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Rest in God

"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. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Heb 4:1-11)
Included in God's promises is rest for His people. This rest not only begins with rest from the guilt and condemnation of sin (salvation), but it also can grow into rest from our struggles against the flesh and the world (sustainment). Verses 9-10 speak of this latter "remaining" rest. "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God." Those who are God's people became such by entering into God's rest from sin and guilt (verses 1-4). And having tasted of this, there still " remains...a rest for the people of God."

The entrance into this additional spiritual life-sustaining rest necessitates a ceasing from one's own works and one's own abilities. "For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works." (vs. 10).  To rest in the Lord for a growing life of godliness, service, and fruitfulness, one must be willing to renounce himself as the source or cause of the working. Previously, we saw that the Apostle Paul walked/lived unto God in this manner. "...but I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1 Cor. 15:10).  It seems fair to say that Paul worked perhaps harder than any other leader in the early church. Yet, he acknowledged that his strength and power was from the grace of God, not himself or his abilities. This fits perfectly with another verse from Paul that simply stated, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God" (2 Cor. 3:5). Ultimately, such a life is explained as Christ Himself expressing His life in and through our lives. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Gal. 2:20).
This ceasing from our works is to be as complete as God's ceasing from His work at creation. "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works...For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His" (Heb. 4:4, 10). God rested on the seventh day, because his "creation-work" was finished. We are to rest from our works, because we cannot add to the finished work of Christ for us. He completed our redemption upon the cross. "...he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost" (John 19:30). He has also fully prepared the works that He wants us to now enter into by faith. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:10)

Are you tired of the struggle?  Are you weary in well doing?  So do you need rest today?  Simply "rest" in the Lord and stop relying on your own strength and abilties to accomplish anything.  God bless you!

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