Called to Rest
As we are resting from our labors physically, we see a spiritual parallel taught to us in Scripture: God is calling us to REST FROM our works, and to REST IN His works. This sermon was delivered by our Outreach & Missions Pastor, Dr. Aaron Glover.
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*This transcript was auto-generated by a transcription service and may differ from the originally spoken content*
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Thank you, Jason. And thank you everyone it is, it is such a privilege and an honor to be here. With you all this morning, I can tell I'm not going to instantly get as emotional as I did in the first service. But I'll let you all know, I almost cried during the first service. And the reason is, is because I was thinking about the journey that I've been on for the past few years, the journey when God first brought me and my family, to colonial Hills Baptist Church, and then a period where we went and served elsewhere, and then how God worked everything out to bring us back here. It's just it's a story beyond words. It's, it's a story that's so good. I know it's of God, because I couldn't have written one. That incredible in that amazing. And so I'm blessed to be here with you all today. And so thankful for this opportunity to share with you as as we've been going through this, this series. In the next steps we've been hearing from Pastor Jason on all these wonderful things, discovering life in Christ connecting life in Christ. And we've got a few more steps. But a few weeks ago, as Jason was preparing and planning and getting ready, we noticed on the calendar that Labor Day was coming up. And he said, Oh, man, it's Labor Day, nobody's gonna be there. So you can pre Karen. Thank you, Jason. No, that's not really how it went down. But no, he Jason wanted to give me an opportunity to share with you all and again, I'm so thankful, and so blessed to share with you today, as we talk about rest. Would you join me in a word of prayer before we begin? Our heavenly Father, Lord, we thank you for this day. God, we thank you for all that you have done through your Son, Christ Jesus, and all that you are still doing, because of what he's done. All that you are still doing through your Spirit in our lives, and all that you will continue to do. God, I pray in this time, as we go into your Word, I pray that You would speak to us that you would teach us what you want us to learn that we would see what you would want us to see that you would grow us in the knowledge of grace. And in your son Jesus, I pray that you will use this time to glorify yourself and your son. And it's in his name we pray. Amen. Before I forget, I have to do this because otherwise I'm not going to be a good husband. Today is my beautiful brides birthday. So just wanted to make sure I don't forget, because I didn't want to get home later and hear about that. So I didn't want to end up on the bad marriage video. No. It was something. There's something I noticed that God showed me even this morning between services. And I hope I remember to tell you about it, but I'm saving it till the end. But as we begin, today, we're gonna be talking about wrist and I want to bring a couple of questions to you today, I want to ask a couple of questions. And I want to see what the Scripture tells us in answer to these. First thing, I want to ask the question of what is God calling you to rest from? And I also want to ask, what is God calling you to rest in. And today we're going to look at those questions and see that and see what the Scripture tells us. But the difference between resting from something and resting in something. Now whether being Labor Day weekend, it just makes sense to talk about rest. We as human beings understand the concept that we need rest. Why because we are finite creatures, meaning we have limits, there's only so much that we can do before we start to run out of energy. Before we have to stop and eat we we need food, we need rest, we need sleep. And one of the drawbacks to us being these finite limited beings, is that there's always more that needs to be done. How many of you can relate to that? In your life, in your career, in your home, in your marriage and your family? There's always something else that needs to be done. It's never ending it's frankly, it's exhausting, right. There's always more to do. There's always more you need. You need to go work some more complete this you need to earn more money. If you don't need to earn more money. You come see me after church. I know somebody who needs it. It's exhausting and unending. And we know we need rest and everybody gets that everywhere. But one of the things I started thinking about was when we we take a rest from our labors when we take a rest from our works, we put down our working that means somehow some way somewhere that we are actually trusting that everything's still going to be a Que, because there's more to do, there's more that needs to be done. There's more money we need to earn, there's more food we need, there's more shelter, there's more jobs to be done. But, but we know that if we don't stop, if we just keep going and going and going and going and going and going, we're gonna wind up driving ourselves into the ground. So