THE SECRET OF LIVING THE SABBATH REST

ARE YOU ANXIOUS

ABOUT MANY THINGS?

an emu

CONCERNED ABOUT

HOW THINGS WILL TURN OUT?

Rose from muddypaws.com

 

IS YOUR BODY LANGUAGE

TELLING YOU A HEART IDOL

IS AT WORK?

 

THEN THIS WEEK IS FOR YOU

HEBREWS 4 IS A HARD NUT TO CRACK


 

BUT OH THE RICHES WHEN YOU DO!

FOR HOW WE NEED TO LEARN THE SECRET

OF LIVING THE SABBATH REST

YOU WHO ARE STILL WITH US AND WILL PERSEVERE

WILL BE SO BLESSED!


 

I’m excited about the real help available to you this week. In my own life, I am living more of the Sabbath rest of Hebrews 4. There are two layers of rest — there is the cessation of work, and we are commanded to keep the Sabbath, who like God, worked six days and then rested. We will mess up our health and lives if we neglect the Sabbath Rest and never cease working. God designed us so that we need rest.

THE DEEPER SABBATH REST

But we all know it is possible to cease from work and yet not rest, because we are anxious. God is calling us to deeper Sabbath rest, one rooted in how we apply the Gospel to our daily lives. Do we really believe that we are loved in good times and in bad so that we can surrender to Him, the way a baby trusts a father so that he can surrender his little body and sleep?


THE GRAND ADVENTURE OF TRUSTING GOD

Why can we trust Him? It’s the Gospel — He loves us enough to die for us. We must repeat this to ourselves when we face stress and surrender our bodies, minds, and hearts to Him. He will do what is best –even if it might not seem like it at the time. I think specifically of several of you facing great stress and pray this lesson is of real help.

Let me give you a few examples from my life from the last two weeks where I experienced this deeper rest — and then I want to hear from you.

  • When I spoke in Nebraska, I could tell right away from my peripheral vision that there was technical trouble with the visual presentation, which is always my nightmare. But I knew I’d done all I could — and that God was in control. I did ask God to keep me calm and to keep David calm as he scurried to fix it. (My daughter Anne said, “Mom — I thought you didn’t know because you were so calm!”) When the first video  wouldn’t work, I was able to tell the women:”Please pray. We’ve had lots of spiritual warfare with Idol Lies. But God is in control — and He only gives Satan enough rope to hang himself.” A minute later it started working and the women cheered. Am I disappointed that the first fifteen minutes were not good, that the women were uncomfortable because of tech troubles? Yes. But I also know He has a plan and He did show Himself strong. And I rest in that.
  • My septic tank motor broke this week, I was expecting guests who are in ministry, and I couldn’t reach my plumber.  I feared my guests would be anything but blessed! I felt my body tensing up –saw that red flag. So instead of listening to my soul, I talked to my soul — for I know God loves me. I love the little chorus “He gave His life — what more could He do? Oh how He loves you…” God did give me peace, and in the nick of time, got the pump running again and it was a simple fix.
  • I received a very angry letter from a relative a few days ago. I made the stupid mistake of making a cryptic political comment about misplaced hope on our family Facebook page that she took personally. It brought up memories to her of other things she didn’t like about me and she listed them. I admit, the letter hurt. But I was wrong — and I longed to humble myself and give her a genuine apology. And though I always struggle at first to forgive, it is always the gospel that reminds me how wrong I am to withhold forgiveness. Am I at peace with this relative? Not yet, but though that is troubling, I also am experiencing His peace and I do have real hope for reconciliation in the future. So I leave it there, and rest on my Father’s broad chest.
  • I learned this week that I need to have surgery to remove my gall bladder this Tuesday. I had prayed they would be able to get me in soon both because of pain and upcoming speaking. They called and gave me Tuesday — the anniversary of Steve’s death. I could be very anxious, but indeed I am speaking to my soul, and I am in His hands. He loves me and I rest in that. That’s the Gospel truth that gives me the deeper Sabbath rest.
  • Slowly — I’m learning to live the Sabbath rest. Every day — I long to live this secret — this secret I’m so eager to share.

Sunday/Monday   Icebreaker

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

2. Can you share an everyday example of surrendering to God in the last two weeks and experiencing His peace? Or not surrendering and experiencing continued anxiety or pain?

Monday-Wednesday  Bible Study

Begin memorizing Hebrews 4:15-16. There is great assurance and comfort here.

3. As vital background, Read Numbers 14:1-23

A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron.

B. Yet Moses still interceded for them — what did he pray and how did God respond?

This helps you understand that the section you are about to read in Hebrews should not cause you to leap to the conclusion that the Israelites were not saved from the penalty of sin. God forgave them. But they never entered “the deeper rest” that comes from trusting God in hard times, and God did take their lives as an example to us. Do not misinterpret this coming passage to imply we can lose our salvation. But we may indeed be saved from the penalty of sin and not experience the deeper rest He longs for us to know.

4. Read Hebrews 3:16-19 and answer:

A. Who heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled? Describe what their lives were like for forty years and how they died.

B. Numbers tells us that God forgave them — yet they lived miserable lives. What kept them from experiencing peace and joy?

C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how?

5. Read Hebrews 4:1-3

A. Now the author is talking in the present to us. How can you see that from verses 1 and 2?

B. Challenge question (and important) Do you see the word “gospel” or “good news” in verse 2? Describe a stressful situation you are facing and now explain how the gospel could help you face it and relax in your Father’s arms.

6. Read Hebrews 4:4-10

Now the author goes back to creation and how God rested on the 7th Day. Now, as Keller explains, God doesn’t get physically weary as we do — so what is He resting from? What it means, is that “He was satisfied with what He was doing — He said it was good.” That is what it means to go to the deeper rest. You must be satisfied because you have done what God wants you to do and then you surrender to Him the results. This word “satisfied” is also used in Isaiah 53:11 of Jesus — he was in anguish on the cross, but he was satisfied, for He won our salvation.*(How beautiful is this?)

In the same way, we must get rid of the “eternal murmur” of self-reproach. We are so often unhappy with who we are because we do not believe the gospel. Or we do not trust Him enough, after we have done our best, and repented of what we did poorly, to rest in His arms.

A. What did it mean that God rested, if not resting His body? (This is important — read above again if you are unsure.)

B. Meditate on Hebrews 4:9-10 for there is great assurance here. It also shows the deeper rest, by comparing our rest to the rest God felt. (He was satisfied.) This is important.

7. Read Hebrews 4:11-16

Rachael, on the Idol Lies video (now available on my website!) said “This is such a daily battle.” And it is. We are so prone to wander, to back away from God, and to not enter this deeper rest. There are some secrets to help us persevere in this passage.

A. How can you see it is a daily battle according to verse 11?

B. What is one tool that will help us enormously according to verse 12 — and why?

C. Hidden in verse 13 is the first part of the Gospel — expressing our great need. Find it.

D. Hidden in verse 14 is the second part of the Gospel — expressing God’s provision. Find it.

E. What other great tool is found in verse 16?

Thursday-Friday: Sermon

You will be so blessed by this Keller Sermon, The Rest-Giver. If you didn’t purchase the package, you can get it individually: Link

There is also a free sermon on Psalm 95, which is quoted in Hebrews 4, and Keller goes into Hebrews 4 at the end of this sermon: Link

7. Share your notes here.

Saturday:

8. What is your take-a-way and why?


*Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.  Isaiah 53:11

 

COMMENTS (426) Post a New Comment ↓
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Thank you so much, Elizabeth, I was checking to see if J.R. had been on here also! Can’t wait to get a smartphone! Praying for Dee

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Joyce,

I can’t find the comment, so I will comment here-Wanted to tell you I have been praying for you..God has laid you on my heart a lot lately. You are such a precious, loving friend and your heart-oh my! You are so loved Joyce. :-)

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    TY Rebecca

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Has anyone heard from J.R. yet? Oh I hope Dee is doing okay right now-praying.

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I almost wondering if JR will post anything tonight if he stays with Dee at the hospital. If not tonight I’m sure he would post something tomorrow.

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    Just came on here with cell to check. No news yet? Praying.

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3. As vital background, Read Numbers 14:1-23
A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron.
They cried, they grumbled, they glorified the past. They were filled with despair, lost perspective, forgetting God’s character.

B. Yet Moses still interceded for them — what did he pray and how did God respond?
Moses pleaded with God to forgive them. God showed His patience, mercy, His unending, undeserved forgiveness. Yet He said they would not allow them to see the promised land.

4. Read Hebrews 3:16-19 and answer:
A. Who heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled? Describe what their lives were like for forty years and how they died.

They lived under God’s anger, wandering desert, 40 years! They missed out on God’s best for them. They were in unrest—in a land that was dry, devoid of life.

B. Numbers tells us that God forgave them — yet they lived miserable lives. What kept them from experiencing peace and joy?

Their unbelief and idolatrous hearts. They would not trust in God’s character, in His provision for their lives.

C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how?

I would not say it feels like a “grand adventure”—that sounds a little too fun ;) …more like “tumultuous waves”! But yes, I do feel I am learning to trust Him more and more. I catch myself 20 million times a day not trusting—but then, surrender with prayer, over and over. I think really, what are the other options? If I believe He has power over all things—power to help me find a lost library book, power to heal…If I believe He is good, He loves me…He is GOD, then why would I not trust Him? The alternative—-trusting in myself…in man?… is completely bleak, devoid of true life—it is a life of wandering the desert.

