Wednesday, 12 January 2011

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Jesus want you to "REST"

Are you tire of going through it all alone?




This is for my Christians friends and anybody who experience anxiety toward their future, toward their finance, toward their job, toward their health and toward their marital relationship. This is for all who seek rest.



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

To Rest In The Lord Is Simple. All You Need To Do Is To Choose To Take Him by His words. When you do, you choose to believe and to hope, and that is called "Faith".

If it’s that simple then why are we not at rest? Why are we full of anxiety?  Because we are human beings living in a world of human-doing.  Many such as I, have brought hardship to ourselves.  The old tradition was that a man must be well established before he married. For that reason, many women became widows at a young age. A woman would accept marriage only to a man who could provide for her and give security and that would usually be an older man.  Wisdom came before love.

Today’s fad is to put emotional love (or hormones) before wisdom.  Is it not an act of love to use wisdom to prepare for such a responsibility to care for a family?   Nature itself teaches that lesson; birds prepare their nest, and foxes prepare their den.  A big contrast compares to today's costume. We live in common-law first to see if we are compatible, moved in an apartment.   We get married, get a mortgage, car, maybe 2 since both got to work to make payments. Children if any, are sent to daycare by 6 am, pick them up at 6 pm. eat, clean up, and go to bed. Start all over the next day.

...Hmmm, there is wisdom in tradition don't you think?  Maybe you were wise and did all the right things yet are full of anxieties. 

I, as for so many lacked wisdom, nevertheless, there is hope. “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.   ‘ALL’ which include the wise and the not so wise. In as much deliverance became available to the tribe of Israel, slaves to Egyptians, deliverance from anxieties is available to all of us now. It is Jesus’ will to deliverer us from the care (yoke) of this world. It is part of our long Christians life experience to ‘trust’ in our Lord.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”. Matthew 6:33…all these things shall be added to you, ALL, which mean all, not just a little here or maybe. Jesus meant ALL. All You Need To Do Is Take Him by His Word.

There have been multitude sermons, commentaries, books, songs and hymns written on the subject, all expressing individual experience in resting in the Lord. Yet when difficult circumstance appears most of us fall into doubt and fear.   We seem to have difficulties to apply rest. Why? Because we doubt?  When things go well, all we want is to be independent for taking care of ourselves. We do not accept the fact that Jesus proposes to take care of all things in good time as well as a bad time.  In good time Jesus proposes to even make it easier. The time to learn to rest in the Lord is when things go well. But most of us never learn. The statistic shows that 90% of Christians live in a state of uncertainty.



This commentary is for those and someone desperately seeking an answer to the dilemma he/she finds himself or herself. My dear American Christians friends who are experiencing being let down by your government and who are going through the worse recession ever and only to get worse. This is for my Christians friends who experience anxiety toward the future, their finance, their job, their health and their marriage. This is for all who seek rest yet are full of fear and anxiety. This is Jesus call to you, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Matthew 11:28. 

To rest in the Lord is to trust in the Lord. To trust in the Lord is to believe in the Lord’ words. To believe in the Lord’ words is to apply faith in the Lord. Faith is a gift. The gift of faith comes from God’s grace. God’s grace comes from His mercy. His mercy comes from His love.


The most important gift ever given is the gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. All this for one purpose; to help us to seek first the kingdom of God so that you may know God and that you… “may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God,” Ephesians 3:18-19.  

Listen to the word of the Holy Spirit, read the whole chapter of the book of Proverb 8.  Is it not wonderful? Not only have we not received the gift of eternal life but also the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. We have everything going for us. We have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit desires that we succeed, not fail.  Our inheritance is to reign with Jesus.  After salvation, which qualified us into the family of God, we are trained for, a king and priest position.

It took 65 years for Enoch to learn to walk (at "rest") with God.  "After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and begot sons and daughters.  So all the days of Enoch were 365 years" (Gen 5:22-23).  It took me 56 years to learn to "rest" in the Lord, and still in training.  How long will it take you?


