The Soul’s Rest

In the Old Testament, Believers worshipped in temples of stone and mortar. Their contact with God was from the first five books of our Bible. Today, God dwells in us, not in temples made with human hands (Romans 10:9). In the New Testament, we have 66 books of God’s Word to encourage and instruct us, along with God’s Spirit within us.

 

Jesus is the chief cornerstone on which all of us, as “living stones” in His Temple, are centered (1 Peter 2:4-6). We have a deepening understanding of the reality of Christ who dwells in us (Colossians 1:27). This reality changes our outlook on life and affects our body, soul and spirit. We enter God’s rest forever (Hebrews 4:9-10).

 

God rested after He created the universe. Jesus rested after carrying the burden of our sin to the cross. Now, we can rest from serving God through compulsion. Instead, we serve Him from a place of love. The doorway to this rest is through total surrender to God’s will and to Christ in us, which is our hope of living in glory both now and in eternity (Colossians 1:27).

 

Our humanity is dead and we are a new creation with Christ living in and through us. We decrease so that He can increase (John 3:30). We cease from our human striving and follow God’s Spirit through every moment of every day (Galatians 5:16-25). Our ultimate rest will be when we leave this sin-cursed world behind and live instead in the Kingdom of Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8).

 

Until then we dwell in Christ, as Christ abides in us. We die with Christ and He raises us to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). We live by the faith of the Son of God, who loves us and gave Himself for us (Ephesians 5:2). We seek His will and He directs our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). The peace of God rules in our hearts (Colossians 3:15; Philippians 4:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us not to strive in our life, but to submit our will to Yours each and every day. Help us to accomplish the works, which You prepared for us to do before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10). Bring people our way to whom we can share Your love and give us the boldness to proclaim to them Your truth.

 

Thought for the Day:

Yoke up with Jesus and find rest for your soul. – Matthew 11:29

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Yoke Fellows

In our former unsaved life, this world’s system drove us into a frantic pace. We lived for the week-end and filled our free time as full as our work day. Nothing really satisfied us, and we tried many avenues of adventure and recreation in order to find that activity, which would bring us contentment. We even tried God, but were turned off by some church members or the tragedy in this world.

 

Then, one day someone presented to us the gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that it pierced like an arrow right into our heart. We knew without a doubt that the vacuum in our life could only be satisfied with a personal, intimate relationship with the God of the universe who created us in the first place. We see that complete surrender is the only key to a God-honoring, productive and fulfilling life.

 

We seek out the fellowship of other Believers. We no longer demand our own way, but we submit to God’s will and consult His plans for each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). This would be impossible, except for the fact that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. We are grafted onto the Vine of Christ and God is the vine dresser.

 

Jesus tells us to take His yoke upon us, because it is easy and light (Matthew 11:30). When we hook up with Christ in His yoke and move in tandem with Him, our day is more successful and we are more fulfilled. If we get out from under His yoke, or if we pull Him in our direction, we only end up frustrating our self and getting out of God’s will for us. As a yoke fellow with Jesus we have His peace and joy.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your love for humanity knows no bounds; and yet, people fail to see Your heart. They read Your Word and see only Your justice and interpret that as malevolence. They think you are supposed to act according to human standards of love, permissiveness would be a better word. However, Your love is righteous and always just. Open the eyes of the unbelievers to see their need for Your love and protection.

 

Thought for the Day:

Freedom comes with surrender to the love of Christ resident within us.

Free at Last

Once we walk with God for any amount of time, the spiritual life is more familiar and natural to us, than the ungodly, sinful lifestyle we lived before we were Born Again. We are uncomfortable around sin now. Watching, listening to and speaking sinful words or concepts are no longer entertaining. The Spirit of God within us is grieved over what grieves God’s heart. Our self-life is no longer supreme, and the will of God transforms any goals or desires we used to entertain.

Satan wants us to believe that we are helpless victims of the flesh, the world and his demons; however, with every temptation, God gives us a way to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). When we draw near to God and resist the devil, he has to flee from us (James 4:7). The more we mature spiritually, the less Satan finds in us to tempt us (John 14:30). Christ truly reigns as the master over our life. God’s divine nature now dictates our thoughts, words and deeds (2 Peter 1:4).

As God renews our mind, we move from one level of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are holy, as God is holy, through the blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:10,14,19). We live a holy life because of our intense love for the Lord and His Kingdom. Holiness is our new nature and we despise whatever grieves God. We no longer exhibit the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21); but instead, the fruit of the Spirit shines from both our spirit and soul (Galatians 5:22-23).

This is not to say that we refrain from serving or socializing with the “publicans and sinners”; but we no longer imitate their behavior. We love them with the heart and mind of Christ. Our carnal nature is dead (1 Corinthians 2:16; Ephesians 2:5; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3). We no longer entertain sinful desires. We realize once and for all time that we are free indeed (John 8:36). What used to tempt us no longer has any value to us. Our only desire is to please our Heavenly Father.

Prayer:
Father God, we may have certain sinful habits that linger over the years of Your regenerating work within us, but there is no way that they can persist as we walk by Your Spirit (Galatians 5:16,25). Our yoke is easy and our burden is light, because they come from You (Matthew 11:30). We relate to life, people and government on a daily basis, but we allow Your Spirit to give us wisdom and direction on the best way to influence our sphere of society.

Thought for the Day:
Jesus is not ashamed to call us His family. – Hebrews 2:11