2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. Colossians 2:2-5
11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:11-14
As we continue to seek God’s face as we read the Book of Hebrews, we come to the instruction and warning above. I thought I would go ahead and post the Scriptures and give you opportunity to read and make comment if so led by the Lord.
I apologize for my sudden absence…it is kind of hard to cough, sneeze, feel like a wet dish rag and type. 🙂 I will have a comment or two just as soon as the Lord permits.
1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
The Prophet Is Called
4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then said I:
“Ah, Lord God!
Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”
7 But the Lord said to me:
“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
For you shall go to all to whom I send you,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:
“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To root out and to pull down,
To destroy and to throw down,
To build and to plant.”
11 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?”
And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.”
12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”
13 And the word of the Lord came to me the second time, saying, “What do you see?”
And I said, “I see a boiling pot, and it is facing away from the north.”
14 Then the Lord said to me:
“Out of the north calamity shall break forth
On all the inhabitants of the land.
15 For behold, I am calling
All the families of the kingdoms of the north,” says the Lord;
“They shall come and each one set his throne
At the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem,
Against all its walls all around,
And against all the cities of Judah.
16 I will utter My judgments
Against them concerning all their wickedness,
Because they have forsaken Me,
Burned incense to other gods,
And worshiped the works of their own hands.
17 “Therefore prepare yourself and arise,
And speak to them all that I command you.
Do not be dismayed before their faces,
Lest I dismay you before them.
18 For behold, I have made you this day
A fortified city and an iron pillar,
And bronze walls against the whole land—
Against the kings of Judah,
Against its princes,
Against its priests,
And against the people of the land.
19 They will fight against you,
But they shall not prevail against you.
For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.”
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday and today’s focus is “diligence.” Hebrews 4 encourages us, “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest.” I pray that today’s Scriptures and images will encourage us to practice diligence in every aspect of our lives to the glory of God and our blessing and benefit.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting,
But diligence is man’s precious possession. Proverbs 12:27
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless… 2 Peter 3:14
He who has a slack hand becomes poor,
But the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 10:4
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord…Romans 12:10-11
“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest.”
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
3 …although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.” … 6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Hebrews 4:3b,4,6-10
The writer of Hebrews looks back through history to share in regards to rest to help us find understanding:
- Creation-verse 3b, from the foundation of the world-verse 4: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.” We see the Sovereign Creator God who created the world and initiate rest. From the foundation of the world, it has been the Father’s will that His children find rest, peace, joy and fellowship in Him. There can be no true rest without fellowship with God.
- The time of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness: The Jews who received the good news message of forgiveness, salvation, joy and rest in the Lord blocked the manifestation of it due to rebellion, unbelief, and disobedience. Remember The Lord speaking to Moses, “The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…(Exodus 3:7-8).”
- The time of Joshua, verse 8: “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.” God used Joshua to give the Israelites some manner of rest- rest from the enemies of this land but not ultimate rest from the enemy of man’s soul and death. God spoke about a greater day!
- Today – the Day of God’s Salvation: verse 7: “again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” As we discussed in an earlier post, Today is the day of salvation. The Day of God’s grace.
- A Sabbath rest for God’s people, verse 9-10: “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
These verses show us God’s plan for His people to rest in Him from the creation of the world. It is exciting to know that even the events in the Garden of Eden does not have power to circumvent God’s plan for His children to rest in Him forever.
We will not know God’s rest in its fullness until heaven but what comfort it brings to look forward to the day described in Revelation 21:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4
Just can’t wait for that day! “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” Revelation 14:13
It is the final Sabbath rest of salvation in the very Presence of the Lord. But the question remains, what about rest for today, in the midst of the nitty, gritty life before heaven. We hear the Lord’s great invitation of Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” and again in 1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Rest is found in the dying of self and living for God- His plan, His purpose, His way! Love overflowing into obedience gives sweet rest. It is not a work of our own doing or any type legalism.
It is makes no difference if rest remains needed for right now or the future, rest is found in the completed work of Jesus at the cross and in His resurrection three days later. It is by believing that we enter into God rest (salvation) and it is by obeying by faith and surrendering to His will that God’s rest that we realize the fullness of His rest. No wonder the Psalmist declared,
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Psalm 62:5-7
O, what a privilege to be His child and enter His rest!
“Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:11
“Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened…. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from His.” Hebrews 4:1-2,9-10
The writer of Hebrews teaches us in regards to rest. I googled the word, “rest” and here is the definition that touches the many aspects of rest as pertinent to our discussion:
a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities
freedom from activity or labor, a state of motionlessness or inactivity
repose of death
a place for resting or lodging
peace of mind or spirit
free of anxieties
We can look at the above definitions through the Word and Spirit and realize that there is spiritual meaning. So let me ask you, are you in need of rest? When you look at the definition, what is your need? Are you so busy that a ceasing of activity would just be a flat out blessing, no questions ask? Is the thought of dying just more than you can stand? You know, I don’t want to talk about it and you certainly cannot attend a funeral? Perhaps you are suffering from anxiety, the weight of the world is resting on you? What in the world is happening, we are certainly spiraling downward, when will it ever stop? Is life just overwhelming and it feels like your circumstances are just hopeless? Are there hidden tears and silent fears? Are you saying to yourself, peace, I just need peace, I need for my mind to just shut down, it is beating me to death?
The good news is: God has the answer. He assures us in Hebrews 4:1, “the promise of entering His rest still stands.” It doesn’t matter what type rest you are in need of…whether it is the rest from the fear of death, rest from the toils of this world, rest for your mind and soul, even rest from fear. God has the answer and it is in Him alone. In fact, in these Scriptures the Lord us to fear is not entering His rest (verse 1, “let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.“
How do we enter His rest irregardless of the need, whether it is salvation, peace, strength, joy, etc.? It is entered into by faith and faith alone.
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The rest of salvation which brings with it the rest from the rest. 🙂 Verse 12, “bestowing His riches on all who call on Him.”