May 5, 2005 by Isaac Hovet

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

I would like it if we could stop all religious services and focus on these powerful, but little uttered, words of Jesus.

It isn’t tough.  It isn’t obtuse.  It isn’t weird.  This Jesus is natural.  He is not concerned with perpetuating some tradition, but wants you and I to know freedom.  Freedom from selfishness, from greed and from a me centered way of thinking and living. 

I pray that I move forward.  Not backwards. 

When I get legalistic I must refocus and zoom in on what is significant.  What is important is the existence of a greater, more meaningful way of living.  It is the way, the code, the ethic, the values, the teaching, the aura of Jesus.  When he speaks of the kingdom, this is what he is referring to.  It is not some unseen monarchy, but an invisible reality . . .

Jesus’ death is not all that is important.  It is his life that frees us up.  Evangelicals need to learn this.  How did Jesus live?  How did he love?  How did he relate to those who weren’t “moral?”  Shouldn’t we reflect that?  Our hope is not in the Religious Right, the Christian Coalition or George Bush.  Our hope lies in the freeing life of Christ.  Can you imagine if we all became humble servants?  Can you imagine the poor being served?  Can you imagine people who valued human life over the bottom line?  We could change the world. 

Oh, wait . . . that is what Jesus did 2,000 years ago.  It wasn’t only his resurrection that is significant.  It is his life which infected 12 people and, subsequently, much of the known world.

We are so reductionary.  We take the complex, dynamic life and death of Christ and reduce it to simple swallowable steps.  In doing so we miss out on so much of what Jesus taught. 

Turn the other cheek?

Blessed are those who are poor?

Blessed are those who lack?

The first shall be last?

David Crowder Band::Sunsets & Sushi::No One Like You [Thanksgiving Mix]


6 thoughts on “Jesus

  1. Mom says:

    I am listening to a song about freedom as I read your post. Yes, we all need to walk in the freedom he OFFERS. It’s the place of peace and rest. His presence brings nothing but that. So why is it so hard to let ourselves go there? Because we are so entrapped in the pressure of the world we live in. Encased. Why is it so “hard” to allow ourselves in that place, even though we have the invitation in hand? Addressed to us. Personal. Come. Rest. Belong to Me. Let go. Live. Be filled with His glory, His presence. I need to come there more…for my physical and spiritual health. (I love this music I am listening to…”fill our lives with your glory…fill our hearts with your love…fill our souls with your presence…”) I’m so hungry, so needy, so blessed.

  2. Mrs F. says:

    Oh how I want that peace and rest. Our lives do not reflect the peace that Jesus offers. I desire that total trust and faith that lets God do what He is or wants to do. He hands it right to us, He freely gives it. It is our choice to receive and believe. What an example Jesus truely was.

  3. Bridger says:

    Thanks for the comments ladies.

    I don’t know that I will ever be able to fully embrace what Jesus offered. We have so much tradition and religion that, in my opinion, leads us away from truth.

    We still perpetuate a religion. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do away with all of the peripheals and just know Jesus for who he was/is.

    Ok, just rambling now.

  4. Whit says:

    Great post. I think rules (legalism) make us feel like we have some control in this broken world…but the problem is that if just following a bunch of rules could save us, then there wouldn’t have been any need for Christ. If we think and act and serve with an attitude of love, then the rest will fall into place. Legalism is about religion and doctrine, and Jesus was about neither. He himself was hardest on the religious leaders of his day for their legalism and inability to ‘hear’ his message and ‘get the picture.’

  5. Grammy says:

    I just took a 24 hour heart monitor test…just to make sure my physical heart was okay. Dr. Rick warned me that even though we feel like we should be able to “rise above” all the stress around us, we still live in a pressure-cooker of a world. We need to take care of our hearts. I am finding out more and more how easy it is to say that and how hard it is to maintain that. I believe that is why we need the Word of God so much, to be reminded of what Jesus calls us to – NOT religion but that relationship that responds to the invitation to always come to Him. How simple, but so hard. He’s so simple. I so want to be like him and I have so far to go.

  6. GodlessMom says:

    I am not a religious person, but I respect and admire your personal view of faith and your views on the beauty of the Christian philosophy.

    Beautiful post.

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