Don’t Wait, Come!

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Matt. 11:28 NLT

Thirty years of pastoral experience has shown me that often, very often, seekers of truth will do anything and everything to find peace, but do the one thing needful–meet Christ. They will attend church, float from conference to conference, adore celebrity Christian speakers, but they avoid a living encounter with the risen Christ. Why circle around Christ, but never meet him? To encounter Christ means laying down your life for others, it means yielding your rights to his Lordship, and it means following the Lamb wherever he goes. Do we want true freedom? Do we want real peace? Do we want release from guilt and shame? Do we want a love that never lets go? Come to Christ. Run straight to him. Know that he never reject you (John 6:37). Know that real life–genuine life–resides only in Christ (John 10:10).

He that thirsts and wants relief must come to Christ Himself. He must not be content with coming to His church and His ordinances, or to the assemblies of His people for prayer and praise. He must not stop short even at His holy table, or rest satisfied with privately opening his heart to His ordained ministers. Oh, no! He that is content with only drinking these waters ‘shall thirst again’ (John 4:13).

He must go higher, further, much further than this. He must have personal dealings with Christ Himself all else in religion is worthless without Him. The King’s palace, the attendant servants, the richly furnished house, the very banquet itself—all are nothing unless we speak with the King. His hand alone can take the burden off our backs and make us feel free. The hand of man may take the stone from the grave and show the dead; but none but Jesus can say to the dead, ‘Come forth and live’ (John 11:41–43). We must deal directly with Christ.

J. C. Ryle, Holiness : It’s Nature, Hinderances, Difficulties and Roots, electronic ed. (Simpsonville, SC: Christian Classics Foundation, 1996), 258.

HT: Ray Ortlund