“Does God love me?” is a question that many ask. Here Steph Beth Nickel shows us that there is a God who loves us and cares for us – no matter what others around us would think!
Read God’s Word Aloud
Matthew 11:25-30 (ESV) says,
“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.’”
As I was preparing this devotional, I reread this passage aloud. I encourage you to do the same, to read God’s Word aloud. According to Romans 10:17, hearing God’s Word increases our faith. I love this!
The Good & Bad of Education
Education can be a very good thing. It opens so many doors, doors to better jobs and feelings of self-confidence. But we must be on guard against the pitfalls of higher education. Our feelings of self-confidence can quickly overshadow our knowledge that we need God’s mercy, grace, and direction. And many education systems seek to explain away spiritual matters in favour of what millions of people consider scientific enlightenment.
People often come to one of two conclusions:
- There is no God, so why even consider issues of faith and spirituality?
- They can draw close to the Lord by increasing what some have called book learning or head knowledge.
Neither of these is true. We must be on guard against both extremes.
While the little children Jesus referred to in this passage may have been actual children, we do know those who believed His teaching were not considered “wise and learned” in His day. I’ve often referred to the outcasts Jesus reached out to: the blind, the deaf, the lame, the leper, the Samaritan woman, the tax collector, the fisherman (who was considered lowly because he was often ceremonially unclean and couldn’t worship at the Temple).
The Leaders Didn’t Get It
The leaders of Jesus time just didn’t get it. In Mark 2:16-17, it says,
“‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.’”
There is an old saying that says of someone who things too highly of himself: “He’s too big for his britches.”
As lighthearted as this saying is, there is nothing lighthearted about those who think they’re too smart, too educated, too sophisticated to humble themselves before the Lord. We must carefully examine our heart and mind to see if this applies to us. And we must warn our children against developing this kind of attitude.
But the good news is that Jesus desires to do for us what He did for those with whom He walked the earth. If we come to Him humbly, genuinely seeking the truth, He will make Himself known to us whether we have our PhD or dropped out of high school, whether we are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or flip burgers at the local diner, whether we are world famous or the black sheep of our family. And truth be told, those who have little to no reason to rely on themselves are still the ones who most quickly accept the love and salvation God offers.
And when the pressures of this world threaten to overwhelm us, we have Jesus’ invitation to come to Him and find rest. And make no mistake; our children experience many pressures as well. They, too, can learn to go to Him with their hurts, their disappointments, their fears.
We all have responsibilities and those responsibilities can sometimes weigh us down. The good news is that Jesus wants to come alongside us and walk with us. The yoke He referred to in this passage is a training yoke. The older, more experienced ox would shoulder the heavier burden. Jesus will do the same for us if we ask Him to.
It doesn’t mean we can sit on the sidelines and leave it all up to Him, but it does mean that we never have to go it on our own. We may think it’s better to live independently, to rely on our own ability, to chart our own course. Nothing—absolutely nothing—could be further from the truth.
The Lord who loves us wants to take our burdens, to walk alongside us, to show us where we should go and what we should do. He loves the little children, the broken, the hurting, the rejected. Let’s thank Him and ask Him to keep us close. Let’s discover more and more how amazing He is. And let’s teach our children how very much He loves them.
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Images courtesy of:
Where Is The Love – Tatoli ba Kultura
Graduation Ceremony – Clawed