    Reply

    “I catch myself 20 million times a day not trusting-but then, surrender with prayer, over and over”. I’m there too.

Coming back in here after 2 day’s of migrane and the first thing I see is the emu. Just how I felt the last day’s :-)
Will read all of the comments before I get started …

    Reply

    Missed you, Inka! Hope your better. Had lunch with my German lady friend today, for her 75th birthday…makes me think of you:)

    (Helga got German bread and German chocolates or her birthday!)

    Going to bed, praying for you, Dee.

      Oh how I miss German bread here!!!
      Thank you for your prayers

        I ddn’t mean her age reminded me of you…I meant that I think of you when I’m with her!!

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Sweet sisters just jumping on to let you know i’m home and feeling better. Thanks for all your love and prayers.

    So glad it went well Dee. Still praying!

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    So glad you are home and feeling better Dee-thanking God for taking good care of you through J.R., wonderful Doctors, and your rest. Love you.

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    So glad you are home and doing OK. You probably will feel very tired and sore today, so will keep praying.

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    oh dear Dee–so thankful. No hurry to get back here, just rest. We love you and are praying for complete healing and relief.

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    Dear Dee, So thankful. Still praying. Thanks for letting us know. Rest please :)

      Reply

      I am so glad to hear that you are home and everything went well. I join the others in praying for your healing.

        Dee-

        I didn’t tune in until it was too late to pray about your surgery…just found out….but I will pray for a speeded recovery. I went through the same thing several years ago….I bet this helps with your reflux it did mine!
        Sarah

    Oh good. Praying you heal up quickly! Rest well!

    Reply

    Dee,
    So relieved to hear you are home and feeling well – please rest and take extra good care of yourself!! Will keep praying for healing and rest.

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    Dee, I’m so thankful everyhing went well…just rest now and get better! Praying for you!

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    So happy to see you are feeling almost better. Will pray for a quick and pain free healing. Take care and rest up. I heard I think that your friend Jan is coming to Crown Point which is maybe 30 minutes away. I have to dig into this to see when and where!

3. As vital background, Read Numbers 14:1-23

A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron.
They raised their voices, wept aloud, grumbled and they where scared to die and wanted to go back to Egypt! It was nothing that just went on in their hearts, but something loud and ugly and they put it all on Moses and Aaron.

B. Yet Moses still interceded for them — what did he pray and how did God respond? I love this pleading of Moses. He has a good arguments – don’t do it so the nations will not laugh at you – and do not do it so everyone can see that you keep your promises and your love!
I love this because it shows how God wants that not only the Israelites know Him, but all the nations!!! No one can tell my that mission is something that cames out of the New Testament…

4. Read Hebrews 3:16-19 and answer:

A. Who heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled? Describe what their lives were like for forty years and how they died. All those who Moses led out of Egypt (but not Kaleb and Joshua) and God was angry with them for forty years! 40 years in the desert … and then they fell …

B. Numbers tells us that God forgave them — yet they lived miserable lives. What kept them from experiencing peace and joy? UNBELIEF

C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how? Yes, but only if I trust Him in every circumstances. If I am living a life that is deeply connected with Him so I turn to Him for the big and small questions that come up. Romans 12, 1+2 come to my mind. When I know what His good and perfect will is! Then I can lean on Him and trust even when it hurts….

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5. Read Hebrews 4:1-3

A. Now the author is talking in the present to us. How can you see that from verses 1 and 2?

He uses the present tense. He says, “the rest still stands,” and “let us be careful to not fall short.” he also states, “we have heard the same message as they did.” these are all my own paraphrases of thd original. I put in quotes to have them stand out.

B. Challenge question (and important) Do you see the word “gospel” or “good news” in verse 2? Describe a stressful situation you are facing and now explain how the gospel could help you face it and relax in your Father’s arms.

Of course this is my moms worsening condition. She has a fever, meaning infection somewhere. It may be the brain or elsewhere. I am sad that she may be afraid or in pain. She is in and out of consciousness. I am far away and can only get updates. I am day to day with this one.

The Gospel teaches us that Jesus is our savior. He took our sin and died because He loved us so much. If He loves me so much then He has my back right now. He wants me to trust Him to take care of this stressful situation with my mom. There is nothing for me to do but believe He is with her. He loves her and wants her pain free and unafraid. Thank you, Jesus for being my savior. Thank you for being moms savior too.

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    Laura, I’m praying for your mom. I’m sorry you can be with her…so hard for you.

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Thankful you are well, Dee. Praise the Lord!

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So glad to see you on Dee. Rest up so you feel better. Will continue to pray for a quick healing.

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5. Read Hebrews 4:1-3

A. Now the author is talking in the present to us. How can you see that from verses 1 and 2?

since the promise of entering God’s rest ‘still stands’. V.2 They heard the good news but so have we-but they found no value in it because they didn’t share the faith of those who obeyed.

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Thanks for all the caring here. I do so appreciate you. It turned out to be harder than I thought and was so glad knowing you were praying. This week’s lesson was His timing for me too — as it seems to be for so many.

Been reading your good answers. Thanks too for taking care of one another.

    Oh Dee will definitely continue to pray. Yes it is good timing for sure! So sorry it is harder than you thought it would be. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus the author and perfecter of your faith!

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    Still praying for you, Dee…..please rest, rest, rest!

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    Oh Dee, I’m sorry it was harder than you thought…everyone is different. So thankful it is over! Today will be the hardest. Praying for you

7. Read Hebrews 4:11-16

Rachael, on the Idol Lies video (now available on my website!) said “This is such a daily battle.” And it is. We are so prone to wander, to back away from God, and to not enter this deeper rest. There are some secrets to help us persevere in this passage.

A. How can you see it is a daily battle according to verse 11? We must strive to enter it

B. What is one tool that will help us enormously according to verse 12 — and why? The Word…It gets to the deeper parts of the heart. It can reach it.

C. Hidden in verse 13 is the first part of the Gospel — expressing our great need. Find it.We are not covered but naked, judged before God.

D. Hidden in verse 14 is the second part of the Gospel — expressing God’s provision. Find it. We have Jesus who passed through the Heavens for us so He can sympathize yet committed no sin which gives us confidence to draw near exposed. He covers us (though directly it does not say that about being covered).

E. What other great tool is found in verse 16? we have confidence to draw near and find mercy and grace in our time of need.

This is so needed. Often I find myself getting flustered with the children and the whining, etc. Something is holding me back from that deeper rest in the midst of it. I need to strive to find it. I need to let His word penetrate those places and believe them with hope and confidence. It is probably rooted in control or comfort.

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1. Playing catch up here, but would stood out To me the most is that at his has been a tough week for me, I have sought The Lord and even listened to a sermon Monday, but I just didn’t feel like beginning the work on this study…but now that I have begun….I realize its exactly what I needed! My family is great on keeping the day of rest….but I needed the deeper perspective of a deeper rest!

The verse is Awesome and just what I needed!
A. Unless I am careful Incan become indignant as I read of the Isrealites unbelief….them I’m like, oh yeah, that’s actually me! Full of questions and with an ungrateful heart far too often.
B. Moses prayed with something in mind…I remember seeing in Psalms the same idea and it always stuck with me. “For Your Mercies sake..” Not that we could ever deserve it…but it is all on You Lord….and it will be all for You when we make it….at least that’s how I read it! God responded with His mercy!

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    Sarah, praying your week is going better

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3. As vital background, read Numbers 14:1-23

A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron.

Looking back at the end of Numbers 13, the unbelief all began with FEAR. No matter how Caleb tried to convince them that God would help them and that they could take possession of the land, the men who had spied-out the land said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. The people we saw there are of great size”. From these few men, the fear spread to the whole congregation. Their fear led to mistrust of God, and to unbelief.
Their eyes were on what they saw, not on God. It is unbelieveable, almost, to think that after they saw God save them from the entire Egyptian army, that they didn’t believe He would give them the land He had promised, that this was not within His power to do.

They begin to lament, saying it would be better to have died in Egypt, or in the wilderness, than to be cut down by the sword here. They decide to choose a new leader and go back to Egypt. They decide to stone their current leaders. The fear of a few spread like a wildfire through the whole assembly, and they all followed blindly, deciding to rebel against God and His leaders and to take matters into their own hands.

B. Yet Moses still interceded for them – what did he pray and how did God respond?

God decides to destroy the Israelites with a plague, and make a new, greater nation from Moses. But Moses tells the Lord that the Egyptians and all the inhabitants of the land will hear about it, and will think that God was not able to bring them into the land, so He killed them all in the desert. Moses reminds God that other nations already know that God has been with His people and has even been seen face to face, and how He protects them, with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. It’s as if Moses is saying that God will lose His good reputation and credibility with other people groups if He does this.

Next, Moses says, “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed…” And what is His strength? That He is a God who is slow to anger, abounding in love, and able to forgive sin and rebellion, yet at the same time, punish the guilty. This reminds me of the image of the “fist in the velvet glove”. God forgives sin, but He is just; there are consequences.

God responds, “I have forgiven them, as you asked.” But, He says that not one of them, except Caleb and Joshua, will see the land promised to them. The Israelites saw His glory and His miracles, yet disobeyed, and tested Him. “No one who has treated Me with contempt will ever see it”.

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4. Read Hebrews 3:16-19 and answer:

A. Who heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled? Describe what their lives were like for forty years and how they died.

It was the people that Moses led out of Egypt who heard the good news, yet rebelled.
For forty years, God was angry at them. They continued to grumble and never escaped the power that sin and unbelief had over them. They were never at rest, never secure, never at peace. I imagine they lived really tortured lives, imprisoned by their own fear, unbelief, and sin. Every one of them died in the desert.

