Text: Hebrews 4 (Read it here)
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, NIV)
Author: Trent Roberson
“And God rested on the 7th day from all his work.” We are working people. We pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and seldom do we encounter a problem that a little hard work, a few extra hours, a little sacrifice can’t resolve. But, we are tired. We long for rest. We need a break, just a few hours to get caught up. God created us to need rest. We are made in his image and the creation brought him to the point of needing rest.
Did you know that the mattress industry in the United States is not only a 9 billion dollar industry, but one of the fastest growing sectors America. We are people who are in need of rest and we are searching for better rest. We are tired!
Hebrews 4 wrestles with the topic of Sabbath rest, but this rest only makes sense when contrasted to the writers reference to the rebellious and disobedient Israelites who were not going to enter His promise land rest due their actions.
The rest that we are longing for can’t be bought or discovered through a personal rest number. Our Sabbath rest is truly discovered the moment we overcome unbelief and recognize our need for salvation. Mankind is restless outside of Christ. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”.(Matthew 11:28) True Sabbath, real rest, only exists in Christ. The creator made us that way. What we are really chasing came at a great price, but it can’t be bought by us.
So, what’s our response? Pursue Christ. Quit chasing gratification and purpose outside of Christ. Slow down and enjoy God’s blessings.
The author of Hebrews speaks of the importance of finding a rest in the Lord that comes from a faith that acts in obedience. How have you found obedience and rest connected in your life? In what ways has disobedience actually served to create more work for you, rather than avoid it?
The allusion here is to the people of Israel entering into the Promised Land, or at least, the offer of the Land until the people’s disobedience disqualified them from entering. How can we understand the importance of following God through obedience and receiving a reward of rest? In what ways does a lifestyle of obedience give us rest today, versus at some point down the road in the future?
How is the word of God connected to entering into his rest? Why do you think the author of Hebrews brings it up in this passage? How can you open yourself fully to the rest that comes only from God, but only comes through obedience to him?