Monday, September 3, 2012

I Will Give You Rest

This weekend with the Labor Day holiday to celebrate I spoke to Faith A/G about rest.  Rest is an often overlooked spiritual discipline, and is one of the practices that should set followers of Jesus apart from others.  His invitation in Matthew 11 was that all who were weary and burdened could come to Him and He would give them rest.

Here are a few thoughts on rest that I'd like to put out there today for your reflection:

Rest Renews -- There is a legend of two Irish loggers one was bigger than any man in the land, and carried an axe twice as large as any other logger.  He felled trees with great strength and intensity.  He was regarded by many as the greatest logger.  However, there was another logger, smaller in frame, that was regarded by many others as the greatest logger so a contest was set between the two of them.  People laughed when they saw the two stand side by side.  The larger, stronger axeman towered over his insignificant opponent.  And at the go both went into action swinging their axe and felling trees.  All day long the larger logger chopped trees at a furious pace without a break.  The smaller man stopped each hour for a five minute break in which to sharpen his tool, then back to work he'd go.  At the end of the day, logs counted, it was the smaller logger that collected the larger number of trees.  What's more, while the larger logger was worn out and panting, the smaller logger was still ready for more. -- The legend of the loggers reminds us that taking breaks to sharpen and renew our tools is an important habit for our effectiveness.  Christ wanted us to find rest in Him, and in that rest He sharpens us. 

Rest Restores -- Psalm 23 says that the Lord is our shepherd we shall not want.  He leads us in green pastures and beside still waters; He restores our soul.  Restoring us takes place in green pastures and beside still waters.  The only way we end up in places like that is by willingly breaking away from all the hustle and bustle of the grind.

Rest Readies -- Jesus is not interested in His people being lazy.  Instead He has assigned and commissioned work for us to do.  This is why He, as the Lord of the Sabbath rest, said that the Sabbath rest was for man, not man for the Sabbath.  It is a time of rest, and that rest prepares us for the work that lies ahead of us.  It makes us ready. 

I hope that we will make times of rest for ourselves in Christ.  Here is a true teaching: No one else can rest for you


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