B. Numbers tells us that God forgave them – yet they lived miserable lives. What kept them from experiencing peace and joy?

Their persistent, continued unbelief.

C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how?

Elizabeth posted above that it feels more like “tumultuous waves” than a grand adventure! That is where I am, too. There has been a major upheavel in my life this week, and I feel as if I am grieving a loss. My Sunday school teacher, Cathy, told us last week that some of her favorite prayers are very short, and one she prayed recently was, “Lord, I can’t handle this”. This is how I feel right now, that I am facing something I can’t handle emotionally. I am anxious about the effects a major decision will have on my parents, especially my mom. I am not “at rest” right now.

5. Read Hebrews 4:1-3

A. Now the author is talking in the present to us. How can you see that from verses 1 and 2?

The author brings the past right up to the present; he says that “the promise of entering His rest still stands”. This is a present reality. He says, “Let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” He is asking us to examine ourselves in light of those ancient people, and determine on which side of the fence we fall.

B. Challenge question (and important) Do you see the word “gospel” or “good news” in verse 2? Describe a stressful situation you are facing and now explain how the gospel could help you face it and relax in your Father’s arms.

I am going to personalize verse 2: “Susan, you also have had the gospel preaced to you, 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”. (Susan – will the gospel be of value to you? Will you take what you know to be truth and combine it with faith?)

The stressful situation is this: My parents’ home was for sale for a year and didn’t sell, so they took it off the market. They decided they would stay. But, my mom keeps telling my dad she doesn’t like the neighborhood anymore – all their neighbors who they were friends with are either dead or gone; the widowed woman next door who is my mom’s friend just sold her house and is moving; the only other man who was an ‘original’ neighbor had a stroke and now lives with his daughter. So just a week ago, they listed their house again, and just 3 days ago, got an offer on it. If it goes through, in about a month, they will be out and they have found a condo in the area where I and my two sisters live and will only be about 5 miles from me (instead of 18).
I am happy that they will be closer, as they are both 85, and anticipating that they will need more help, this is a good thing. I go to their home now 1-2 times a week, and we all help them with meals, but it will be good to have them closer and in a much smaller place, all on one floor, instead of the 2 story, 4 bedroom house with laundry in the basement they are in now.
Those are the positive things. Yet, I hate what this all represents. This is the home I lived in since I was born until I got married. In my heart, it has always been “home”. So many memories of my childhood there and my children spending time there, too. I can’t imagine never being able to go there ever again. I feel like I am grieving a loss, like a door to one part of my life has partially shut; and what this represents, that my parents one day will be gone, too, then that door will close. My mom has problems with her memory now, and I am worried that a relocation will be very hard on her and perhaps make her problem worse.
It is just so sudden, and this probably all sounds so stupid, and probably reveals major idols in my heart, but that place just has a place in my heart, and a longing for everything to never change, and stay the same, with mom and dad here, in their home; but I know that is not the reality of this life. But I’m really having a hard time; lots of tears, anxieties, fears.
Part of it too is I fear time is running out for my mom to come to know the Lord.

I know how to address the idolatry part of this, I think. I have an idol of security operating. But I know that nothing in this life is secure, and this is not my permanent home. I have to ‘make my home’ in Him. I have feelings telling me, “You can never go home again”. But I have a home in Him, and an eternal home in heaven.

The gospel tells me that I have a Savior who left His home in heaven for me, the security of His home. Hebrews tells me that He can sympathize with my weaknesses, He understands how I feel. Song of Solomon tells me that He doesn’t want me to hide in the cleft and be afraid, but to take His hand and let Him lead me higher with Him. He doesn’t want me longing for the past or for a particular place, like the Israelites wanting to go back to Egypt, but He wants me to trust Him that He has a future that is good for me. The gospel tells me that God so loved my mom, that He gave His One and Only Son…I need to keep praying and not give up hope for her salvation.

    Reply

    Saying good-bye to special places and memories is hard.
    I am proud of your parents for making the move while they can still make the decision. Many cannot and it becomes so challenging.

    Prayers for you in this time of saying good-bye. Love you so

      Reply

      Dee,
      Thank you for your encouragement. If I’m remembering it right, when I read the God of All Comfort, you moved from your home after Steve died? Yes, it is hard to say good-bye to a special place where there are so many memories.

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    Susan, I understand you heartache. My childhood home, and up untill I was 60, mom was still living there, is going to be bull dozed down sometime next year. Dad built that house and built all the kitchen cupboards and all the trim and shelves…everything! I’ve been telling myself that it is just a material thing and to get over it, because Heaven is my real home; but it is still very hard.

    Also, I had a thought about your mom’s salvation. Both my parents were dying in the hospital and prayed a prayer with someone other than a family member, to God to forgive them of their sins. One was a volunteer at hospital and one was a friend. Is there anyone that they know, that is a christian, that would be willing to pray with your mom? Or maybe a pastor? Just an idea, as sometimes it’s easier when someone else can do it for you. I will be praying for you, Susan and for your parents.

      Reply

      Joyce,
      Thank you for understanding. That is going to be hard to see your childhood home razed…and your dad’s own hands built it. I keep telling myself the same thing, that material things in this life don’t last, but yes, it is so hard to let go.
      I keep hoping that my home in heaven will look just like my mom and dad’s house! (I really don’t need a palace!)

        I gotcha there! I’d love a home like my childhood home too! Yes, I dread the day they start razing it. It’s a nice home, but dad built on to it so many times, which makes it too hard to move. It’s been rented for 3 years, but was sold for a parking lot for the nearby courthouse. It will be a sad day for my three older brother’s and I.

        Yes, Dee did sell her home here in Kearney, on a lake, sometime after Steve dies. Everytime I drive by it I feel so sad. They raised their kids there and adopted the two daughter’s there. That must of been so very hard to leave.

    Reply

    oh Susan, this is hard. Praying for you—your parents too–we know He is always working, maybe your mom will meet someone in the condo unit who ministers to her. But oh this is hard. My mom is in the house they were in since the 60’s, and I can’t imagine anyone else there.praying for you all

      Reply

      Thank you, Elizabeth. Where they may be moving to, out here close to me, I pass it on the way to church every Sunday – it’s off of the same road that my church is on. Maybe this is part of God’s plan?

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    Susan I will be praying that this new phase of all your lives will be without issues. Getting an offer that quick in this market sounds like God has a plan this time. It’s so hard to see parents struggling, but keep living your life and the seeds will continue to be planted in your moms heart. Someone will come along and water that seed that will open your moms heart to the ways of The Lord.

      Reply

      Thanks, Julie, for your encouragement and prayers!

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Nanci J, I’m a little behind on reading the comments, but I wanted to say that as I was struggling with the issue of my kids’ choice of whether to go to college or not I came to realize that I doubt that it’s God’s will that every American Christian young adult gets a college degree and a good paying job. The most blessed and faithful workers for Christ often struggle to make ends meet, that’s when they see that God provides what is needed to do His work. People often miss this when they think that they are providing it for themselves through their hard work and intellect. Keep praying :)

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    Thanks for your thoughts, Dawn. I keep praying that the girls will make good and right decisions to keep them in line with God’s will for their lives. You are right that self-sufficiency can make one forgetful of God-sufficiency. I do know that God has a plan for each of them and I trust His plan, and ask Him to help me to trust Him more. :)

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5. Read Hebrews 4:1-3
A. Now the author is talking in the present to us. How can you see that from verses 1 and 2?

He is speaking in present tense—“while the promise of entering his rest still stands…”

B. Challenge question (and important) Do you see the word “gospel” or “good news” in verse 2? Describe a stressful situation you are facing and now explain how the gospel could help you face it and relax in your Father’s arms.

They heard the good news, but “they were not united by faith with those who listened”. They let their doubts about their current circumstances overshadow the truth they had heard.

Two very different situations come to mind, but I don’t have the emotional energy to share either. Sometimes I struggle between thinking my difficult situations will never change and the goal is just to swallow and accept. Or am I to believe good things will come? Then I have to realize when I say “good things”—I’m talking about what I want to happen. God always does “good”—but from where I stand, I sometimes fear my idea of good isn’t the same as His. Long-term, I trust in His character, and that whether I can ever see it or not, He is always acting in love and I am never forgotten or unheard. But in the day to day it is often hard to see. My default is self-blame. I have had nightmares off and on since I was a kid, of calling out and not being heard. I don’t have a traumatic event that would explain it, it was just a general feeling growing up—my voice was lost in the sea. I haven’t had one in a few years, but there is still a default mode in me of —can He hear me? I know the answer. The Israelites knew a lot of answers too. But the hard part is moving it from head to heart in daily life.
Dee has said ‘be faithful, do what you can, and leave the results to Him’. Sometimes it’s just so hard to see—am I being faithful? Am I doing what I can? I feel like it’s more of a treadmill everyday—waiting for something to change, but not knowing exactly what to do differently. Sorry this got kind of depressing! Praying I can hear His guidance…in both situations.

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    I can really identify with you stressful situations, Elizabeth. “Sometimes I struggle between thinking my difficult situations will never change and the goal is just to swallow and accept. Or am I to believe good things will come?” Praying for you in your situations.

    I feel the same right now. Am I doing all I can? Why does it seem my prayers are not being answered? I like Dee’s advise “Be faithful, do what you can, and leave the results to Him.” I know I can’t see the big picture. But waiting is hard.