we rest. And when we're resting from our labors, it's because we trust that somehow everything is still going to be okay. And we as believers, we as Christians know exactly what that is. And that's a physical truth that I want to look at today in parallel with a spiritual truth. I want to take that physical truth that we rest from things and we rest in other things. And I want us to see today, I want us to look at the rest that God offers each and every one of us. And when I talk about God's rest, I'm not just talking about stopping taking a break from your work or you know, watching a video real quick taking, taking a quick break or even taking a nap after church on Sunday. Because that's what my wife does every single week. She goes home. And she would say to you, Emily, why do you nap every week after church, he says, I'm continuing the worship service by resting in the Lord. Not talking about naps. I'm not talking about those things. I'm talking about God's rest, that he personally invites each and every one of us into, and it's a rest that's like the Garden of Eden. But better because it's a rest where everything is good, where man is with God, and God is with man where we are in God and He is in us. And we're in a holy and perfect union with Him. Where we are at complete, perfect and unending peace with God. And He invites us into that rest. And God's been talking about this rest of humanity for ages and ages and ages, you go and look back in the Old Testament. Even when God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, he brought him to Mount Sinai and he said, I'm gonna take you into a promised land that I'm going to give you what I promised to your forefather Abraham, I'm gonna take you there. And my presence is going to go with you. And I will give you rest. People who had been slaves, people had worked their entire lives to death. I will give you rest. We talk about God's rest. We have this invitation. It kind of brings up two questions. First of all, how do we enter God's rest? And then how? What's it like to live in God's rest? So how do we enter into God's wrist? One of the things that I love about scripture, when you're looking at the Old Testament, the New Testament, the New Testament, Jesus, Paul, John, the author of Hebrews, all these authors, they interpret what God was telling us in the Old Testament, they tell us what he meant. And Hebrews does this beautifully when talking about rest. Hebrews is a very difficult book, I won't lie to you. But oh, it's still the so much good. But entering God's rest, Hebrews four tells us for we who have believed, enter that rest. What I want to note about this, it says, Does it say we who worked really hard? Does it say we who kept all the rules? We who showed up every time the church doors are open, we who were really well behaved in church? Or does it say we who believed in enter that rest? It's that simple. And it's that easy to enter God's rest. You do nothing more than believe in His Son Jesus. But then what's it like to live in that wrist? For those of us who are believers, we say, Okay, I've entered the rest. What's it like? How am I supposed to live? Or what is this look like? A few verses later, Hebrews tells us, says that for the one who has entered his wrist, how do we enter? We believe so believers, for the one who has entered his rest has himself also rested from His works just as God did from his. So when you enter God's rest, you are resting from your works. You are resting in his works. And the Bible makes a great distinction between our works and you God's works. Let's look at a few of these these distinctions here. So our works as humans now I'm talking about us before we are believers, in the natural fallen state of man, what our works are, they are incomplete. They are imperfect. And they are impotent. Why? Because when we are not in that relationship with God that we are supposed to be in the end is death. We lack that life without him. And so everything we do eventually will lead to death, it will all perish. It'll all fade away, it won't last. You look at anything that mankind has built. And over time, what happens to it? It just crumbles over time. Because what man does in his flesh by his own power will never last. Why? Because it is lifeless, on its own. But let's look at God's works. What are what are his works like compared to ours, they are complete, they are perfect, and they are powerful. Everything that God does is good and perfect. Go back and look at creation every single day. It's good, it was good. It was good. It was good. You look at what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. It was perfect and complete, it lacks nothing. And it lives on forever. Everything God does, lives on forever, because he is full of life. He is life. So I hope you see there's a great distinction between our works and and God's works. And what I want us to realize today is that God is calling each and every one of us to rest from our works. To rest from our strivings are proving our self interest in him to rest in his works. You know, a lot of times we get this backwards though. Even those of us who've become believers will, will get this kind of mixed up. And to be honest, that's what happened to me. I became a believer at a very young