Burdens and Yokes

Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. - Matthew 11:28

The Pharisees and other religious men of Jesus' day were notorious for rules and regulations. They were always coming up with some rule, some addition to the laws of God, that would make people more holy. God's ten commandments became ten commandments with thousands of religious add-ons. The people of that time were under such a load of burdens that everyday life was difficult simply because of all the rules they had to remember and abide by! These rules were thought up by religious leaders to make people appear more holy. To them, appearance was everything! Jesus scolded them when he said in Matthew 23:4, "They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not lift a finger to help.". The yoke of these laws was very hard on the people and they had no one to help them.
I believe we have many Pharisee wanna-bees around today; churches are full of them. Adding their own little spin to God's laws to make themselves appear more holy, more religious! Beware of these people; they will load you down with such a burden that you won't be able to bear up under it! Don't look to them for help in carrying the load and heaven help you if you stumble under the weight! They will stone you in a heart-beat for your failures!
Please remember this one thing; you will stand before God for yourself. You and you alone will answer for your actions (and inactions). You won't be able to blame someone else for your mistakes (my mother didn't love me; the devil made me do it; my DNA was corrupt), but you won't have some religious lawmaker standing there to condemn you either!; it will be you and God! The Bible tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. In other words, your relationship and fellowship with God is the most important thing in life and we'd better take it seriously, but that relationship is between you and God; no one else has the right to load you up with their rules and regulations!
I believe this is exactly what Jesus was talking about when he said "Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.". Jesus' yoke is easy and His burden is light. Take the burden off your backs that men have you carrying and take up Jesus' burden; it is easy and light! Jesus is your Saviour, not men! What does it matter if they think you are religious enough?! If Jesus is satisfied with you, then all is well with your soul!

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