Part 1 of the series, "Entering God's Rest" (July 2019). If you're like most modern people, you have some trouble with rest. Most of us spend our week chasing the never-ending demands of work, whether it's job deadlines, needy children, or unending laundry. But as disciples of God we don't only have the benefit of rest promised to us, it is also a holy expectation. Are Christians meant to observe the Sabbath? Perhaps not in the way they did in the Old Testament. But our very growth and health in the Christian walk is dependent upon us following the rhythm of God's creation. This starts with regularly stopping what we are doing to conquer our world...to pause and sanctify the God who created everything. Entering God's rest is the only way we can give our work the dignity and effectiveness we so greatly desire.
Part 2 of the series, "Entering God's Rest" (July 2019). As developed in Part 1 of this series, Christians aren't required to observe the Sabbath in the ways Israel was in the Old Testament, but Hebrews 4 does encourage us to strive to enter into God's rest. This message suggests practical ways we can do so. Like the relief we felt when our parents pulled off the interstate on summer vacations to stop and regroup at a rest area, there are many rest areas we can enjoy with God as well. These rest areas are accessed by first detaching from our own works (or the things that pull us away from focusing on God as our Creator and Provider), and then attaching to the things of the Spirit. Disciplining ourselves to regularly pull off to the side of the road in our daily lives to rest in God will give us strength and purpose for life's journey.
Part 3 in the series, "Entering God's Rest" (July 2019). In the final message on entering Gods' rest, we look at what Sabbath rest means for the Christian in light of their relationship with Jesus. When Jesus says, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest," what does he mean? The answer comes from learning about Jesus' understanding of the Sabbath, his observance of the Sabbath, and his declaration that he is "Lord of the Sabbath." Christians have a unique opportunity to enter God's rest in a way that no one before the coming of the Messiah could enjoy. Rest in Christ promises a life empowered by his finished work: a life of love, grace. restoration, and fullness. But he must become Lord of our Sabbath before this rest can occur.