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Rest in Him

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Reading: Hebrews 4:1-11
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God Hebrews 4:9 (NIV)

I.    The Rest of the story

      A.  Is there rest for the Righteous?

            1.   There is a style of Christianity that thrives on busyness.

                   a.   A “really” spiritual person is involved in 5 Bible Studies, leads a Sunday School class, works at the food bank, and takes mission trips for vacations.

                   b.   God doesn’t ask of His children the burnt offering of burnout.

                   c.   Our Calvinist tradition emphasizes diligence, but also patience.

            2.   Instead of changing manias, today’s challenge is to set down mania altogether.

                   a.   The point isn’t: do better or more things.

                   b.   The point is: embrace what God is doing and has done.

            3.   The Gospel message among other things offers REST.

                   a.   The basic message of the Bible, of the good news is about what God has done

                   b.   The invitation is to receive it like you would an inheritance (not a salary).

                   c.   There is repentance and commitment, but the goal is the “rest” of the Story

      B.  It’s a Promise (v.1)

            1.   God promises to give us rest.

                   a.   Rest isn’t something else to achieve.

                   b.   God offers us rest throughout the Bible

                   c.   That rest is a way of living (being and doing) in God’s finished work

            2.   Jesus promised that too:
“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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30

      C.  It’s a Command (v.1,6)

            1.   Failure to enter God’s rest is disobedience!

                   a.   Just because you might find rest attractive, doesn’t mean it’s optional

            2.   Israel failed to enter God’s rest, because they didn’t trust Him to give them rest.

                   a.   They were afraid. After all God had done for them and us, what is there to fear?

                   b.   They thought it was up to them.

            3.   Today if you hear his voice. . . (v.7) Ps.95:6-9

                   a.   Do not harden your hearts to God

                   b.   Faithlessness robbed Israel of rest, as it does us.

                   c.   But the fruit of faith is rest (v.3).

II.   God’s Rest

      A.  On the seventh day God Stopped (v.4)

            1.   God didn’t rest because he was tired.

                   a.   The root meaning of the Hebrew word for rest is “to stop.”

                   b.   God didn’t rest so that he could do more on the next Monday!

            2.   God rested because He was done.

                   a.   God is done, what are we worried about!

                   b.   What are we frantic about?

      B.  God wants to Share His rest

            1.   What’s the connection between the 4th commandment and today’s message (v.4)?

                   a.   God wants his children to stop with Him.

                   b.   The call to rest is a call to remember that God’s work “has been finished since the creation of the world” (v.3)

            2.   There is a God-likeness that includes stopping and resting in His presence.

                   a.   It is good to be godly in action, but also in resting.
“Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. Job 37:14 (NIV)
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. 6 My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Psalm 130:5-6 (NIV)

                   b.   Passive virtues are not oxymorons.

            3.   God has finished His work

                   a.   So, there’s no need to be frantic!

                   b.   Doesn’t mean we sit back and watch, we get to participate in His work!

                   c.   God has a calling for all of us, which means he calls us to share His work.

      C.  You’re Invited!

            1.   “Enter my rest,” God says.

                   a.   God wants you to rest in Him

                   b.   Even as things are winding up for the busyness of the next school year.

            2.   Come all you weary, I will give you rest.

                   a.   Is summer over already?

                   b.   Jesus has rest to give we don’t have to make our own.

            3.   It’s an invitation God wants you to accept

                   a.   Don’t say no today to God’s offer.

III.  Run Home

      A.  Present but Future too

            1.   We have a foretaste of that rest now

                   a.   We stop working to earn God’s pleasure, when we trust grace

                   b.   We have both rest stops and a restful pace.

            2.   We will have the fullness of it later (v.3)

                   a.   What we have now is just the beginning

                   b.   There is so much more rest coming.

      B.  Stop what you’re Doing!

            1.   The root meaning of the Hebrew word behind “rest” is stop.

                   a.   Look at verse 10.

                   b.   Does this make you a bit uncomfortable?

            2.   The 10 Commandments include setting aside a day for “stopping everything.”

                   a.   This is a good and healthy pattern

                   b.   It’s good for body and soul

                   c.   It’s not just an invitation, it’s a command.

            3.   It is a matter of faith/trust to let go and trust God to take care of things.

                   a.   Sabbath is one of those great acts of faith we hardly dare trust.

                   b.   Will God really take care of us when we stop doing?

      C.  Rush toward Rest

            1.   Make every effort—lit. Hasten toward.

                   a.   Here’s an oxymoron for you!

                   b.   You’ve got energy to spare? Focus it on entering God’s family room. Run Home!

                   c.   Another usage of “rest” is a place to live: home. Run home to God’s house.

            2.   Our urgency to accomplish things gets redirected to an urgency to embrace what God is doing and has accomplished.

                   a.   This is not about sitting on our hand and becoming spectators.

                   b.   This is about letting God’s will be done, his plan carried out, his timing be right.

The Bottom Line:

Our God invites us to Live in His Finished work. Relax and Enjoy Him.

Song: Red #354 What a Friend we have in Jesus.

Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!

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