HOUSMAIL HM#039 - A LIGHT BURDEN ON A HARD ROAD         21 September 1999 _________________________________________________________________________

"Come to me, all 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." (Matthew 11:28-30)

"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."
(Matthew 7:13-14)

How can we reconcile those two statements by Jesus?

The first promises an "easy yoke" and a "light burden", whilst the second clearly implies a LIFETIME of "hard work" on a "hard road", within well defined NARROW limits!

How can a burden be "light" if the way is "hard"?

There will always be an impossible conflict if we make the deadly mistake of assuming that an "easy yoke" means the same thing as "an easy road".

A "light burden" DOES NOT mean "easy work", or "no work at all". It does not mean the same thing as the all too common "cheap grace Evangelical gospel" which absolves from sin without life changing repentance, and WORKS which prove that repentance is REAL. Using it that way opens the "wide gate" which leads inevitably to eternal destruction!

What makes this burden "light" has little to do with its size or weight, or the distance it must be carried. It has MUCH MORE to do with our MOTIVATION for carrying it! This is well illustrated by the story of Jacob in Gen 29:20. "Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the LOVE he had for her".

When we love God with ALL our heart and mind and strength ..... when we love Jesus enough to obey Him ..... when our first priority in life is our desire to inherit the Kingdom of God ..... and when our goal is fixed inflexibly on striving for the holiness and purity of heart which will one day enable us to see God, then: - all the trials and persecutions, - and all the hard choices between the world and Jesus, - and all the struggles to overcome temptations to sin, will seem as nothing in comparison with our hope of eternity.

When we come to Jesus ON HIS TERMS, we will be set free from the heavy burden of guilt for our sins. Then as we LEARN FROM HIM how to grow in loving obedience to His words ..... we will know how to walk through the narrow gate onto the hard road, where our yoke will SEEM easy, and our burden will FEEL light.