Hebrews 4:1-13 (NIV)
A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God
1Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands,
2 Corinthians 1:20 (English Standard Version)
For all the promises of God find their Yes in Christ. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.
let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
6It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael
Matthew 11:28 — Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Hebrews 4:10-11 — For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works . . . . Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest.
Labor in Hebrews 4:11 means “make haste.” Is the word used to remind us that we shall not drift into rest? There must be the will to enter in. Perhaps what demands most will power is the resolution to cease from our own works, our own busyness, and to stay our minds upon our God.
We pray, and the answer is not what we expect. It seems an answer of loss, and sometimes loss upon loss. We must cease from our own thoughts about it and believe that what He has allowed is the perfect answer for the moment. As we believe, and accept, we enter into rest and the sense of strain passes into peace.
This covers all life: the illness of those we love, mental or spiritual suffering, the unexplained, everything. Let us not lose one hour in needless ineffective distress. Let us hasten by an act of the will to come to Him for rest.
I remember my mother as a hard worker, but I also remember that this was one of her favorite hymns — HERE is “There Is a Place of Quiet Rest.”
12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
from Jesus, Our Man in Glory,
by A. W. Tozer
Christian believers make a great mistake when they refer only to the Bible as the Word of God. True, the inspired Bible is the Word of God speaking to our hearts and to our souls. But in referring to the Word of God, we do not mean just the book—printed pages sewn together with nylon thread. Rather, we mean the eternal expression of the mind of God. We mean the world-filling breath of God!
God’s Word and God’s revelation are much more than just the Old and New Testament books. Nevertheless I invariably rejoice as I discover deep in the urgent appeal of one of the Old Testament prophets a sudden recognition of God’s speaking Word. For example, notice this message from the prophet Jeremiah: “O land, land, land, hear the word of the Lord!” (Jeremiah 22:29).
Think what a change it would make in the world if men and women suddenly paused to hear the Word of the Lord! The Word of God being what it is, and God being who He is, and we humans being who we are, I am sure that the most rewarding thing we could do would be to stop and listen to the Word of God. Whether a man or a woman believes it or not, the Word of God is one of the greatest realities he or she will face in a life-time. He or she may deny the Word and the presence of God, dismissing them both as unreal. But the living, speaking Word of God cannot be escaped. Neither is it negotiable.
The true Christian church has always held that position. There is not a man or woman on the face of the earth but will have to reckon with the authority of the Word of God, either now or later. How surprised some of them will be on that coming day of judgment when God’s eternal Word must be answered to!
God’s Word is the revelation of divine truth that God Himself has given to us. It has come in the message and appeal of the sacred Scriptures. It comes in the conviction visited on us by the Holy Spirit. It comes in the person of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the living Word of God.