About the Author

Aliza Latta is a Canadian writer, journalist, and artist, who is a huge fan of telling stories. She writes about faith and young adulthood on her blog alizalatta.com, and is the author of the novel Come Find Me, Sage Parker. Find her on Instagram as @alizalatta.

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  1. Eugene Peterson is one of my all-time heroes of the faith, and the phrase in this verse that jumps off the screen for me today is “walk with me and work with me.” There is a unique rest that comes to us as we are in the yoke with Jesus. I want to remember that today as I walk and work with him.

  2. Aliza,
    This message has meant a lot to me because it helped to deliver me from legalism. The “old yoke” Jesus alludes to was the “Law” or the Old Covenant wherein you/I had to follow all the laws to a “T” in order to be found acceptable by God. The “new yoke” that Jesus speaks of is His grace. The New Covenant of grace is easy and light and invites us into the “unforced rhythms of grace.” What a relief, what a burden lifted, to know that I don’t have to perform, or earn, or strive. I am saved, secure, and loved because of the grace of Jesus. Knowing I have the grace of Jesus is what ultimately gives my soul the deep rest it needs. I’d love a copy of the Message! Beautiful post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Thank you for sharing I didn’t know what the yoke referred to, I always thought it was ‘Jesus ways, manner etc’ its interesting to know a deeper meaning about the laws!

    • I have never read the Message. Would like to see if it sheds more light on God’s Word for me. That is always a good thing.

  3. I love how the verses speak to me like a conversation from God (which IS what the Bible is) I would love this… speak life in me Jesus!

  4. I love The Message bible because it’s like reading fresh poetry each time. The Message takes familiar truth (which I can easily glaze over) and expresses it in a way that reaches the depths of my heart.

    Thank you for sharing about your first experience with this bible. Mine had a lime green gel cover 🙂

  5. The Message version is like a warm, cozy blanket. It’s sitting down with a good friend, a cup of coffee and great conversation. It’s the version I’ll pull up on my phone when I want to hear the words as if we’re all in a smallgroup together, talking it out.

  6. I have heard so much about the Message translation, but I have never read it. I have a big birthday next month and would love to start the year off immersed in God’s word. (My first choice, however, would be for Bev to win. She is a source of inspiration and hope for me.)

  7. This Message verse calls to me…every single word. I wonder what other verses’ translations might also reinforce knowing Jesus better.

  8. As a fairly new Christian, I’ve had some difficulty understanding various parts of the Bible. I know some versions of the Bible have been translated to be an easier read, and it looks like The Message would be one of those. I’d love to receive a copy, so that I can grow deeper in my faith and truly learn to understand God’s Word. Thank you for the wonderful read this morning, and for the opportunity to receive a copy of The Message!

  9. I’ve never read the message Bible. It sounds like it would be a refreshing way to look at the scriptures.

  10. Aliza, I really love and can relate so much more to these few verses written in The Message Bible! It calls my name , speaks to me so I can relate to to my daily life. It’s broken down , not using some foreign terms some of us may need to go look up as we are reading our devotional.

    I want to thank you for this message and would love to win a copy of the new Message Bible, the cover is beautiful and I really like the fact that’s it’s the one column design.

    May we all “ keep company with Jesus “ and get the real rest described in The Message Bible!

  11. It’s one of my favorite verses, too! I bought an antique ox yolk, hung it over our kitchen table (heavy !!), and am having ‘my yolk is easy’ branded into its wood. Thanks for pulling in The Message- I love that translation nd use it a lot. Great devotion! Many thanks to you!

  12. I am just now learning to walk with Jesus. This passage touches me because I want to learn to live lightly.

  13. Aliza…I have always loved learning Greek and Hebrew words and their meanings….it just gives me that extra insight into God’s heart. Recently I returned from a trip to Holland to visit relatives and one of my aunts gave me letters that my Papa had written to his Mom and Dad after immigrating to Canada in 1952! You see, my parents were killed in a car accident in 1965 when I was only 6 and through these letters I was able to get a tiny window into the heart and character and life of my Dad. But as I was reading them my Papa God said “this is what my Word is to you…letters that allow you a window into my heart and character.” I didn’t realize that the Message was translated from the original Hebrew and Greek! I would love to read it from cover to cover…thank-you for this verse from Matthew. It’s also one of my favorited!

