“‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ (Psalm 95:11; Hebrews 3:10-11).”
Wintertime is here in full force. Over the week, New York has seen over two feet of snow. As I sit tucked away in the quiet shelter of our home, I find myself staring out the window and trying to find the positive in it all. The phrase that repeatedly comes to mind is “God’s winter rest.”
The idea of some never finding rest is repeated several times in Hebrews, and it got me to thinking… what does it mean to rest? And, what can we learn from it in relation to Christ crucified?
In context, the scripture quoted above seems to imply that God set aside our disbelieving ancestors and ultimately shut them out.
Do you remember the story of the Israelites?
Do you recall how many times God’s chosen grumbled and disobeyed even after all the miracles they witnessed?
How much are we like them with our disobedience and hardened hearts?
God commands us to rest!
God’s winter rest.
He made it possible for us to enter His rest through Jesus’ perfect work on the cross, but we need to do our part and accept His free gift.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son (John 3:16-18).”
“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it (Hebrews 4:1).”
“…everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13).”
There is nothing we can do to earn a right standing with God. If that were the case, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to come and take our place on the cross. This recent tweet from Casting Crowns says it best:
Our pride can make us feel that we need to earn God’s forgiveness. It requires humility to admit that we have nothing to offer God.
— Casting Crowns (@castingcrowns) February 10, 2015
Lord, I pray that you hide my words and speak your Truth through me. I trust that I don’t need to be a great theological teacher, or expert in everything scripture for you to reach those who are lost. Soften hearts and open eyes like only you can do. Let those who are seeking find rest in you today. In Jesus name, Amen!
“Now we who have believed enter that rest… (Hebrews 4:3)”
*original photo credit: Rhonda Rossi
(photo edited & shared with permission)