What is God will? “For this is the will of God, your sanctification”, 1 Thes 4:3. This means that we are set apart, and belong to God. It is God’s will that we enter into His rest. “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience,” Hebrews 4:11. What kind of rest is the author of the Book of Hebrews talking about? It is more than resting from all the works of attaining our salvation, which is by grace alone that we are saved. Jesus calls us to a perpetual Sabbath rest. It means a rest from all worldly works. That "rest" is available now while we are waiting for Jesus return.

You know what is so ironic? It is that the people of Israel had a strong witness of God power and glory. God liberated them from slavery from the hand of the Egyptians and yet refused to enter the land promised to them.  They refuse to enter His rest.  What were the consequences? See Hebrews 3:11, forty years in the wilderness. And yet, once in the promised land, they continually refused to let God take care of them so that they could fulfill their real purpose, and that is to represent God’s kingdom here on earth. They refused to enter into God’s rest. Why? Hebrews 3:19, “because of unbelief”.  They refused by not seeking God and His righteousness. That is the main reason why they were led in captivity in Babylon. They experience the wrath of God, which is tough love. Their captivity was of their own doing, living their own choices. As a good father, God gave us freedom of choice. 



Beginning Of Sorrows: As The Tension Rises, Don't Give Up!



Are we any different? We suffer the consequences of our choices. We are experiencing God’ tough love also. We have been liberated from slavery from the hand of Satan yet refuse to enter God’s promised rest.  We were like chickens living in a hens house that the fox had built and that fox is Satan. We are free yet refuse to get out of the hen's house.  Jesus pleads to the Jews by sending a multitude of prophets inviting them into His rest, yet refused."O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" Matthew 23:37.  

What's is good for the gander is good for the goose. That invitation to the Jews as a nation is now available to both Jews and gentile as "The Church" There is a time in a near future when Israel as a nation will accept Jesus invitation, but for now that invitation is for all gentile.

Many Christians did not realize that we are commanded to enter His rest. I never could understand as a Christian why I was so miserable and insecure as so many Christians. The reason is that it is not taught in most secular denominations. Most denominations concentrate more on developing social activities than teaching God way of life.  See my commentary title, “Why is Jesus’ Church Divided?  Christianity is like the menu of an Ice Cream Parlour.”

First, we must understand that rest was instituted from the beginning, Heb 4:3b “…although the works were finished from the foundation of the world”. Adam was living in a state of rest, "the works were finished."  Everything was provided for him. He/she sought after God’s kingdom and His righteousness. Humanity lost that condition of "rest"? It was lost when Adam disobeyed. His mind became distorted when he chose to be self-directed. He is the originator of the spirit "self-provider”. It was then that Adam entered a state of restlessness, and we followed. To know more on the intended rest I encourage you to read my commentary I wrote, titled, “Economic Crisis: As Christians what are we do? "REST"”
  

Here is an excerpt:

"Rest" is available now as it was with Enoch, Noah, Job, Abraham, Moses, Daniel, and many more.  "Rest" always was available; furthermore, because we have been separated from the fellowship with God for such a long period, we needed a helper to teach us to attain that "rest".  How do you acquire "rest"?  It is simple.  This might be a surprise, but that too is Jesus' work.  You need to be attentive to the following:

Once you have accepted Jesus as your personal saviour and redeemer, it is His responsibility to bring you to a green pasture (rest).  Jesus is our Good Shepherd.  "He looks for a good pasture for His sheep.  He found good pasture with plenty of grass" (1 Chronicles 4:39).  "The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want (Ps 23: 1)".  "I am the Good Shepherd.  The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (Jn 10:11).  Not only did He lay down His physical life for us, but He also gives all His time and attention to teach and provide us "rest".

