VIDEO Rest in Him, Come

Rest in Him

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

When the Interstate Highway System began in 1956, commercial interests (gas stations, food stores, motels) were not allowed except at exits. To provide access to facilities along the freeways, rest stops were built. But the rest provided was only temporary; once refreshed, it was back on the freeway again until the next rest stop.

All of us need rest. So when Jesus invites us to come to Him—saying He will give us rest—exactly what kind of rest is He offering? Like the Samaritan woman who wanted to be cured permanently of thirst (John 4:15), we might desire for Jesus to give us perpetual rest such that we never grow weary again. But that is not the rest Jesus offers us. His rest is the same rest described in Genesis 2:2-3. God rested from His creating, not because He was tired, but because He had finished creating an environment in which He and mankind could fellowship together. Our union with God through Christ offers that same rest through renewed fellowship with God.

Have you accepted Jesus’ invitation to enjoy eternal rest in Him? His spiritual rest is never-ending and always available.

Our rest lies in looking to the Lord, not to ourselves. Watchman Nee


Sermon: “Jesus will Give You Rest” from Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to Me All Who are Weary and Burdened”

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Deeper Love

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

 

When they first met, Edwin Stanton snubbed US president Abraham Lincoln personally and professionally—even referring to him as a “long-armed creature.” But Lincoln appreciated Stanton’s abilities and chose to forgive him, eventually appointing Stanton to a vital cabinet position during the Civil War. Stanton later grew to love Lincoln as a friend. It was Stanton who sat by Lincoln’s bed throughout the night after the president was shot at Ford’s Theater and whispered through tears on his passing, “Now he belongs to the ages.”

Reconciliation is a beautiful thing. The apostle Peter pointed followers of Jesus there when he wrote, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Peter’s words cause me to wonder if he was thinking of his own denial of Jesus (Luke 22:54–62) and the forgiveness Jesus offered him (and us) through the cross.

The deep love Jesus demonstrated through His death on the cross frees us from the debt for our sins and opens the way for our reconciliation with God (Colossians 1:19–20). His forgiveness empowers us to forgive others as we realize we can’t forgive in our own strength and ask Him to help us. When we love others because our Savior loves them and forgive because He has forgiven us, God gives us strength to let go of the past and walk forward with Him into beautiful new places of grace.

By James Banks

Accountable to God

Matthew 25:14-30

Are you living as if what you do today will affect you in eternity? After “walking the aisle” and “saying the prayer,” some Christians consider that moment of salvation the beginning and end of the matter. They assume, Since my eternal destination is secure, I can simply relax and wait for heaven.

However, that is not what today’s parable teaches. Yes, heaven is secure for those who have truly repented and believe in Christ’s substitutionary death for their sins. But the way we live matters. When Jesus returns, we’ll have to give an account of what we have done with whatever He has entrusted to us.

In my youth I was told that one day, as I stood before Christ, my life would be replayed on a big screen for everyone to see all my sins. That really scared me—but now I know it’s completely unbiblical. For those who belong to Christ, the “certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us” has been nailed to the cross, and all our transgressions are forgiven (Col. 2:13-14). They will never again be dredged up, because God will remember them no more (Heb. 10:17).

What’s at stake is not salvation but rewards. And it won’t be a judgment of comparison with others. As in the parable, God entrusts each of us with talents according to our individual abilities. Everything we have is a gift from Him—time, treasure, skills, spiritual gifts, work, relationships, and His Word. Are you investing these in a way that will result in commendation from Christ when you stand before Him?

How to Really Know the Truth

“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:17) 

The apostle Paul, in his last epistle, wrote about certain philosophers who would be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). In the next verse, Paul makes it clear why such people, no matter how scholarly or well educated they seem to be, are still incapable of accepting real truth. “So do these also resist the truth,” he says (v. 8). They could not learn the truth because they were not willing to believe or obey the truth when they learned it. For example, a very vexing controversy among modern Christians is whether or not the Genesis account of six-day creation can be so interpreted as to accommodate the billion-year, geological-age system of Earth history.