  14. Thank You for the perfectly timed and well needed encouragement and Truth, Aliza! This has deeply touched my heart. Thank you for Blessing me and encouraging my Faith and walking with Jesus Tha k You for sharing The Message…..His Message….to my heart and mind. God BLESS you!

  15. The message bible has always been my favorite. I found myself going to it for translation when I started to do my bible studies & was reading the bible. It makes verses more easler to understand. I love the verse….”walk & work with me – watch how I do it.” This gives me a good mental picture of me Jesus being right beside me, teaching me.

  16. I had that very same hot pink Message Remix Bible! It was a blessing to me then, and your words are a blessing to me today!

  17. Get away with me, Nancy. Wow! Just wow! I have a special invitation from Jesus. He is my friend giving me His love and time to help me!
    I love the Message translation. Sometimes I feel helpless and lost and then I read Jesus words and I feel hope and love! He will carry me and my burdens for awhile so I can rest. All is well!

  18. Wow! That passage has given me life today. As I take on a new job with many responsibilities, I feel like I am unstoppable because I have God on my side, working with me. This new job has the potential to lay a lot of responsibility, pressure, and stress on me, but with this passage I know that God will not give me anything bigger than I can handle. I can live with God and be stress free. I am encouraged to continue to read more verses from the Message version of the Bible, as this was the first time I read this version! I feel God in a more personal way and hope to grow closer with him.

    God Bless,
    Rachel

  19. I can’t tell you how many times The Message has brought aha moments to my scripture reading and made the bible feel timely and relevant. It is my favorite translation for reading and memorization!

  20. For some reason the verses in Matthew 11:28-30 as translated in The Message remind me of the song “O Come to the Altar” by Elevation Worship. Jesus is always calling us to Him, and offers us the opportunity for rest in His arms.
    If I won a copy of The Message Full Size, I would give it to my teenager. I want her to experience this version of the Bible and the way that the words can speak to her heart.

  21. Aliza, this is one big exhale! I’m in the midst of our first child getting married, purchasing a new home, heading up a women’s retreat and preparing to speak in Canada (all in a 6 month period)…I needed a reminder to breathe God’s grace in deeply and exhale in His rest. This was just beautiful, peace-filled encouragement!

  22. It’s very understandable and relatable. I would love to have this version to refer to. Thanks for giving us an opportunity to win.

  23. I would love the opportunity to win this Message bible. I study my Charles Stanley bible but lately I’ve been feeling like I need more. Eliza, these words from the book of Mathew are one of my favorite as well. Thank you for sharing them from the Message. Every time I read this passage it’s like Jesus is giving me permission when I can’t give myself permission to rest in this fast paced world that wants so much from me.

  24. The Message Translation is super personal. It’s as if God is directly meeting me in a way of speaking that I can truly understand.
    I am burned out, exhausted, worn down through & through. I have a 6 month old with a congenital disorder who has physical health issues as well as developmental delays due to it. I feel like I haven’t had true rest since he’s been born.
    I cry out to God on many sleepless nights & I haven’t felt him near in a long time. I know my feelings aren’t truth but they affect me all the same. I would love to win a copy of the Message in hopes of hearing God’s voice speaking soothing words over me again. Thank you.

  25. I have seen verses here and there from The Message and never read it. Every verse I have read just brings the verse to a whole new level of understanding. I would love to be gifted with The Message.

    This cover is so serene and makes you want to slow down and rest. It reminds me of cloud filled skies that you can lay in the grass and watch for hours and just be.

