Summary: Finding and entering the promised place of rest in these sometimes overwhelmingly hectic times.
Dakota Community Church
March 4, 2007
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
We are now on the second Sunday of Lent – but Easter is coming, last week we looked at the temptation in the wilderness and how it relates to our own struggles, this week I want to look at entering into that rest that is promised to us as the people of God.
We looked at how the enemy will challenge who God says we are and even whether we can really trust the heart of God at all, we looked at how the abundant life is not always an easy life – we go through Friday for the sake of Sunday, - and now this week we will look at finding that place of rest, that place of peaceful trusting in God.
Our desire is to put the teachings of God’s words into practice, not just to engage in philosophical discussions leading to more learning. If we believe the Word teaches us to be givers, then we want to actually do some giving, if it tells us that prayer changes things then we want to pray, if the Bible teaches us to love one another then we do it.
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
If Jesus says that in Him there is rest for our souls, we want to be a people who enter that rest – for real! - Read Hebrews 4:1-13
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
Is resting an issue for you? Are you able to cease from working? Have you found yourself with time on your hands as a result of the self denial you are practicing, (Maybe fasting TV or gaming?) and yet you still are not using that extra time to draw near to God?
This morning I want us to take a couple of moments to rest, maybe even to be silent for a few minutes, if that bothers you, then you may have found your issue.
1. Who is this God in whom we are to rest?
What is He really like, if I am supposed to be able to rest in Him, I must be assured of security. Humans do not rest or find peace when there is no trust or security.
It goes to the question we looked at last week – can we trust the heart of God?
…who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. The LORD is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love.
Here is how Jesus describes Him, does that sound safe to you?
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
I like the way Jonah reacts in anger when things unfold the way he knew they would because God is the way He is.
But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live."
But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?"
Again in the words of Jesus answering Phillips desire to see the Father:
Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."
Jesus answered: "Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ’Show us the Father’?