Home   e-Library       中文 
e-Library Home |  Browse By Category |  Study the Bible    
 (Manna 21: To the End of the Earth)
Come Unto Me...I Will Give You Rest
TOC | Previous | Next

Come unto Me... I will give you REST


HUMAN BEINGS have never before had to cope with so much psychological turbulence as the modern man. As students, we worry about examinations and grades. Out of school, we are anxious over our jobs and positions. We strain ourselves and try to stretch out time so as to maintain or upgrade our living standards. Furthermore, because we live in an age of complex human relationships, we have to constantly cope with different types of people. It has become a common thing hearing complaints of being “stressed”. Being “busy” has become the very epitome of life in the modern societies.

Most of us are familiar with the invitation of our Lord Jesus: Come to Me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Mt 11:28). Jesus calls us into His rest, that we may echo from our hearts the quietness and calm experienced by King David—I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother’s breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul (Ps 131:2). It is a call of love. Jesus sees our anxious and weathered minds. He stands waiting with His arms open to embrace us, just like the father awaiting the return of his prodigal son (Luke 15:20).

Yet, tearing down the layer of verse-familiarity, how many of us truly experience the rest promised in Jesus’ invitation? Was it not a long time since we last had a deep, heart-to-heart communion with our Heavenly Father? Haven’t our hearts been often too distracted by thoughts of the extent of tomorrow’s workload or the unfinished work today? Do we not wonder when these incessant burdens will ever end? Or have we accepted such toils as an inescapable reality of life?

Clearly, there exists a discrepancy between what we should experience and what we are experiencing; between the rest Jesus calls us into and the unrest prevalent in our lives. There are two basic issues underlying such a discrepancy.

Our Concept of Life

A person’s concept of life directs his actions, lifestyle and the pre-occupations of his mind. We, the true believers of Jesus, have been called out of darkness into His marvellous light (1 Pet 2:9). We should no longer conform to the views about life held by the people living in this world of spiritual darkness. Today’s world can be likened to a departmental store where the price tags have been tampered with and switched about. What is actually of little value is now a more highly priced than what is in fact a great treasure, and vice versa.

Jesus says, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.” This however is not what the world views. Today, man is almost invariably valued by the amount of possessions he owns, the extent of his wealth, his status and his power. The pursuit of these worldly “valuables” have swept through the whole of mankind. As Christians, we must have the wisdom from God to see these as the ploy of the Devil to hold the world more tightly in his clutches.

The cunning of the Devil lies in the delusion he creates for many of us that worldly pursuits need not be at the expense of our walk with God. The Bible states clearly that he who loves the world will not have the love of God in his heart (1 Jn 2:15) and one cannot serve God and mammon at the same time (Mt 6:24). These are true sayings. One evidence of the truth of these verses is the very fact that many Christians are too “stressed” or too “busy” to enjoy the rest and quietude promised by our Lord Jesus. Many backslided in faith because they were taken in by the Devil. They could not recognise the true values of life. In their pursuit of the worldly “valuables”, they found that they could not keep up with a close relationship with God simultaneously. Ultimately they were swept away. This is one reason why we continue not to see a bigger congregation despite more names being added to the register. We continue to hear the unheeded, repeated appeal “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”

Life is like a vapour that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. For how long is this vapour going to last, one can never tell. No one can ever be sure he will live to see his tomorrow (Jas 4:14). It is hence a matter of immediacy that we decide how we want to live our lives. The decision is ours whether to join the world in its never-ending pursuits of transient “valuables” or to choose a godly life with contentment (1 Tim 6:6).

Our Faith in Jesus’ Invitation

Even when we have chosen to opt out of the pursuits of the world, we continue to live in the world. Cares continue to surround us, like thorns that sprung up to choke the seeding in the parable of the saver (Mt 13:7).

The following anecdote can illustrate such a situation: There was a man carrying a very heavy load on his back, struggling every step on a road. A kind man on an ox-cart came along and urged him to hop onto his cart. Gratefully, he accepted the lift. After travelling for some distance, the driver turned back only to be shocked that the man on his cart was still carrying the load on his back!

The Lord’s salvation for us is one that has power. Jesus saves our souls. At the same time, He also saves us from the material and mental bondage. The Bible tells us that we can entrust all our cares to Him (1 Pet 5:7). Jesus Himself assures us: Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows (Mt 10:29-31). So, we are precious in the sight of the Lord’ Surely He will take care of every detail of our lives.

The cross of Jesus will save us into the eternal Heaven in the future. But it also has power to grant us peace and rest amidst the heavy burdens of life. Apostle Paul exhorts thus: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called... (Col 3:15). Let us not know “Jesus cares” only in theory; let us bring all our cares to Him and experience for ourselves the wonderful effects of a complete trust in the Lord.

More than two thousand years ago, God’s message came to the people of Israel through the prophet Isaiah:

            “In returning and rest you shall be saved: In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Is 30:15

Today, these words are all the more relevant to us, the spiritual Israelites. God is calling us to return; to examine our concept of values, to truly entrust our all to Him that we may be saved and have strength upon strength.


PDF Download

Author: Lim Siok Hong