20190407 Sunday Worship Sermon
“Put it down” (Matthew 11:28)
As we live our lives, we carry our big and small burdens.
I do not know if there are any heavy burdens in your lives and in your faith lives.
But if we have, we need to lay them down.
However, there are a lot of people who cannot put down things that needs to be laid down, instead they carry heavy burdens with difficulty.
What we read today is what we know well.
Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
We should hear the voice of the Lord who invites us with true rest.
There is freedom to lay it down, there is joy to lay it down, and there is life to lay it down, but aren’t we just continuously holding and carrying?
Then it gets difficult.
Let’s think together what we have to put down.
What is this burden we should put down first?
First of all, we must lay down the burden of sin.
Everyone has a burden of sin.
Among all burdens, the heaviest burden is the burden of sin.
It is difficult for us to lay it down by using only our own strength.
We must first lay down this burden of sin.
How can we put this burden of sin down?
There is a simple way.
It is "repentance."
Repentance can lift the burden of heavy sin.
Brothers and Sisters, we must identify the nature of sin.
Sin has the tendency of entangling us.
What does this mean?
It means that sin has the tendency to hold on to the person.
It does not fall off easily because it hangs tightly.
If sin binds us, we cannot move.
Let’s look at King David.
David loved the woman named Bathsheba.
Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah.
But David took Bathsheba.
Then David sent her husband to the battlefield, so that he would die.
And yes, he died.
David committed this greater sin just to conceal his sin.
This is the nature of sin.
This is the entanglement.
Sin also has the tendency to flee and hide.
Let’s look at Adam.
Adam ate the fruit of the good and evil.
At this time God called Adam, “Adam, where are you?"
But when Adam heard the voice of God, he fled.
He hid from the face of God.
If we sin, we want to run away from God.
We want to go as far as we can.
If we sin, we avoid the place of worship, prayer, assembly, and grace.
This is because sin binds us and does not let us free.
So we must lay down the burden of sin.
We cannot do it with our strength.
We must repent.
We must lay down before the Lord and repent.
In 1 John 1: 9 it is said,
“If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
If we confess our sins and when we put them down, God forgives our sins and cleanses us.
We cannot do it with our own strength, but when we put down the burden of sin before God, God takes and carries the burden of our sins for us.
Therefore, we must come to the Lord and confess and repent, "Lord, forgive me my sins."
Then we can escape from the burden of sin.
By the way, it is not easy to confess sin. Why?
I think one of the reasons why we cannot confess our sins and cannot lay down the burdens of sin is because we are not being sensitive to sin.
We are not sensitive about sin.
My actions, my words, my evil minds... we do not worry much about these things, and think that they are not big problems.
There are a lot of times that we just think of sin as a small thing and we don’t take it serious.
We should always be cautious and look back at our own actions, even if it seems small, unimportant, and trivial.
Otherwise, it may be difficult for us to turn it around.
As a Christian, we may be living without making a big mistake that stands out so we might appear decent to other people.
However, we should consider whether we are making small sins that are accumulating, which may not be evident in our daily lives.
We should think about whether we are building sins that are not realized by others.
Therefore, it may be even more difficult to receive forgiveness of these sins, and very difficult to lay them down.
Even small things should not be neglected.
We must be sensitive to sin.
We know the story of "the prayer of the Pharisees and the tax collector" in the parable of Jesus.
The Pharisee and the tax collector pray in the temple.
The Pharisee was a person who was respected by many people at the time, keeping all the laws.
He is a person who thinks himself as a righteous.
So he was not sensitive to sin.
The tax collector was known as a representative of sinners at that time.
He was overlooked and ignored by people.
He thought that he was always a sinner himself.
He was sensitive to sin so he was praying for repentance.
Whose prayer does God hear?
Who is more righteous before God?
God hears the tax collector's prayer.
God is looking for someone who is sensitive to sin.
He delights in those who repent with tears.
In Psalm 34, it is said
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Brothers and Sisters, please be sensitive about our sins.
Please put down the burden of our heavy sin before God.
Please repent, confess our sins, and lay down.
But here is something to watch out for.
Many people confuse "repentance" with emotional repentance.
Repentance is not merely how sad and tearful it is, but a willing decision.
Emotional repentance will soon fail again for sin.
So true repentance must have a willing decision, a determined commitment.
A representative example of repentance that we can see in the New Testament is “Zacchaeus.”
After meeting Jesus, Zacchaeus repaid four times more of what he owned unfairly.
And he promised to give half the wealth to the poor.
Repentance must not only be emotionally regretful, but a determined decision.
Yes, repentance in the Bible is a willing decision.
Anything that is improperly obtained in an unclear way must be returned.
If we hate and made it hard for someone, we should go and seek forgiveness.
If we have someone in our heart, we have to go and reconcile.
It is not true repentance without this willing decision.
Like the prodigal son in Luke 15, who repented and decided to return to the Father’s house, God is asking of us, such a decision.
However, there are times when many people say that they have repented but still miss the old times and return to the old nature.
Brothers and Sisters, please put the heavy burden of sin before the Lord.
I hope that by repentance, we will not lay our burden of sin on our back again.
Secondly, there is another burden that we must lay down. It is the burden of our minds.
This burden of mind can be many.
It is a variety of burdens that make our mind heavy, sore, hard, and sad.
It may be different from spiritual.
There may be scars of the heart.
There may be troubles, worries and frustration in our mind that we cannot tell others.
There are bitter roots of mind that always harass us and grab our ankles.
We have to put everything down.
Even though we are Christians, anyone with faith may have such a heavy burden of mind.
We should put it down.