age. And one of the things that I thought was okay, now that I'm a believer, okay, I know I'm saved. I know one day, I'm going to heaven. And I know God's given me the Holy Spirit. But but here on Earth, I've got a lot of things to do, I gotta keep it all up. I don't want to backslide. I don't want anybody to realize that I'm not as good as they might think I am. So I have to keep up with all this, I got to do a B, C, D, XY and Z 18 times a week, I had to do, I thought I had to do quiet times and devotionals and prayer and fasting and reading, achieving and giving and striving and did it again proving and that's exhausting. But how many of you can relate to that feeling? How many of you have ever thought such things? I thought if I did all of these things, all of this stuff, then God would be really proud of me. I didn't understand that. God loved me as he loved his own son, because I was in his son. I wouldn't have said it this way. I wouldn't even admitted it at the time. But I was living my life, my, my sis my new life in Christ, my being saved, I was living it as if Jesus started it. And that was up to me to finish it. I had to really prove that it was true. I had, I thought, you know, if I try really hard, and if I'm really good enough, then God's gonna help me. But I want to tell you that that's not true at all. In fact, nothing could be further from the gospel truth. When it comes to your salvation, your life, you being a new creation, united with the Holy Spirit, Jesus started it and Jesus finished it. And He has blessed you just to walk in it. You can rest in Him. Now I want us to look at a passage that discusses works. I want to look at a passage that talks about this, this life what we should be resting from and what we should be resting in. And this passage that God led me to in preparation for this message is one I absolutely love, but I had never looked at it in this way. Probably because the passage doesn't mention the word rest at all. But it does talk about works and it does talk about what you should do and what you should not do. And it comes from the mouth of Jesus and he explains it pretty plainly. So before we begin reading, it's work Gonna go to John six. And I'm gonna begin reading in verse 25. But let me set the stage for you real quick, John six, just a few verses earlier, Jesus has fed the 5000. And then after he feeds everybody, he sends the disciples across the Sea of Galilee, he goes up to pray on a mountain alone. And he comes walking to the disciples on the water at night. And then whenever he gets in the boat, they arrive on shore, and the next day, the crowd comes looking for him. So this is where we are a pickup in verse 25. It says, When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, Rabbi, when did you come here? And Jesus answered them, he said, Truly, truly I say to you, you are seeking Me not because you saw signs. But because you ate your fill of the loaves. Jesus was telling them, y'all came looking for me not even because you saw signs that I was Messiah, you just got some bread got a full tummy. And that's all you're here for. But I love how Jesus does things. He takes this opportunity to teach them a spiritual truth, using their physical wants and desires using where they're at. He teaches them a spiritual truth. In verse 27, he says, do not work for the food that perishes. But for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on him, God, the Father has set His seal. At first glance, you look at this, and you say, Well, we know Jesus isn't talking about physical food, Jesus isn't telling them don't work, and get some bread to eat. That's not what he's saying. Jesus isn't telling them not to work for their food, he's talking about a spiritual truth. He's telling them, don't work. Don't do things don't trust in this that leads to death. Really, what he's talking about is all the things they would do all their, their striving and proving anything that they will be trying to do on their own won't last it will not lead them to life. So don't even work for that. Don't go down that path is what Jesus says, Don't depend on yourself. He says, but work for the food that endures to eternal life, at the Son of Man will give to you. So don't rely on your works. Instead, work for the food that endures to eternal life. And so they respond to this. And they say, they say, Well, what must we do to be doing the works of God? They, they want to know Jesus, you're talking about don't labor for this food, but labor for that food? We want it we want that. Let's let's do that. Yes. What must we do? Do you notice that? Jesus just said, The Son of Man will give it to you? They say, but what must we do? I love how Jesus answers from here, verse 29, he says that this is the work of God. This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent. Now that really messed with their head right there, this didn't fit in with their theology, this didn't fit in with where they thought this was going. They thought, okay, Jesus just said to labor for that which endures forever, he's going to tell us how to really do that stuff that lasts forever. How do we do that? He says, You believe in the one whom the Father has sent. And that would have been really unsettling for them. Because that's not what they