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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Rest"

Spiritual Gift
“If they shall enter into my rest”  

Hebrew 4:5

 

 

Rest.  God rested and He wasn't even tired!  After six days of creative power, God rested from all His labors, and made that day of rest a holy day.  The writer of Hebrews says, "For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest," Hebrews 4:4,5.  That is almost an awkwardly-written verse, isn't it? "If they shall enter into my rest."  Upon closer examination, we see a few things:  one being that rest belongs to God -- "my rest"; second being that God has made it available to me -- "they shall enter"; third being that access to God's rest is a personal choice -- "if."  Wow! God has a rest that I can have if I want to have it!

 

I realize that God's rest involves Heaven, and I acknowledge that His rest speaks of salvation, but I believe that God has practical rest for us in this world as well.  Consider Psalm 127:2, "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep."  Sleep is a gift from God.  God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam, and Peter had to be hit on the side by an angel to wake him up in prison the night before his execution.  Yes, I believe God, Who can give me eternal rest, can also give me a good night’s sleep.  If God can give me a work-free salvation, then I believe He can help me to live without being totally run-down with exhaustion.

 

This brings up three important aspects of rest.  Examine these in context with your life and see if you can get some well-deserved rest from the labors of this life.

 

  1. Physical Rest.  This is the least important of the three.  Physical activity is not only good, it is necessary, but so is physical rest.  I think we really have this out of balance today.  Millions get too little activity, and millions more get too little rest.  You need to get moving physically, especially if you have a mentally-geared job.  You also need to let that body recover from physical exertion.  Remember, though, leisure is not always rest.  That is why we are so tired after a vacation.  We had leisure but no rest.  Don't make the mistake of always replacing work with some other activity.  Give time to a slow, contemplative experience.  During this time, stay away from headphones, televisions, computers, etc.

  2. Emotional Rest.  This is much more important than physical rest.  Emotional rest and physical rest go hand in hand; however, stilling the body does not always quiet the mind.  Paul said, "Study to be quiet," I Thess. 4:11.  You have to seek out quiet in this world.  Lights and noises are to our left, and people and actions are to our right.  Even in the walls of our homes, televisions blare seven hours a day, music is played loudly, and there is not quietness.  "Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit" Eccl. 4:6.  When we do things God's way, we choose a life of quietness. "And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever" Isaiah 32:17.

  3. Spiritual Rest. When our bodies find rest, we feel refreshed.  When our emotions find rest, our countenance is lifted.  Yet relaxed muscles and minds are little things compared to the rest in the acceptance of God.  The Sabbath taught us that there was a time to stop our dominion work and worship the dominion Giver.  We stop filling our cupboards and instead bring offerings to Him.  Spiritual rest is laying aside the yoke of work and willingly taking on the yoke of fellowship and service with Christ.  It is a rest where we learn of Him and worship Him.  We will only find this all-important rest through surrender.  "Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him; fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way" Psalm 37:7.

 



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Previous devotions

"Time Out" - October 3, 2012
"The Right Call" - September 26, 2012

"The Ability Which God Giveth" - September 19, 2012
"The Presence of God" - September 12, 2012
"Why God Delays" - September 5, 2012
"As the Whirlwind Passeth" - August 29, 2012
"In HIS Time" - August 22, 2012
"Happy Are Ye" - August 15, 2012
"By the Word of God" - August 8, 2012
"Well Done" - August 1, 2012
"Bearing His Death" - July 25, 2012
"Down By The Riverside" - July 11, 2012

"Thank You, Jesus!" - July 4, 2012
"Modern Day Sodom" - June 27, 2012
"Keeping What Has Been Committed" - June 13, 2012
"The Pause That Refreshes" - June 6, 2012

"The Sin of Idleness" - May 30, 2012
"Remembered" - May 23, 2012

"Graduating Diamonds" - May 16, 2012
"Mom-Others" - May 9, 2012
True Motherhood - May 2, 2012

What Missions Means to Me - April 25, 2012
The King and the Witch - April 18, 2012

Rules for Rearing Children (Part 4) - April 11, 2012
Rules for Rearing Children (Part 3) - April 4, 2012
Rules for Rearing Children (Part 2) - March 28, 2012
Rules for Rearing Children (Part 1) - March 21, 2012

Gullible Christians - March 14, 2012
Tenacity - March 7, 2012
Above the Storm - February 29, 2012
The Principal Thing - February 22, 2012
The Greatest Valentine - February 15, 2012
He First Loved Us - February 8, 2012
Real Love - February 1, 2012
Pardon Your Enemies - January 25, 2012
Applause - January 18, 2012
Finish! - January 11, 2012
Meeting New Goals - January 4, 2012
Meeting New Goals - December 28, 2011
The Word Made Flesh - December 21, 2011
Sonship - December 14, 2011
Fruit in Old Age - December 7, 2011
Dangers of Multi-tasking - November 30, 2011
Ingratitude - November 22, 2011
"Wash! Wash! Wash!" - November 16, 2011
"The Pastor" - November 9, 2011
"Value of a Name" - November 2, 2011

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Words of Truth - March 28, 2012