A Word from Our President

Word from president December 2023

Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

What does this mean? It means to walk with Jesus, work with Him, and learn from Him. It refers to living freely and abundantly, without being burdened by heavy or ill-fitting expectations. It is about keeping company with Jesus and learning to live out of His abundance. It is in contrast to the struggle and strain found in self-effort.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Jesus is saying come to me. Get away with me, and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me, watch how I do it. Learn about God’s grace and what that means for you. He said “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Do you feel as though you are trapped on a never-ending treadmill based on your own efforts to try to earn God’s forgiveness, God’s approval, and God’s acceptance? That is based on “legalistic religion not relationship.”

If you are trying to earn your own forgiveness and thinking that God is constantly mad at you, I am here to tell you that is not the heart of God. When Jesus spoke of these words He was referring to the fact that there is an ease and enjoyment when you walk in His grace. This is in contrast to the struggle and strain found in self-effort. There is such rest when you know there is nothing you can do to earn His forgiveness.

Give up on your own self-righteousness, which the Bible describes as “filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6), and with open arms and an open heart, receive His forgiveness!

The key to getting out of a cycle of sin and defeat is to receive Him and to stop beating yourself up. Receive Him and stop punishing yourself because your sins have already been punished on the body of another. His name is Jesus, our beautiful Lord and Savior. No wonder the gospel is called the “good news”.

When you understand God’s grace and forgiveness, you will understand the difference between obligation and relationship. Under the old covenant of the law, right living is done out of religious obligation. Under the new covenant of grace, everything we do today is birthed out of an inward motivation that flows directly from a love relationship with Jesus.

God is not a legalist. He doesn’t want you to read His Word just because He said so, as a religious obligation. He wants you to experience His love and spend time in His Word because you want to enjoy His sweet presence.

You can read His Word out of legalism and to try to earn God’s forgiveness and acceptance, or you can do it out of relationship because you know you have been forgiven. The reality is, when you don’t read the Bible, you should not be feeling guilty; you should be feeling hungry.

Jesus invites you to keep company with Him, and you’ll learn to live freely and abundantly because you have come to understand the true meaning of God’s grace, having experienced it in your own life.

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