THEME PLUGGED INTO GOD’S REST
FOCUS OVERFLOWING IN GOD’S REST
TEXT EXODUS 33:1-23, HEBREWS 3:1-19 AND 4:1-11
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
By the end of this study, class members should be able to:
1. Explain the type of rest God provides for His people.
2. Relate with the benefits of God’s Rest
3. Understand the hindrances to enjoying this great promise left for us.
“A man named Fredrick Taylor may provide some answers. Taylor worked for a large steel mill during the Spanish-American war in 1898. He was an ambitious young executive and was one of the first to apply scientific methods-as then known-to study the productivity of manual labour. In those days there were no cranes to load steel bars onto the railroad cars. It was backbreaking manual work and, after some experimentation, Taylor concluded that men could do more work if they took more rest pauses at definite intervals. He induced some of his workers to try his new method. He offered a dollar a day more and flattered them by calling them his “high-priced men”. Under this system, a whistle was blown after the men had carried iron for twelve minutes. At this whistle they were to sit down and rest. After three minutes’ rest, the whistle was blown again as a signal for the men to resume work. The result-the amount of iron carried increased from 12 and a half to 47 tons a day. This seeming miracle ushered in the era of rest pauses, the forerunner of today’s coffee breaks.”
Our efficiency and proficiency is increased when we work from a place of rest. Christ can make the rest of your days be the best of your days if He is the Rest of your days. For a believer’s life to make God pleasing music, music that plays on throughout eternity, one must learn to enter His appointed rest.
- God’s kind of Rest (Hebrews 4:11).
Entering into God’s rest is a reserve for every believer. God’s Rest as seen in our text is a working rest. Yes, God rested on the seventh day from His work of creation, but thankfully He continued (and continues) to be active in providentially sustaining all He has created. As Jesus taught, “My Father is working until now and I myself am working.-(John 5:17). The point is that believer’s rest is not a state of uneventful inertia and inactivity. Even as God is dynamic and not static, so also is His rest which believers are called to enter.
The application of this truth is that believers need to daily enter into his rest, experiencing communion with the One who is the source and essence of rest, so that our souls are re-energized, refreshed and satisfied in Him.
2. Benefits of God’s Rest (Exodus 33:11-23, Deut.12:9-10).
Every time the children of Israel were in right standing with God they enjoyed the benefit of his Sovereignty and this was seen in the numerous wars they won, the spoils of war, lands, good health etc. Having been made partakers of Christ and if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end, there are blessings that we can enjoy both now and in the future.
All that God has is ours in His Rest and remains thus if we remain in an unbroken relation with God.
When God’s Rest is entered a believer is confidently assured within and outwardly lives peacefully in the assurance of God’s daily provision, protection and deliverance.
3. Hindrances to God’s Rest (Hebrews 4:11-16).
Israel fell from the promised rest of God because of disobedience and unbelief, and the same thing can happen to any professing Christian. To keep this from happening — and to show that we are more than mere professing Christian youths, the writer says, “Be diligent to enter God’s rest” (NIV). It’s not the idea that you work your way to salvation, it’s the idea that you diligently seek to plug into God’s rest by faith. The writer gave us several instructions: Pay close attention to what you have heard (Hebrews 2:1); don’t neglect your great salvation (Hebrews 2:3); consider Jesus (Hebrews 3:1); do not harden your hearts (Hebrews 3:8); take care against an unbelieving heart (Hebrews 3:12); exhort one another every day against the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:4); and fear the unbelief that will keep you from your promised rest (Heb. 4:1).
Other hindrances to Rest are persecution and anxiety (See Acts 9:23, 2Corithians 2:13).
4. Discussion Time.
- With illustration(s), give the attributes of God’s Rest?
- List some benefits of operating in the realm of God’s Rest?
- In practical terms, what can hinder a youth from experiencing the rest God promised us?
5. Prayer Points.
- Lord God, help me to embrace the kind of rest you have exemplified.
- Father, help me to live daily appropriating the benefits of rest.
- Father i receive your power to overcome every hindrance to enjoying your rest in Jesus Name.
6. Summary/Take Home.
- The rest God promised us is something we begin to enjoy from here on earth.
- Diligence is required if we must enter into God’s rest.
- Laboring includes obedience to, and trusting God’s promises.
- The Lord Jesus, as our High Priest supplies the mercy and grace we need to possess our Promised Rest.