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    Elizabeth-

    Your concerns are well put. And I do relate. Sometimes it is good to see that I am not the only one feeling that way. Do I accept this? Do I pray for better? By accepting the “hardship” am I resting in faith or lacking it because I am not praying/pushing for more? I find that whenever I am faced with these type of questions it is relating to someone else. I can not control others or their actions…so I am stuck waiting on them…hoping they see or hoping it doesn’t always hurt so much if they don’t ever see things from my perspective.

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      oh Diane and Sarah–thank you both so much–for your wise words, for understanding…for even reading my thoughts! Diane–continuing to pray for you all, so sorry this has been a long hard trial.
      And Sarah–yes, so true about not being able to control others. One of the situations is my health, the other, one of my children in a habitual pattern of sin. But I cannot control or fix either situation. So I pray, I wait…I cling to His promises. You all here help me stay focused on the unfailing truth. He IS good…I just sometimes (REALLY) want that “safe” part ;)

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    Your default is self-blame dear Elizabeth! Let us pray against that. He loves you so, has forgiven all.

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      Yes, Dee, thank you for speaking truth to me over and over. Even in the last few weeks, He has graciously used you, the counselor, and others to tell me this is a lie from the enemy. The walls are thick…but I know I must surrender this. I am beyond the “red flag” with my body signals ;) I’ve been SO motivated, not by guilt, but by you & Rebecca’s favorite Keller line…and I remind myself, the Enemy IS hung–I sure don’t want to loosen that noose!

        Yes, yes.

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A. Who heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled? The Isrealites rebelled and they were forced to wonder aimlessly for their lives…knowing about the promised gift but never being able to enjoy it. What a waste I would feel if my life was spent that way.

B. Their own unbelief and doubt prevented their joy. They hurt themselves.

C. I am in a new area, just having moved & entering a new chapter in my life. It isn’t easy because I miss the pages of the chapter I just left : )And I am unsure of what will be written in the pages to come…but when there is nothing but unknown…there is nothing for me like Jesus.

5. Read Hebrews 4:1-3

A. Now the author is talking in the present to us. How can you see that from verses 1 and 2? His wording, “therefore” implies to me that it is now we should apply the good news to our lives. But I am sure someone else will make a point I didn’t see & the portion will make a lot more sense to me!

B. Describe a stressful situation you are facing and now explain how the gospel could help you face it and relax in your Father’s arms. The Gospel, the Truth, has, must & will help me to face my giants and relax. The devil is round about me like a roaring lion, whispering untruths and stirring up fear in me. I have only the Gospel to hold to…I must focus on resting like a baby on my Father’s arms…I am too tired & weary to do much more.

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    That’s a good thing to do — rest like a baby in his arms.

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    oh Sarah–this is one of those lines I should paint on my bedroom wall to see first thing in the morning, last thing at night “but when there is nothing but unknown…there is nothing for me like Jesus”.

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    Love your last pharagraph, Sarah

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    Sarah,
    I love your words of wisdom, too, “It isn’t easy because I miss the pages of the chapter I just left:)And I am unsure of what will be written in the pages to come…but when there is nothing but unknown…there is nothing for me like Jesus.”
    This hits me right where I’m at.

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3. As vital background, Read Numbers 14:1-23
Wow! I really love the dialog in this passage. Moses sure found his confidence somewhere between going before Pharoah and talking with the Almighty.

A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron.
They yelled wept and grumbled, losing hope in God and turning to fear. They planned to stone the leaders.

B. Yet Moses still interceded for them — what did he pray and how did God respond?
He pleaded for them reminding God of all His attributes. Asked God to consider how this would be seen by Egypt that He brought the children out only to destroy them. God let them live but they were not allowed to enter the promised land.
4. Read Hebrews 3:16-19 and answer:

A. Who heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled? Describe what their lives were like for forty years and how they died.
Those Moses led out of Egypt. Their bodies perished in the wilderness. They were never at peace. They did not know the joy of resting in Him for salvation.

B. Numbers tells us that God forgave them — yet they lived miserable lives. What kept them from experiencing peace and joy? Their unbelief, sin.

C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how?
Yes, this week I was tempted to worry about a situation but recognized it as an idol at work and turned to Him for rest. I chose peace and trust in the only one who could see me through rather than worrying about all the what if’s. I thank this lesson for my recognition and victory.

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    Kim, love this!!

    C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how?
    Yes, this week I was tempted to worry about a situation but recognized it as an idol at work and turned to Him for rest. I chose peace and trust in the only one who could see me through rather than worrying about all the what if’s. I thank this lesson for my recognition and victory.

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I so appreciate all your prayers — and need them for another day. They found some gallstones in the duct out of the gallbladder so I have to go back for more surgery tomorrow in Green Bay. J. R. and his fiance are here and being very dear to me.

I’ve cancelled my Bible study and my dear guests have decided not to come.

Thank you so for your prayers.

My surgery is at 1.

Thank you dear sisters.

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    oh my dear Dee!! I am SO sad to hear more surgery. Praying by the hour for you (or more!) You are so on my heart.
    Dear Lord, we lift up our Dee to you, your precious child. Please bless this surgery tomorrow–work through the surgeon’s hands–give eyes to see all that needs to be done, and protect from any mistakes. Protect Dee’s body against infection, please Lord. And we ask that You would restore her health completely and allow this to bring an end to her pain. In Your Name we pray

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    Dee I am sorry you are having to have more surgery tomorrow. My prayers are going up for you, and my heart is with you.

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    Oh, Dee. Praying. So sorry you have to go through a second surgery. Amen to Elizabeth`s prayers.

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    Oh, Dee — so sorry to hear about ANOTHER surgery. Will be praying.

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    Oh Dee so sorry for the trouble, but thru prayer you and this trial are being lifted up in prayer. Rest in The Lord’s peace Dee!

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    Oh Dee!! Will continue to pray..

    Lord, we cry out to you for Dee..thank you for the Doctors who have found these extra stones so she can get them out. We will trust you Lord..you are her comfort, Oh thank you.. you are in control..thank you for how you have come to her in so many ways..

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    OH NO! Dee, I’m so sorry:( Here I was thinking all day, this was going to be your worst day and then better, better, better.
    I can’t believe this! You not only have my prayers for one more day, your are always covered. We all love you, Dee and will be praying all day for you and for days to come for quick healing. So thankful they are there for you. Wish we could all take our turns helping you.

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    Dee, this was sarahs case as well when she had her gall bladder removed. I think it must be common. When the surgeon went to remove the stones, they were mysteriously gone! Her second surgery was scheduled for several days after the original however. Praying for you.

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3. A. Describe the unbelief of the Israelites and how they treated Moses and Aaron.
Despite experiencing God’s miracles, goodness and physical presence, the Israelites grumbled. They were interested in “self” and only what God might be able to do for them without any trust or efforts necessarily on their part. The Israelites disregarded Moses and Aaron.

B. Yet Moses still interceded for them — what did he pray and how did God respond?
Moses prayed that God would not disown or destroy the Israelites; that God would pardon the Israelites’ sins once more. God forgave the Israelites, but only allowed Joshua and Caleb to enter the Promised land; all others that were living at the time would not be allowed entry and would die in the desert/wilderness.

4. A. Who heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled? Describe what their lives were like for forty years and how they died.
The people God led out of Egypt heard the good news of the promised land but rebelled. For forty years the people wandered in the desert with no place to call their home and no end destination. The people died in the desert/wilderness.

B. Numbers tells us that God forgave them — yet they lived miserable lives. What kept them from experiencing peace and joy?
The people weren’t repentant; they did not trust God. A life without peace and joy was the consequence of their actions.

C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how?
I believe that God has a plan that is far greater than my comprehension. When difficult things (sickness, evil, inconveniences, etc.) happen, I strive for acceptance realizing that there is SO much more to the circumstances beyond what I see and perceive; I strive to trust that God is working everything together for good and according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

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    Nancy, love this….

    C. Do you feel you are entering into the grand adventure of trusting Him? If so, how?
    I believe that God has a plan that is far greater than my comprehension. When difficult things (sickness, evil, inconveniences, etc.) happen, I strive for acceptance realizing that there is SO much more to the circumstances beyond what I see and perceive; I strive to trust that God is working everything together for good and according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

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      I too liked that paragraph from Nanci!

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Prayer request: I’m sick, burned the candle at both ends when I was starting to get sick. (I thought) I “had” to make it through the day, then came home, and collapsed (both physically and emotionally). Please pray that I’ll learn to rest in Him during the week, during each day, each hour. In a way, being sick is good for me because it will help me cut out a couple things this week that aren’t necessary. But I often recover from viral infections very slowly :(

Thankful that I can work from home tomorrow and rest in between attempts to work (or maybe not work at all). So thankful for technology that allows work from a distance when necessary.

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    Lord, we lift up sweet Renee and pray You would bring rest to her body and mind. We pray You would restore her health quickly and bring her to the true rest that can only be found in Your arms. Thank You for putting that desire to rest in You, in her heart. In Your Name we pray

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    That is right where I’m at Renee. Was home from work sick for two days, which I never do, went back today but probably shouldn’t have. Left work early today feeling worn out and came home to rest but started cleaning my house for about 25 people coming over Saturday. Will be praying for you Renee. Rest up and let the stuff go. Either someone else will do it or it wasn’t something that needed to be done.

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      Julie, Praying that you continue to feel better, too. I can’t even comprehend 25 people coming over! (Could you cancel??)