By grace, you are saved and have guaranteed everlasting life, but you are not at rest.  Jesus will be looking for you.  Actually, He is at work right now in your life to bring you into His "rest".  "I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen" (at "rest").  If you are not at rest now, you are not of His pen.  “I must bring them also.  They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd,” Jn 10:16.  His sheep are members of His Church.  Some are already of His pen, they are the ones at "rest". He is going after those members (other sheep) who are not at "rest".  The "other sheep" are not "the unsaved" as some has been taught.  His sheep are inside and outside of His pen.  They are part of the same body, the farm property (among the good ground, and among thorns, Matt 13:7,8).  In Luke 15:4-7, shows how much more Jesus rejoice after one of His stray sheep is found and return to rest with the other sheep.

Some Christians are in a peaceful and restful mind setting and others are not.  That is the reason why some members of your congregation seem to function stress-free in their life and others do not.  It is not necessarily sins that keep us from receiving His "rest" daily, but a matter of not learning the principle of coming at "rest" in the Lord.  Sin confessed is sin forgiven.  That is the first fundamental part of learning to "rest".  "Rest" is, learned.  That is moreover Jesus responsibility to teach you.  Are you a good student?  Do you pay attention to Jesus life lesson?  Are you conscious of Jesus presence and at work in you, in your life?  Eventually, He will get your attention.  Invite Jesus to live in your life daily, and be conscious of His presence.

"Rest is the secret of human fruitfulness. As you consent to this, a wonderful thing will begin to happen. You will find the rest. Jesus said you would. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest," Matthew 11:29. Rest, with all it implies in terms of fruitfulness and dominion; reigning, ruling, producing that which is worthwhile and satisfying in life. That is the secret of life. This is why Jesus said, "If any man will save his life, he shall lose it. But if he shall lose his life for my sake, he shall find it," (Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24). He will find rest; he will fulfill the Sabbath rest for that is what the Sabbath is. It is God's divine provision for us".

Recessions come and go.  Jesus "rest" is permanent and sure.  You do not have to wait for His return to benefit from His "intended rest".  The "Law under Christ" as Paul expressed "I am under Christ's law", (1 Corinthians 9:21) gave me not only freedom but also "rest". Invite Jesus to live in you.  Increase awareness of Him working in you.  Learn to "rest".  “For we who have believed do enter that rest”, Heb 4:3a “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”, Ephesians 3:20.

Now let put each statement in perspective, one by one. To rest in the Lord you must trust Him, believe in Him, and apply faith in the Lord.


Trust

God gives us free choice. Most Christians choose to doubt God.  Yes, choose. It is His words against your reasoning. We do not “Take Him by His Word”.  The factor that helps us to achieve trust is by understanding that God knows our destiny, 1 Tim 6:15.  1 Cor 4:8.  He knows what is important to us, Matt 6:32.  Therefore let us trust Him with all our need, Proverb 3:5,6.  

You may not be aware of, or perhaps you were taking God’s mercy for granted but showing a lack of trust toward God is an act of disobedience, therefore, a sin. It offended God when Israel refused to enter the land promised to Abraham. It offended God when Saul did not keep the instruction to wait on Samuel, 1 Samuel 13:13.  Even Job offended God in not trusting God.  Oh yes. It was not only self-righteousness that causes Job suffering but doubt. 

Job said, “ For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came,” Job 3:25-26. 


 Job doubted. Job was not at rest.  As it turns out, in my opinion, his doubt of God protection that invited and warranted these tragedies.  While living a full life of health and prosperity, did Job feared that disasters could be not far behind? He expected them. Do you expect God wrath toward you at the first moment you fall back and sin?  I was rear in the Catholic tradition of fearing God's wrath which is not true worshiping. Job frequent burnt offering could prove his insecurity toward God, believing that God is out to get him on the first sign of disobedience. Could it be that he did not understand God's grace and mercy? God is not out there to punish us but to help us grow as a loving father is toward a child.

What about us? For some not only doubt their salvation by fulfilling unnecessary works but doubt God divine protection and blessing by working to please God so that His curse would not fall on us. We are no better than pagans who offer sacrifice to their idols to appease their anger. 


