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God Rests from His Work

February 10, 2014 Leave a comment

My-yokeThus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3)

What does it mean that God rested on the seventh day? Does it mean that He was worn out from all His efforts? Most certainly not. God cannot get tired (Isaiah 40:28). He is all-powerful.

What it does mean is that God accomplished the entire creation in six days, and He was finished (Genesis 2:1). There was nothing else left for him to do, so He stopped. He rested … meaning that He ceased from His creative actions.

Then He blessed and set apart the 7th day after the order of His own resting.

This resting on God’s part became a pattern for all of humanity. The 7th day was the day He rested because all had been done that could be done. Therefore, we can rest; indeed, we may rest through His completed work.  It’s a pattern of 6 and 1. Six days of labor (blessed by God) results in one day of rest. God gives us permission. We’re not to think that our labor is so important that we have to keep at it each and every day. Instead, we’re to realize that what God can do in our lives in six days is far more impacting than what we can do in seven. It’s a faith thing. And it’s so good for us! It’s good for us mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.

Later, Israel was to observe this pattern as part of the covenant God made with them (Exodus 20:8-11). It was part of their law. They were also supposed to do this with their fields … trusting the Lord for His blessing during six years of planting and harvesting, allowing the fields to lie fallow for the seventh year.

Presently, believers in Jesus Christ have been blessed with a tremendous spiritual rest. Jesus Himself is our rest, our Sabbath. Everything is finished in Him.

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)

There remains therefore a rest (Greek: sabbatismos) for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. (Hebrews 4:9-10)

Hear this wonderful invitation from our Blessed Lord:

“Come to Me, all you 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

For Further Review

1.  Ponder the power and work of God. How does His limitless strength work in your life?

2.  Have you experienced the blessing of the 6 and 1 pattern? How has it affected your life?

3.  Think about it: Jesus Christ is our Sabbath rest. Carefully read and ponder Matthew 11:28-30 and then take Him up on His gracious invitation, right now.

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Ephesians Devotional—Week One, Day Five (12/4/09)

December 4, 2009 Leave a comment

Ephesians 1:15-23

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, {16} I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. {17} I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. {18} I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, {19} and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, {20} which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, {21} far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. {22} And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, {23} which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Notice that Paul the apostle prayed much for the believers in Christ. He prayed for them, and he thanked God for them.

Notice also that in his prayer, he doesn’t pray for a change in their circumstances. His focus was to pray that his readers would know certain truths which were already theirs. It was a prayer for their illumination and personal experience of the truth.

Specifically, Paul prayed for an awareness of God that would help them know Him better, that they would experience His hope within their hearts, and that they would experience the incredible power of God which was living inside of them. What is this power like? It’s the same power that both resurrected and exalted our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s the same power that has placed everything under Jesus’ direct rule. Think of it: this is the power that we already have, because of the One living within us.

  1. Have you prayed for fellow believers? Think about the content of these prayers … how many of them were focused on changing their circumstances?
  2. What do you think: are the prayers of Ephesians 1 proper prayers for us to pray for others today? Why do you think so?
  3. Look up 1 John 5:14-15 and Mark 11:24. How can you tie together these two promises with Paul’s prayer? How does this connection help you to pray more effectively?

James – Thursday, March 5

March 4, 2009 2 comments

let_him_ask_of_god_productJAMES 1:5-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

We must keep in mind the context of v. 5, which has to do with our times of trial as believers. When in trials, we have great need of wisdom—God’s wisdom in particular. So how do we get it? We receive it from God Himself, who is generous in providing wisdom to those who ask.

The caveat is that we must ask in faith. In other words, we must believe that God is not only capable of providing us wisdom, but also is willing to do so in answer to our prayers.

The person who asks for wisdom and then continues to make decisions on his own has not asked in faith. He didn’t truly believe that his prayer would be answered. The result is instability in every part of his life.

Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions

1. Take some time to write out your memory of the last time you asked God for wisdom.

2. When you asked, did you believe that He would provide it to you? In what way did His answer come?

3. What situation in your life right now is showing you that you have need of God’s wisdom? According to James 1:5, what should you do about it?