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Complicating What God Has Made Simple

I continue to be amazed at how it always seems that religion complicates what God has made simple. I was reading in Matthew and was reminded at how often Jesus tried to expose the complexities of religion.

Matthew 23:1-4 1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. 3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4 They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.

I grew up in a system of religion that was very similar to this. The “demands” often left me feeling crushed and wondering if God could ever accept and love me.

I discovered over time that religion and the rules that accompanied it really only produced two things: defeat, if you were honest, and hypocrisy, if you were not.

I spent years in hypocrisy which was fueled by my fear that I wasn’t “good enough.” I’ll be forever grateful that I eventually exchanged that system of religion in for a story of redemption. I’ll be forever grateful for discovering the meaning behind these beautiful words of Jesus…

Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

I love those words “and you will find rest for your souls.” The kind of rest that many of us need cannot be found by taking a nap for we are exhausted at the soul level. We need the kind of rest that only Jesus can bring.

Tired of trying? Need some rest?

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Pete Wilson is the founding pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN and author of a new book entitled Plan B, his thoughts about what to do when life doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would. He is a frequent blogger on his popular ministry blog, WithoutWax.tv. Pete is married and has three sons.