28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 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."
Are we weary and burdened? Jesus says, "Come to me." That's what it's about. He says His yoke is easy. How? He has a gentle and humble heart. That should be enough to comfort anybody.
The key to changing, though, is starting in the right place. Jesus wants us to have rest. We are sure He's not talking about sleeping for 24 hours, though. He's talking about a yoke here, a burden we have to carry. We need to understand this concept though--we need to find that rest.
1. Change starts in the Heart
We've go to learn where to start from. Jesus wants to save all of us, but . . . He also wants us to find rest for our souls. Need to be secure in our faith. Where do we start from? It starts in the heart.
Why are people so fired up about Jesus? We never saw him, never met him. His heart is compassionate, forgiving, merciful, kind, unselfish and sacrificial. His unassuming nature made us to give up all we had in the world. Yes, He's powerful, but we have the confidence that Jesus has the heart we can trust. No matter how bad things are, if we have Jesus' heart we'll always be fired up.
The joy, radical ness, growth of our Christian life really starts in our heart. Want our life to be joyful? It's got to start from our own heart, our own joy.
First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.
Repentance is turning to God, and then showing it by his deeds. It starts in the heart, though, not in the deeds. We can't focus on the actions first.
We all want to grow and we will grow. Marriage, parenting, being a disciple, etc. Do we want to change our heart? That's the thing that will change everything else.
2. Change By Imitating Jesus
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
This is the only place where disciples ask Jesus to teach them something. They've learned a lot from Jesus, but here they ask for something specific. Does this mean that this is the only time they learned from Jesus? No. The other times, they learned by imitating. More is caught than taught. We need to imitate the heart of Jesus. Learn by imitating, not just by words.
Don't imitate things, but imitate the heart. Focus on being, not on doing. It's so easy to change our actions, but our heart doesn't change. That will only last for one month or so. We must dare to be different, not just act different. When we see somebody we like, we want to imitate them. Do we love Jesus? Are we willing to imitate Him?
We all have a yoke to carry. The choice is whether to carry a heavy and hard yoke or an easy and light yoke. Jesus said, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Let us go to Jesus when we are weary and burdened, He will give us rest. Let us carry His yoke.