August 2015 Teaching Letter - God's Rest
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” God’s rest is where you cease from your own works, where the Holy Spirit begins to work in you; where you know that you are not your own, but absolutely possessed by God. The word “rest” means relief and ease and refreshment. It means recreation and blessed quiet. Jesus said my yoke is easy. The word “easy” is the same word translated “kindness” in the Greek. Psalm 103:4 tells us that we are crowned with loving kindness and tender mercies. The Amplified Bible reads, “My yoke is wholesome (useful, good-not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable gracious, and pleasant) and my burden is light and easy to be borne.”
Jesus’ yoke is the complete opposite of Satan’s yoke. The enemy wants to put heavy burdens on us. Jesus’ yolk, his burden is light and easy to be borne. Hebrews 3:18-19 "And to whom swore he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 4:1-3 "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 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.”
I want to continue reading from the fourth chapter of Hebrews. Versus 8-10 read “This mention of a rest was not a reference to the entry into Canaan. For if Joshua had given them rest, He, that is God, would not speak afterward about another day. So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the true people of God; for he who has once entered God’s rest also has ceased from the weariness and pain of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly his own.” We need to rest in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:12 tells us the power of the Word of God. “For the Word of God that speaks is alive and full of power making it active, operative, energizing, and effective; it is sharper than any two edge sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life, the soul, and the mortal spirit, and of joints and marrow, of the deepest parts of our nature, exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.” The Word will do its part. We can trust in the Word of God and we can trust in the God of the Word.
Hebrews 4:14 Amplified, ”Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest who has already ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession of faith in him.” Verses 15 and 16 go on to say, ”For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace, the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners, that we may receive mercy for our failures and find grace to help in good time for every need, appropriate help that well-timed help, coming just when we need it.” There are only two places in the Gospels where grace is mentioned. Both refer to Jesus. Grace is a person. Jesus is grace. He did so I get. He worked therefore I rest. Luke 2:40 “…and the grace of God was upon him.” John 1:14,16-17 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth. And all of his fullness have all we received and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
It is a finished work. Jesus paid it all and he freely gave it all to us. Now we rest in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:4-7 tells us that Jesus sat down. Whenever you see Jesus sitting in the Bible that means the work is done. We are seated together with Him in heavenly places. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, by grace are you saved; and has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace In his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”