      Have been in bed for the last hour and a half but then got up and got distracted by the computer (when I sat down to read something that was laying by the computer!). I can rationalize that the laptop works like a heating pad on aches and chills (actually it does, but it doesn’t do much for my head/eyes). Easy to switch into self-condemning mode for dumb health decisions I’ve made during the past months

        Renee, it’s a kind of end of car show season. The club we belong too won $200.00 over the summer and we are having all the guys and wives/girlfriends over. It shouldn’t be too hard the biggest part of it is being catered and others are being side dishes and deserts. My husband said he will help so I will what I can and be satisfied with that. Praying for you to feel better.

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    Renee, I’m sorry your sick:( I will be praying for you to get better quickly…don’t work too hard at home either!

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Elizabeth, just keep praying and give it all over to the lord everyday. The evil one loves it when we blame ourself and feel quilty and doubt ourself and our faith. Praying for you and your family now.

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I about missed this comment from you, Sarah! I love it, because of the visual you discribed…I’m praying that will happen one day:) Thank you!

Sarah P. says:
Joyce-

It wasn’t your imagination….these memories will come back to them and build up the faith, when you and they least expect it. When we young adults taste a little freedom we get carried away, but soon find the emptiness a false kind of freedom brings. Don’t worry, one day when your children (who are so confident they have things figured out) are at the grocery store the Holy Spirit will tap them on their shoulder…and begin to work on their souls in a way that brings them to their knees! Been there done that! But I promise I will remember you all in my prayers!

Sarah P.

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    Love this from Sarah!

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6. A. What did it mean that God rested, if not resting His body? (This is important — read above again if you are unsure.)

He took a break and was satisfied with what he had accomplished.

B. Meditate on Hebrews 4:9-10 for there is great assurance here. It also shows the deeper rest, by comparing our rest to the rest God felt. (He was satisfied.) This is important.

So, I suppose the literal “rest” is not as important as I have always thought? I can be “rested” when I am satisfied with all I have done on earth to help my cause? For example, in the case of my daughter and her legal issue…..she has solved her problem by working out a deal with the other girl, we have helped her figure out how that will actually play out, and the charges are now dropped. We can “rest” now because we have done all we can on earth. We could also “rest” on Sunday, in a physical sense, but we have already rested in our works for her because there is nothing less to do.

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    Laura-dancer — I think both levels of rest are important and praying for both for you!

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Thank you all for your prayers. I feel covered.

I am a bit nauseous so would love prayer for that, the ride to Green Bay…all these momentary troubles!

Don’t expect to hear anything til late in the day — love to all of you.

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    Oh Dee,
    I’m just seeing this….another surgery. You know we’ve all got you covered in prayer!

    Oh Lord Jesus,
    Please…Dee needs Your help! She is feeling nauseous and has to ride in the car back to Green Bay. I pray for Your supernatural strength and power to enable her to do well and tolerate the drive. Through You, she can do all things.
    Please oversee every detail of Dee’s surgery this afternoon, guiding the surgeon’s hands to remove the last of the stones. Please cover Dee with Your love, care, and protection. Hold her in the palm of Your hand, please Lord. Be in her thoughts even as she is asleep during the surgery, and whisper Your love to her.

    We lay our requests before You this morning, and eagerly anticipate how You will answer.

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5

B. Challenge question (and important) Do you see the word “gospel” or “good news” in verse 2? Describe a stressful situation you are facing and now explain how the gospel could help you face it and relax in your Father’s arms.

I had one yesterday to post because every day there is something that can be stressful but it was way too long! Yet this is too-this weeks study is really hitting home for me-I have so needed it!!!!!

There are about three or four things going on with some of my family member’s and a friend’s expectations of me and my time lately. I am learning to say no and rest in Him with the Gospel truth that He took on THE WORST EVER disapproval from men so that He can be my approval. He faced disapproval by the ones He lowered himself to come and redeem! If a few loved ones in my life and a certain friend are disappointed with me then that is okay-rest, rest in Him. He is my approval, my ultimate, He is my life-they aren’t.

An example: This dear friend of mine who has been a close friend for over 20 years wants us to come to her home in Missouri for Chili-I just can’t work out a time due to my boys, my husband and my schedule during the school year now. She gets offended easily and struggles extending Grace to others when they don’t meet her expectations of attention toward her, or other expectations she might have of them. She admits she struggles with this. I told her what our schedules are like hoping she would show Grace but knowing she might not. I felt bad and struggled thinking if she rejects me-oh no she and I are long time friends..Yet I am resting now. He is my life and I am resting in Him.

Another issue is my dad and making and freezing meals for him. I have been doing this for him, but don’t have time to cook for him for this next round of food and I feel awful. He is not home bound yet. He works part time and can cook for himself but it is minimal and his health is bad. I had to tell him I will be unable to this time but can when school is out. I am going to call meals on wheels to see if he qualifies. I hated saying no but I had to-I just don’t have the time now that I am working at the school. This is hard for me to let go of and rest..since this is my dad guilt can easily creep in…I am in the process of letting go-remembering the Gospel.

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    I pray you can get Meals on Wheels for him. That would be great.

    Yes — I can see how the Gospel would help you with each of these hard things.

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    Oh Rebecca, I love your heart towards your dad. I have been missing mine so much here lately. It is because of him I am able financially to stay at home and work only part time. I have found meals on wheels to be quite good and know he would want you to not be carrying this as a burden. Is he a believer? I heard somewhere in scripture that it is work to rest. It takes diligence but keep after it.

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    I wanted to update you all on what was going on with my dad, but I have been too busy to get on. :( I miss you all SO MUCH! :( :(

    Anyway, Kim, you are SO SWEET..No my dad isn’t a believer as far as I know. He said a few weeks ago, “I know you don’t think much of my religion but I pray for you and your brothers every day.” As of late he called me telling me about a new show he is watching about a New York Psychic or something..I CRINGED!! He said he is usually a skeptic but really thinks she is for real- he said, “And she even mentioned God that He is in eternity.” Oh my… He was waiting for me to respond and say, oh sounds interesting, but I told him I think those things are dangerous and I don’t believe she is real. I have to be careful what I say to my dad-he can twist what I say-he doesn’t mean to, but he does.

    At the same time I do recall before I came to know the Lord I too was into Psychics and mystical stuff. I think of that when my dad says stuff like this..I think “Thank you Lord that He is past not believing in you at all to really thinking about eternity.” Since his sister died recently and since my dad knows he isn’t going to live too much longer eternity is on his mind and so is God. God is on the move and answering our prayers. PRAY..My dad is in a vulnerable state right now-he is lonely as his sister died and he has no one living with him now. I visit him and call him and email him. He has asked me to be sure I visit and call because he doesn’t want to die and be found too late. I hate the thought of that!

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      I appreciate you sharing about your dad, Rebecca. He definitely is searching. I will be praying.

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      Oh Rebecca, so hard. Let’s pray his life is spared until he meets Christ, that laborers would be sent to share the good news of the gospel to him, he would have ears to hear and eyes to see and would not be able to resist the wooing of the Holy Spirit.
      I wonder about psychic’s. I have heard they know things because they are in close contact with demons but don’t really know.

        Kim, you are right-the bottom line with mystics and psychics is that God says the source is demonic-so stay away.

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6. Read Hebrews 4:4-10

A. What did it mean that God rested, if not resting His body?

After God created the world and Adam and Eve, He rested, meaning He looked at everything He had made and found it to be good, perfect, not lacking in any way. There was no ‘unfinished business’, no loose-ends.

B. Meditate on Hebrews 4:9-10 for there is great assurance here. It also shows the deeper rest, by comparing our rest to the rest God felt. (He was satisfied.) This is important.

I admit I am struggling with chapter 4 here, it is hard to understand. I am thinking that the rest verse 9 talks about is not my taking a nap on Sunday, resting. And verse 10 says that “for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His”.
Is this talking about resting in the finished work of Jesus on the Cross, and ceasing from my labor, my own works, trying to earn what I can’t – namely, salvation? I enter into God’s rest by faith, not self-effort. And if God was “satisfied” with His work, that means He is satisfied with what Jesus accomplished – His plan of redemption. I need to be “satisfied” with it, too, and rest in the free gift of God’s grace to me.

If I continue to be plagued by sins in my past, which I have repented of, or continue in self-reproach and guilt, then I am not resting in that deeper rest, I am still doubting that what Jesus did for me was not sufficient. Am I on the right track here?

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    Keller goes into the rest God felt — a deeper rest, obviously, because He doesn’t have a body that gets tired. He was satisfied.

    How can we be satisfied? Resting in Him. Being faithful, but leaving the results to Him. Letting Him take our guilt and shame. There I think you are on the right track.

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just read on facebook that dee was going into surgery again for compications so got in here real quick to see what was going on. praying for you Dee!!!!!! miss you all but life has gotten a little crazy and I need time to sit in quiet and i dont have time to do that and this.

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    Thanks dear Cyndi!
    Come on when you can — though you are one who needs this deeper rest! :-) So much love to you.

OH LOVE that guys voice who is reading the Scriptures! Could listen all day long! Was it Max McClean? Didn’t we hear him read before? Anyway, so pleasant!

Wow, when you rest you are saying I am not a slave to society, I am declaring my identity in God. When you truly rest it is a revolutionary act. How God tried to bring the children of Israel out.

