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Jesus' famous words, “Let the little children come to me”, can be found in 3 Gospels, specifically in Matthew 19:14, Mark 10:14, and Luke 18:16. While this is a relatively simple phrase, it profoundly reveals God’s concern for children. At Trinity kids are important and we want to help kids of all ages find life in Christ. One of the ways we help kids to find this life is through basketball camp in July.

As we are preparing for this year's camp we have been talking about what are kids thinking and feeling as they come to camp?

I'm sure there are a bunch of other thoughts as kids come here.

Basketball takes about 70 volunteers each night to be onsight but it takes all of us to pray for kids to find life in Christ, and even change families in the process. Would you pray for God to do some amazing things through this camp?

We are praying that kids will find this atmosphere, friendly, kind and they would leave here feeling encouraged and valued. We want them to see that being at church isn't weird but is exciting, challenging and a place to find answers. The reality is that if kids are having a good experience they are more likely to bring mom or dad.

Most importantly we want kids to find life in Christ. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me" so that they can find life. Let's pray together for seeds to be planted in each of these kids.

Welcome back. I’m so glad you’re here. Let's continue with the thought we started in the previous post. Jesus said,

Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus begins, “Come to Me.” Notice, this isn’t an invitation to a church, a religion, or a list of rules to follow. It’s not a philosophy. It’s not a rule book or ritual, but it is an invitation to a relationship with a person. He is offering you help.

Jesus says to you… “Come to me…all of you who are…” this is the beautiful part of his words. We don’t need to be perfect to come to Him. Pause for a moment and let that sink in. We don’t need to be nervous. We don’t need to have it all together, as a matter of fact, Jesus knows we are imperfect. He knows we are a mess.

I’m not sure where the idea has come from where we think we need to have it all together before we come to Jesus, but that isn’t what He expects. Many of us have this idea that Jesus is disappointed in us. Many of us feel like we need to have it all together.

Jesus offered a yoke that was “easy,” meaning, good, comfortable, or well-suited. Just as a yoke had to be tailor-made for oxen, the Lord’s yoke fits well and takes into consideration the needs and abilities of His people. Jesus is saying, “EXCHANGE YOKES”. Take off the yoke of religion, rules, selfishness and put on the yoke of Jesus. To put on this yoke, we need to accept Jesus. To accept Jesus means to turn away from the wrong things you are trusting in to find acceptance with God. Place your faith in Jesus and follow Him and not the religious Laws. Essentially, Christ would bear the burden, and those who took His yoke by faith would find rest for their souls. Put on this yoke and walk beside Jesus and you will find rest for your souls.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live. John 11:2 As we come to Jesus…when we place our faith in Jesus…He gives us life…eternal life. But He also gives us a life full of joy, peace, forgiveness, hope. Jesus invites you to this kind of life, right now!

Maybe you aren’t weary or burdened by religion, but you are worried, discouraged, angry, disappointed, scared, left out, alone, overwhelmed, or maybe you are just bored. Maybe you are empty, sad, bitter, lost, questioning, maybe you are just uncertain, worried for your health…

Jesus promises to relieve you of these and provide something else.
Jesus wants to give you relief, encouragement, joy, peace, courage, purpose, assurance, hope, contentment, cleansing, refreshment, a new vision, rest, perseverance, patience, or forgiveness.
Jesus invites you… “come to me…

Take the thing that you are carrying and bring it to the one who can help you. Jesus is not some impersonal being who just wants you to follow a bunch of rules. NO. Jesus is real. Jesus is personal. Jesus wants to take your burdens. Jesus wants to give you REAL LIFE.

When people think about Christianity, most think Christianity is about doing better, trying harder to be a better person, going to church regularly, or going to church on Easter Sunday. Some think Christianity is just following certain rules, maybe following the Ten Commandments. And most think that if they follow these rules pretty well, then they will be okay with God. They think, “God is happy when I try to follow the rules.”

For some reason, many carry some of this type of thinking around with them. They carry this baggage from their past and it shapes their idea of what God is like and how to make themselves acceptable to Him.

Because they don’t feel like they measure up to their own standard, most people carry around with them some level of guilt, “I’m just not measuring up.”

Some live with a level of fear that God is going to be mad at them. Or some have some level of shame that they have blown it so badly and God would
never accept them.

So, when it comes to following Christianity, many just check out because they think, “Why would I want to follow some rules where I know I will feel bad?” It sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?

But God is not like an accountant, keeping a ledger of good works on one side and bad works on another with the hope that somehow good outweighs the bad.

Here is the great news!

You will never hear Jesus saying,

I don’t think you will find Jesus saying that to anybody. Nowhere in the Bible will you find that.

Look what Jesus does say to us in Matthew 11:28-30. I love this.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

In the next post, I’ll be expanding on how we might interpret and apply this scripture, but until then, I pray you will find peace in knowing you can simply come as you are to Jesus and let him carry all of your fears, guilt, and shame so you can come to find a more restful life in Christ.

 

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