About The Author

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
I currently serve as Senior Pastor of Harvest Church in Knoxville, Tn. I was sent out from Trinity Chapel of Knoxville in 1993 accompanied by my wife Sheila our four children Sarah, Hannah, Josiah & Isaac and a handful of bold, brave and committed believers determined to plant our first church. Pioneering is hard work but well worth the journey. That is why we desire to make disciples of Christ who will, like us, also embrace the call to plant churches.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Luxurious Living Part One

Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Jesus came to a people who were under Roman rule, were forced to pay taxes to Caesar, and were surrounded by a pagan culture who knew not God, and could care less about Him.

The Jews were slowly loosing their identity.

This generation even though it lived long ago had a great deal in common with us today.

They all hated the tax system of Rome. They hated tax collectors for they felt they were thieves and robbers. Not many in our day like the IRS and still today tax collectors are undesirable.

There was a separation of classes among the people. The wealthy lived a separate life from the poor and the common people complained of being neglected or ignored.

Our nation just elected a president claiming they want change. The claim was the common people have been neglected because our nation has been run by the rich. We have much more in common with the generation of Jesus than we could ever dream.

The words of Jesus to that generation ring just as true to us today as they did when first spoken.

We need to hear them! I want us to hear them from Peterson’s The Message. This is how Jesus might have said it if He had waited to come in our time.

Matthew 11:28 "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. 29 Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 30 Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly."

To a generation that is worried and discontent, Jesus appears and is at rest, and not the least bit anxious. In the midst of chaos, depression, oppression, and a host of other troubles Jesus is living luxuriously, not because He is rich, but because He is truly free.

He is offering the same luxury of living to those who will come to Him.

Luxurious living is not having huge spaces that require hired servants to upkeep. It is not having the finest of clothing and eating the most exquisite meals or driving luxurious expensive cars.

Jesus isn’t promising luxuries in the worldly sense. He comes and offers a life of spiritual luxury that can bring a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Jesus says you can live at rest, be full of life and joy, knowing your needs will be met, no matter what is happening in your world.
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