Feel like you’re jammed in traffic all the time? You’re going here and there. There’s no time to rest, no time to enjoy this life you’re living?
You’re busy doing good. Maybe you’re taking care of the kids or grandkids, and there’s soccer practice, homework, dance lessons, dinner, lunches to pack, science project, and in between you’re getting groceries, cleaning the house, doing laundry and helping the neighbor with her sick mom.
You’re visiting the sick, delivering meals to shut-ins, and teaching a Bible study.
You’re busy doing good at work. You are tied to your phone and your computer. There’s the social media for work and for yourself. You need to write that report, and the meetings take the day away. When you get home, you cook dinner, help the kids with homework, bathe them, put them to bed, snuggle with your husband, put him to bed, then you settle in to get the work done for the next day at the office.
The “To Do” list is 10 sheets long and growing.
All good stuff. But you feel like you’re going in circles … climbing in circles on stairs that will never end. You are working hard to be the person Jesus wants you to be, but you feel like you’re failing. You’re holding fast, but slipping • • •
Just thinking about it makes me want to give up, lie down, and take a NAP!
You can rest in Jesus today! • •
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. Hebrews 4:1
This whirlwind schedule you’re keeping can become calm today. You can rest in the finished work of Jesus. As sons and daughters of the living God, as sons and daughters of the Ruler of the Universe, as members of the household of Jesus, we can rest.
The Puritan commentator John Owen described five features of this rest for the believer. (Bullets are mine.)
- Rest means peace with God.
- Peace that passes all understanding. Philippians 4:7
- Rest means freedom from a servile, bondage-like spirit in the worship and service of God.
- Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
- Rest means deliverance from the burden of Mosaic observance.
- Who can keep the Mosaic Law? No one. Romans 3:10
- Rest means the freedom of worship according to the gospel.
- We are free to dance before the Lord like David. 2 Samuel 6:14
- Rest means the rest that God Himself enjoys.
- Imagine, we can rest like God! Hebrews 4:1
The author of Hebrews writes of the rest of salvation in chapters 3 through 4:8. As a believer, you can rest in the finished works of Jesus and cease to strive to work to be “good enough” to get into heaven. You can’t. No one can. The Bible tells us that there is no one righteous, that we are all sinners and have missed the mark. The price: death and separation from God forever. But there is one man who is perfect. One man who paid the price for the world’s sin. One man who took our sins upon Himself and died. The Son of Man. God became Man and dwelt among us. Jesus. We can rest in His works, His death on the cross, His payment for our sins.
Salvation rest. Peace with God. Freedom in worship and service. Deliverance from the burden of the Mosaic observance.
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9-10
God rested after His work of creation was completed, and Jesus proclaimed that His work of redemption (paying the price for your sin and my sin) was done when He said “It is finished” on the cross. The rest that God enjoys can be ours as God sanctifies us.
… Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you. Exodus 31:13
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. Hebrews 4:11
We have to work at entering the perfect rest. The door is open, but the enemy, Satan, doesn’t want us to step through the door.
Satan put giants in the vision of the Israelites, and they didn’t believe they could step into the promised land. BUT God said that He had given it to them. They refused to enter into God’s rest for them. They did not believe God after all the works God had done for them—the plagues, the parting of waters, the manna from heaven, and more.
God’s people. No faith that God would keep them safe. No peace and tranquility. No promised land.
Do you feel like that today? Be assured, that the Israelites had to possess the land; they had to possess God’s promised rest, but they could only do it with God. Milk, honey, and abundant produce awaited them. But they had to enter the land.
That’s the same for us, today.
Are you trying to earn your way to heaven?
- Outstanding achievements?
- Good over bad?
Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? Have you believed Him for your eternal life? If so, do you think that we can believe Him for rest … PERFECT REST? His fullness of blessings in this life? Do we believe Him to enter that open door?
There is a rest that refreshes, a patient expectation and a tranquility for your soul. It’s available today.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
So how do you enter that rest?
- Lay aside your burdens.
- Come to Jesus.
- Take His yoke upon you.
- Learn from Him. He is gentle and humble.
- Put on His yoke. It’s easy and sure-fitting. The yokes of oxen had to fit the oxen perfectly, or the yokes might rub their hide and create sores. Then, they could not work. Jesus has created a sure-fitting yoke for us.
- Take on His burden. It’s light. The burden Jesus has for us is light, and we can carry it.
- Walk with Jesus. Jesus will walk by our sides, take us by the right hand and lead us.
Hebrews 4 tells us that we must believe His promises — all His promises. The Promised Land was right there for the Israelites. The spies brought back reports of abundance and a great land, but 10 of the spies were afraid to possess the land—they did not believe God when He said that He had given the land to them. Do you believe God’s promises?
How do you know what God has promised in the Scriptures? You study His Word
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
The Scriptures tell us that God brings His followers fruitfulness, healing, peace, delight, strength, joy, power, faith, endurance, hope, love, and so on?
Do you have all those things? If not, why not? If so, are you possessing them boldly?
Rest in Jesus. Enter His rest today.
Enter God’s rest by submitting to His guidance. Step into the Promised Land by ceasing from your works and allowing God to work through you. James tells us that without works, faith is dead. He writes that through our good works—works that God prepared for you to accomplish from before the foundation of the world—we will demonstrate that we are His daughter or son.
Have you entered God’s rest by laying down your works and taking up His works? If not, you can do it today.
Rest in Jesus today.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Jesus paid for your sins and my sins, and He is our High Priest, talking to the Father on our behalf. You and I are invited to come boldly and confidently into God’s throne room — not meekly, but boldly, as a little girl or boy would come into Daddy’s office, climb up on his lap and tell him about the day. Ask him to kiss a scraped knee. Hug him and tell him she loves him.
Why are we to come into the throne room of grace? To receive mercy and grace to help us in our times of need.
- To get mercy—that’s forgiveness—that’s not getting what I deserve—death and separation from God forever-–hell.
- To find grace—sometimes described as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense—receiving what I don’t deserve—eternal life with Jesus
Do you long to come boldly to Abba Father’s throne of grace?
Do you long for the fullness that He alone offers?
Do you long for faith to enter into His Rest? You can have it. You can have it today. Come
REST IN JESUS TODAY!
Abba, Father, we come confidently, boldly, before Your throne of grace to rest in Your mercy and grace. You are our rest. You are our comfort. You are our peace. You are our freedom. You are our Sabbath Rest. We want to possess the promises that You have for us. Help us to step through the door and into the works that You have prepared for us from before the foundation of the world. Jesus, we believe; we know that as we learn from You, we will find Your yoke to be easy and sure-fitting. We will find that Your burden is just enough, for You are walking with us. Thank You for Your rest. In Jesus’ name, Amen.