*FRIDAY 18 SEPTEMBER, 2020*
_It is advisable that you prayerfully and meditatively read the text first_
*REST FOR YOUR SOUL*
*TEXT:* HEBREWS 4:1-16.
_*ðKEY VERSE* "For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world" (HEBREWS 4:3)._
Ours is an age of speed, business and anxiety. Our business seems to deprive us of necessary moments to reflect on and discover where life seems to be leading us.
In our restive daily toils, we scurry here and there like soldier- ants disturbed in their tracts. High blood pressure, nerve disorders, brain fatigue and many more are what we have than true rest. In this circumstance, the word of God admonishes us, "Be still, and know that l am God" (Psalm 46:10).
Paul the apostle warns in our text that the gospel message is given to us that we may come into the rest prepared by God for us. Some before us heard the same word preached to them but were not profited by it. Not discerning the message of the Word, they fell into unbelief and indulged in empty religious observances. They forsook God, "the fountain of living waters," and fell to their own inventions and vain confidence (Jeremiah 2:13).
Except God's peace rests in our hearts, there can be no rest in our lives. His rest for His people include peace in the heart because of the pardon for sins; rest from fear because of Christ's abiding presence; rest from the dread of death because of the hope of eternal life.
Rest comes through genuine relationship with Christ. He sets us free to be active and joyful in His service, and when our time here is over, He stands at the door to welcome us home saying, "well done... enter into the joy (rest) of thy Lord."
*âTHOUGHT FOR THE DAY* There's sweet rest after labour.
*BIBLE IN ONE YEAR* PROVERBS 7-8.
How to be resting in a restless world
*1. What the christian rest is not*
a. Cessation from moral and scripturally approved labour. God only rested from the work of creation but not from the work of redemption, saving souls, healing the sick etc.
b. It does not mean relaxation from spiritual or divinely required labours. We are still to labour in prayer and service to God, v11.
c. While physical rest in sleep is desirable, it is not the christian rest the Bible is talking about.
d. It is not avoidance of conflict if it is fighting "the good fight of faith" I Timothy 6:12, Jude 3.
e. It does not mean freedom from storms, sufferings and persecutions. Jesus had them.
*2. What christian rest means*
a. It has to do with supernatural rest or peace in the soul, Matthew 11:29. "And ye shall find rest for your souls."
b. It has to do with deep calmness and assurance in the heart void of fear, emotional distress, anxiety in the midst of chaos, storms and challenges etc. v10, I Peter 1:2.
d. Deliverance from guilty conscience through forgiveness of sins in Christ, Romans 5:1.
e. It includes eternal rest and abode with God, vv9-11, Revelation 14:13.
*3. How to receive the christian rest*
a. It is given by Christ alone, Exodus 33:14 Matthew 11:28.
b. You must repent from every wisdom and actions that are contrary to Christ and accept Him as your Lord and Saviour, Matthew 11:28-30.
c. You must come to God with the currency of faith in the Prince of peace, v3, Isaiah 9:6.
*4. How to retain the christian rest*
a. Let the word of God, including His promises, always "mix with faith" in your heart. Saturate your mind with the words of God, v2.
b. Stay away from unbelief which produces anxiety, fear and carelessness among others, v6. Let His word be final in your life.
c. Make sure you stick and walk in the "old paths" of biblical Christianity as against modernised Christianity that is void of consecration, contentment, Christ's virtues and character. Jeremiah 6:16.
d. Labour through bold prayers, obedience to the word of God and service to God, v11,16.
e. Labour to follow peace with all men as much as possible, v11, Hebrews 12:14.
*Lord*, give me your peace and assurance in my heart. I repent from my sins, unbelief and my wisdomð
*Lord,* teach me to fully and always trust your word and promises at all timesð
*Lord,* I want you to give me abundant peace in my heart like a riverð
*Lord,* let the peace of Christ swallow all anxiety, fears and worry in the heart of your children as you help all to trust in youð
*HYMN* Leaning on the everlasting arm