Learn From Jesus and His Word
“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.” Those are the words of Jesus, from Mat chapter 11, and verse 29.
A lot of people think that when Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you”, that He meant to take His burden, upon yourself. But that’s not at all what He meant. A yoke doesn’t represent a burden, but rather, it represents being joined together. It represents the strength of a team. So then, what Jesus is saying, is this.. “Join yourself to Me, be joined in my strength, learn from My example. Go where I would go. Do what I would do. .”
Jesus is our mentor. He wants to take us under his wing so to speak, and teaches to us, what he knows. Jesus one time said to the people of Israel: “How often I wanted to gather you together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wing..” Luke 13, v-34. Well, Jesus wants to be our mentor. He’s the expert isn’t He? And He wants to take us under His wing. But we’ve got to allow Him to “take us under His wing”. He wants to teach us everything that we need to know, and to give us “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding”, in this life (Phil 4, verse 7), and the strength to “do all things in Christ, who strengthens us” (Phil 4:13) And to give us eternal rest for our souls, in heaven. But again, we’ve got to allow Jesus to do it.
Jesus said to the sons of Israel; “How often I wanted to gather you together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wing, but you wouldn’t.” How about us? I sure hope that Jesus would never have the need to say to any of us.. “But you wouldn’t”.
Jesus has offered us everything we need. 2 Peter 1, verse 3, tells us, “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
Everything pertaining to this life, everything pertaining to the life to come, and everything pertaining to fashioning ourselves after God Himself, is given to us, through the knowledge of His word. So then let’s go to the words of Jesus, and learn some of the more basic things that He has granted to us.
Learning The Basics
Let’s begin with “the basics”, of what our attitude, and our nature needs to be. In other words, what our spirit should to be like. So let’s join ourselves to Jesus, and to His words, and listen to the advice of our mentor, and our Savior.
We’re going to get some help from some of our men here this morning..
(________ is going to read the words of Jesus, from Mathew 5, verses 3 thru 12. ________ )
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
What do we learn from these verses? We learn about what our attitude should be like; What our very Spirit should be like. We’re told in Rom 12:2, “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed, by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
That’s exactly what we’re doing by reading these verses. We’re renewing our minds, by learning from Jesus. We’re learning exactly what Jesus wants us to be like, in Spirit. Let’s listen again to what those verses say, should characterize our spirit.
V-3, Our spirit should be humble. V-4, Our spirit should be compassionate. V-5, Our spirit should be gentle. V-6, Our spirit should have a strong desire for doing God’s will. V-7, Our spirit should be merciful toward others. V-8, Our spirit should be pure in motive. V-9, Our spirit should seek for peace. V-10, Our spirit should be willing to suffer for the sake of what is right. V-11, Our spirit should remain quiet, even when falsely accused. V-12, Our spirit should rejoice and be glad, no matter what!
Put Your Spirit Into Action
(And now, _______ .. would you read verses 13-20. And we’ll see what else we can learn from our mentor)
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
These verses that _______ just read, deal more with DOING, than with what should characterize our spirit. Now we’ve got to put that spirit into action. Jesus said, in Luke 6:46; “Why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and do not DO what I say.
V-13 starts out with a bit of encouragement. “You ARE the salt of the earth.” You as a Christian, are what makes this world “palatable”. Unfortunately, we see every day just how “untasteful” this world can be. But YOU, as a Christian, can make the world, what it was intended to be! A world full of light, and not darkness.
V-14, 15, & 16, instructs us to “LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE” ! Be the person that the word of God has taught you to be. When we’re joined to Jesus, that’s when our light will shine!
The apostle John wrote, in John 1, verse 9; “There was the true light, which coming into the world, enlightens every man.” Jesus is the light from heaven, shining down upon the earth. And Christians are the lights on earth, reflecting that light of Jesus.
I’ve asked _______ to lead us in a hymn. Would you please turn to Hymn # 130, and let’s sing.. “Let the Lower Lights be Burning”
We need to let our light shine. That’s why we need to join ourselves to HIM, so that we can learn to shine. And we don’t hide what we’ve learned “under a bushel” so to speak. But we display what we’ve learned, by our behavior, and we let our light shine, so others can see it. Don’t you want others to learn what you’ve learned? Don’t you want them to “see the light”?
We’re not supposed to “show off” what we know; We’re supposed to “share” what we know. “Let your light shine before men, in such a way, that they see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” V-16
How do you let your light shine “in such a way”, that others will see your good works and glorify God? We do it by using what we were taught in verses 3-12.
By being humble, and gentle, and hungering to do God’s will. And by being merciful, and pure in motive, and by making peace, and by remaining that way, even when criticized or ridiculed, or persecuted.
Doing The Work Of God
Jesus said in V-17; “Do not think that I came to abolish the law or the prophets. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” He said in John 4:34; “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.” If we “yoke ourselves to Jesus”, we better be ready to eat the same food as He ate. In other words it needs to be OUR food, to accomplish His work.
And what is His work? What is God’s work? What work do we need to be doing and accomplishing? First of all, don’t we need to save ourselves? Jesus once said in John 6:29; “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him who He sent.” He’s talking about being saved, isn’t He? But when we DO learn God’s plan of salvation, and when we OBEY that plan, and become saved; Is the work over then?
Ephesians 2, verse 10, tells us; “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” WE are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus..” That’s what a Christian is! A Christian is the workmanship of God, IN Christ.
And we were made to be Christians, for the purpose, of walking in the “good works of God”, which were prepared beforehand. In other words, DOING those good works. We don’t just do the works of God, to BECOME a Christian, but we KEEP doing them, to REMAIN a Christian.
Jesus Give us Choices
Jesus give us a choice, in Mathew 5:38 & 39; “An eye for an eye”, or “turn the other cheek”? We KNOW which one Jesus chose. Which one will WE choose?
Verses 40, 41 & 42 give us more choices. It’s kind of the choice between doing the minimum, or doing the maximum, for God. Here’s what it says; “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
Will we do the very minimum that we’re REQUIRED to do, or will we do the maximum that we’re CAPABLE of doing?
Verses 43 thru 48, give us even more choices. Here’s what Jesus says.. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Worldly people do that. But Christians need to do more!) “And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” (In other words, do not worldly people do that?) “You therefore must be complete, (Or, “perfected”) as your heavenly Father is perfected.”
Worldly people don’t do that!
“LOVE your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For, He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
“If you love those who love you, what reward have you?”
“If you greet your brothers ONLY, what do you do MORE then others?”
WE, need to do MORE! And we need to BE more. We need to be, more humble, more gentle, more peaceable, more merciful, more pure in heart, and more willing, to DO more.
And in all of that, we need to “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great..! Mat 5, verse 12.
How much are you willing to do, to have a reward in heaven? Are you willing to believe God’s word? Would you be willing to repent of your sins and confess the name of Christ? Would you be willing to be buried in baptism, by the authority of Jesus, for the forgiveness of your sins? And are you willing to remain faithful unto death? To endure to the end?
Be willing to do MORE, today; Be willing to become a Christian today, as we stand and sing our invitation song.