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Thursday, July 30, 2015



Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

One of the great passages in the entire Bible is this passage. However, verse 28 is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible in my opinion. Let me give you a little word study first. The word “rest” does not mean “rest” from your burden but “rest” in your burden. God never promises He will take any ones’ burden away. The truth is He said, “Let every man bear his own burden.”

Sometimes people would ask me, “Oh, preacher pray that God will lift this burden?” If I did it would not do any good! The reason is that God is not going to take your burden away.

The word “rest” means not rest from your burden but rest in your burden. The difference between the unsaved world and those Christians who walk with God is not the fact of no burdens rather the difference is God’s people have rest in their burdens. God does not deliver from heartache but He does give strength in ones heartache. He helps His children bear the burden that exists.

God does not take away our burdens. We sing about it in our Hymn Books of God taking away our burdens but the truth is there is a difference between songs and Scriptures. God gave us a song to sing as we bear our burdens. God never said in these Scriptures that we would get rest from our burdens but rather He did say we would get rest in our burdens.

It does not say here that God will lift our burdens. It does not say He would lighten our burdens for God simply gives us a yoke. God is saying come to me and we will change not the burden but the harness will be given to carry the burden. God is saying we will have the same burden but He will add a yoke to help us bear the burden that will not go away.

Note verse 30! This verse is not two statements for it is one statement. He is saying, “My yoke is easy so my burden is light.” An example would be, “I ate lunch and I am full” or “I am full because I ate lunch.” Another example would be, “I have my coat on and I am warm” or “I am warm because I have my coat on.” Thus Jesus is saying, “My yoke is easy so my burden is light” or “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Every single person reading this chapter needs a burden or heartache. Jesus said, “I will not lift your heartache. I will not take it away but you come to me. I will give you a harness that will make the same load you had easier for you to bear.”

The word “yoke” means there are two in it! It is defined as “a frame that harnesses a pair.” Jesus is saying, “I am not going to touch your burden but if you will yoke up with me I will be in there with you helping you. I will help pull. I will not take away your burden. I will not make the burden lighter but I will help you pull.”

So we are to come to Jesus with our burden, get into a harness, yoke up with Jesus, carrying the same burden, and then add Jesus’ burden to ours. When we do that two things will happen; one is we will learn of Him and two is He will give us rest in the burden not from the burden.

We all need burdens and a load to carry. That is one of the problems with this nation of ours: no responsibility, no character, and no integrity. The book of Lamentations says, “it is good for one to bear his yoke in his youth.” That is why college students ought to work their way through college in my opinion.

We pay grown men millions of dollars to bounce a ball on a hardwood floor like a little boy. They run up an down that hardwood floor in their underwear and put the little round ball in a metal hoop and are paid millions to do it! These are the ones our young people look up to as “heroes.” No the truth is the real “heroes” are those dying on foreign soil so that our nation will have freedom!


There is not just one group here in our Scripture. There are two groups in our Scripture. First those that labor and second those that are heavy laden. The ones that labor cause their own burden. The ones that are heavy laden are those that did not cause their burden. It all came about because of someone else.

Jesus is saying if you get yourself into trouble come unto me and I will give you rest or if someone else caused you to be in this trouble come unto me! WOW! That means God is just as interested in giving you rest if you caused your own trouble and are a scoundrel who hurts. He is saying come to Jesus!

God is interested in those that hurt not how you became hurt! God is interested in those that have burdens not in how you came to have those burdens. If you labor He is saying come unto me and I will give you rest. If someone thrust this burden on you come unto me and I will give you rest.

A young lady gets herself in trouble. She is pregnant and not married. Please read this carefully! Though that girl got herself into trouble God still loves her! God still says come unto me and I will give you rest. You put the burden on yourself!

Follow my thought! There are also two sets of parents involved. These parents did not have anything to do with this. There hearts are heavy and they are heavy laden. Jesus said you parents who have this heartache, you never dreamed it would happen to you, you have a heavy heart, and are crushed. Jesus is saying to them come unto me and I will give you rest! This same Jesus goes to the little girl who is pregnant out of wedlock who in essence did this to herself and says to her you come to me too and I will also give you rest!

I had the godliest mother that ever walked on planet earth. I had a dad who drank and caroused before he got right with God. Wait a minute! Everything that happened to my dad he caused it himself. However, my mother did not do anything wrong yet she suffered. She was heavy laden. Some of the family suffered. Some of the family was heavy laden.

Jesus said to my dad who labored and caused his troubles come unto me and I will give you rest. Thank God my dad did return to Jesus and he was given rest. Hold it! Mama who was heavy laden, did not cause the heartaches, the burdens, and the suffering was also told my Jesus come unto me and I will give you rest.