1-rest declaration of freedom
2-rest God’s work -God cannot get tired like we do. He was able to lay it down because He was pleased with what He was doing. He was satisfied. Rest means to truly lay something down.

the machinery of self sensor, the deep rest is to be completely at rest with who you are. It is an inner thing. The eternal murmur of self reproach. The deep restlessness we got to find a cure for. A feeling like I am not ok, acceptable and we work and work to try to prove ourselves. That is the restlessness underneath the weariness. Slaves to our own ridiculous expectations.

Believing the gospel brings you to that rest. Joshua got them into the physical land of promise but God warns them they can still miss the deep rest. Beyond physical and social. Only be gotten by believing the gospel.

a horrible ordeal we will go into if we are going to get to this deep rest, v.12-13-Scripture is like an incredibly sharp sword and will show you your real motivations. When you get down to that level you will feel utterly naked before God, defenseless, stripped. Will feel everything is uncovered and bare. Flat out naked. You have to go through this come to this place to enter into the deeper rest. The minute we begin to turn from God we experience a sense of inadequacy, a need to hide, cover up. Unless you realize the feeling of I am not ok you will not understand your drivenness and restlessness.

we think there is a rational expectation for all things. perfectionism is fig leaves! Until you recognize what the deep restlessness is you are covering something and know something is wrong. Until you know that you cannot understand v. 10…..when work is self justifying you will never enter rest. Thing separates you is your damnable good works. Pharisees repent for wrong but you repent for reason you are doing things right. You need rest in those and from those.

v. 13 how do I get there. Everything is uncovered and laid bare to the one we have to give account. “laid bare” specific meaning bend neck back so you can cut it-always used to sacrifice animals at temple. It is saying if there is a God of justice we all will be cut off/v. 14 says He is a high priest go to Him and He will give you mercy and grace in time of need. WoW! Jesus was cut off/laid bare so we could be clothed in the glory of God. Jesus was cut off from source of rest so we could have rest. cut off so we do not need to be. Said, it is finished/all self justifying work…Jesus said it is finished. You must know who you are and you are delighted in to enter this rest. Come to me (Jesus) He has done this for us.

If a recorder on your neck recorded only standards you set for human behavior laid on everyone else-That is terrifying to me to think!

The parenting bit was really good to hear too in the beginning.

This really has me pondering…I do not think I feel complete in Jesus. I think though not consciously I am still trying to earn it. Because I find myself not resting. I need to consciously lay it all down. Believe because He delights in me I don’t have to keep working harder. cease striving.

Natural human heart is to leave gospel and self justify. Working more. Must go back to reminding ourselves to who we are in HIM. Must warm ourselves at fire of God’s love alone. Get close. Warm self then can face anything and lay work down.

I really needed to hear this today! I am feeling Him wooing me to Himself in rest. Just to play and have fun in these periods of rest. I find it difficult to do this. I know Jesus laughs and imagine He had fun with his disciples. Look at all the feasting! :) When I went away with my husband a few years ago he had to help me relax and have fun, I think that is so very sad. My heart needs to settle into this deeper rest. I need to be able to feel ok in Him and just rest casting all else aside. Lord, help me find this. His gentleness to me in this moment is overwhelming. Not sure why I have to self justify but it must be unbelief. Lord help my unbelief.

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    Great notes, Angela. Yes — Max McClean is in Keller’s church. It must be tempting to have him read all the time. But I appreciate that Redeemer usually has women read as a way to show their honor of women in leadership roles.

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    Thanks for the notes, Angela. We have so much to learn on rest, don’t we?

And I must repent of expectations of my family. I do not enter satisfaction often on family outings because they do not behave or act up to my standard. Oh how horrible. Thankful for His love and grace toward me. I think I may be jealous of others entering that rest.

One last thing, God just gave me a great picture. My little guy just put tons of soap on his hands. I do this to get my hands clean but he is trying to blow bubbles with it. A good visual of work vs. rest. :)

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    Like :-)

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    Angela, thank you for helping me to understand the kind of rest God means.

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So very impressed with Keller’s sermon on worship and Psalm 95. One thing he said about the Gospel Sabbath rest we need as one element to be able to worship well really stood out to me. He said, “Jesus lived the life I should have lived.” I don’t quite know why this impresses me except of course that it is truth, but if Jesus lived the life I should have lived then I CAN truly rest. I have been downhearted about all my failures and sins and though I ask for and know that I receive forgiveness, I could not seem to let go and really enter His rest. I will do better now I think, and then I will “keep going back to the gospel to get rest”. Be exalted, O God!

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    Praying for you to lay them at his feet and rest, Dear Kansas

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    That is such a good free sermon. So glad you can keep going back to the gospel, Kansas!

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Sisters, Dee wants you to know her surgery well and she has just been released..They got the stone and she feels so much better, praise God! She is weak though..she will get on later to give an update. :-) :-)

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    Oh good! Thanks for update, Rebecca. I got on to check about Dee even though I really didn’t expect any news yet. Dee, praying for your recovery and looking forward to hearing from you :)

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      Thanks for the good news on Dee, Rebecca. I am so glad she is feeling so much better.

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    Wonderful news…thanks for the update, Rebecca.

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    Praise God! Thank you, Rebecca.

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I wonder if emus are nice? I’m getting very attached to the one in the pic!

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    Renee, I have a brother-in-law that tried raising emus for meat, and he said they could be quite nasty, unfortunately. They are about human height and those bills look strong.

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      Thanks for info, Diane. I know someone around here who raises (used to raise?) emu and talked about eggs, but I hadn’t heard anything about temperament. The “guy” in the pic is starting to look cuddly :)

        :-)

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6 A. What did it mean that God rested, if not resting His body? (This is important — read above again if you are unsure.)

He was completely satisfied. His perfection in creation left nothing undone. He knew that all He had made is good, complete.

B. Meditate on Hebrews 4:9-10 for there is great assurance here. It also shows the deeper rest, by comparing our rest to the rest God felt. (He was satisfied.) This is important.

Deeper rest. Those two words sound like heaven to me right now. But that’s the best part—He wants me to experience it NOW, today, here. To be satisfied. To trust that all He has made is good, and He has given us already all that we need. Reminds me of Matthew 6:32-33 “but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”
I ask myself why I feel such un-rest. By nature, I am one of those list-makers who likes to get everything done and then “rest”. I’m also an anti-procrastinator, so everything is never done! Today, now, I think I need to have my physical pain relieved—then I will rest. I think I need my children to obey! I think I would really be happier without all the clutter around me lately. I think I need better sleep. Maybe a better mattress…? Oh, the things I think about all day—trying to find that “rest”. And He says I have it already—all I need, in Him. So my logic-loving brain says I think I need those other things in order to find His rest, but I must not, because if I did He would give them. So the problem is with my thought-process. I’m defining rest wrong. I still define it as a completed check list. God defines rest something only found in Him “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (matthew 11:28) So I need to forget my check list and go to Him. Trust in the work He has done, He has completed. Oh to really rest in His arms—requires faith without the sight.

7. A. How can you see it is a daily battle according to verse 11?
Make every effort. Unlike my efforts to complete tasks, this tells me to do all I can to fix my eyes on Him. Spend time reading His word—use scripture to negate the lies in my mind. I think—I need relief. He says all I need can be found in Him. I say I need to get all this stuff done, He says-be faithful, and trust me. Lay it down and go to Him. Yes, it is daily for me—a true battle of mind and emotions. But we have the Word, oh so thankful for that. In black and white, without error, so we can never forget—what a GIFT the Bible is to us.

B. What is one tool that will help us enormously according to verse 12 — and why?

Oops—guess I started to answer that above—just typing along, I didn’t read the next question!

C. Hidden in verse 13 is the first part of the Gospel — expressing our great need. Find it.

God sees ALL my sin, and I am responsible to him for my sins.

D. Hidden in verse 14 is the second part of the Gospel — expressing God’s provision. Find it.

Jesus is God’s Son-superior to all, and is in communication, relationship with God.

E. What other great tool is found in verse 16?

The throne of grace, and the confidence through Christ, to approach it. There we find mercy and grace to help us.

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    Forget your check list and rest in him, sweet Elizabeth:)

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    So much wisdom here Elizabeth. Praying it will stay in your heart.

    We all need these words from you:

    Deeper rest. Those two words sound like heaven to me right now. But that’s the best part—He wants me to experience it NOW, today, here. To be satisfied. To trust that all He has made is good, and He has given us already all that we need. Reminds me of Matthew 6:32-33 “but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”

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    I want to thank you especially for the verse from Matthew, Elizabeth.

    Matthew 6:32-33 “but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”

    In the midst of our crisis, I find myself almost constantly in high adrenaline mode, in the fight and defend mode mentally. I am spending a lot of mental energy on negative possibilities and am not doing so well battling them at times. The mental battle is a HUGE one! I am finding it almost impossible to REST, that is the deeper rest of trusting that my heavenly Father already knows ALL my needs so I do not need to stress about the what ifs. What I need to do is focus on God ABOVE ALL ELSE, live righteously and leave it in the Lord’s hands. Do I really trust that “He will give [me] everything [I] need”? The battle is not mine, but the Lord’s!

    This song ministers to me today:

    This video is rough/amateur but the voices are sweet. This is the original tune.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4sRoGwy1D8

    Master, the Tempest Is Raging

    Mary A. Baker, 1874
    Copyright: Public Domain

    Master, the tempest is raging!
    The billows are tossing high!
    The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness,
    No shelter or help is nigh;
    Carest Thou not that we perish?
    How canst Thou lie asleep,
    When each moment so madly is threat’ning
    A grave in the angry deep?

