Monday, December 28, 2015

An invitation to go deeper

Today, missing Ted and needing Jesus, I did an inductive study first thing this morning. Rather than reading a chapter from the Bible, sometimes I concentrate on just a verse or a few. I will make as many observations as I can to extract the truths and better understand what I'm reading. Ted used to remind me to do this before ever consulting any notes or commentary to allow the Holy Spirit to speak directly to me.

Here's an example:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 NIV

Come – there is action required;

To me -- not just coming forward, but coming to Him.

All – Jesus is not speaking to only a few people.

You – personalized and specific. The reference to “you” and “me” means He wants relationship.

Who are – He is addressing those in a present state, going on now.

Weary – sounds more than a little tired. (Know the feeling?)

And burdened – carrying a load, something heavy maybe, something difficult.

And – the great connecting conjunction… and what? It will connect to or result in something.

I will – it's a sure thing with Jesus; He doesn't say I might.

Give you – not sell to me, not withhold from me, it's a gift with no other terms.

Rest – not money, not just words of encouragement, but the ideal solution for the circumstance. Who better to know what is the ideal solution? And it’s given freely when I come to Him.
We could continue:
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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Take – I must be willing to receive.

My – Jesus gives something of Himself.

Yoke – To read from Merriam-Webster added dimension for me. A yoke balances the load.

Upon you -- Jesus wants to be yoked with me so that we can carry the burden together. Being yoked to Jesus through whatever comes is abiding in Him.

And learn from me – If He is the one with the ideal solution, there is a great deal I can learn from Him. Better than having someone “fix” things for me is having someone come alongside as I learn to make improvements.

For I am gentle – as I am yoked with Jesus, I learn about Him. He doesn’t force or threaten, He invites me. I can observe and apply at my pace.

And humble in heart – again Merriam-Webster helps me see it is because He is thinking of me. His actions are coming from the heart. He loves me and wants what is best for me. 

You will find – my action of coming to Jesus means I will discover something that is there waiting for me.

Rest for your souls – an ideal solution not only for my body and mind, but my soul as well. Now that is complete!

For my yoke – Jesus’ structure – could that be as simple as carving time in my day to sit with Him in prayer, reading and reflecting?

Is easy – free from trouble, worry or pain.

And my burden – the burden is still there, but it...

Is light – not heavy, not stressful. I can handle that!

Now I can reread my notes and reflect on the whole. (After doing this on my own, I can really enhance my experience by sharing my findings with a study partner or in a small group.)

What is Jesus, by way of the Holy Spirit, trying to tell me today about God's love?

Lord, I pray that you would help me come to you consistently, regularly and faithfully, with all of my burdens. Let me receive the ideal solutions you want to give. As I learn from you, I will be growing as someone who can better help others who need your rest. Thank you for your loving invitation.

See also: Finding Rest, June 2013, where I reminisced about Ted helping me apply this passage.