Saturday, October 4, 2014

Encouragement & Rest: Give yourself permission to be at Ease

I'd like to encourage you today, to rest.

Rest in the place of rest, which is our place in the spiritual connection we have to God the Father, through the wonderful light of Christ Jesus.  

The message, the grace, the light we live in is so multifaceted.  It's all about Jesus Christ and his work.  Yet it's also about our response, the kind of life we live, and remaining in the love of Christ.  There is the work.  Then there is the rest.  Forgiveness and Judgement.  Mercy, Grace, Love, Hope.  Mighty king yet Humble servant.  All harmoniously strung together.  

Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV) 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.” 

Jesus welcomes us into fellowship with God through his rest.

Mark 6:31 (ESV) And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 

Psalm 37:7 (ESV) Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! 

Isaiah 30:7 (ESV) For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

Paging through the Bible, or clicking through chapters on gives me a lot of joy.  The Bible is such an incredible piece of work.  It's all there.  Encouragement, teaching, warnings, poetry, songs, stories, histories, prophecies and so much more.  It's stunning.  I feel a lot of warm anticipation as I look over the chapters seeing which I would like to read/listen to on any given day.  

Why not the book of Daniel to hear of the captive Israelites?   Or the Psalms to hear the passionate, powerful, raw meditations of David, and others.  Or the gospel of John, the gentle poetic message of the deity of Christ, or Matthew or Mark, with the harsh teachings of Jesus regarding sin and salvation, or page through Luke and Acts to read the precise writings of a physician.  Revelation, Daniel, prophecies.  Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Samuel for the powerful messages of repentance from the prophets!  There is just so much.  It's a joy to discover the stories and interpret them.  There is a lot to love in God's book.

 I encourage you to fall in love with the many books of the Bible.  I encourage you to fall in love with God through prayer.  I encourage you to take some time, give yourself a pat on the back, and relax in his loving presence.  Just relax, pause, be silent and rest. 

Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV) Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.