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Friday: Further Thought ~ Rest in Christ — 11 Comments

  1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
    he leadeth me beside the still waters.
    He restoreth my soul:
    he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil:
    for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
    thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
    and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23

    This is the scripture that summarises the theme of this week's lesson for me. My childhood was spent on our family farm with sheep. Every verse is filled with deep associations with my childhood on our little farm in post-war New Zealand. The sheep grazing on the hillsides knew and trusted my Grandfather the shepherd. And in much the same way I grew up in the peace of my own family learning to trust in the Lord. It is not just nostalgia for a distant, fondly remembered childhood. It is a promise for the present:

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
    and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

    • Hi Maurice thank you for sharing, it is very inspiring and allows me to take another look at the verse, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me, ALL the days of my life. Very profound and encouraging to know that Gods goodness and mercy is with me/us wherever I/we go.

  2. I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Prov 8:17.

    Rest in Christ

    For me, strength, time, energy, opportunities, talents, means, etc were given by my Jesus to use in the best way possible. But how do we know if we are working or resting too much? There are so many passages in the bible that condemn laziness as well as not resting. As one asked, does rest meant the absent of work?
    Prov 19:15; 20:4,11. The story about the ant is one of greatness for many of us- look the work ethics of the ant, is that our work ethics? Prov 6:8-11.

  3. One way to start a discussion with secular people is to use something familiar, so with the permission of the moderator I would like to quote a modern version of an Aesop fable, which is quite relevant in my country, and to ask some thought questions:

    The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a protest march and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving. The press shows up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. The insect kingdom is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in an ant community of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

    Do you know some 'ants' that are always busy whether in their secular life and/or even working for the LORD?
    What do you think - should the ant share with the grasshopper even if he is 'lazy'?
    Should the ant have scheduled some rest and relaxation and learned to be more compassionate?
    Obviously the grasshopper was resting too much?
    Are there people who don't have anything through no fault of their own? No job, illness, disability?
    What have we learned so far about the balance between work and rest? What is a good proportion - 90:10, 50:50, 6:1?

    • Shirley- never heard that story of the ant and the grasshopper before but I liked it very much. Do you have more stories like those. That story is rich in meanings. To me, life is what you make of it. An idiom says, 'how you make your bed you must lie on it'. It has a great meaning. Another says, 'if you are given lemon, then make lemon-aid. I believe dont matter what position we find ourselves in, the Lord is there to help us and to guide us even when we dont know and understand. In the bible it says the rich and the poor will always dwell together until the Lord comes and that is for a reason. Similar the ant and the grasshopper with always dwell together in the animal kingdom. The book of Proverbs is saturated with great, rich stories. I believe if we as Christians had only the Proverbs and live by them, we can make it in this life. Proverbs touched on every things.

  4. God has given each and everyone of us common sense. aka sound mind. The problem is we place our priorities in the wrong place. Ecc 3:1-8 tells us there is a time for everything. That includes rest. I can add to that Mark 8:36 what does it profit us.... When I look at the animal kingdom, I see common sense being utilized I most situations. When tired they rest, when hungry they eat. Yet WE are the "smart" ones of the animal kingdom. Hum just maybe there is a reason God tells us to observe nature and we will receive may revelations.

    • Myron- do you think many of us rest too long than other? Is rest subjective? My rest and yours might look different. But how do we live according to the written word? Some get up at 4am and start the day, finish at 11am. Some stretch at 11am and get up. Some work 2 days per week, others work 5days. Is one right or wrong?

  5. I hope with all the emphasis on physical and psychological rest we don't forget spiritual rest. To me spiritual rest is finding contentment in Jesus Christ. The saying goes be grateful for what you have, then what you have is enough.
    To me peace is synonymous with rest. I do believe Paul was speaking of spiritual rest when he said:

    And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus(Rest).
    Philippians 4:7 AMPC

    If we do justly, and love mercy, walking humbly with our God we well find Rest in Christ. Are we wrestling with guilt? Are we worried about whether or not we are saved, we find Rest in His forgiveness and pardon. Yes, in partnership with the Holy Spirit(responding to His drawings or if you prefer His prompting, and following His map laid before us). Spiritual rest is found in running the course laid before us, asking Christ to correct any deviation,(a new life is born again in us). Rest is found by relying on Christ as our GPS.

    He leadeth me in paths of righteousness.

  6. In summing up the learning from the past week, I suggest to make ‘To Rest in Christ’ the ultimate goal in our Christian Faith relationship with our heavenly Father.
    Ellen White’s quote expresses it clearly:

    “Only the work accomplished with much prayer, and sanctified by the merit of Christ, will in the end prove to have been efficient for good.” Desire of Ages p362

    It is important to understand the new nature which rests in Christ in order to desire it instead of holding on to our old one due to ignorance. A person who’s heart is full of him/her self-love and self-will, does not have room for God’s nature of Love and selflessness to guide him/her in the matters pertaining to life and living.

    Gen.4:6-7KJV describes Cain as ‘wroth’ – ‘intensely angry, highly incensed, wrathful.’ I see Cain’s self-willed, self-centered nature to be typical of the nature of fallen mankind from which we are being rescued and given to 'Rest in Christ'.

    Thursday’s lesson included the question: “How can we accept forgiveness .. .” Before we can 'Rest in Christ', we have to accept forgiveness by faith. Being forgiven shows itself in practical ways; we repent/cease to live our old ways and accept to live by God’s guidance - and so ‘Rest in Christ’.

    Heb.12:1-29KJV –
    (1) “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
    (11) “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
    (14) “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall se the Lord;”
    (22-24) “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written[enrolled] in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the *spirits of just men made perfect*, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant[testament], and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
    (28-29) Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace[or, let us hold fast], whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and goldy fear: For our God is a consuming fire.


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