  26. I am ashamed to say that I have not spent enough time in God’s Word. Reading this translation from The Message made me want to click further to make it a part of my life. Thank you for sharing

  27. I cannot put into words the joy this message says to me. This past year has been a year of grief, sorrow and heaviness. As I battle, with Jesus help, to keep in His Light and fight to stay out of depression. My son passed away, then my aunt, my mother in law, living thru the effects of a CAT 5 hurricane and then my boss of 21 years passing away all in less than 9 months. This battle is real but Satan has already been defeated. I do love the message version of this verse and how it reads. I would love the opportunity to win this version of the Bible. Thank you for sharing it today
    Blessings
    Gail

  28. Aliza,
    Truly a special gift to have read about your experince with The Message Bible, which began with receiving it from your Mom.
    Thanks for sharing your favourite passage and detailing specifically how we can keep company with Jesus, because we can walk with Him and He shows real rest.
    I would be honoured & feel so blessed to be considered to receive a copy of The Message Bible.

  29. I don’t want to win anything. Today reading has spoke to me. I am glad too be saved. Would not have my life any other way. I am apart from my Husband the only one in my family saved. Cousins Aunt Uncles Dad Sister’s etc they are not saved. I pray for them all. I do find it sometime times hard being a Christian. I forget to read my Bible some days or say my prayers. That is when I do feel I have let God down and then feel bad. I say God please forgive me for that. I tell God I find it hard being a Christian. But I am glad to be one I would not have my old life back again. God has said to me many times. Dawn Take time out don’t stress I love you come along side me and rest in my arms. Do as Matthew 11 verses 28 – 30 say. Take time out and rest in ME. Thank you once again for an excellent reading God Bless xxx

    • You could never let God down, Dawn. I know how you feel, because I often feel that way too, but He loves you soooo much. His plan doesn’t hinge on you measuring up. He wants you in His plan, but there’s nothing you can to do ruin it. Know that you are greatly loved. <3 <3

  30. I love the Message bible because it speaks right to the heart! It’s one of my all time favorites and served a special purpose in my life growing up too!

  31. Your in-couraging post and the artsy cover of The Message lifted my spirit this morning!
    New translations open new experiences and I’m ready!

  32. Ps This last comment will make you laugh. My late Mum. Used to say Dawn where did I get you from. You go to Church say your prayers and read your Bible. I might not do it everyday read my Bible and say my prayers. But I do go Church every Sunday. Unless away or sick. I try my best to do it everyday say my prayers and read my Bible. I said to my Mum God has me here for a reason. So he has to pray and live my life as Christian in front of my family which I do and hopefully one day they will want what I have and that is to know Jesus as their Saviour. Even though I am not the most perfect Christian. I pray that for them all. Love Dawn xxx

  33. I’d enjoy an easy-to-read Message to apply life principles! It’s easier to read through when the flow enhances God-Given understanding! The Matthew 11:28-30 shared is truly a blessing and reminds me of John 15 which speaks of the importance of abiding in the vine! Grateful for so many avenues to receive God’s Word!

  34. I had a long conversation with a friend this morning. She spoke of her reading plan and how, especially in severe trials in the last couple of years, she has grown hungry for the Word. She has been faithfully devouring it of late, and recognizes the enemy at work trying to undermine her personal and corporate time time with God, as well as her marriage. But she was on FIRE! I confessed a struggle to daily stay in the Word recently, as well as a ”perfectionist roadblock” to not recite Scripture I knew to others for fear of jumbling translations. I need to wake up and strengthen the things that remain, putting aside unforgiveness and let the Lord heal the hurt, in HIS time (Yes, I read and reread yesterday’s devo—thanks!). It sounds like I could use a fresh dose of the true Message.

  35. To me reading from The Message is like sitting face to face across the table from Jesus as He speaks truth to me in ordinary , heartfelt , easy to understand words. It seems to shed a whole new light on scripture.

