Choose Life – “Smell The Roses”– An Uplifting Verse from the OYB reading of the day – January 16

Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30  NASB    “Smell The Roses”

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.'”   Matthew 11: 28-30


Years ago, after I was called to ministry, a pastor at the church we were attending called me aside right before we left for seminary.  He gave me good advice that I don’t always take.  He told me while I was in school and in the ministry that I should “stop and smell the roses.”  I keep learning the hard way that I should keep his advice in mind (cf. blog, Rest Up).

I wish that pastor had slapped me when he gave me that advice so that so I’d have paid a little more attention to him.  The Bible would indicate to us, if experience doesn’t, that the human default setting is to try to do everything ourselves (it’s called “acting in the flesh”).  We have to re-train ourselves to trust Christ in everything.  We need to remind ourselves that as  Christians our default position is to always rely on Him and the Holy Spirit.

Of course, ultimately, this passage in Matthew is saying that we can’t bear the burden of our own guilt and sin.  We have to put that on Christ (2 Cor. 5:14-15, 19; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).  But it’s also saying, that when we are burdened in life, we can go to Him and smell the roses.

Are you stopping to smell the roses with Jesus today?


And if you are, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:

After wearing myself down in seminary and ministry to the point that I had to have six heart by-passes, then was so fatigued afterward I could barely do anything for ten years, I finally came to my senses and decided to try to stop and smell the roses.  Sorta.  I’m still working on it.  If you are a workaholic, you probably won’t listen to me just as I didn’t listen to my pastor.

But here’s what I try to do now.  I try to eat right.  I try to exercise.  I try to get a good night’s sleep.   And I try to take Sunday’s off.  Well, as much as a pastor can take Sunday’s off.  I don’t write on Sunday’s anyway.  (Also, check out blog Do It For Your Own Self.)

What is your plan to make sure you are getting enough rest?

Are you stopping to smell the roses?

Stop and take a whiff today.


The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:  Sore ‘Nuff

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