Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3371

Jump Start # 3371

Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.”

  Our passage today comes from the Lord’s wonderful invitation. He calls not the good, the best, as the old Marine recruitment ad boasted. Jesus calls the weary, the burdened, the tired. And, it’s not a physical tired from staying up too late. It’s a spiritual, emotional and mental burden that comes from guilt, shame and brokenness. The thrill of sin quickly passes. And, like a sudden Indiana tornado, what remains is the ruins that accompanies wrong choices and bad decisions. The mess takes a long time to clean up. And, without Jesus’ help, there is no forgiveness.

  Within our verse today is the tiny expression, “Learn from Me.” Learn from the best. Learn from the One who was always right. Learn from the One who knows. And, how we learn is by opening the pages of the Bible and looking deeply into the stories about Jesus. His love. His compassion. His faithfulness to God’s word and His mission speak clearly and loudly.

  Learn from Me. Last week, I was with a church about an hour and a half from where I live. I once preached in that community when I was in a training program, trying to understand this life called preaching. The folks at that congregation asked me to come up on a Saturday and conduct a workshop about shepherding God’s people. The elders wanted to learn. They wanted to do better. They knew I had studied that topic passionately and invited me to come. Several others were in the crowd. We spent a long time talking, sharing and understanding the Biblical concept of shepherds. And, I saw something remarkable in that workshop study.

  First, there was an eagerness to learn. Nearly everyone was taking notes. They were asking questions. They were looking deeply into passages. And, what a refreshing and wonderful spirit they carried among them. They came to learn. They had the heart to learn. There were shepherds from other congregations that traveled to learn.

  As elders or preachers, we must never stop learning, growing and doing better. A heart that is willing to look, listen and consider, is a heart that will continue to improve. I have run into the opposite spirit of this as well. I had one elder in another place boldly say, “I’ve been doing this 35 years. Do you think there is anything you can teach me?” I told him, “yes.” He walked away disgusted with me.

  Second, there is an thought from leadership studies that says the followers never exceed the leaders. If the leaders quit growing, there comes a time when everyone else stops growing. Stagnation takes over when that happens and the church will just drift. Growing shepherds is a healthy sign. As they improve, learn and get better, so will the congregation.

  Third, there are times that we are so busy with life that we don’t have the opportunities to spend a day looking deeply into things that will help us. Learning to communicate better. Learning how to recognize hurting hearts. Learning how to connect better. Those would be great and powerful studies to have among the shepherds in a congregation. Have their own studies. Have their own times to talk things through and learn.

  To learn, one must open his heart. To learn, one must want to learn. Most of us have been in school classes that we didn’t want to be in. The topic was required in order to graduate or get a degree. Learning was hard because our hearts weren’t in to it. We counted the time when the class would be over. We learned little.

  But what a difference it is when one wants to learn. As a disciple, we must always be growing. We must always be looking into God’s word. We will never reach the bottom of the depth of things we may learn.

  Learn from Me, Jesus said. Oh, the things we have learned, and the things we can still learn.