Perhaps the difficulty, in this as well as in other such doctrinal controversies, is a basic unwillingness to believe doctrines plainly revealed in God’s Word when they conflict with doctrines based solely on human reasoning. When the Lord Jesus spoke the words of our text, He was speaking to arrogant religionists who regarded Him as nothing but an itinerant preacher, rejecting His teachings, even though they knew these teachings were fully biblical.

His rebuke of these hypocrites is truly a timeless criterion for recognizing God’s truth and knowing His will. Such a heart does not try to twist God’s Word to accommodate a human philosophy, nor does it try to accommodate one’s personal will by persuading himself that it is God’s will. God’s will is always consistent with God’s Word, which is written to be easily understood by anyone who is willing to believe His Word and do His will. HMM

Eternal Spirit

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

—Acts 1:8

You know, the Church started out with a Bible, then it got a hymnbook, and for years that was it—a Bible and a hymnbook. The average church now certainly wouldn’t be able to operate on just a hymnbook and the Bible. Now we have to have all kinds of truck. A lot of people couldn’t serve God at all without at least a vanload of equipment to keep them happy.

Some of these attractions that we have to win people and keep them coming may be fine or they may be cheap. They may be elevated or they may be degrading. They may be artistic or they may be coarse—it all depends upon who is running the show! But the Holy Spirit is not the center of attraction, and the Lord is not the one who is in charge. We bring in all sorts of antiscriptural and unscriptural claptrap to keep the people happy and keep them coming.

As I see it, the great woe is not the presence of these religious toys and trifles—but the fact that they have become a necessity, and the presence of the Eternal Spirit is not in our midst!   COU041

As we commit ourselves to excellence in reaching people for Christ, help us to remember that the power is not in the methods or the means, but in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

And now, brethren, I commend you to God

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an Inheritance among all them that are sanctified.—Acts 20:32.

 

Only the rays of God can cure the heart,

Purge it of evil; there’s no other way

Except to turn with the whole heart to God.

 

In heavenly sunlight live no shades of fear;

The soul there, busy or at rest, hath peace;

And music floweth from the various world.

William Allingham.

 

Break off things, which displease God, and, whatever ye do, do it to please Him. Dedicate, morning by morning, the actions of the day to God; live in His Presence; offer to Him your acts beforehand; recall yourself, if the case admits, into His Presence, in the midst of them; give Him the glory with thy whole heart, if they be well done, since nothing good is our own; if they be amiss, grieve to Him. If we make God our end, He who gave us the grace thus to seek Him, will give us His love; He will increase our longing desire for Him; and whom in all we seek, whom in all we would please, whom in all we would love, Him shall we find, Him possess, here in grace and veiled, hereafter, in glory.

Edward B. Pusey.

 

Just Never Despair

“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.” Mal. 4:2

Fulfilled once in the first advent of our glorious Lord, and yet to have a fuller accomplishment in His second advent, this gracious word is also for daily use. Is it dark with the reader? Does the night deepen into a denser blackness? Still let us not despair: the sun will yet rise. When the night is darkest, dawn is nearest.

The sun which will arise is of no common sort. It is THE sun — the Sun of Righteousness, whose every ray is holiness. He who comes to cheer us, comes in the way of justice as well as of mercy, comes to violate no law even to save us. Jesus as much displays the holiness of God as His love. Our deliverance, when it comes, will be safe because righteous.

Our one point of inquiry should be — “Do we fear the name of the Lord? Do we reverence the living God, and walk in His ways?” Then for us the night must be short; and when the morning cometh, all the sickness and sorrow of our soul will be over for ever. Light, warmth, joy, and clearness of vision will come, and healing of every disease and distress will follow after.

Has Jesus risen upon us? Let us sit in the sun. Has He hidden His face? Let us wait for His rising. He will shine forth as surely as the sun.