What do you NEED for Christmas? That’s the question I’m asking this year. Forget about "what do you WANT for Christmas – what you want isn’t as important as what you need (ie, chocolate fudge brownies vs spinach & broccoli for dinner). I want to know what you think is your #1 NEED this year for Christmas.
For me, the answer is simple. It’s the same topic I spoke about the other day and that I will continue to speak about till the end of my days. Any time someone asks me what I want, I give the same answer. It’s the one thing that you can never get enough of and if I could find a way to sell it in a bottle, I’d be a ba-zillionaire.
What is it? The one thing that every single person on this planet desires and needs more than anything else is REST. R-E-S-T.
The single mom struggling to make ends meet with one income – what does she need this Christmas? She needs REST.
The father of 3 who is worried he might not get his contract renewed at work – what does he need? He needs REST.
The young girl who goes to sleep crying because mommy and daddy are fighting (again) – what does she need? She needs REST.
Our greatest need for Christmas isn’t a gadget or a piece of jewelry or anything that money can buy. Our greatest need is for REST. Real rest. The kind of rest only Jesus can give.
I love what Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 (fyi, if you’re looking for a good verse to memorize this week, consider this one):
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST.”
Read those words again. How sweet is that promise? How nice does that “rest” sound that Jesus is promising to all who come to Him?
I think if you go deep inside the soul of every human being, you’d find a deep yearning for that kind of rest. We may not know it’s there; but it’s there. The longing is there. The desire for rest is there. But because we don’t recognize it, we try to fill it with all kinds of material things and earthly rest.
“If I get this promotion, then my family will be at rest.” WRONG
“If I had the latest electronic gadget/toy, then I’d be able to really enjoy life.” WRONG again
“If I could just find a husband/wife, then I could find peace in life.” DEFINTELY WRONG
“If the Redskins would win the Super Bowl, then life would be perfect.” UHHHHH…. hmmmm….. probably WRONG too, but hopefully we’ll find out this year!
Jesus says “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” His invitation extends to every person on the planet. Rich people and poor people. Sinful people and saintly people. Church people and non-church people. People who pray and people who haven’t said a prayer in years. No one is outside of His invitation to“Come to Me, ALL you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
And realize that when He calls you to Him, it isn’t to settle a score with you or judge you. He is inviting you to come to find rest for your soul – the very thing that your soul longs for more than anything else.
He is offering it to you at a special price of ZERO dollars down and ZERO percent financing and ZERO total cost forever! But you must come to Him. That is the one requirement. That’s all. Not a bad deal is it? Can you find a better deal online?
St. Augustine of Hippo – a pagan philosopher turned Christ-following theologian – once said “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
Yep. Nailed it right on the head. There’s a man who understands something about true “rest.”
For discussion: what does the expression "Come to Me" mean to you? How can we do that practically?