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The Word of God and His Rest

SwordThis is the last post in the series about entering God’s rest. In my previous article, we saw that the writer of Hebrew’s final statement was about the Word of God.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

This section of Scripture has been talking about the Word of God throughout chapters three and four.

Based upon these Scriptures, there are three facts that we can conclude.

First, God has spoken to us a Word concerning our entering His rest. Next, we have heard that Word. Finally, we MUST, therefore enter His rest. The reason that we must enter His rest is because the Word of the Lord is living, active, sharp, penetrating, and judging.

The Word of God is both living and active. It doesn’t just lay dormant waiting for you to do something with it. It is, right now, in the process of working in you.

The literal Greek reads that it’s sharp enough to cut through with a single stroke. The Word doesn’t need to keep chopping and hacking. One cut is all it takes and it can pierce through all the layers of your life – body, soul, and spirit.

No matter how you receive it, God’s Word can change everything. If you receive it with your spirit, the Word can cut right through to your flesh. If you hear it with your ears, it can make its way to your spirit. Nothing is beyond its reach.

Another word that’s used about the Word of God in this passage is judging. This means that it’s decisive. It decides the deliberations of your heart. It looks at your moral understanding, intents, and thoughtfulness.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Hebrews 4:13

The Greek word used for that thought means an exposed neck for the killing stroke. There’s absolutely no defense against this weapon. This is especially true when wielded by the One to whom we must give account.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.
Hebrews 4:14-15

The Lord God has called us to enter His rest by His powerful Word. And it’s that same Word that will judge our response to it. Thank God that we have a Great High Priest who has traversed the heavens. He has bridged the gap between us and God’s resting place. We can now hold fast to our profession of faith. This means that we can speak the same way that He speaks.

What will our response be? We’ve been called to enter the powerful place of the Lord’s rest. We’re now responsible for that knowledge. How will we answer? Will we make every effort to enter in? Or will we ignore it like the children of Israel? Remember, we have the Great High Priest to help us. He’s standing with you right now. Here’s the bottom line.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:16

We must make the decision to enter the place of rest with confidence. That’s what the throne of grace is all about. The word confidence means outspoken, with publicity. It should be common knowledge to all that you’re resting in Christ and are relying upon His power.

The throne of grace is where we have that perfect rest in God. It’s the intimate place of mercy which we talked about in chapter 4. It’s in that place that you find all the grace needed for life and godliness. The passage literally says that this grace will hold you tightly and right on time.

Remember, the key to resting in God is the knowledge that we don’t work to bring about an outcome. We rest in faith knowing that God has already accomplished it. I have the assurance that God will provide all of my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

I don’t work to provide for myself and my family. I merely need to respond correctly to the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life. The world has no concept of this rest.

Unfortunately, a lot of the church doesn’t either. My greatest need is to learn how to respond to God. It requires me to put forth the faith to lay hold of this. It should our greatest joy to know that we’re fellow participants in Christ. We can experience the manifestation of His rest and His power. Make every effort to enter into His rest today!

Question: What do you need to do to enter this resting place?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2015 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Walk, The Church

 

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God’s Resting Place

CrossRest. It’s something every believer needs, but few ever enjoy to the extent that God has provided it for us. How well you can rest is dependent upon your understanding of the Lord and His power. It should be one of the greatest testimonies of a godly lifestyle.

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.
Hebrews 4:1-2

The writer was talking about Israel in this passage of Scripture. It’s clear that they missed out on God’s best for them. I don’t want that to be the case for God’s people today. We need to understand the Good News of entering His rest.

This is especially true in the high paced society where we find ourselves today. The world doesn’t understand this rest. We’ll never find it if we try to live like all those around us. It will only come through Christ.

This verse has some stern warnings for us as believers. First of all, the promise of the Lord’s rest still stands. It wasn’t just an Old Testament concept. But the most important key here is the phrase, be careful.

In the Greek, it literally means to be afraid. We’re told to be afraid that none of us comes up short or arrives too late to enter into His rest. We know that when we die we’ll enter into the rest that’s in the Lord’s presence. This verse is an exhortation for us not to wait until we’re dead to experience this rest. This rest is for us, and it’s for us to enjoy right now.

According to this verse, it can only be entered into by faith. That’s where the Israelites missed it. We’ve heard the same Good News that they have. We must not follow their example of unbelief.

Please realize that the writer is not talking about the salvation experience here. He’s talking to believers. The fact is that many Christians live their entire lives and never enter into the rest that God has provided for them. That’s because this rest is established upon the power of God.

It’s not going to be by my own striving that I enter in. To experience it, I must have faith in the finished work that Christ accomplished on the cross. That’s the key where many of us miss it.

What is this rest all about? How do I know if I’m resting in Christ? These are important questions that we need to answer from the Scripture.

I want to take a few posts to talk about this rest. God has called us to enter this realm where we cease our working, and rely upon Him. That’s the faith-rest life that I’m referring to.

In my next post I’ll talk about the symptoms of a life that is lived outside of God’s resting place.

Question: How much of God’s peace does your life exhibit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2015 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

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