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Posts Tagged ‘The gospel’

Matthew 11:28-30   (Jesus Speaking) says,  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

This scripture speaks to us of 2 aspects of the promise of rest in this scripture.
1. Eternal aspect of the promise of Rest:  Salvation and Eternal life with God
  • The Bible, teaches that it is appointed man once to die and then the judgment.  You will not be able to take your “protections” with you.  Things will not keep you safe from the judgment of God. One day, you will stand totally exposed before the Holiness of God to answer for your life, to answer the questions, “What have you done with my Son, Jesus?”  What will you say?  Not knowing for sure or trying to earn your way can leave your weary and in need of rest.  This is the rest that Jesus is offering.
  • If you haven’t dealt with the issue of eternity, it is likely you have not dealt with your sin.  The older we get, the more are failures and mistakes seem to increase.    Are you weary and heavy laden from carrying the burden of failed marriages?  Failed relationships with family?   Failed parenting?  Failed careers?  Failed attempts to overcome self-destructive addictions or behaviors?  Failed religious experiences?  Despite all your bravado, your jokes, your defenses, do you know deep down that you have fallen short of God’s perfection and there is nothing you can do to bridge that gap?  Does sin weigh on you?  Are your failures heavy?  Have you gone too far?  Have you been too bad, hurt too many, fallen to far?  Even for God?
  • Do you long for rest – to settle with God the issue of your sin – to accept the gift of His Son – the perfect sacrifice – the atonement for your sin?   There is good news!   Jesus offers hope.
  • Jesus will take all you have – all the evil, the sin, failures, pride, self-reliance, arrogance, rage, revenge, abuse.   He’ll trade all your garbage – and for that, He’ll give you rest.
2. A life of rest is characterized by walking by the power and under the direction of the Holy Spirit  There are 6 places you can find rest (6 essential truths – when understood and incorporated into our life, will allow rest)
  • At the cross
  • In the acceptance of God’s Grace
  • In Surrender to Lordship of Jesus
  • In obedience to God
  • In fellowship with God (knowing Him and His promises – spending time with Him)
  • In walking yoked with the Holy Spirit

May you find the rest today that is available through Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross.  There is much to be busy about, but Jesus told us that the “good part” was sitting at His feet.

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You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;
clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. 2 Corinthian 3:2-3

1.  As believers, our lives are letters (epistles).

  • Maybe you have heard it said, “You may be the only Bible those close to you ever read.”   If that is so, let your life reflect the gospel as clearly as possible – no mixed messages.
  • God’s plan to share the gospel is through people ministering to people. He desires that our lives be so changed by our relationship with Him that others will wonder, question, and follow.
  • Is the message in the letter written on your heart communicating the message of God’s love to the lost and condemned world around you?

2.  God is the author.

  • Pages don’t write themselves; they have an author
  • God will write your story if you allow Him.  God wrote Esther from captive to queen.  God wrote David from Shepherd boy to mighty warrior to King.  God wrote Joseph from slave to Pharaoh’s second.  God wrote Saul from assassin to Apostle.  God wrote Peter from fisherman to great church leader.  God can write my story to be a great epoch tale of victory over evil if I let Him.
  • God desires to leave His imprint on our lives, marking us as His forever.

3.  He authored us by His Spirit.

  • Give up striving.  This is not about what you do:  how many times you go to church, how much money you give.  This is about surrendering control of your life to Jesus, so He can fully communicate His message to the dying world through you.  To do that, you must first receive the message yourself and let it transform you.   Only then can it hope to transform others.
  • Start soaking up the Word.  Sit with Jesus daily.  Read, study and meditate on the scriptures.  Let them permeate your life.  Let them write your story.
  • Remove barriers to the working of the Holy Spirit in your life.  Confess your sins, allow God to cleanse you by His Spirit.  Pray always and without ceasing, so that you might always be in communion with the author.

May the richness of living for Christ become abundantly clear to you as you draw closer and closer to Jesus.  It was Jesus who promised that sitting at His feet was the “good part” which would not be taken away.  May you settle there and find rest for your soul while you wait.

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Why is the Gospel Important?

The gospel is important because it confronts us, shows us our sin, our moral helplessness, our intellectual blindness, God’s wrath against us.

The gospel assures us that God has a deep and committed love for sinners, that He desires fellowship with us, that He even went so far as to provide a substitutionary sacrifice for our sin, payment in blood, the blood of His son.

The gospel is a call.  We are summoned by God to turn from our sin and to trust in God, to give ourselves over wholly to His plan and provision – the Lamb’s way.

We respond to the gospel.  We go with God, agree with God about our sin.  We repent and are saved.

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