Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Sabbath of Rest

God asks us to come away and rest.

Have you ever felt that you weren't good enough? I know I sure have.

The Bible tells us that all our righteousness is about as good as filthy rags. That tells me that no matter how hard I try, no matter how hard I work at it, I'll never be good enough in my own power. Romans tells us that all of us have sinned and fallen short of His glory.

In the fourth chapter of Hebrews we read: "There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:9-10 NIV) 

What is the author really getting at? Is he talking about resting on Sundays? While resting on Sunday is a really good thing, I think he's talking about something much deeper in this verse.  He's talking about resting from our labor, our effort, our striving to attain, to be good enough. 

Several years ago, I had a dream that I went to heaven. It was a place of beauty beyond compare. I was awestruck and completely overwhelmed by all that God had prepared for me. I could not stop weeping because I felt so unworthy. 

An angel asked me, "why are you crying?" I told him it was because I felt so unworthy. 

I knew the life I had lived, and the many ways and times I had let God down. To think that God would reward me with this beautiful place in heaven and an eternity to be with Him was simply beyond my comprehension. It was way beyond anything that I could ever have expected in light of the life that I had lived.

Don't get me wrong. I wasn't what anyone would consider a major sinner, but like most of us, every day there were things that I had done that I shouldn't have, attitudes that weren't right, opportunities to do something for God that I had simply ignored. Certainly, I had done nothing to deserve such a great reward.

"I'm so unworthy," I said to the angel in my dream. 

"Of course you're not worthy!" the angel exclaimed. "No one is."

No one is worthy. Not Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, or the Pope, himself. That really hit me. 

Suddenly, I saw that it really wasn't about me or what I had done, been, or hadn't been. It was all about God, His mercy, His love, and the work that He did on the cross for me.

This is the Sabbath rest that God has prepared for us: to rest from our labors and our continual striving to be good enough. 

God loved us when we were unlovely.
Right standing with God comes only through Christ and His shed blood. 

He, Himself, is our Sabbath rest. We have only to accept Him and His finished work on the cross. 

3 comments:

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  2. He, himself, is our Sabbath rest. Yes. That's good stuff. Thanks Michelle!

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  3. Yesterday, Pastor Jon spoke about the currents of life that drag at us, and encouraged us to find the deeper pools where we can find rest. The message reminded me of the picture posted at the top of this blog posting. This is a photo of the "Secret Waterfall" along the Cascade River up on the North Shore. It was, in fact, very hard to find. Without a guidebook I don't think we ever would have found it. We had come to what looked like the very end of the trail, when all of a sudden, we noticed a small trickle of water, along with the sound of trickling water. We pressed on, scrambling over brush and rocks, following the trickle of water - and there it was! The "secret" waterfall. It was completely secluded and beautiful, filled with ferns and mosses. We could have stayed there a long time, especially after the strenuous hike it took to get there. I think we could draw a lesson here. When we feel like we're at the end of ourselves, we must press on to the place of rest. If we don't, we will miss the beauty and the refreshing that we need (and which the Lord wants to bless us with).

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