  36. I’ve always loved the way The Message has personalized the Word. I find many other translations beautiful and poetic, but The Message has always made the language seem more real to me, more accessible. I’ve also liked and appreciated it for its ability to reach those that are searching or are new believers. The narrative language has a way of making one feel like they too can “get” the Bible.

  37. I just love how The Message breathes fresh life in to God’s Word! It is beautifully written and always just gives fresh eyes to the text I thought I knew so well.

  38. I am just starting to read the message translation. It brings more understanding to verses and makes it easier to connect when I’m tired and need to easily absorb the word.

  39. The Message puts God’s word in VERY personal terms which helps me apply it in my own life. I love it

  40. I grew up reading the NIV. And then when I moved the church i attended used the ESV. The Message version as you quote it is beautifully casual, making it feel as if Jesus is conversing directly with me. (Vs. thru a translator like reading the KjV! )
    I would love to have access to another translation- a paper/book version, since I love the feel of the pages in my hands, and the ability to journal in it!
    Thank you for this opportunity

  41. I love The Message Bible because it makes God’s Word more understandable and like He is talking directly to me! We all need a real rest and to live freely and lightly! We can only do that with God in our lives!

  42. I would love to experience reading an English interpretation and break down of the Bible. I love the NIV but like the idea of diving deeper on meaning and emphasis of words from the Bible.

  43. I don’t usually read the message version, however that translation really hot mess reading this. I am burned out on religion, and need to learn how to live freely and lightly

  44. In the early days after losing my husband so suddenly, this bible passage was so heartfelt and beautiful to me. I wondered whether my grief-stricken and devastated heart, mind and soul would ever feel any sort of rest or respite again. I locked on to that passage and claimed it – it helped let me breathe again and start to find God’s peace and healing. I still carry it with me always, years later, remembering it when times are difficult, but also to thank God for healing and peace.

  45. I have never read the Message Bible but would absolutely love to! It seems like a wonderful personal translation of God’s word. Thank you for this opportunity!

  46. As a sixty year old, I grew up with the King James Bible. I have transitioned to the NIV, which I love, but I have never read anything in the Message. I have read things ABOUT the Message. I have read it is trite, a false translation, a VERY loose narrative of the Bible, etc. Thank you for this article, I am exhausted, I am so tired of the heavy yokes in my life, my rest and joy have dimmed. This is one of my favorite verses when I am at my wits end, but the Message version made feel hopeful, gave me a new look at Jesus personally talking to me. It was really like a breathe of spring air. I don’t want to enter the contest, but it is a very amazing one. I am going to order a Message from your site today. Please give those away to someone who needs one……I am personally pulling for new mom Laura who needs refreshing, peace, and rest. I remember those days! I am praying for you Laura

  47. God is so good. Most of us were not educated in parochial schools, not to imply that we were uneducated. Many of us find the older versions of the Bible difficult to understand. I truly believe that God hears my prayers and it does not matter if my speech is not littered with thee’s and thou’s. And I believe that the translators prayed for wisdom and guidance as they meticulously transcribed the Holy Bible, so that ALL may understand. I have not read the Message version, but would love to one day. The verses you shared from Matthew touched my heart this morning. Thank you.

  48. I enjoy the message translation simply because it opens my mind and heart to not just see Jesus in a deeper way, but to feel him with such a deep love. The message translation truly reaches to the depths of my heart that aligns with Jesus’s heart for me, the unforced rhythms of grace, the eye opening of grace and heart feeling of grace.

  49. It’s always sweet to me to be able to read or find a new fav bible verse and compare it in other translations like The Message.

  50. Since I’m now a facilitator with our ladies Bible studies at church, this version would be so helpful to me!! I like the way this passage is translated, too, it does make it easier to apply to me. Thank you so much for sharing!! During this season of my life, I need to make sure I don’t get burned out, and need to take time for myself.

  51. The copy of the Message is what I need at this time of my life. I feel like as if I am at a crossroad. I feel so burned out with Conventional church and the preaching to the choir.

