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Jesus, My Rest

This last week, Michaelene and I took the week off for Christmas. You may (or may not) have noticed the lack of writing, but I wanted to make sure that I was using that time to my advantage, to rest. So naturally, I drove around 760 miles this week on the various trips we took. And then hearing the news that a friend had passed away, and then another friends’ spouse had passed as well. And then getting kids off to a trip for a youth conference, and one of them informing us, on the way home from our Anniversary trip, that he broke an expensive gift that was given to him. And then, and then, and then.

 

I think, at one point, I was down and out because I was wondering where the “rest” was supposed to happen. Until it hit me. My rest isn’t a day of the week, or a vacation, or trip. My rest can only be found in Christ. There are people who must work harder than me, have less than me, have lost more than me, and are more content than me. And why? Jesus says blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. They know they have nothing unless they have Him. They can have much or little, and be with or without material items, face flood, fire, famine, persecution and tribulation of all kinds, they have Jesus, who IS their rest, and so they are full of peace and joy in spite of their circumstances. Many of us go great distances, and seek experiences, and pay hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for rest; yet TRUE rest is always close and present, and we can achieve it daily, if we would but go to Jesus.

 

Matthew 11:25-30

 

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

Matthew 12:1-8

 

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

 

Psalm 4

 

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!    

You have given me relief when I was in distress.    

Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

 

O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?    

How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah

But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;    

the Lord hears when I call to him.

 

Be angry, and do not sin;    

ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah

Offer right sacrifices,    

and put your trust in the Lord.

 

There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?    

Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”

You have put more joy in my heart    

than they have when their grain and wine abound.

 

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;    

for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.




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