Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Can we make the Good News of the gospel too good? When Jesus says, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matt. 11:30), can we be naïve and take Him too seriously? Do we need some special intelligence not to be misled?
To challenge us further, He tells Saul of Tarsus that it's "hard" to go on being lost (Acts 26:14). And yes, we must "strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able," which implies that it's not "easy" to be saved (Luke 13:24). And He warns anyone who may want to follow Him that he must "take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (9:23). Being crucified on a cross is just about the hardest thing any human can experience!
And yet Jesus seems to tantalize us with that word, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light"! And Paul adds that His grace abounds "much more" than all the sin the devil can invent (Rom. 5:20). If you believe anything in the Bible you must admit that grace is stronger than sin, and surely, you can't be a Christian unless you believe that Christ is stronger than Satan. Can you be intelligent unless you believe that light is stronger than darkness? And finally, you're out in the dark forever unless you believe that love [agape] is stronger than hatred. So what's the truth?
Here's the question: could it be that the Holy Spirit is stronger than our fallen, sinful flesh that is always alluring and tempting us? That's exactly what Paul says in Galatians 5:16-18! First, the Lord has promised in Isaiah 41:13 that He will hold us by our right hand; now--if you will go for a walk with the Holy Spirit and let Him hold your hand you'll find you can't "fulfill the lust of the flesh" or "do the [evil] things" that your sinful nature would prompt you to do (don't read it backwards!).
If you believe John 3:16, self is "crucified with Christ," and "he who has died [with Him] has been freed from sin" (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:6, 7). We can't be Christians and be content to go on giving in to sinful impulses!
This is the Day of Atonement; Christ is tired being "the minister of sin" (Gal. 2:17). Living now is serious business.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 29, 2003.
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