From Burden to Blessing
Intro: Humans are like animals in the Bible. Sheep & goats
We are told to emulate the birds by not worrying about tomorrow.
Consider the ants, you sluggard.
Our scripture is no different.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Review: The choice to repent and follow Jesus comes first, but then what?
~ Choices are made daily, hourly, & minutely if necessary.
Describe the two people:
The yoke of sin: resentment (it’s your right to get even), grumbling (gossip & complaining), discontentment (always looking but never finding), self-pity (why me?, hypocrisy (pretending to be something I’m not), anxiety (we have more anxiety meds than ever), and lack of trust (total lack of trust in authority and each other).
The yoke of Jesus:
Forgiveness (freedom), gratitude (happiness), satisfaction with life, meaningful work and life calling, no fear of what others think, peace of mind and heart, prayer and contemplation in the face of adversity
Which one do you want to be? Moving from Burden to Blessing
Learning from Jesus moves us from…
1. Resentment to Forgiveness
The #1 adversary. “You wronged me. I will get even.”
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
foothold - a small way in that grows over time.
In other words, KEEP SHORT ACCOUNTS with others.
Let God be the avenger.
2. Grumbling to Gratitude
Complaining is a sign of unbelief and insecurity
"The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!"
Gratitude is the right ‘order’ and gives sight to the path.
Application: Message a gratitude list to a friend.
3. Hunger to Wholeness
Aside from REAL needs (the minimum level of consumption of 'basic needs' of not just food, water, clothing and shelter, but also
sanitation, education, healthcare, and internet.)
“If you don’t have it, you don’t need it now.”
Maybe we are hungry and thirsty for the wrong things?
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Berv’s answer to me about real estate.
Application: Make decisions for righteousness sake.
4. Self-pity to Service
For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
Blaming something or someone else… fundamental attribution mistake.
AA 12th step: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
Example: Papa: “Why not me?” or “Thy will be done.”
Application: Help someone in need.
5. Hypocrisy to Honesty
Is it tiring to pretend you’re something you’re not? To be an actor
Clean living assures that adversity is not the self-induced discipline of God.
Example: For years, I pretended to be something I wasn’t.
“Open rebuke is better than secret love.” Proverbs 27:5
Application: Tell your friends the truth.
6. Panic to Peace
Let Go! …a little bit.
stop being the self-appointed master of ceremonies.
Application: Pray the 'Serenity Prayer’ every morning.
7. Contempt to Contemplation
One of the rarest qualities in a person is good listening.
MOST PEOPLE PROBLEMS ARE COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS.
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.” Alcoholics Anonymous
Pearls before swine.
“The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.” Proverbs 14:6
Application: Practice becoming a better listener.
The list is a description of 2 very different people. (and there is much more)
“…and you will find rest for your souls…”