A Power Boost for You
July 3, 2005
The Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Godlefski, Pastor
Montgomery United Methodist Church
Matthew 11: 23-30
28“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Brothers and sisters in Christ, good morning. Our sermon topic today is “A Power Boost for You.”
If I were to go right up to you and look you in the eye and ask you how you’re doing, I wonder what you’d say. Some people might manage a courageous “I’m doing okay, Pastor.” Some people might say, “Truly, everything is really smooth. Everything is going great! I’m on top of things. My to-do list is complete.” [laughter]
Here’s my favorite: “I’m all caught up.” I hope that someday I’ll be able to claim that.
But there may be some who would answer, “I am overwhelmed. I am overburdened. I am overworked. And I don’t know how I’m going to catch up.”
My dear friends, if you resonate to that – overworked, overburdened, overwhelmed – let me just say, the Lord Jesus Christ has beautiful things to say to you today. For in today’s Gospel is a richness and a promise and a power for those who are overwhelmed and overloaded and overworked. And it comes from the lips of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To seal that in our minds, let’s look at the Gospel reading.
To those who are overworked and overwhelmed, the Lord says to you, personally, starting at verse 28, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 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.”
Let’s read the King James version: “Come to me, all ye who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” This is the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ to you. Sit back and relax, and let the power of our Lord fill you with this beautiful promise.
Let’s take a look at it, little by little. The first thing Jesus says to you is “Come unto me.” That’s an invitation, a personal invitation. In your mind, hear Jesus say “Come unto me” and then insert your name. Come unto me. You don’t invite somebody that you don’t love – not with sincerity, you don’t. Jesus loves you, and He is inviting you to come unto Him.
Who? “All ye who labor and are heavy-laden,” those of you who find yourselves creaking a little bit beneath the burdens that you carry. Those burdens may be from work and stress on the job. Those burdens may be from family. Those burdens may be from health concerns. Those burdens, whatever they are, may be overwhelming. To you, Jesus says, “Come unto me.” What does He mean by that? He means just what He says. “Come, have a cup of coffee with me. Come, let me sit at your table. Come, let me enjoy your company. Come enjoy mine. Let’s create a little space in your hectic, overworked life, a little space that is safe and free from all that worry and care.”
Come unto me, Jesus says. He invites you, personally, to come to Him. What a gesture of love that is! That is the first point. Jesus remembers you. And He cares about all the things that go on in your life. He cares about the stress you carry. You have a Savior who cares about you personally. You have invited Him into your life. He’s not going to forget you. He is going to care about all those burdens you carry. You have a Savior that remembers you.
Not too long ago I got an email from the District Superintendent, who wrote, “Dear Tony, I just want you to know that I’m thinking about you and praying for you. I think you’re doing a great job and I support you. I just want you to know that my prayers are with you.” Wow! What a boost! Somebody remembers who usually is just in a position of overseeing. Even more wonderful than that is that your Savior remembers you and cares about all that goes on in your life.
Several times this week people have said: “Do you remember my Aunt Sally? You performed her funeral 27 years ago” or “Do you remember my Grandma Connie? Your performed her funeral 25 years ago.” Yes, I do remember these people. But mine is only a human memory. God’s memory is detailed and forever. Jesus remembers you.
And what did He promise? He asked us to take that step and come into His presence in prayer. And He said, “I will give you rest.” What a wonderful concept! “I will give you rest.” Not that He will take all those responsibilities and burdens away, but He will give us rest. And rest means restoration. He will restore us. He will take those overwhelming burdens and give us the strength to do what we need to do.
We come to Him; He gives us rest. What does that mean? It means that He recharges us inside. I love it when people say, “I come to church to have my batteries recharged.” I love that image! Yes, it is so. And it is Jesus Christ who does the recharging. By filling you with His love, He fills you with His energy. He boosts you up. He raises you up, so that you can stand on mountains. He raises you up, so that you can walk on stormy seas. You are strong when you are on His shoulders. He raises you up to more than you can be.
You have a Lord that remembers you; you have a Lord that recharges your spirit; and you have a Lord that restores your dignity, friend. Isn’t it true that under the crushing weight of some of the things that we carry, we can lose ourselves? We can lose the sense of wonder at the miracle of each day. You might even lose the sense that you are a treasure on two feet. You are – you are a walking miracle, and Jesus wants to remind you of that. Jesus wants to restore your soul. He wants to restore your sense of dignity.
When we walk the dark valley, when we carry a heavy burden, it is very tempting to think of ourselves as being no more than that burden, isn’t it? We think about it all the time; we worry about it. And it’s as if there’s no more to us than that. And if things go badly, we think that we’re going along with them. It isn’t true. Our Lord Jesus says, “You are a beloved child of God.” Please, don’t ever forget that! Lord Jesus says, “Come away from that burden. Come with me,” He says, “and rest, so that I can remind you of who you are, a beloved child of God.”
There is good news, for those of you who are overwhelmed, overworked, and overstressed. You have a Lord who says, “Come unto me.” He remembers you. He recharges your soul. And he restores your dignity. Because, God loves you. I do, too. Have a blessed week. Amen.
© 2005 Anthony J. Godlefski