    Refrain:
    The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will,
    Peace, be still!
    Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea,
    Or demons or men, or whatever it be,
    No waters can swallow the ship where lies
    The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies;
    They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
    Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
    They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
    Peace, peace, be still!

    Master, with anguish of spirit
    I bow in my grief today;
    The depths of my sad heart are troubled—
    Oh, waken and save, I pray!
    Torrents of sin and of anguish
    Sweep o’er my sinking soul;
    And I perish! I perish! dear Master—
    Oh, hasten, and take control.

    Master, the terror is over,
    The elements sweetly rest;
    Earth’s sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
    And heaven’s within my breast;
    Linger, O blessed Redeemer!
    Leave me alone no more;
    And with joy I shall make the blest harbor,
    And rest on the blissful shore.

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      Oh Diane–I just hurt for you in all of this. I will especially pray for you today–for there to be peace in your heart amidst such difficult storms. So thankful for you, the truth you cling to. I will pray the words of the hymn you posted and that you will find “rest on the blissful shore”.

        I agree and pray too, dear Diane.

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      Just to let you know, we had a sunny day today and I was able to go outside and work on cleaning up my garden. That always makes me feel better. Fresh air and exercise – God’s natural antidote for stress. It is amazing how it lifts my spirits, even though I often resist doing it.

        So glad you were able to work outdoors in the sunshine, Diane…praying for you and yours.

        Thankful to see this Diane–He REALLY kept you on my heart today and I specifically prayed you would feel His presence.

        Thanks so much for your sweet prayers, Elizabeth, Kim, and Joyce, and the others who have been praying. Love you all. I feel such support here.

        I had a good day and Keller’s sermon on Worship so spoke to my heart. Praise the Lord! I hope my roots of trust are going deeper and that my eyes will stay focused on Him. It is so liberating to remember I don’t have to solve everything.

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5. A. Now the author is talking in the present to us. How can you see that from verses 1 and 2?
The author is not referring to the past; the references seem to be present or future tenses.

B. Challenge question…Describe a stressful situation you are facing and now explain how the gospel could help you face it and relax in your Father’s arms.

I have scars from a church struggle that occurred about 3 1/2 three years ago; through prayer and distance, time wise from the situation, the wounds have gradually healed. Others I care greatly about were also deeply wounded in this struggle. I will not go into the details of the situation because I don’t want to spew Satan’s poison, but suffice it to say, pride, control, and fear were Satan’s tools that he wielded and caught some church leaders in his trap. I thought that much of this was behind me, but this past weekend a dear friend of mine (someone also involved in this struggle) shared with me some recent vindictive actions inflicted upon him by the same leader involved in the church turmoil of years past. This caused my heart to fury; thoughts of vengeance entangled me…thoughts of how I could get back at this leader for being so hurtful and vindictive to my friend consumed me. God is SO good…my devotion happened to read: “we should never be brought down by the malice toward us. Rather we should trust God, go about our business and do what is right, and in time they will simply vanish … what seems to be success in their evil plans is merely appearance and is entirely temporary. It’s God’s job to take care of them in His time, so we ought not even allow ourselves to stress over them” (incredible, huh?) I pondered the associated bible text, Psalm 37:1-3, in my mind and heart; on my way to work as I was praying I found peace in the knowledge that dealing with this church leader is God’s purview and NOT mine. God will deal with this man as He sees fit; God is in control. I would like to say that I held this heart and mindset, but unfortunately, I have occasionally slipped and once again need to re-read my devotion, ponder Psalm 37:1-3, and ask God to purge my mind and heart of these vengeful desires and remind me that this is His deal and not mine.

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    Nancy, I can sure use your devotion for a couple stresser in my life…thank you for sharing this with us!

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    Several good things here Nanci — not wanting to spew Satan’s poison

    Letting God deal with the man

    Asking God to purge mind and vengeful desires

    We all at times can relate so well.

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    Nancy, I love how your devotions spoke right into your situation. God is so good.

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7. Share your notes here.
At the risk of sounding self-centered, I think this week’s sermon was just for me. The main things that stood out to me:
Rest is one of the 10 commandments. Technology and our culture work against allowing us rest. Our identity comes from our individual achievement, instead of the Cross. I have a tendency to over-parent, and to use my kids for my status. I’m not actually a good-grades pusher, and I am not into extra-curricular activities—but my kids character? I can get over the top about the way they behave. When it’s good, I feel pleased with my parenting. When it’s bad, I feel defeated.
As a result, we are a deeply restless, deeply weary society.

Rest. One aspect of rest is that it declares freedom. To over-work is to be a slave to something. Putting the work down says ‘I am not a slave’—it is declaring that my identity rests in God.

Another aspect of rest is not physical. God did not need to rest. He rested because He was satisfied. He was able to lay it down because He was satisfied. Most people believe that to rest is to stop working. But the inventors of the Sabbath knew it is much more complicated than that. A Sabbath rest is intentional, with rituals that convey a story of who we are. Liked that part. Sabbath rest reminds us that there is more to us than our work—not just physically, but spiritually.

I must put to rest the part of me that is not OK with who I am in Christ—that is what causes my spirit of restlessness. The only way is to believe the Gospel. There is a rest beyond the physical, beyond the social. It requires ‘uncovering’ my heart—getting to the real reason behind my actions. I will never get to deep rest unless I come to grips with spiritual nakedness, and can be at rest with who I am.
What are my fig leaves? Good kids, others’ good favor, having friends happy with me, my husband proud of me…clean house—all self-justifying work that will do me in. When my work is self-justification, I will never be satisfied, so I will never be able to enter the rest! WOW-LIGHT BULB moment! What really separates me from God is not my sins, but my ‘good works’ that are my fig leaves.

Just repenting of what I do wrong does not get at the structure of self-justification in my heart. I must repent not just of what I do, but why I do it. Am I working, serving, running, to be sure of who I am? OR am I working, serving, running, BECAUSE of who I am.

Because of God’s justice, we all deserve to be cut off. But Jesus is our High Priest—I can go to Him and He will give me mercy and grace. He was cut off so I will not be. Jesus was stripped so I may receive. He said ‘It is finished’. There is nothing left to do. I can lay down my work and walk away from it ONLY when I am absolutely sure of who I am because of Christ and His love for me. And then I must remember to keep going back to the Fire, over and over and over again…

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    Love your light bulb moment!

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    Great notes. So glad God is meeting you.

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    Those words, “It is Finished!” are words I cling to when I have family coming at me with words and attitudes contrary to the gift of eternal security God bestowed on me last year. Thank you for taking notes and sharing. We are so blessed by you, my friend.

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Came on to check up on Dee!

Also request continued prayers — not feeling any better (but I haven’t been sick that long — a few days feels like a few weeks).

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    Oh Lord, please lay your healing hands on dear Renee.

    It’s awful to feel sick! I have a renewed apppreciation!

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    Praying for you Renee and Julie, that you’ll soon be better.

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Dear Sisters,

I am back and feeling so very much better. So thankful to you for all your many prayers and concern.
The 2nd surgery was so much easier than the first and my pain is gone and though a little week, I think the doctor got the yuk finally out of my body!

Thank you more than I can say. What a supportive group here!

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    Oh Dee so happy you finally have some relief. Will pray your strength to return and for continued good health. Rest up in God’s peace.

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    Thankful for this good report, Dee! I will continue to pray for your healing and rest! Love to you!

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    oh, thank You Lord for hearing our prayers! Dee, so very thankful you are home and feeling better. Love you

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    Wonderful report, Dee.

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      I am so glad to hear that you are doing better. Thank you Jesus!

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    Soooooooo happy to hear this Dee! Praying for your healing now and strength to come back.

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    Praise the Lord, Dee.

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    I love this, “…got the yuck out of my body!” ha! Yay Dee!

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I just kind of had an “aha” moment, going back and re-reading the explanation for #6. about what it means to rest. “He was satisfied with what He was doing – He said it was good”. This says to me that for me to enter into God’s rest, that I must rest in, be content with, and satisfied with what He is doing in my life and the lives of those around me. Even if I can’t see Him working, trusting that He is. Thanking Him and being grateful that everything He does is good.

I also have a prayer request. My son, Ryan, is driving with some other students from his school in PA to New Jersey at 5pm today. It’s a 4 hour drive. Because he’s away at college, of course I don’t know these other students he is going with, or anything about the driver. They do this for fundraising for Penn State’s THON, where they raise money for cancer research. Each college on campus organizes things where students will go to another town, and stay with a family of a student, and they go “canning” at local businesses and door to door to raise money. He will return sometime Sunday evening.
I would love prayers for his safety. (I told him I was going to get on here and ask…”OH MOM…..”) I can’t help it, I worry for his safety.

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    Father, we lift up Ryan to You today and ask that You would protect Him this weekend. We pray for safe travels, for protection over who he stays with–over his mind and body as he is with students Susan doesn’t know. Lord, we continue to pray for Your work in his heart-draw him to You Lord to follow the plans You have for his life. In You Name we pray~

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      Amen to Elizabeth’s prayer.

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    I understand, Susan! I’m the same way and get the same answers as you get! Praying for Ryan’s safety.

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    Praying for Ryan. Safe travels today :) sounds like a worthy effort.

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7. Read Hebrews 4:11-16

A. How can you see it is a daily battle according to verse 11?

The verse says to “make every effort to enter that rest”. It doesn’t sound like it’s a one-time decision, but a daily decision, a daily battle. This tells me I must ‘put up a fight’, because the enemy and my own sin nature will want to distract and busy me away from believing and trusting in Him.

