Today, I want to talk about rest. What does it mean to rest? When should you rest? What should you do to rest?
The answers to these questions are fairly easy. To rest means to recuse from labor. You should rest when you’re tired. You should do whatever you can (that’s legal and morally correct) that takes your mind off your labor.
But I want to turn to what Jesus has to say about Rest:
(Matthew 11:28-29 ESV) Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
You often hear at funerals, so-and-so has gone from labor to rest. Well, I humbly submit that you go from labor to rest the moment you’re born again. Why? Because, for the saint of God, that’s when you do all the dying you’re gonna do!
Like we learned in grammar school, a noun is a person, place, or thing. In Scripture, we learn that Jesus is the noun above all nouns! Jesus is a person, a place, and a promise.
Who is Jesus? We learned last week in Matthew 16:16 that He is the Christ (messiah, redeemer, King); the son of the Living God. He reveals Himself to us in John 4:10 as living water. He reveals Himself to us in John 6:35 as the bread of life. He reveals Himself to us in John 11:25 as the resurrection and the life. He reveals Himself to us in John 14:6 as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. John introduces us to Him in John 1:1 as God.
Jesus is our Friend, our Brother, and our Lord. He is the vessel through whom we are reintroduced to our Father.
There is nothing like having a confidant; someone you can turn to when things get tough and share the victories that you cannot share with others. For some of us, that is our Spouse. For others, it is our parents or siblings. It might be a friend. But when you have that kind of a person in your life, it gives you confidence — because you know that no matter what life throws at you, there will be someone there for you.
For those of us in christ, we have confidence in the confidant of Jesus. We can come boldly to the throne of God because of Him and know that He loves us not because we’re good but in spite of our shortcomings. I can confide in Him without fear of reprisal because He said He would remember my sins no more (Hebrews 8:10, 10:17)
What a Friend we have in Jesus!
All throughout John, Chapter 15, we learn the importance of abiding in Christ. Jesus becomes our dwelling place and, therefore, our resting place. When we abide in him, we are replenished, restored, refreshed, and renewed. We can ask for whatever we wish and know that our petitions are answered.
I don’t know about you, but for me, in this world, there’s no place like home. I travel all over the world and have stayed in some of the finest resorts and hotels. The accommodations and accouterments of these places can be amazing but nothing can compare to the warmth of my wife, the laughter of my children, or the solitude of my office. I feel safe at home. I feel at peace at home.
But none of this can compare to the Peace that I have in the Place called Jesus. Because I abide in Him, I have the peace that passes all understanding. Because I abide in Him, I can tap into His mind.
John 14:2 tells us that Jesus is going away to prepare a place for us. He tells us that in His Father’s house, there are many mansions (luxurious dwelling places). In the next verse (14:3), Jesus tells us that He will prepare a place where we may be also.
Here’s where theology gets wrecked: In the earth, Jesus was limited to three dimensions, as we are. But, in Heaven, He is an unlimited dwelling place for the hearts of men, who have become dwelling places through Him. WATCH THIS: you are a dwelling place for a King. YOU are a mansion! You don’t have to wait for heaven to GET a mansion; you ARE a mansion!
The place is not a church building! The place is you! When you awaken to Christ in you, you will have rest, because you are turning inward to the place where Christ dwells, which is your dwelling place!
Jesus is the ultimate manifestation of the promises of God. Every Scripture before He came was a foreshadowing of His arrival. God told Abraham that through his seed all the nations of the world would be blessed (Genesis 22:18).
Jesus said in John 16:33 that “In this world we will have tribulations but be of good cheer because He has overcome the world.” Because we are in Him and He has overcome the world, we, too are world overcomers.
Jesus told us that no one leaves behind all they have for the sake of the Gospel that will not receive even more in this lifetime and eternal life in the world to come(Mark 10:29-30).
We are told in 2 Corinthians 1:20 that all of God’s promises find their “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ. There is no “No,” “Not now,” or “Maybe.” If God said it, He meant it, and He will perform it! We are also told in Philippians 4:19 that all our need is met according to Jesus’ riches in Glory. Indeed, Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:8 that we have ALL Grace and ALL sufficiency in ALL things and at ALL times to abound to every good work.
Let me help you out here:
You can’t abound to anything if your stuck in sin and religion, sick, oppressed, or broke. God sent Jesus that we would have EVERY need met and the desires of our hearts fulfilled.
People find it easy to rest in a chair or a bed made by men than to rest in God who made man.
But, wait, there’s more…
Let me wrap up with this: Rest is a person, a place, and a promise. It’s also “the remainder.” When you look at a building from the front elevation. But when you see it from above, you see the “rest” of the exterior. When you come inside, you see the “rest” of the building from within. When you meet someone, you see the façade of the person; when you marry them you see the “rest” of them.
When you hear about Jesus or read about Jesus, you may get a mental picture of Him. But when you enter into relationship with Him, you begin to see the “rest” of Him. And as the “rest” of Him is continuously revealed to you, you rest in Him!
And when you rest in Him, you aren’t stressed by the world!
So take a load off!
© 2015 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)