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Imagine there is a stall selling amazing homemade lemonade on your street. Everyone goes there and on a sunny day loves the refreshing taste. Then, in an attempt to cash in on the action, another person moves onto the road, sets up a rival stall and starts selling Lemonade…but at only half the cost of the first place. Now we have a competition! The two rival lemon-squeezers start trying to out-bid each other, offer better prices, more add-on treats and a better drinking experience because they know something important about how we the customer make decisions. We will go with the best offer. And if a new player comes on the scene, there has to be a really good and compelling reason for people to take interest in them. They need to be different.

In a crowded market of religion, Jesus stood up one day and announced that he was different. He gave people an instant and compelling reason why they might like to come to Him. 

Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Following Jesus, living life the Jesus way, is to discover grace and freedom. To experience lightness, not burden. It is not to sign up for a religious weight which should be heavy upon you. It should make your life better!

If you are following the Jesus way, maybe take a minute and ask yourself “is the way I am following Jesus described by lightness, or has it slipped towards being a burden?” Have you picked up practices, beliefs and habits which used to, or should add to your experience of grace, but which now tire you out?

If so.

Drop them.

Jesus gives rest where the others give stress. He does not come with a bag full of demands, but arms full of peace.