Matthew 12:1-7

Matthew 12:1-7

Do you want rest? You'll find it in Jesus. You want to feel good? You'll find it in Jesus... I'm not here to make you feel good. I'm here to tell you the truth. I'm here to tell you what God's Word is... If we're going to live the way Jesus lived, sometimes...we need to be uncomfortable.It’s not about you feeling good. Jesus didn’t come to this world so that you could feel good… And the longer I walk with the Lord, the more I study His Word, the more I have the opportunity to teach, I find that what I see in Jesus is a very simple life. Not a life of feeling good, but sometimes a life of sacrifice. Sometimes a life of stepping beyond your own comfort, even to the point of being accused of not following the group. And that’s what God has built here on our foundation as a church — is a place where we try not to play religious games. We try not to make church one of those feel-good occasions.

Oh, I want you to understand the truth so that ultimately, you will feel good. Ultimately, when you are standing before God, there will be no better feeling if you are right with Jesus Christ. If you have received Jesus into your life, you’re going to step into eternity, and there will be abundance of joy. You’ll feel good, but that’s when it’s time to feel good. But if you’re trying to establish a scenario for yourself here to feel good all the time, you may be going about it the wrong way. God’s Word certainly doesn’t offer us that. In fact, John tells us that Jesus’s own mouth said, “In this life you will have tribulation.” You will have it. “But be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.” See, our joy is not found in the scenario of life, whether it’s good or bad. It’s found in our walking with Jesus. The joy that we can have is found when we’re right with God through His Son Jesus Christ. But so often we don’t want to go through Jesus. We want to do it our way, when we want, how we want, so that we can then stand before God and say, “God, I did You a favor. I’ve done something good for You, therefore I deserve to feel good.” God will reject it and turn it away, because He’s not asking us to earn our way to heaven. He’s not asking us to earn our way into feeling good about ourselves. He’s paid the price ultimately, and He has taken onto Himself the sin that keeps you and I feeling bad. The separation that was caused because of that sin. He took that…

And sometimes honoring God means getting down in the trenches. Getting yourself dirty. Dealing with people that nobody else wants to deal with. Reaching deep into your pocket, pulling out your last dollar bill, and giving it to the guy that’s hungrier than you are…

Really, the rest that we are looking for, the feel-good that we want, is found in Him. It says, “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” You’re not going to find rest in yourself. You’re not going to find rest in church. You’re not going to find rest in religion. You’re only going to find rest in Him. When you decide to stop playing games. When you stop trying to impress Him. When you stop trying to do “the religion.” When you simply come to Him and say, “You know what, Lord? I can’t do it. I don’t know how to do it. Everything I’ve tried has failed.” Then you take His burden onto yourself. What is His burden? Loving and caring for those that are around you. Rather than trying to impress those that are around you, just simply love them. Reach out to them. Lay your burden down. Take His burden on. Walk with Him. It says, “My burden is easy and light,” because He carries it…

Do you want rest? You’ll find that in Jesus. You want to feel good? You’ll find that in Jesus. If you think you’re going to feel good because you came here and listened to a message today, you’re not. I’m not here to make you feel good. I’m here to tell you the truth. I’m here to tell you what God’s Word is. How Jesus lived and what He said. And sometimes, hearing how Jesus lived makes us feel really uncomfortable. If we’re going to live the way Jesus lived, sometimes we need to be sweating, and we need to be uncomfortable…

God is not impressed with us. God is impressed with a heart attitude and when that heart attitude displays mercy… That’s what God is looking for. You want to look nice? You want to feel good? You want to make the ultimate sacrifice that God is going to be impressed with? Stop going to church to impress God. Now, of course, I want you to come because guess what? We grow in fellowship. We are encouraged in fellowship. But being in fellowship is not about impressing God. It’s about blessing one another. So we gather for that reason… You know how much different this world would be if we took the time to actually display mercy? If we took to heart what Jesus has just said and learned what it means that God desires mercy, not sacrifice. Can you imagine how much different the world would be? How much different our lives would be? This is Jesus’s desire for us. Not to be religious, not to feel good about ourselves, but to simply come to Him and receive His mercy. Be forgiven for our sins, and then turn around and share that mercy with others. Stop playing games, stop trying to look good in the eyes of men, and seek to look good in the heart of God by sharing His mercy with those around us.

Pastor Dave Elkins