  52. Thank you Aliza for this message of encouragement. I always look for rest at every chance I can get and yet am still so overwhelmed by all the things of this world and it’s expectation of what a wife and mom should be like. If we are not running on dry, we are not doing enough it seems and I am certainly dried out to a crisp. Rest is so hard to do without feeling guilty but oh so needed I know. Let us remember to find rest and be renewed in His word.

  53. I love the message version because it helps me understand the bible easier. Helps me to put God’s word into practice.

  54. Thank you very much! Really this translation is so easy to understand compared to the NIV translation. What a joy the Message translation is, I believe most people will agree with me. I don’t have a Bible because I was worried that I wouldn’t understand everything I was supposed to, that I just wouldn’t get it!

  55. As much as I would like this version of the Bible for myself because it speaks so clearly, I would love to give it to my daughter who is graduating from high school tomorrow. I think it would help significantly.

  56. I have only read a few verses in The Message translation. I didn’t realize it was so grounded in the original texts. Thanks for the information and this wonderful verse!

  57. Reading the Bible not as a literal translation but more of a conversation gives new meaning to the text. Take Colossians 3:12-14 as an example of how reading it in MSG gives it a fresh outlook:

    So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

  58. I love that verse too but reading the message made it so much more… I did not know there was a message version good to know as I persevere in walk in reading the Word as never grew up reading the Bible.
    Thank you for sharing and I’d love to win a copy

  59. Aliza,

    I’m learning to love the message Bible. It takes the same passages, but presents them in a way that we can put our name in there. A lot of people still live under legalism in some fashion. Many believe they have to earn their way to Heaven. The more good they do the better their chances. They don’t understand about the grace & mercy of God. How He desperately wants everyone in Heaven. All it takes is repentance-a turning away from sin-& being baptized into Jesus Christ-Not some denomination or church. Just tell God you are sorry for all your sins, trust Him & want Him Lord over your life. It’s that simple. Doing that will free you from a lot of anxiety & give you the true rest you are looking for. This world doesn’t offer you rest & peace only God can give you that.

    Blessings 🙂

  60. I would love to win this as I have never read this version and would absolutely love to use this as a daily reader. I just had baby number two and this would be an awesome way to get in The Word every chance I get during the day! Thank you for the chance to win a beautiful copy of this Bible!

  61. Hi Aliza,
    This is also one of my favourite passages in scripture. As a life long worrier, this passage is my go to when I need to “let go, and let God handle things. I have a New Living Translation, Study Bible which is very helpful when the meaning of some passages is hard to grasp. I have only read the occasional passage from The Message; a complete bible version would be very interesting to read.

  62. I DO need a fresh Bible reading experience! And my daughter-in-law just recently asked people about their experience with this version.. I’d love to read it, share it!

  63. I love these verses!!! God impressed them into my heart in January 2003, at the time He called me to form a specific ministry (Come Unto Me Ministries). These verses became the foundation of my ministry, and in 2017, I used them as the core scriptures in a book I wrote entitled “No Ordinary Invitation: Called to Live a Life of Eternal Purpose.”

  64. My two year old granddaughter and I enjoy combing through “The Message” looking for Jesus! I appreciate its simple yet relevant words.

  65. I would enjoy having a copy of the Message Bible because our Pastor has started using it at church and I would love to follow along! I have never read it before and am very intrigued by the same amount I have seen so far. Awesome giveaway, that k you!

  66. Oh how beautiful.. if only?… I’d love to read this and fall deeper in love with our father

  67. I loved this message and I would love the opportunity to read ‘The Message’! I struggle with Bible reading and I look for anything that might help me understand and retain scripture.

  68. I love using the message version along with my NIV and will often compare verses just to help open them up a bit more, especially when I really need to get my head and heart around what I’m reading. I’d love a hard copy just to read on its own for pure enjoyment!

  69. I love The Message translation because it seems so much more personal…conversational…He to me. Thank you for this opportunity.

