I love learning, studying, and reading about the different attributes of Jesus.
In Matthew chapter 11, we identify one of Jesus’ attributes. Scripture tells us that Jesus gives rest. Think about that for a minute. Not only does He pours out His love to us, offers forgiveness, and extends grace, the Savior gives rest. He is the Rest Giver. We serve a perfect God who does all things well. He gives rest.
What does rest mean to you? What does rest look like to you? How does it feels? What do you do or where do you go to find it and experience real rest? Not the one that fades away or is temporary. But last forever. How do you rest?
Even when the posture of our body is supposed to be resting, our mind is constantly racing.
What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 NIV
Today we’re going to look at the importance of rest, and how we have a Savior who invites us, encourages us, and wants us to come to Him to receive rest. In the NKJV Bible, the word REST occurs in 297 verses.
Rest is first mentioned in Genesis where God, our Creator rested (Gen. 2:2-3).
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 2:2-3 NIV
God instituted a day of rest and called it Sabbath. But how can the all powerful, all knowing, ever present God rest? Good question.
I believe God rested to show His creation the importance of this act. God wanted us to know that it’s vital for you and I to rest, be still, take a break. It’s essential for us to look over our lives, appreciate how far we’ve come, celebrate and give God thanks for what He has done in our lives, for us and through us. The Creator wanted us to know that resting in God is for our benefit. Resting gives our physical bodies and spiritual souls time to rejuvenate, be refreshed, and energized.
Here’s what I have found to be true: Satan constantly beats us down and attacks us with his schemes and threats. “You are not good enough. You’re not supposed to be there. You’re not smart enough. There’s no room for you here. You don’t fit. You look ridiculous. You are pitiful. You shouldn’t be here. You are not forgiven. You don’t belong. Why are you here!”
And at times I listen to Satan’s lies. There are times I allow his evil words to crush me. To push me away. To defeat me. To discourage me. To punk me. But I’m so glad and grateful for my Savior. When I run away in fear, shame, and defeat, my Savior says to me, “I have you. I will fight for you. I got you.” He gives me strength and courage to fight one more day. So I get up. Dust myself off. And try it again.
Guess what, my friend? God does not want us to cower away in fear, but to boldly stand on His Word and fight Satan the way our Savior fought him — with the living Word of God. That’s the only way Satan the enemy will flea. The name Jesus and His powerful Word, demons tremble in fear (Jam. 2:19; Matt. 8:29; Mark 1:24, 5:7).
OUR SAVIOR INVITES US INTO HIS REST:
The fact that Jesus’ arms are always opened wide beckoning us to come to Him is what makes me fall deeper in love with Him. When the world pushes me away. When I feel like I don’t fit in. When it seems like I am never good enough. When people make me feel like I don’t belong because of the color of my skin, my Savior looks at me and says “Come to Me. You are welcomed. With Me and near Me is where you belong. I want you here. In Me, you’ll find your place, safety, security, love, acceptance.”
How do we rest in God? We rest in God by running to Jesus. We let go all of the nonsense and ideas of what we “think” we must do to live free, to have joy. We stop trying to find peace and comfort in temporary things; but simply rest in our magnificent Savior, trust Him at His Word and for all things.
Jesus invites the broken, the not good enough, the abandoned, the lost, the hopeless, the outfits and misfits, the rejects, and suspects. He invites everyone to come to Him. And when we go to Him, He won’t turn us away no matter what we’ve done. No matter where we’ve been. No matter where we’ve come from or how we look. He says come. When we come to Jesus Christ the Savior of the world, the lover of sinners, He promises to give us rest.
Jesus gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. And offers His Word (Himself) to sustain the weary, according Isaiah 40:29.
It is the duty and interest of weary and heavy laden sinners to come to Jesus Christ. Renouncing all those things which stand in opposition to him, or in competition with him, we must accept of him, as our Physician and Advocate, and give up ourselves to his conduct and government; freely willing to be saved by him, in his own way, and upon his own terms. Come and cast that burden upon him, under which thou art heavy laden. This is the gospel call, The Spirit saith, Come; and the bride saith, Come; let him that is athirst come; Whoever will, let him come. Matthew Henry
Rest means not trying to survive but thrive in God.
Are you struggling to find and experience rest?
Beloved, Christ has what you need and long for, and He invites you to come to Him. Rest in His promises. Rest in His safety. Rest in His power. Rest in His peace. Most importantly, rest in His love and freedom. Then, and only then, can you truly experience real rest.
It’s Monday…already! I want to encourage you to rest in the Savior and His promises for you. May the Word of God give you everlasting peace that cannot be explained and rest for your weary soul.
““Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
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