were thinking. That's not what they had been told their entire life. That's not how the law had been interpreted to them. That's not what they had been shown or told. And yet, Jesus said, this is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He has sent. Jesus was calling them to rest from their works. And to rest in his he was calling them to rest in God and then the rest of this passage, what we're going to see is that Jesus is calling them he, he shows them how they can rest in his his person, his provision, his promise and his purpose. All these things that he was going to do for them. So after this, say, this claim that all you need to do is believe and you'll be given this. They say, okay, yeah, well, we want to sign prove it. He just fed 5000 of y'all yesterday, and you want to be proven today. And this shows you how off their thinking is they say Well, well, we want to sign like when Moses fed us In the wilderness, you remember back in the Old Testament, that the people of Israel complained that they had no food. And so God gave them bread from heaven, they called mana. And so here today is Israel complaining and saying, Well, we'll give us a sign and do give us what Moses gave us if you really are. And again, Jesus's answers is just so brilliant and good. He says to them in verse 32, he says, Truly, truly I say to you, it was not Moses, who gave you bread from heaven. But my father, my father gives you the true bread from heaven. He was telling them stop looking to the wrong person. One of the things that the Jews had had gotten mistaken was, they were looking to Abraham and Moses and all these patriarchs to save them. And those guys couldn't. Why because they were just as fallen as them. One of the things we can rest in is who God is, as a person, Jesus was telling them, you're looking to the wrong source number one, look to my father, the One who created this world, the one who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He's the author, creator and sustainer of all life. He's the Redeemer and savior of his people. Look to Him. Not some fallen man. One of the things you need to understand is that you can rest and who God is as a person, and who Christ Jesus is as the Son, and who the Holy Spirit is. You can rest in His person has everything he gives, endures to eternal life for you. And then Jesus goes on. And in verse 33, he says, For the bread of God, talking about this bread of heaven, they wanted to talk about bread, Jesus is fine with that he continues with a metaphor for the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world. Jesus says, you want to know what the bread of God really is. It's me. It's a he, it's a person. And what that person has come down to give is life. You spend any time around colonial Hills Baptist Church, what you're going to hear is Christ is life. Life in Christ, you're going to hear those words over and over and over again. Why do we focus on that so much? Because that's what Jesus came to give a lost and dead world. Life. I can trust I can rest in God's provision, because what does God provide for me and for you? Life. God doesn't give bad things. He doesn't give dead things. God doesn't go God gives life. And he gives it freely to anyone who comes to Him can rest in His provision? So they said, Sir, give us this bread always there. Still very likely thinking with their flesh, they're still not getting it. Jesus says, He's telling they're still not getting it in verse 35. Jesus says to them, he says, I am the bread of life. Get ready for some wonderful promises right here. He says, Whoever comes to me shall never hunger. And whoever believes in me, shall never thirst. And I said to you that you have seen me. Yet you don't believe all that the Father gifts to Me will come to me. Look at this. Whoever comes to me, I will. Certainly I will never cast out. You can rest in those promises. Because God's not like us. He's not fickle and finicky. He doesn't change his mind. He doesn't. He doesn't pull a bait and switch or a gotcha. There's no, there's no fine print and what God is giving us. These are his promises that every single person who goes to him will never hunger. Do you believe that today that everyone who goes to him will never have that every single person who believes in him will never thirst again? Just like what Jason Pastor Jason was telling us couple of weeks ago, when Jesus says Whoever believes in me that rivers of living water will flow from within them. Eternal life will never be thirsty. You will never lack that life again. Probably the most, one of the most wonderful parts of this verse. And I think we as believers can all relate to this that we worry about sometimes. Somehow, we're going to mess it up. But look what he says. He says, I will never cast you out. That word never means never. He's never going to cast you out. He's never going to let go of you. He's never going to throw you away. He's going to hold on to you as a dear cherished possession given to him from God the Father. He said in Matthew 11, eight, come to me and I will give you rest. My yoke is easy, My burden is light. Take my yoke and find rest for your soul. Verse 30, he continues, he says, For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. One of the things that I realized