My mother was a praying mother and my daddy gave her plenty to pray about in the early days. My dad labored and my mother was heavy laden. Jesus came to Mary Gray and said you have been loaded down with burdens, which were not of your making. Jesus came to my dad and said you have loaded yourself down with burdens of your own making. Jesus offers a harness to my mother because she is heavy laden. Jesus offers a harness to my dad because he is laboring under burdens of his own making. Jesus is saying to both if you come to me and take my harness I will give you rest for I will be the difference.

The Saviour is not interested in how you got there for He is just interested in the fact you are there. It simply means there are two types of people here reading this chapter who are burdened the one who is heavy laden and the other who is burdened.

The one who is heavy laden would be like a wayward child who was taught, taken to church, loved, and disciplined but someone else has loaded you up with burdens. You did not put one single burden on your back but you are heaven laden. Some have been deserted by a husband or a wife and the truth is these people did not labor they were heavy laden. These godless wives and godless husbands placed a load on the backs of their mates.  Jesus says to you forsaken wives come unto me and to the forsaken husbands come unto me. Jesus is saying your mate is still gone but come unto me and I will give you an easier harness and I will help you.

You may have a serious illness. You did not on purpose cause this sickness and you do not even know what caused it. You find yourself heavy laden. Some of you may have a loved one who has passed away and you did not ask for this! It is not your fault! You have been heavy laden! You did not load your own truck somebody else loaded the bricks on you truck and you are heavy laden. Maybe someone has betrayed you, or you have been unjustly criticized, or maybe even god caused it by deciding it was best of you to have a burden. You did not choose to do anything to cause your burden. Yet, Jesus says come unto me and I will give you rest!

To those of you who caused your own heartaches, burdens, and heartbreaks by selling your birthright through picking up a bottle of liquor causing you to have to bear a yoke caused by sin Jesus says come unto me and I will give you rest! You chose to lie, to steal, to drink, to gamble, sell your future, and sell your joy for a few moments of pleasure for you placed the load on your own shoulders and the burden on yourself. Yet, Jesus says I have some good news for the same Jesus that comes to the one who has the load placed upon him also comes to you who placed your own load upon yourself and says come unto me and I’ll give you rest.


The one who did load his or her own burden and the one who had nothing to do with the burden that he or she bears are both given the same invitation by Christ.

Come unto me disheartened wife, dad, mom, and lonely one diseased with a sickness unto death, one with ill health, young widow, or senior saint. Come unto me mission man who caused his own troubles.

The same invitation is to you as well as the little widow, forsaken wife, or sick one. The same invitation that is to the sinned against is to the sinner! The same invitation is to the stricken and the striker, the smitten and the smiter, the hurting and the hurter, as well as the forsaken and the forsaker. It is not what caused you to hurt that moves God it is that you hurt that moves God.

May I address you Pharisees for a moment? God does not look down and check to see how the people arrive where they are in life. God looks and sees where they are in life. He then offers both an invitation to come unto Him. However, man is not that way. We will have compassion on a widow but if we would be like Jesus we would welcome every one the opportunity to come back to Jesus.

It does not matter to Jesus whether you are heavy laden or if you labored to cause you to be where you are. It does not make any difference whether you pick up a 100 pounds or a 100 pounds is pout on you. It is still 100 pounds! Jesus said come unto me all that are heavy laden and you who labor. Jesus promises “rest” to both.


Jesus hurts, as much for those of you that caused your hurt as for those of you that did not cause your hurt. Jesus is saying I love those of you that caused your trouble just as much as those that did not cause your trouble. The fact is Jesus sees your hurt and he does not want you hurt! So those of you who have heartache not of your own doing and those of you who have heartache caused by your along He pleads for both to come to Him and He offers rest to both!


Jesus looked upon the multitudes and was moved with compassion. Jesus did not care what kind of multitudes they were. He did not check to see why they were in the mess they were in. He just said to them ALL come unto me and I will give you rest! He said the same to both those who chose it and those who did not choose it!


Some of you are so burdened and have such heartache you do not know how you can take it. Then some of you reading this chapter have been a scoundrel. You played the fool! You listened to the devil like Eve did! You made your own bed! Jesus comes to you and says I will give you the same reward as the one whose bed someone else made. 

Every one reading this article has, has had, or will have been heavy laden or laboring at one time or another. I am speaking of people who have had things done to them that they wish had never happened. I do not care how you arrived where you are for there is a loving Heavenly Father who says come unto me and I will give you rest.

That is why we sing, “Come every soul by sin oppressed. There’s mercy with the Lord!” Whether you caused it or did not cause it! It is not how you arrived where you are that garners God’s attention. It is you being where you are that attracts God’s attention.

Friday, July 24, 2015



Psalm 71:9, "Cast me not off in the time of old age: forsake me not when my strength faith."

Psalm 71:17-18, "O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and greyheaded. O God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is come."

