(You can read the introduction to this 8 week study here. You can also click the tag at the bottom of this post and all of the Biblical Motherhood posts will be shown to you.)
Ask the Lord for His light burden and easy yoke today. To be His student is to be taught of things that have value for this life and the life to come. Ask Him to help you choose His way!
“Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,and you will find rest for your souls,” Matthew 11:29.
“Learn of Me.” We are first and continually a student of Jesus before we can teach with understanding.
To teach is nothing new. There are teachers in every imagination and religion of man under the sun. That is because God has given His gifts, in this case, teaching, to people and the test is in how we will use it. Teachers of other gods have many sound observations and give practical counsel, some that mirror the Word of God. So who copied whom?
The foundation of all that we know must be in the identity of our God. Is He different than any other god and what is that difference?
Jesus is God manifest in flesh. The Bible makes that claim, He spoke openly of His identity while He walked the earth, and His followers stand on this fact as basic doctrine. If God came in the flesh, and human beings crucified Him, and then He rose from the dead, we are in real trouble. There is no greater fear for mankind than the fear of standing before the Judgment Seat of God, the Judge. Some ignore this thought or drown it out with anything one can reach, but in the end, this is what it comes down to: you and God.
This is God’s remedy for our prideful rejection of His identity: His own death upon the cross. He tells us if we will look on Him with faith, He will credit His death to us, and His resurrected life to us as well. Our old nature must be willfully rejected by us, and faith in Christ embraced.
That Jesus died on a Roman cross is an historical fact. People who were there wrote about it, and not all were followers of His. People who were there also claim that three days later He rose from the dead, and that they saw Him, and touched Him, ate with Him, and heard the things He said. They said He later rose up into the clouds, and angels announced that He would return the same way one day. The followers of Jesus had had everything to lose when He died, and it seemed reasonable to the Jews and Romans that they would try some sort of deception to hold on to their hope. But the thing that should shout to us is what their claim about Jesus led to.
Many people have died for what they believed in if they really held it as the truth. But if these followers of His had taken His body, as the story was told, they would have known that He didn’t actually rise from the dead, that it was a hoax and a great deception that they had carried out themselves. They would’ve known it wasn’t the truth. But they were treated with the greatest hatred, beaten, and killed (except for one, who was tortured, but survived) all saying the same thing to the end: “We didn’t take Him. He rose from the dead!” This rings with authenticity! Rest your faith on what Jesus did on your behalf! He rose from the dead, and He is like no other god! He alone has broken the powers we cannot see, and HE testifies of Himself every day.
And so we read God’s Word understanding that it is the “Word made flesh” who speaks to us, calling us to see the truth about ourselves, and the truth about Himself.
There is the beginning and ending of all Truth: God Himself. He is One God, of three Persons. Believe the One who died and rose again from death. He alone has the right to tell you just how it is.
“Learn of Me.” I need to know what He means specifically. How can I do this? If I am to know God, He must reveal Himself to me.
And if God will reveal Himself, it must be a practical revelation, something I am able to “get.” If I become a student of the Word of God, I will find that He tells me details. If I will take the whole counsel of God, not trying to make the Bible say something, but reading it to hear what God is saying, I will learn how to learn of Him. So how does He reveal Himself so that I may learn of Him?
First, the Spirit: the Spirit of God bears witness of Himself. John 15:26, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” The first witness on earth is the Spirit of God.
The second witness is the water. Scripture must interpret Scripture, and with that thought, we wonder, how does water witness of God? In Ephesians 5:26 we find that God uses water as a picture of His Word: “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.” So the second witness is the Word of God, pictured by water. In John 1:14 we find that “the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us...” The Word of God is not a book of rules and regulations, but it breathes life by faith in the One it speaks of: Jesus. Jesus Himself spoke of this in John 5:39,40, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” We can miss Him in the Word if we take it as a good way to live, a good book to follow. But if we come needy, we will find Him on every page.
The third witness: blood. Hebrews 9:22, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Jesus came to shed His blood upon the cross so that God could pour out His judgment on Him instead of us. When we believe in Him, He sees that it was your and my sin condemned on the tree. He stood in for us before His own righteous judgment on sin. He took the full measure of the wrath of God toward sin. God is wholeheartedly against sin. He hates sin. Because He is pure, how can He agree to dwell with sin? He cannot. And likewise, we, in our sinful state have nothing but distaste, envy, anger, even hatred and malice toward God. Sin separates us from God! And it breaks God’s heart like we have never known.
