One of the most memorable, supportive translations of Matthew 11:29-30 regarding our response to the personal care of the Lord Jesus is found in The Message translation. The words repeatedly dance through my head.
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.
My motive in the monthly letters is to attempt to represent Father’s heart for His own family. Jesus is declared as “the son who pleased me completely” (Matt. 17:5). As His relational family, it is time for all of us to “learn the unforced rhythms of grace” if we are to please our Father in a similar manner.
Christ asks us a question that warrants an answer: “Are you burned out on religion?” My authentic answer is yes! Truthfully and without distortion, I am also able to say in His presence: I am not burned out on the nature and demand of the Kingdom of God as it is presented within the pages of the New Testament!
Dr. Luke in his account (Luke 10:6-11) of how Jesus instructed us to proceed seems eager to impart instructions regarding the ‘unforced rhythms of grace’. What is pressing upon my person is a strong sense that modern church growth often seeks to illegally transform us into salespeople. We are authentic Witnesses. We function as witnesses in a courtroom: this is what I see; this is what I know to be accurate; this is who I am! I will not threaten injured persons by coercion.
Here is a sequence that many who are responding to the theme presented above are seeking to embrace.
- Seek Peace; people of peace (10:6). This speaks of friendship and personal care. It is human as Christ is human. We are not seeking a “soul;” we are speaking to an entire human person seeking to understand this life. People are aware of our motives. Allow friendship to create a bond of trust necessary for us to find each other. We are not making a sale we are extending the governing authority of Father’s family in the earth (Jn 1:12).
- Fellowship, Eat and find relational ground (10:7-8). Present confusion and conflict have disrupted and injured human relationships in an excessive manner. We all seek a person of peace. I am not hoping to win you to Christ and then depart. My desire is to impart the Agape vibes of the living Christ. With purpose and joy, time and friendship are freely given.
- Prepare to meet any needs that present themselves (10:9). The principle is not complicated. The Lord Jesus does not allow us to love people in the way He loves people without giving us the giftings, provision and Agape to help them. We are not seeking to become healing evangelists. We are seeking to impart the gifts and provision of the Kingdom we authentically represent. Be prepared for the Lord Jesus to surprise you!
- As opportunity presents itself, we are able to explain the Good News: “The Kingdom of God has come near unto you!” (10:9,11). We are seeking to know how to live life, not just “get to heaven.” We have now been given the most joyous and rewarding opportunity. We can witness to the faithfulness of Christ for the years we have walked with Him. We are able to give witness to that invisible governing force that has wonderfully transformed our entire life, family, and finances. We are now, perhaps for the first time, able to say authentically, the Kingdom of God that resides in me has come near unto you.