An interesting statement was made to me today about an elderly church member not being a very good church member. I immediately rebelled at the statement and became offended at the very thought of such an accusation about a dear saint who has given their whole life in service for our Lord being judged by the circumstances brought about because of old age.

All of a sudden it dawned on me that as Mrs. G and I are entering our 70th year on planet earth that maybe someone is saying about us that we are not very good church members. 

My wife has had 42 surgeries. After a right hip replacement two years ago there was the constant fear of a need for a left hip replacement. When the pain became severe we sought the help of our surgeon. Our surgeon told Mrs. G she was not a candidate for a left hip replacement because her bones were too brittle. She suffers 24/7 with this pain. I have become her care giver and I have no regrets. 

I help bathe and dress my wife for doctor's visits. She is is unable to dress herself and thank the Lord for the help of dear ladies like Denise Howie Dean and Diana Faye Ayres for their help.

Currently I am suffering from herniated discs in my lower back. I spent last Tuesday at the Hospital in NC with my back issues.  When I arrived home I was taken to the ER for shots in my lower back. On Friday I went to the hospital in Tyler, TX, for more shots. Currently I have an appointment with a back surgeon on August 10.

Many a preaching trip upon arrival at home finds me in ice packs along with a two day recovery so I can fly out again the next week end.

I never gave much consideration to becoming older as a hinderance to our service to our Lord, but we are just about there. It is real and it is painful. I am so glad that through out my four decades of ministry I was a loving and a caring preacher for those whom age had become a significant factor in their Christian life. It is so easy to glibly throw verbal barbs at those who start to feel the pangs of broken bodies while forgetting the decades of sacrifice.

With this in mind it dawned on me that probably I, along with my wife, may be thought of as not being very good church members. We have been in the ministry for 43 years and pastored for 33 of those years. Hundreds of church members God has allowed me to care for were ill and home bound. I NEVER thought of them as being not very good church members, because they were physically unable to attend the services.

I was saddened by this off the cuff heartless statement about a faithful elderly church member. All of a sudden the former years of service mean nothing because of age? So sad! I wonder if talk like this does not downgrade the so-called "good church member" to the level of a "bad church member" themselves. Just wondering!

There are times I am unable to make it to church. Either because of my care-giving of my wife or because of my herniated discs. I thank the Lord that I never have expressed a critical spirit towards those who were ill and unable to do what some think makes a person a "good church member." I have not quit loving my Lord, praying, Bible study, tithing, preaching, teaching, writing, and counseling. I'm a little slower and have to move more gingerly, but I still keep on going.

I am extremely grateful to our son, Dr. Bob II, who has been so kind to us not just as his parents, but as church members who cannot do what they use to do. We need to be careful what criteria we use to classify what we consider to be "good church members."

We are so selfish. It is "What have you done for me lately?" attitude that is ruining us. I preached a sermon years ago entitled "What have you done for me formerly?"  I lead our church in honoring former church members along with former pastors who were a blessing to our church in days gone by.

I am thinking of dear members of LBT who at the end of their life were home bound or nursing home bound. These members were as loved as any one who attended. I made sure they knew their pastor loved them and appreciated their years of faithfulness. The "Amens" of a Mrs. McKinley from one of the back sections of our auditorium was forgotten by many as she spent her last days in a lonely Nursing Home. But, her pastor did not forget her nor discount her years of faithfulness.

Does the person in the cancer ward cease to be a good church member because of their absence from the church services?  Does the elderly lady in the nursing home cease to be a good church member because of the four walls that are their whole world?  Does the elderly widow struggling to even get dressed for church lose her "good church member" card because she misses soul winning?

Does a Brother Danny Peurifoy, one of the greatest personal soul winners I have ever pastored, cease to be a good church member because of cancer incapacitating him physically at the end of his life?  Can you imagine some critic saying, "He isn't practicing what he preached all those years!" I made the rounds to our nursing home church members on a regularly basis and never thought of them as not being "good church members."

Let me say this...

1) Mrs. G and I in our old age love our Lord
2) Mrs. G and I have been faithful servants of our Lord for decades before old age captured us
3) Mrs. G and I have been faithful to each other in these 50 years of Marriage into our old age
4) Mrs. G and I are faithful weekly givers to the cause of Christ even in our old age
5) Mrs. G is unable to go soul winning but I faithfully win souls to Christ on a weekly basis
6) Mrs. G and I have reared four children who love God and their families
7) Mrs. G and I have not brought discredit on our church or our Lord in our 70 years of life

However, I must admit that we are not really very good church members according to some! So, I promise we will work harder at being better church members. Please forgive us as we become more aged and less physically able to meet the expectations of some. I promise we will do our best to do better!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015




Thursday, July 2, 2015


7 PM (CT)

Dr. and Mrs. Bob Gray Sr.

Karen, Scott, Kim, and Bob II