Friday, January 04, 2008

Opening 2008 By Resting in Christ

Many people start off the new year with resolutions. But have you ever considered starting off the new year by resting? We live in times of deep restlessness, as is demonstrated by everything from presidential races to marketing campaigns to pop music. People want something to satisfy their souls. The fourth commandment, which we have been considering, is a command to enter into the Lord's rest. I hope you will join us Sunday as we seek and find that ultimate rest.

Songs
God of Our Fathers (#734)
How Firm a Foundation (#610)
Like a River Glorious (#352)
Trust and Obey (#525)
Jesus, I Am Resting (#447)
Jerusalem the Golden (#642)

The Lord's Supper

Sermon
The Command to Enter into the Lord's Rest
Hebrews 3:7-4:13

Let me also share with you something from my reading this past week. These selections are from Augustine's closing of his famous Confessions, a work which is truly an act of faith in seeking to find rest in God.

Lord God, grant us peace; for you have given us all things (Isa 26:12), the peace of quietness, the peace of the sabbath, a peace with no evening (2 Thess 3:16). This entire most beautiful order of very good things will complete its course and then pass away; for in them by creation there is both morning and evening.

The seventh day has no evening and no ending. You sanctified it to abide everlastingly. After your 'very good' works, which you made while remaining yourself in repose, you 'rested on the seventh day'.... This utterance in your book foretells for us that after our works which, because they are your gift to us, are very good, we also may rest in you for the sabbath of eternal life.

There also you will rest in us, just as now you work in us. Your rest will be through us, just as now your works are done through us. But you, Lord are always working and always at rest....

Of your gift we have some good works, though not everlasting After them we hope to rest in your great sanctification. But you, the Good, in need of no other good, are ever at rest since you yourself are your own rest.

What man can enable the human mind to understand this? Which angel can interpret it to an angel? What angel can help a human being to grasp it? Only you can be asked, only you can be begged, only on your door can we knock (Matt 7:7-8). Yes indeed, that is how it is received, how it is found, how the door is opened.

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