B. What is one tool that will help us enormously according to verse 12 – and why?

The Word of God. I have to read it, every day. It will help because the Word cuts right through to my heart, and what is in my heart. If my thinking is wrong, as well as my attitudes and motives, the Word of God will show me.

C. Hidden in verse 13 is the first part of the gospel – expressing our great need. Find it.

The first part of the “Good News” is having to come to terms with the “bad news” about myself. The bad news is that there will be a day of judgement where I must give an account to God. And He knows everything – every sin, every wrong motive, every hidden thought. It would be like having my clothes stripped off in public. Laid bare. I have no excuse, no explanation, and nothing to offer to make-up for my sin. I am in trouble and I have a great need for Someone to step in on my behalf.

D. Hidden in verse 14 is the second part of the gospel – expressing God’s provision. Find it.

In the OT, the high priest had to make sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people. The gospel is shown here in that we have a great high priest – Jesus the Son of God. He didn’t just make the sacrifice, He was The Sacrifice to end all sacrifices. Jesus is God’s provision for my dire circumstances in verse 13.

E. What other great tool is found in verse 16?

Prayer – approaching the throne of grace. Because of Jesus, I have access to God through prayer, anytime, anywhere. It is there I may find mercy and grace in my time of need, which is every day.

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I got this little booklet from CCEF on Chronic Pain by Michael Emlet–I had put off looking at it, but did last night and-oh-it was so helpful, I wanted to share. I think it would be helpful for anyone in physical pain, but also thought several times it speaks to any pain-emotional too. It also specifically convinced me to use the pain killer in my fridge last night–and that that did not signal ‘giving up’.
But here’s what I wanted to share–
“But don’t let your experience speak louder than the words of Scripture. Don’t let your experience dictate to you what is true about God and his character. Instead, let what is true about God and His purposes, as laid out in the Bible, reframe and reinterpret your painful experience.”

It is really a helpful little book on the Biblical aspects of suffering–that “God is up to something remarkable in allowing you to suffer….He is transforming and perfecting your character”

    Oh I love that Elizabeth…Next Saturday I actually get to go to the ccef conference!! So siked! I may look for that booklet, I bet they will have it. Those counselors I have found most helpful in many areas. I read a book on Depression by Welch of ccef and it has helped so much in this time. It has been much easier to deal with. I just have to keep focusing my eyes on Jesus and you know what it addresses alot of what we all have been going through heart idols. It does not call them that but I know now that is what they are called! :)

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      I think I should get that book by Welch on Depression. Great that it helped you.

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    I am so glad you found this book helpful, Elizabeth. So glad. Beautiful quote. “But don’t let your experience speak louder than the words of Scripture. Don’t let your experience dictate to you what is true about God and his character. Instead, let what is true about God and His purposes, as laid out in the Bible, reframe and reinterpret your painful experience.”

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      Yes — reminds me of Martin Lloyd-Jones about speaking to our souls instead of listening to our souls.

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Gals, this has been quite a week. I want to report on Childhood Evangelism Fellowship. I mentioned that it was coming to Kearney and we had our second after school program yesterday and I am blown away by what God is doing. We had 4 children the first week and 9 the second. I believe it is going to snowball so pray, pray, pray! We need more workers, God’s covering over all of us, financial provision, wisdom. These kids are like little sponges taking in each lesson and praying. At bedtime, one child told his grandma (Shell) he knew for sure his name was written down in heaven in God’s book! He had prayed the salvation prayer. I am full of faith that MANY are going to accept Him. In fact I am asking for 60. I think this scare my co-workers a little. It is the most exciting adventure to be apart of! I didn’t know I could love this ministry so much but I do. Oh the children, they are so sweet. I want to hug the stuffin’ right out of them.

On another note, we are on vacation the next 9 days so I will come on when able.

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    oh Kim, this just brightened my day! Both the children, and your joy towards them–what a gift you are. I’ve missed seeing you and guess we’ll keep missing you–but I will pray for the Childhood Evangelism Fellowship and for your vacation to be REST-Full :)

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      Same here, Kim…your a blessing for our little ones and your excitement in contagious! Praying for a safe and wonderful trip!!

    Oh that is so great! Praying for you and that those who come will be good soil!

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    This is sooooo exciting Kim. God is so working through you and Shell for this. I am praying.

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7. Read Hebrews 4:11-16

A. How can you see it is a daily battle according to verse 11?

Because we are disobedient. It leads you to believe disobedience is “normal.”

B. What is one tool that will help us enormously according to verse 12 — and why?

The word of God. It is aborbed by the heart and soul if it is known. It oozes through every cell of our bodies.

C. Hidden in verse 13 is the first part of the Gospel — expressing our great need. Find it.

We need Jesus?

D. Hidden in verse 14 is the second part of the Gospel — expressing God’s provision. Find it.

Faith?

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I just finished listening to Keller’s sermon on Worship. I just have to say, “Wow!” Here Keller was dealing with thyroid cancer and he preaches his heart out about how worship can calm us to face all the troubles of life with peace and JOY. I have been desperately seeking what Keller points out that Christ offers. What happens to my daughter and to my grandchildren doesn’t matter. What a difficult thing that is to say, but it is true. What does matter is God, his “high beauty” and that he gets the glory. This is a “light and momentary trouble” that God has in control. Therefore, I can REST. I can let go and really relax. It is not up to me to solve everything. Only if I really believe it is NOT UP TO ME can I find JOY!

I just love it when he quotes from Lord of the Rings. Here is some of my notes of the last part of his sermon where he talks about Sam.

But in this psalm(Psalm 57)he is calming himself, not through petition, but through worship. Keller calls it My “Sam Gamgee psalm” from Lord of the Rings: Sam is ready to give up and one night sees a star. “He realizes that the Shadow was a small and passing thing. There was light and high beauty forever beyond his reach. … Now for a moment his own fate and that of his masters ceased to trouble him. And he fell into a deep untroubled sleep.”

You can get defiant in the face of trouble. There is nothing wrong with that. But Sam realized there is another way to get peace – not through defiance, but through hope. He realized that all the evil he was experiencing was just a blip. When he sensed the high beauty that was out there, he realized, it doesn’t really matter what happens to me.

If I belong to the great king above all gods, who is a god of light and high beauty, in the end it doesn’t matter. All the evil will be a blip. That comes out when you worship, it gives you rest.

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    This sermon on Worship, which I am raving about here, is the second sermon that Dee recommended, on Psalm 95, in case anyone is wondering.

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    Love this Dianne. In one interview Keller was asked how many times he had read Lord of the Rings and he said, “I never stop.” :-)

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    Yes yes yes Diane! I get it now too! Mom has been so sick, Sarah has been in trouble and I haven’t even bothered to tell you about my sons legal issues. Suffice it to say that I have been resting in our Lord for the past few weeks and my son and daughters troubles with the law have been eradicated and mother is seemingly on the mend slowly but surely. I literary gave it up to God in all three cases. God is good. I am hooked :)

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      :-)

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5 B. Challenge question (and important) Do you see the word “gospel” or “good news” in verse 2? Describe a stressful situation you are facing and now explain how the gospel could help you face it and relax in your Father’s arms.

I guess I have been living this question out this week. My crisis has had me in knots, constant worry. I have found focusing on God provides the only relief but the worry keeps coming back. Keller’s sermon “Worship” really hit the nail on the head. I so identify with what Keller says that I quote him to explain what I have been going through.

“If you are constantly being rolled around with emotions or despondency or nervousness or fear what people think, nothing less than reassigning the ultimate value of your life from where it is to God will heal you and change you and make you infallibly happy.

“There is deeper rest that we can miss. In the gospel we spiritually rest from our good works. He was our perfect substitute. He lived the life we should have lived. He died the death we should have died.”

I recognize myself in Keller’s description of a moral person who thinks that if I live a good life that God will bless me. I have recognized this is myself before, but I have slipped into it again. I needed the reminder that

“If you don’t understand gospel rest, you are going to turn worship into one more work, one more thing on your rat race. And you won’t be really serving God, you will be serving the god of morality, and you will be looking to yourself not to Him. And you will not have a life shot through with joy and thanksgiving.”

Praise the Lord! I don’t have to solve this crisis. That may seem obvious. I mean I can’t fix people or make them do things my way. Not that I shouldn’t do my part, but this worry is an idol. I need to remember who God is and remember that I can do nothing but can relax because God has it in control, even if it gets worse, and it doesn’t matter. Even if it isn’t solved the way I hope it will, God is still in control. Because of what Christ has done, I don’t have to solve the crisis myself.

I loved the Lord of the Rings reference to Sam Gamgee.

“But Sam realized there is another way to get peace – not through defiance, but through hope. He realized that all the evil he was experiencing was just a blip. When he sensed the high beauty that was out there, he realized, it doesn’t really matter what happens to me.

“If I belong to the great king above all gods, who is a God of light and high beauty, in the end it doesn’t matter. All the evil will be a blip. That comes out when you worship, it gives you rest.“

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    Diane,

    OH OH..Loved this: “But Sam realized there is another way to get peace – not through defiance, but through hope. He realized that all the evil he was experiencing was just a blip. When he sensed the high beauty that was out there, he realized, it doesn’t really matter what happens to me.

    “If I belong to the great king above all gods, who is a God of light and high beauty, in the end it doesn’t matter. All the evil will be a blip. That comes out when you worship, it gives you rest.“

    -Oh yes this truth gives us rest..Wow..how I need to remember this daily. I can’t wait to get to the Keller sermons today. :)

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