Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Rest

UV 2062/10000 The Rest
For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Hebrews 4 v 3

We have peace with God through Jesus Christ. Hence, we enter the rest that is promised to those who believe. We need not do a single thing to be saved hereafter – no ceaseless striving to be found good enough to be saved by works. All the works to save us were planned and initiated from the foundation of the world culminating in Jesus uttering the declaration, “ It is finished.” We are freed from the burden or responsibility to strive for salvation. Our salvation is accomplished the moment we believe and receive Jesus’ death on the cross as the penalty for our sins. There is nothing we can do to add or detract from that salvation. We are saved by grace and not of ourselves or our self effort. We rest from the need to justify ourselves. We rest from the need to prove our worth. We rest from the need to vindicate ourselves or avenge ourselves against wrongs.

Having been saved by faith and appropriated the grace of the Lord, we are now to build on the rock foundation of faith a life, an edifice that is worthy of the Lord, during the rest of our days on earth. Our good deeds or works are now a response of gratitude to the Lord saving us by grace. While holding onto the peace with God or the rest, we are to strive to do our best and do our utmost to bring glory to the Lord, to communicate the same love of God to all. Just like our bodies need rest after a time of exercise or hard labour, so also our souls or minds need rest. From time to time we should take breaks to renew ourselves, to rejuvenate ourselves, to re-energise ourselves. For the believer, rest is not so much a ceasing of all activities but a soaking in the grace and mercy of the Lord. The times we spend with the Lord in prayer and in His word are the rest for our souls. These times become the fount of joy and strength in our lives.

We can constantly refresh ourselves or renew ourselves by delving in the spirit into a deeper intimacy with the Lord. We can refresh ourselves also by a daily intake of the manna- the Word. After every effort or struggle we have in life, we can find our rest in the Lord. The Lord also renews and refreshes us by means of the Holy Spirit. We find our rest in the presence of the Lord. For the faithful, death is itself a final rest though the grave is not the final resting place.

Prateep V Philip

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