“Come To Me…” – IV

Matthew 11:28-30

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

This picture reminds me of what happened to my dear friend Dick. A man in his fifties, he had gotten himself into a bad situation involving theft and an extramarital affair. Dick’s wife came to me, her pastor, with concerns for her husband. I, and a deacon of our church, paid a visit to Dick. A gentle man, he graciously received us, and we sat and talked. We mentioned nothing of the theft or his affair, just that we were concerned that he was going through some hard times, and we were there for him. He thanked us for coming, and we left.

The next week, Dick came to our evening service, and continued to come each Sunday evening for about six weeks. After one particular service, as I was talking to someone near the front of the sanctuary, I noticed several people gathered around Dick in the church vestibule. He later told me what happened that night.

     As I was leaving to go home, I just broke down before 
     I got to the door, and cried. Several people gathered 
     around me to offer comfort. My head was down, and as 
     I cried, I noticed one person who seems to stand out. 
     I later asked those who had gathered around me, “Who 
     was the person standing next to me, who had his hand 
     on me? He was wearing sandals and a white robe?” The 
     folks looked confused. “There was no one there who 
     was wearing sandals and a white robe!” But I insis-
     ted, “Yes there was! He had his hand on my shoulder 
     and was offering me wonderful comfort!”

I firmly believe Jesus showed up (visible to Dick alone) to comfort this penitent man! By the way, Dick became one of the most dedicated and faithful members of our church, and a dear friend of mine!

But back to our series, “Come To Me…” based on Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11:28-30:

     “Come to Me, all you 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.”

We have gone over five reasons why people don’t respond to the Savior’s invitation:

  • Some think they have no (or few) burdens, that everything is going pretty well at this point in their lives.
  • Some feel like they can carry their burdens and solve their own problems themselves.
  • Some are laboring and heavy laden, but don’t know what to do with their burdens.
  • Some have never heard this invitation.
  • Some have heard it, maybe multiple times, but they don’t believe it is true.

Let’s consider the sixth reason:

  • Some don’t feel worthy enough to come to Jesus!
       Here are some of the excuses I have heard:

         ➔   “I’m just not good enough to come to God. 
              He won’t accept me.”

         ➔   “You don’t know what I’ve done. How could 
              the Lord ever forgive me?”

         ➔   “I have never felt accepted by others. Why 
              would God want me?”

         ➔   “I don’t even love myself. How could God 
              love me?   But none of these excuses are valid, because...
  • No one isgood enoughto come to God!
        Paul wrote this in Romans 3:10 and 23: “There is 
         none righteous, no, not one....for all have sinned 
         and fall short of the glory of God.”

     ✡   Solomon concluded the same in Ecclesiastes 7:20: 
          “...there is not a just man on earth who does 
          good and does not sin.”

     ✡   But the most defining statement (or perhaps I 
          should say ‘damning statement’) is found in 
          Isaiah 64:6:

             But we are all like an unclean thing, and 
             all our righteousnesses are like filthy 
             rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our ini-
             quities, like the wind, have taken us away.

     Our righteousnesses are the very best we can do...on 
     our own! And what are they like before God, who is 
     absolutely holy? They are like filthy rags! In a 
     sense, ‘filthy rags’ is a euphemism. What God is say-
     ing in Isaiah 64:6 is our righteousnesses are like a 
     used menstrual rag! 

         ➔   A woman experiencing her monthly period 
              was considered unclean for at least se-
              ven days (see Leviticus 15:19). And she 
              had to wait seven more days after her 
              menstrual flow ceased before she could 
              bring an offering for cleansing on the 
              eighth day. Only then would she be con-
              sidered clean! (see Leviticus 15:28-30).

         ➔   Anything upon which menstrual blood was 
              found was considered unclean and untouch-

     So the very best we can do on our own is considered 
     foul and unclean before our holy God! That does not 
     leave us in a good position! Left to ourselves, we 
     are damned!

We are all sinners, and sin wrecks havoc in our lives! Even when we want to do what is right and good, too often we end up doing the opposite – which is the same confession Saint Paul makes in Romans 7:14, 15, 17 through 20, and 24 (Good News Bible):

     ...I am a mortal, sold as a slave to sin. I do not 
     understand what I do; for I don't do what I would 
     like to do, but instead I do what I hate....So I am 
     not really the one who does this thing; rather it 
     is the sin that lives in me. I know that good does 
     not live in me---that is, in my human nature. For 
     even though the desire to do good is in me, I am 
     not able to do it. I don't do the good I want to do; 
     instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do. If 
     I do what I don't want to do, this means that I am 
     no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the 
     sin that lives in me....What an unhappy man I am! 
     Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me 
     to death? 

Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death?” Who? Jesus Christ, that’s who!

  • For He lived the perfect life before God that we could never live!
        Even His enemies could find no sin in Him! For 
         Jesus challenged them in John 8:46, “Which of 
         you convicts Me of sin?” 

         ➔   Now, if I had issued that challenge, people 
              could say, “Well, I remember when you....and they could probably name a bunch of 
              times that I have sinned!

         ➔   But those opposed to Jesus and His ministry 
              could find no sin they could truly lay upon 

       I Peter 2:22 (International Standard Version 
         quoting Isaiah 53:9) – Christ “...never sinned, 
         and He never told a lie.
  • Then He laid down that perfect life as a sacrifice for us, dying on the cross to pay for our sins!
        Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own 
         love toward us, in that while we were yet 
         sinners, Christ died for us.   I Peter 2:24 (Good News Bible) – “Christ 
         Himself carried our sins in His body to the 
         cross, so that we might die to sin and live 
         for righteousness. It is by His wounds that 
         you have been healed.
  • Having taken our sins upon Himself and paying for them completely, He now offers us His own perfect righteousness!
     ✡   Isaiah 61:10 – “I will greatly rejoice in 
          the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; 
          for He has clothed me with the garments of 
          salvation, He has covered me with the robe 
          of righteousness....  II Corinthians 5:21 – “For He [the Father] 
         made Him [the Son] who knew no sin to be sin 
         for us, that we might become the righteous-
         ness of God in Him.

So if you are trusting anything else other than the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to us (as Paul writes in Romans 10:9, 10, and 13)…

     ...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and 
     believe in your heart that God has raised Him from 
     the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one 
     believes to righteousness, and with the mouth con-
     fession is made to salvation....For whoever calls 
     upon the name of the LORD will be saved.

Trust Jesus Christ as your Savior!

I apologize for the delay in publishing this Gem. Sometimes the demands of life and family take precedence over my time at the computer. I will try to adhere more to my schedule of publishing Gems twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.