they enter and all the attention comes to them, they suck the life out of the room. Because there’s a heaviness over that person.
Shouldn’t we be the kind of disciple who live by faith? Because we crucified ourselves. Galatians 2:20. We no longer live. We don’t think that way. We don’t live out of that emotion anymore. And now we live by faith.
And so that emotion that came upon you in the morning, the moment you give it to Jesus, things should lighten. Things should brighten. Things should, that load should feel different. And so that’s how we get sanctified. That’s how we overcome these mental issues. It’s not just depression or lack of motivation. Just our thinking and our perspective can be wrong.
Like if unlike Jesus, if you think, well life is all about me. People need to serve me. People need to treat me well. I am at the center of my drama. And there should be a movie about me. I’m the main star of my show. And everybody should serve me, should treat me well. If that’s your thinking, it’s very heavy. It’s a very heavy life. You’re going to be burdened because people will not recognize you as the star. People will not treat you well.
It’s even our perspective. Two people get into a fight. Why is there a fight? It’s because of a perspective issue. One person thinks, well my perspective is totally valid. And it may be. The other person also has their perspective. And in their mind, they’re totally valid. Neither side budges. A fight breaks out.
That perspective, what if it changed? And you gave it to the Lord and said, I’m not the star of my show. Jesus, You’re it. And so I give You my perspective. Can You change it so that I can become a loving person? So that I can recognize that person has maybe some burdens, is under some stress. So that I can love that person well and not allow this issue to break out into a fight. These are all mental issues of thinking, perspective, narcissism. These are things that will weigh you down. Not just that, but emotions. People are heavy because of emotions, fears, anxieties, moods, annoyances, frustrations.
I think this is getting more and more as I see the years go by. These type of emotional issues are almost applauded in society. Like you need to be true to your emotions. And so let’s start feeding these emotions. These emotions are good. And let’s discuss your emotions. Let’s go back to your childhood. And let’s do all of this stuff.
And I just wonder if you’re dead to yourself, do we indulge our emotions like that? If we’re dead to ourselves, do we put so much confidence in our perspective, in our mindset, in our thinking? Or should all of those be put to death? And if they are still coming, flaring up, shouldn’t we give them to Jesus? And shouldn’t Jesus start addressing them and sanctifying them and giving you a new perspective and a new set of emotions?
Not just mental and emotional, but also our will. All the personality disorders and things that we do, things that we say, all the character flaws, the things that we do, the things that we say. What if all of this we said, I’m dead to that. And as it still flares up, oh, I still need sanctification, and you bring it to Jesus. I wonder how that would change our daily lives.
Because Jesus says, you can meet me once and find momentary rest. But if you learn from me, I will give you a perpetual rest. That nothing will move you. Nothing will annoy you. Nothing will frustrate you. Nothing will ruin your day. Imagine if that’s our soul health. Imagine if our soul was cleansed, our mentality, our emotions, our will was cleansed by the blood of Jesus. And we learn from Jesus how to become gentle, how to become lowly of heart. I wonder how life would be different.
In Numbers 14, it speaks of this rest. Because 10 spies were sent out to the promised land. A promised land was a picture of rest in the Old Testament. And out of 10 spies, 8 gave a bad report. But Joshua and Caleb, they had a different spirit in them. And they gave a good report. The bad report said, well, they’re giants. We can’t overcome them. We’re like grasshoppers. We should not go in. And instead, they complained about the Lord, about Moses. Why did the Lord bring us out here to die in the wilderness? And they said, let’s go back to Egypt.
But Joshua, Caleb, Moses, very few of them said, no, we can go in. We can go in. The Lord is for us. And you fast forward to the New Testament. What does the Lord say about this generation that died in the wilderness? He says in Hebrews 3:11, so I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter my rest. Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, for we have become partakers of Christ. If we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.
“So I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.'” (Hebrews 3:11-15)
And then Hebrews 4:8, for if Joshua had given them rest, then he would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains, therefore, a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for he who has entered his rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from his.
“For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:8-10)
There are three different versions of the word rest. In verse 8 of Hebrews 4, there is a rest which causes you to cease from striving and laboring, and you’re resting momentarily. There is a future, verse 9 of Hebrews 4, a future Sabbath rest that is an utter, complete ceasing from all works, and that is, of course, in heaven. And then there’s a verse 10 rest, which is a dwelling in a state of rest, which is now, which is today for the New Testament believer.
