Rest (Part Two)

Please read part one first

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The same invitation is extended to us who hear the gospel: believe that Jesus finished purification for sin and did all that was necessary to bring us to God; believe that Jesus has been provided to us as our very life and is everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).  

So much conspires to move us from this confidence.  The devil whispers in our ears, our own minds condemn us, the flesh baits its hooks and dangles them for us to bite.  Hebrews urges us to trust the life in us so that we will not disobey.  It just as strongly urges us to trust Jesus’s finished work of purification in the event we do disobey.  There is literally no way we can fail if we are still and know Jesus (Psalm 46:10).  

Our hearts are often struck with fear when we read that “the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow.  It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.  No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account” (Heb. 4:12-13).

But thank the Lord!  The same word we must believe in order to enter His rest is living and effective!  God’s word can penetrate even the heart that would harden itself against Him.  His word is not laying dormant, waiting for us to muster enough faith.  It is cutting through anything that would block it, opening channels, and creating space for faith!  We don’t even know everything in us that would resist Him.  But God’s word judges the thoughts of the heart and shows internal problems better than MRI.

Best of all, Hebrews four closes with a reminder that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time” (Heb. 4:15-16).  Jesus knows all and sees everything about us.  But that knowledge is held by one who has walked among us, and has profound sympathy.  We need not run from Him when we fail.  If we run *to* Him, we will find forgiveness and freedom in the nail-scarred hands He holds out in welcome. 

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