Let us labor to enter His rest

How does one labor to enter His rest? No one wants to fall short of entering His rest, yet it happens to many Christians. Why? Because of unbelief.

Let us labor, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Hebrews 4:11

How does one labor to enter His rest? No one wants to fall short of entering His rest, yet it happens to many Christians. Why? Because of unbelief. Unbelief is the number one problem and the reason why many Christians do not enter His rest.  This means we have fallen or departed from the living God. Listen to the warning sings in Hebrews chapter 3.

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing form the living God.

Hebrew 3:12

In the time of Moses, Israel did not enter the promised land of Canaan because of unbelief. They had a hard time of believing in God to meet all their needs. When they did not receive what they needed, they rebelled. Their hearts were hardened, and they did not heed the word of God. They could not even wait for Moses to come down from the mountain before they went their own way. Moses had to plead to God to pardon them and the Lord said to Moses, “how long will it be before they believe me, for all the signs which I have sown among them,” [see Numbers 14:11]. The promise land of milk and honey was a land where there was lots of vegetation and bees to sustain their living. It is interesting to note that rest here means to cease from exertion. Many of us may find ourselves laboring to enter that rest.

We may believe in God for our salvation, but we may not believe in God for our healing, or as our provider to sustain us in life. We may have hidden hinderance that prevent us from fully believing in God in these areas, yet God is telling us to fully believe in him for all things in our life. We therefore labor, struggle, work at having faith in God because of a lack of teaching or knowledge in the word of God, or simply not being able to fully trust in the Lord. We wrestle through prayer also to enter that rest. It is why in chapter four of Hebrews verse 16 it states for us to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Every day we have personal needs that must be fulfilled. We need added strength to carry out our daily living. If rest means sabbath, then who is lord of that sabbath?

For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

Matthew 12:8

Jesus is Lord of the sabbath and the first thing he does is to heal on the Sabbath. Wow! To me that is exciting to read about the healing of the man whose hand was paralyzed.   Jesus healed them all who needed healing. There is nothing that our God does not know when it comes to our personal needs.  All things that pertain to man is before the Lord’s eye. That is why the apostle Peter exclaimed, “grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,” [see 2 Peter 1:2]. The apostle Peter goes on to say that through His divine power, He has given us all things that pertain to life. All things, not just Salvation.  We are to be partakers of that divine nature of God since we have escaped the corruption of this world through Christ. We are to add to our faith virtue, righteousness, and knowledge. If we lack anything, He will supply. Just remember that self-control and patience are also added to our faith because we trust in God to fulfill His promises.

We can stir ourselves up by reading the word and speaking about it to each other. This will make our calling in Christ a sure thing. This will build our faith up knowing that it is on a sure foundation because Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Therefore, we hold fast our profession, for Jesus, the Son of God is our high priest, and He also intercedes on our behalf [see Romans 8:34]. Nothing should keep us from fully believing in God for all our needs.   Let us fully enter His rest even if we must work and wrestle through prayer in getting there.  Remember that He loves you and cares for you.

Rest in the Lord

How can we rest in the Lord and not become anxious over Covid-19, or what we have witness within our own communities?

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him; fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; fret not thyself in any way to do evil.

Psalms 37:7-8

How can we rest in the Lord and not become anxious over Covid-19, or what we have witness within our own communities? I often wonder myself at the injustices that are taking place every day. Last year we have seen an increase of violence in cities across America and it was anything but beautiful. Maybe we should revisit the song America The Beautiful. We need God to shed his grace upon us all in America.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

There are so many voices that want to be heard that sincere compassion left the office and violence moved in. Anger rises because of unfair practices, criticism, or being threatened. When we begin to not respect other peoples feelings or possessions then we are losing the cohesiveness of humanity. Society needs to work towards the wellbeing of all its members and promote opportunity for everyone and not just a few. That is what doing good is all about. That is what brotherhood means.  It means helping one another. We need God’s grace every day to make it when we are hit with financial issues, health issues, and grieving the loss of someone, or even a pet. We need to remember that there is a higher power we can rely on that has overcome the world. God is for us and not against us.

Can we be a person after God’s own heart like David? In Psalms 37 David is telling us not to “FRET,” or become angry, but to trust in the Lord and do good. David surely has seen violence during his time, and he was hiding and talking to God about it. I am sure David became angry at what was happening around him and against him. He may have even been confused as to why circumstances were against him. Yet, we know that God had a purpose in what was happening, and God did help David through his circumstances. We will get through our circumstances as well if we remember that we are not alone. The Lord told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 not to look at others stature because as man they have the habit of looking at the outward appearance instead of looking at what is in the heart. God sees the heart of man. We are to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart.

Our heart must be pure when we ask for what we need. We do not ask to get something so that we can be better than someone else. We ask with a sincere heart like David who prayed and had a conversation with God. Even the apostle Paul said “be ye angry and sin not” [see Ephesians 4:6]. Paul said, “let not the sun go down upon your anger.” In other words, before the sun goes down our anger is to cease. David is warning us that doing evil is not the way to get even, for the Lord sees the heart of man. We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ on that day, and we do not want to become a stumbling block to anyone. [see Romans 14:10-12] It is better to cool our anger by talking to God about it and or confess it to someone who will pray with you to be healed of the anger. Let us continue to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him every day. Thank God for His marvelous grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled

Grace, grace, God’s grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God’s grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace
Freely bestowed on all who believe
You who are longing to see His face
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Hymnal written by Julia Johnston in 1911