Interestingly, what the Holy Spirit says about this generation that died in the wilderness is although they believed enough to leave Pharaoh and go through the Red Sea and to have that incredible deliverance, because it was only one time, momentary, and it was not perpetual. Their soul never experienced a rest, therefore, they were disqualified from heavenly rest. And the people who perished, he says they didn’t believe.
So can you call yourself a believer if you believe in once? Or can we, or should we call ourselves a believer? Because we believe Him day by day. We give Him our soul in all of its brokenness, and we learn from Jesus a new way, and He gives us a new nature. We become like Jesus, and in the end, because we’ve already tasted a perpetual rest, we enter into eternal rest. Isn’t that the life? We have been promised as believers, and therefore, we go back to the first verse that we read, Galatians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
We must live by faith. That means when you have an external thing that is weighing you down, you give it to Jesus, and you must leave it with Jesus. The situation that is external to you cannot stay, cannot continue to burden you, and so you pray the same prayer over and over, and each time, you’re burdened. Each time you’re burdened, you’re burdened with the same thing. You pray the same prayer over and over, and each time, you’re burdened. Each time you end prayer, you’re just as burdened as when you began the prayer. That is not faith. That is not faith.
And so if you have some situation in your life that is not right, that is not going your way, that is just a roadblock, and something is just weighing you down, give it to Jesus, and let, and keep it with Jesus. That is what it means to live by faith. But the more important thing is, the thing that really weighs us down and makes you heavy is not the external stuff, it’s the internal stuff. It’s your mind, it’s your emotions, it’s your will. These, you must give it to Jesus and learn over time how Jesus does life. He is at absolute rest all the time. It is His nature.
And so as believers who are constantly frustrated, restless, annoyed, getting into fights, this is not how it should be, brothers and sisters. We must learn from Jesus and have cleansing of your soul and my soul. And so that we live by faith a new life. And we exchange our broken life for a whole life, our restless life to a rested life, a soul that is at perfectly at rest. Jesus lived out of that place and we too must learn from Him. No one else can teach you. No one else can teach you.
You must bring the condition of your soul to Him, your mental issues, your emotional issues, issues of your will. You must bring it to Him. Ask Him to lighten your soul, to brighten your countenance, to give you a new, to allow His life to flow in. Because Jesus is the new temple. We’ve been talking about the tabernacle. He is the new temple. We are also the temple. Jesus is in us. We are in Christ. The two must come together. This is communion. This is union. Union is what God does. The moment you accept Christ, you’re united with Christ. Communion is what we do. We must enter into Christ, enter into His rest. Exchange our restlessness for the rest that only He can give.
Okay, let’s pray.
Father, we understand You’re looking for a certain kind of worshiper, one who worships You in Spirit and truth. And now You reveal that Jesus is the temple. And we too are the temple. Jesus is in us by the Spirit of God. And we are in Christ. We are united and we’re communing with Jesus.
Jesus, we bring You our external burdens, whatever situations, circumstances, people around us, our loved ones, whatever situation that weighs us down, we want to give it to You and have absolute faith that You’ve heard it and You’re going to take care of it. We refuse to have faithless prayers that we pray the same prayer over and over because we don’t really believe that You’re going to do anything. And so we try to solve issues ourselves. Lord, this is not how we’re supposed to live.
So, Lord, forgive us for living faithlessly, for allowing external burdens to burden us. Father, we also bring our soul before You. We plead the blood of Jesus over our body, our soul, our spirit, our mind, will, emotions, our thinking, our perspective. Lord, even we pray specifically for our soul. You promise that if we meet You continuously, there is a rest for our soul that few ever experience in this life.
Father, because we are, we don’t have faith that our soul can be fixed. We live with our flaws. We live with disorders. We live with our mental state. We live with personality disorders. We live with ourselves. We say this is who we are. We live as sinners bound to our old nature.
Father, You want to set Your children free. Help us to consider our lives are now dead. We crucify it again. And now the life that we live is not us. It’s Jesus in us. We live according to our faith in Jesus. We pray, Lord Jesus, that You bring rest to our soul. We pray that You lighten all the heaviness that we carry all day long, week after week, year after year.
Lord, we’re tired of ourselves. We don’t want to live like this anymore. We want to enter into Christ, which is fundamentally entering into perfect rest, perpetual rest. We thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers. We have faith that You will begin, You who began this work will bring it to completion. It takes time for some, it takes time for some. But Lord, we pray that we have faith to continue to come to You, that You will finish the job. We trust You.
We thank you for communion, the Lord’s Supper. This is an external act which reminds us that Jesus is coming into us and we’re becoming one with Christ. We’re becoming a new creature in Christ, the body of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Lord. We pray that You meet us in this time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.