Lenten Devotional

March 15, 2018

All Day

Category: Adult Education

Hebrews 4:1-13

Entering God’s Rest

What does it mean to enter God’s rest? And how can we enter it?

I would jump at any opportunity that presents itself to take a good rest and forget about all my responsibilities and duties. And if there are no opportunities, I should make time so that I can rest and recharge myself for the tasks ahead of me. Although this type of rest is important and necessary, I think it’s different from the rest being described in this passage.

Hebrews 4 quotes Genesis 2:2 that on the seventh day God rested from all his work after creating heaven and earth and everything in it. Only after finishing the task set before him did God enter his rest. This, if you ask me, is the best type of rest. Only when you know that your work is completed and that you have done a good job can you truly relax without guilt looming in the back of your mind that there’s something you should be doing. And God is inviting us to join him in it. God wants us to rest in him and to rest from our work just as God did from his. But the author of Hebrews writes that entering this rest may not be as simple as it seems.

God first offered this rest to the Israelites after they were freed from their slavery in Egypt through God’s mighty hand. But they, because of their disobedience and hardened hearts, rejected God’s offer and weren’t able to enter this rest. They disregarded God’s instructions and good news for them and turned away from him.

Today, God extends the same offer to us. We are not called to follow the example of the Israelites, but instead to open our hearts to the Word of God, for only then will we be able to enter God’s rest. And this is not a one-time thing, we need to have our hearts open at all times, ready to receive God’s living Word. And when we receive this Word, it penetrates deep into our souls, revealing our innermost thoughts and attitudes. Since nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight, there is no use in pretending that we accept God’s Word.

Therefore, let us keep our hearts open towards God’s Word, fully believing that he is able to accomplish all that he has promised and that a perfect rest is waiting for us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that you have prepared a place of rest for us, and that you invite us into your rest. May we keep our hearts open to you today and all the days of our lives to receive your Word, so that our faith will be strengthened and so we may enter into your promised rest. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

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