Believe


What is the root cause of fear? Doubts. What is the root cause of doubt? Not believing, not taking God by His Word. Here some example; Many doubt that God did not create heaven and earth and that it took 6 days to create the earth, all living creatures and the universe.  There are many Christians who preferred trusting secular scientists who teach the theory of the Big Bang. Science did not intimidate Daniel who was surrounded by the best of king Nebuchadnezzar consultant.  He trusted God to reveal to him the mystery of the king’s dream.  Please read my commentary title, "Mystery In The Trinity Revealed In A Molecule Of Water (H²O)" to help you understand the mystery of God's creation.

Many doubt the validity of Adam and Eve story. It is a fairy tale for many. If it is a fairy tale, we would not need a redeemer. We would not need to be saved. Please take the time to read my article title, “Simplicity In The Gospel…Step 1 Believe”.

What about the virgin birth of Jesus? What about Jesus, was He a man with special talents or was He really the Son of God? Did He really resurrect from the dead?  Why are you reading the horoscope?  Why are you buying a lotto ticket?  What is the motive?  Do you believe that it is Mother Nature that is in control of the weather?  Do you doubt God’s words?  Then how can you trust Jesus to take care of all things?


Faith

Please read the whole chapter of Hebrews 11.  It is all about faith.  Faith is a choice.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” Eph 2:8.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”, Heb 11:1.  It is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. What are the things not seen?  They are His promises.  Faith is believing and hoping for God's promises.  The Bible is full of God's promises, and 'rest' is one of many.

To believe is a choice.  To trust God is a choice.  It is a choice to apply faith.  It is a choice. Here are the most common excuses that I hear from Christians; 

“ It is one thing to say, another to do”; "It is easier said than done";  “It hard”; "You don't understand, my circumstance is different."  

Let me be very clear, most Christians sound exactly like the Israelite, they murmured and refused to enter the promised land. They refused to enter God's rest, Heb 3:11.  To believe is a choice.  To trust God is a chose.  It is a choice to apply faith. It is a choice. It is not a physical afford. It is a decision, a choice. Therefore - Chose. Heb 4:10:


  • By (his choice) faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
  • By (choice) faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death
  • But without (choosing) faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe (and no doubt) that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
  • By (his choice) faith Noah… prepared an ark to save of his household, and became the heir of the righteousness, which is according to (his choice) faith.
  • By (his choice) faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place, which he would receive as an inheritance.
  • By (his choice) faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country
  • By (her choice) faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child
  • These all died in (their choice) faith, not having received the promises
  • By (his choice) faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac
  • By (his choice) faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come
  • By (his choice) faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
  • By (his choice) faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel and gave instructions concerning his bones
  • By (his parents choice) faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.
  • By (his choice) faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
  • By (his choice) faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
  • By (his choice) faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
  • By (their choice) faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
  • By (choice) faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.  By (her choice) faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe when she had received the spies with peace.
  • And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through (their choice) faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  Women received their dead raised to life again.
  • Others were tortured, (by choice) not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still, others had trials of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
  • And all these, having obtained a good testimony through (choice) faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.  'Do you understand that some by choice decided to accept death rather then deliverance knowing something better awaits them'.
 Hebrews 12


  • Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight (disbelief), and the sin (doubt) which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (our choice), who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
It is by choice that Jesus went on the cross.  Why would it be any different for us? We are to choose to believe, to trust, to hope, therefore to apply faith to enter God's rest“Since therefore it remains that some must enter it (rest)”, Heb 4:6a. 
Now make it a prayer of choice to believe. 


Proverb 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

…and this is how we enter God’s rest.








CHOOSE TO BELIEVE



“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:19



When ready to make a commitment, please print this contract with Our Lord and sign it.



“For we who have believed do enter that rest,” Hebrews 4:3a