First Words 9-5-22
Busyness seems to be the order of the day. Days and weeks are filled with work, coming, and going and doing. Calendars are full, schedules are tight and stress levels are high. Ministry can be the same way. Notice what Mark said about the disciples and their ministry: “there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure.” Leisure… taking time to do things you enjoy is not a sin. Jesus said to "work for the night is coming". In other words, we must work to win the lost while we can. Proverbs 10:4 says "He that hath a slack hand will not prosper, but He blesses the hands of the diligent." We must work AND take time for rest and leisure. Even God took a day off in creating this world and mankind (Genesis 2:2). Jesus instructed the disciples to step back and rest awhile. We are in the work of the Lord for the long haul…so pace yourself – rest - be intentional in planning some time for leisure and some quality time with your family.
Physical rest is necessary but, there is another kind of rest. Hebrews 4:9 says: “there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God”. The rest Paul speaks of for the people of God is the rest that comes from our faith and trust in Jesus and His shed blood on the Cross as the payment for our sins. We can rest in what Jesus did there for every man, woman, boy and girl…regardless of what we have done. Romans 5:1 says that “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ!” In Ephesians 2:8-9 it says, “For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast”. We do not rest in good deeds or not doing bad deeds. We do not rest in or on church membership, acts of service or being in the ministry… we rest in Jesus and His righteousness. He paid our sin-debt. In the words of the hymn: “Jesus Paid It All, All To Him I Owe. Sin Had Left A Crimson Stain. He Washed It White As Snow!”
But there is another “rest”. Paul said: “And He (the Lord) said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The word “rest” here, speaks of the power of Christ staying, abiding and covering. I want the power of Christ to “rest” on me. Religious people visit God on Sunday. Thousands of people file in and out of churches every Sunday across this country to “pay their respects” to God and some, then live life as if they don’t know God. When the power of Christ “rests” on you it will change the way you live, how you talk, where you go, and what you do.
May the power of Christ rest on all you do as you honor God with your life. And…by the way, have a great Labor Day!