Is it just me, or do you think that last year went fast? For me, last year, with all its unprecedented tests, trials, and tribulations, went ever so fast – another sobering reminder that life is fleeting. Sometimes, like many others, I take life for granted and always assume that tomorrow is mine – mentally scheduling hourly, daily, and monthly plans and priorities. I get weary just thinking about the coming year and its as yet unlived moments – yet, I know, from lessons learned, that a balanced, healthy perspective prevails when I intentionally prioritize and nurture my relationship with the Lord daily.

I reflect on the season I responded to Jesus’ initial invitation to come to him with all my sin and shame. He breathed rest into my restless soul – restoring my relationship with God. Shortly thereafter, I embraced his second invitation to intimacy – taking his yoke upon me and learning from him – embarking on a lifelong discipleship journey.

What does following Jesus really mean? Interestingly, first-century scholars define a Rabbi’s (teacher or master) yoke as his Scriptural teachings and commandments. As Jesus’ disciple, I embrace his yoke of intimacy – daily learning from him – to ultimately become like him through the transforming work if the Spirit. And accordingly, to go and make more disciples. Jesus assures me, “You will find rest for your souls” because “…my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Are you weary or burdened by life’s labour? Take heart! This coming year is a new life journal of pages yet unwritten – a fresh chapter in your discipleship journey. Live with a Kingdom perspective. Draw close to Jesus daily. Consecrate some quality time of the coming minutes, hours, days, and months to learning at his feet. Don’t allow discouragement or despair to affect your intimacy with him. Immerse yourself in God’s presence and Word daily – listen to the Spirit’s prompting and instruction. Obedience is a disciple’s non-negotiable rite of passage – the key to, and evidence of, deeper relational intimacy. Consequently, as Jesus asserts and promises, your burdens will become light, and you will find enduring rest for your soul.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to reconcile me to you. Give me the courage to follow you wholeheartedly – to immerse myself in your presence – learning from you and becoming more like you every day.

Throughout This Day: Contemplate Jesus’ call to follow him – an invitation to deep intimacy – an invitation to obedience – an invitation to become like him.

Tags: Daily Devotional Matthew 11
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