this is that one of the, we're not at risk. Naturally, we're not at rest with God because of sin in our life. We're not in that wrist. But Jesus was always at rest with God. Jesus was not separated from him in any way, Jesus lived his entire life doing everything at rest with God. Jesus didn't come to do His will. But his father's verse 39. And this is the will of Him who sent me that I should lose nothing of all that He has given, but raise it up on the last day. He says that this is the will of my Father. You ever want to know what the will of God is? Jesus spells it out really plain right here. He says that everyone who looks on the sun and believes in Him should have eternal life. And I'll raise him up on the last day. You have eternal life now. And your promise to be raised up on the last day. I can rest in God's purposes. The same way Jesus rested in God's purposes and trusted what the Father had for him to do. God's purposes are good, he loses nothing but every single one who believes has eternal life. God is calling us to rest from our works, that are futile and insufficient. And the end product doesn't even last is calling us to rest from our works to rest from our efforts, and our strivings and our proving, and rest in His finished works. He's calling us to rest in him to rest in His person, his provision, his promises His purpose, we're to rest in His love that He has made you knew you can rest that you've been made new, you can rest in the fact that the Holy Spirit has been united to you, you can rest in the fact that you are fully forgiven, and that God is as pleased with you, as he is in his son Jesus, because you are in his son. And that's how he loves you. Not because of what you do, but because of what his son did. And this is an invitation for unbelievers and believers alike. If you've never entered into God's rest, it's as simple as just believing in Christ. You turn away from yourself and your sins and you turn to him in belief that he can give you life. But for those of us who who are believers living in this rest, how do we live in this rest? With the rest from our works, just like Hebrew said. It's kind of funny. In between services I was I was flipping through Facebook has been real spiritual slipping through. And Facebook's had a neat thing where it has these memories. You can go look on your memories and see all the terrible things that you posted years ago, like oh goodness, who wrote that? Are you looking? You're like, oh my gosh, my haircut was awful. But there was a real sweet memory today. And I was like, oh god, you're good. You're so good. There's a memory from 10 years ago. And 10 years ago to the day I preached my very first sermon and are in a real service. And when I thought about instantly, I wish I could run back in time and go back to Erin 10 years ago and say Man, listen If you can trust what God has for you, you can trust Him in His plan you can trust in His purpose. You can trust, though all the hard things, you're gonna go through the struggles and pains, the things you're going to deal with that are really difficult. You can trust God, he's going to bring you through every single one of them. And you wouldn't even believe where you're going to be in 10 years. Because God is good. I wish I could go back to me 10 years ago and say, Aaron, just rest in God scotchy he loves you so much. But I stand before you here today. And I tell you, you can say that to yourself today. Because I just rest and God, he's got you. He loves you so much. He's working everything for your good and his glory. And he will never let go of you. He's going to love you forever and ever. And that's the kind of life we are called to live in. We pray with me. Our heavenly Father, Lord, we, God, we are in awe of you. We are in awe of this invitation to enter into your rest for those who don't yet know You. And all they have to do is look upon your son and believe in Him, to trust in Him, turn away from their sins and turn to him. To let him be their righteousness to let him be their holiness to let him be their everything. To bring them out of their struggle, their pain and their death and into his rest. And God I also pray for those of us in here who are believers, Lord, remind us that this life that we live in this new life that we have is a life that is fully at rest with you. That we don't have to strive or or strain to prove ourselves that we just get to be your children God. We can be those who are led by you and taught by you who follow the moving of your spirit not following our own ways but following yours. I pray God as we go through this life in this world, that you would show us the source of all these things that we any decisions we have our ideas show us the source, does it come from the flesh? Or does it come from you. Help us as we walk by faith as we follow your spirit God and we thank you that even as we do that, that we can trust in you. Your work through everything. You'll work through our mistakes, you'll work through our shortcomings, you'll work through it all because your plans and purposes cannot be stopped. You are a good God and a good father. We can trust in and rest in the Lord we love you. We thank you. And we pray all this in the name of our Lord, our Savior and our King Jesus. Amen.