  70. This bible speaks to me of a comfortable conversation with my loving Saviour. I have been battling treatment resistant depression and PTSD for 25 years and sometimes the intrusive lies of the enemy, presented as feelings, leave me feeling unworthy and at a distance from my Saviour. The few brief passages I have read online from the Message bible present to me a picture, in the battleground of my mind, of a loving friend sitting in a chair beside me, speaking truth in a way I have never been able to understand or take in before. I would dearly love to have a copy of the Message bible to saturate my spirit with truth, in a way that I can understand and take directly into my heart, and to combat the lies of guilt and shame and unworthiness that I have sometimes not been strong enough to refute.

  71. I have loved Eugene Peterson’s “The Message” ever since I discovered it. I have a small travel one and two larger ones. Mine are highlighted and underlined. The Message presents God’s love in language that speaks to my heart and makes sense to my brain.

  72. I love Jesus so much for all of my life as far as I can remember. I picture in my mind walking with Jesus holding His hand as He tells me all of the good things He has in store for my life. I feel heaviness in my heart at times trying to control my life’s outcomes and wondering why the negative behaviors of others bother me. Give me rest sweet Jesus , Amen!

  73. I love the Message translation. It is easy to read, seems more personal, & easier to understand. I’d love to win this new edition.

  74. I love The Message. When I first began digging into the Bible and doing daily devotions, I had two bibles on hand…the Bible I’d had for years and a tiny The Message New Testament. I was always relieved when the days’ reading was from the New Testament, because I knew that I could read it from The Message and understand it so much more easily.

  75. I love the Message translation because the wording is easier to understand as if it was written by someone living NOW, rather than centeries ago, it’s like having a conversation with a friend..

  76. There are so many things that I loved about this. Like Aliza, I too had the gel-textured hot pink bible. I remember pulling into countless times throughout my adolescence up until the it became so worn out that it fell apart. I still have it, and it makes me laugh every time I see it.

    The thing that I love about The Message translation is that its universal. It can be understood by anyone who reads it. All of us are striving towards the same goal – living for Christ, spreading his good news, and bringing as many people with us as we can to the cross. I think that the message is not only for us, but it is a vital took to help us share with others. I love that they have released a full-size version of this Bible. I cannot wait to get my hands on one and relive the same fascination as I once did as a young girl.

  77. I’ve never read these particular verses in this translation. I see what you mean – really conversational. Love this version. And right now in my life, I need rest. Soul rest. Thanks for this post!

  78. I love the Message because it’s so relatable and often puts scripture in a new light for me. I always read multiple versions- one of which is always the Message. My Bible study girls and I joke that we love it because sometimes it’s pretty sassy and sometimes I need that! I like to think when reading that it’s like if the character from the Madea movies were reading the Bible! 🙂

  79. I love the Message because it feels “conversational.” The language used is dripping with love and hope and peace. It is the most encouraging way I have ever read scripture.

  80. Oh wow! I’ve listened to The Message version on my app but I don’t have a copy of the written Scriptures. I would love to have this to be able to read in print this copy of the Scriptures.

  81. I’d love a copy of The Message. Reading scripture can feel overwhelming so I don’t get into God’s word as much as I should. I’d love to be able to read it as conversational English.

  82. I am currently making my way through a pink hard cover “Women’s Devotional Bible” NIV and yesterday’s reading (Thursday May 23) was especially timely for me, as my Dad died at 3:55am – Isaiah 46:4 “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you”. I am sad but that verse gave me comfort. While this verse is easily understood, there are numerous verses that are hard to understand. I have not read The Message; thank you for the chance to win one. ~Nancy

  83. I have not read the Message bible but I see how it puts verses into a new light when I don’t understand I would love the opportunity to win one thank you for sharing this today touched my heart

  84. Although I have read parts of The Message (especially love reading to the little kids in childrens church). I would love to read it from start to finish!

  85. I haven’t had any experience with the The Message translation but the way that passage was worded really spoke to me so I’d love a copy of The Message to read so that I can learn more of the Bible in that way!!