“Come to Me, all you 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.” (Matt. 11:28–30)

Religion can be both confusing and frustrating to people. They may feel that they are never sure how good they have to be in order to be good enough and fear that they may never achieve it. This misunderstanding comes from not knowing the vast difference between religion and a relationship with Christ.

Jesus Christ invited those who “labor and are heavy laden” (v. 28) to come to Him. The major religious factions of Christ’s day laid down an enormous amount of rules and regulations to follow in order to be accepted by God. The religious leaders insisted upon enforcing an endless list of do’s and don’ts.

Christ was passionate that we understand how different His instructions are. The word yoke refers to a wooden frame placed upon the shoulders that makes a weight easier to carry. In verse 29 “yoke” refers to Christ’s instructions on how to live a life pleasing to God. Why is His yoke so different?

Salvation is not about being good enough to be accepted by God. No one can meet that standard. We are accepted by God not because of what we do but because of what He did for us by sending Jesus to die for our sins on the cross. Jesus paid it all, and no work on our part can add value to what He did. He asks us to receive it as a free gift by trusting in Him alone.

He then invites us to learn more about Him and gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to live for Him. All we do when we trust Christ is respond to the One who gives us the free gift of eternal life. Furthermore, Christ is within us helping us live that life. Therefore living for Him is a delight, not a duty. 

Ask the Lord to use you to demonstrate to others that Christianity is centered on a relationship, not regulations.

(Adapted from 31 Days to Living as a New Believer)