January 16 - An Easy Burden

By Alice Northcutt

Today's Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30

Central Thought: Even a heavy burden can seem light when we do not carry it alone.

    Matthew 11 records Jesus' explanation of the ministry of John the Baptist. John carried a big responsibility as he went about telling others of the coming of the Christ, the Messiah who was prophesied many years earlier. John did not come as one dressed in the standard attire of either religious leaders or royalty. He lived anything but a pampered life, but his message was very profound. It was a message of repentance, but it was also a message that brought scorn, ridicule, and accusations (verse 18).

    Jesus points out that the same thing has happened to Him. His coming and miracles have also brought accusations that He is a "glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!" (verse 19). He points out the lack of understanding of the people and their rejection of the message of John, followed by their rejection of His message as well.

    Jesus then gives one of the most loving invitations recorded in the Gospels. He invites those who carry burdens of sin and cares of life to come to Him for rest from the burdens. He invites them to learn from Him and find rest for their souls by exchanging the heavy burdens they carry for a burden that is light, a burden that is borne out of faith in a loving Savior who will carry the burden for them (verses 28-30). May we be willing to trust Jesus with every burden we carry.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to never try to carry the burdens of life alone, but help me to give the burdens of my life to you that I may find rest daily as I place my trust wholly in You.

Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 32:13-34:31; Matthew 11:7-30; Psalm 14:1-7; Proverbs 3:19-20