By Bob Hoekstra
Come to Me . . . and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me... and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)
Our previous meditation on Jesus promising spiritual rest provides an excellent opportunity to reflect again upon the relational aspect of living by the grace of God. God's grace does not abound toward us by means of some religious procedure. His grace flows into our lives as we walk in a developing relationship with Him. This is essential to understand, since it is "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 8:9) that we are to be experiencing.
It is in coming to the Lord, in relating to the Lord, that we find His grace at work in our lives. "Come to Me...Take My yoke... learn from Me." When we first come to Jesus in humble dependence, we find His grace to forgive us of our our sin and guilt. When we yoke up with Him, walking intimately with Him each day, we find His grace to rescue us from religious, fleshly striving.
This pattern of coming to the Lord is prevalent in the scriptures. Isaiah wrote of it concerning salvation. "Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other... Surely in the LORD I have righteousness and strength. To Him men shall come" (Isaiah 45:22, 24). Isaiah also declared that spiritual refreshment and life from God would be available by simply coming to the Lord. "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters... Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live" (Isaiah 55:1-3). Of course, Jesus restated this profound invitation concerning Himself. "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-38).
The Apostle Peter wrote of another significant issue for which we come to Jesus. "Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:4-5). If we are going to access the grace that edifies our lives, we must consistently be coming to Jesus Christ, the Father's chosen and precious cornerstone.
Dear Lord, I praise You for the grace that I find every time I come to You in humble dependence. Coming to You, I am cleansed, sustained, refreshed, and built up. I am so thankful that Your grace is accessed through relationship with You and not through religious performance by me!