That is the love of God.
And that is our condition without His blood.
But He! He is righteous: wholly right; the rightness of God in all His wonderful character, purity embodied, beauty manifested, Life, true Life. We would be wise to see things the same way He does, and when we find rebellion in ourselves, confess it openly to Him, not trying to cover it up, and trust that what He suffered in our place was enough. That is trust. Do you trust that the blood Jesus shed on your behalf is enough to cleanse you from sin so you can be close to God? If you do not, you are trusting that you have something that God Himself does not. You are placing your faith in yourself, and what you can do. But He knows what it took to defeat sin and death and Satan and, my friend, you don’t have it. His sacrifice reveals human lack. Place your trust in the only trustworthy One: Jesus, and He will become yours!
Blood, this third witness, took place here upon the earth. This planet is where God came in flesh to take upon Himself a body with a heart that pumped blood, and this is where He gave Himself a sacrifice, letting His blood pour out as payment for us before His Father. This all happened within the realm of creation. And so we find that the witness of blood includes His creation in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” All things seen and unseen, with and without breath, were created by God and it all reveals Him to us.
But consider the first part of Hebrews 9:22, “In fact the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood...” Nearly everything? Yes. Creation has been tainted by sin, and by looking at it alone to see God you will easily become confused. A mother cat rejecting her weakest and tiniest kitten, a diseased maple tree, bindweed infesting a garden, a broken body in a hospital, a grieving human soul; do these things picture God? No, not by themselves; these things have the effect of the condition of sin upon the creation of God, but the things that do not need to be cleansed with blood are the things that are pure and holy already and have never been touched by sin. These are the Spirit of God, and the Word of God. These two must interpret creation.
In order to study to know God, we must understand that He, by His Spirit, His Word and His creation speaks of Himself, and these three are in agreement. The Spirit of God will teach us: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you,” Psalm 32:8.
His Word must be our constant plumb line: “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God,’” Matthew 4:4.
Creation is the place of application so that we will understand. “Now all these things happened to them as examples,” 1 Corinthians 10:11. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen,” Romans 1:20.
How about you? If you took away all the extras, is your faith resting on the grades your children achieve to get them somewhere in life? Do you consider education to belong to God, or in your mind, would you sacrifice a study of the truth in order to win the favor of men?
All of creation tells us of God. It is not ours to study and make a living with by our own will, for our own purposes. It all belongs to God, and He will take an account of our stewardship. Have you glorified mankind in your hours of study, or have you glorified God? You cannot do both.
When you study to know man (yourself included), the weight is on your shoulders to accomplish, to understand, to achieve. When you study to know God, there is delight and security because He is all you need, and He will teach you as you go. The burden is not heavy with Jesus. To be yoked with Him means that He carries the weight, and we learn to walk with Him! When we lean into the yoke it will be with confidence in Him, and for His glory so that people might see that He is good. It is no longer about how well I am doing, but about His heart. It is not to show myself worthy, but to understand His worth to me, and my worth to Him. “We love Him because He first loved us,” 1 John 4:19.
That is where our worth comes from: we are loved by God!
Our effort to win the approval of men will keep us from loving God. No longer must we compare ourselves to those around us. God compares us to His Perfection. He also meets us with Perfection because of our total failure. He becomes for us what He demands. Only then can we do anything that He will acknowledge. We miss the eyes of God when we strive to become accomplished in the eyes of anyone human. “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him,” 2 Chronicles 16:9.
Please pray with me!
Please free me from the desire to please the world, and to believe Your complete acceptance of me just as I am in Your Son, Jesus. Help me to understand something of the way Your Spirit, Your Word and Your creation tell of You, and cause me to believe that all that I can see exists to worship and testify of Your reality. The sky, the earth and the seas all are Yours, and all the inhabitants of them. They were all made to speak of You. And all of mankind through the ages have their existence in You. All of us were made to worship You, and without You we have no stability for this life or for eternity. Thank You for telling me the truth. I put my faith in You, and I worship You. In Jesus’ name, A-men.