Tag: Sabbath rest

Thankful for the Sabbath Sign

Scripture reading for September 8th:  Ezekiel 16-20

Key Scriptures:  Ezekiel 20:10-12  “Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the desert.  I gave them My decrees and made known to them My laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them.  Also I gave them My Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy.”   

God told His people that He led them out of Egypt and revealed His holy laws and decrees to them so that through them they might really have life.  One of these laws concerned the Sabbath–the seventh day of each week.  The Sabbath was a sign to the Israelites that God had made them holy and set them apart to worship Him and belong to His family.  Jesus Christ is our Lord of the Sabbath and through Him alone we enter into eternal rest and joy!  He makes us holy and calls saints to rest in Him!

Ready to Rest!  “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.  Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write:  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”  Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”  (Revelation 14:12-13)

 

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Encouraging Words!

Saturday November 29th, 2014

May these five scriptures bring revelation and encouragement to your life today!

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” 2nd Corinthians 10:4-5

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.  Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.””  “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That’s why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2nd Corinthians 12:9-10

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? 2nd Corinthians 13:5

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2nd Corinthians 13:14

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Sunday rest and reflection!

Sunday July 13th, 2014

Dear Friends of Jesus,

The days of summer fly quickly by!  Our year is well into the last half and life happens every day.  God has set up a rhythm of grace for His people to help them slow down and remember the One who provides all things to enjoy and who also is with each person during life’s troubles.  This rhythm is the “Sabbath” rest.  We are to work six days and then rest on one day and focus on God.  We gather with His people to worship, pray, listen to His Word, and refresh our spirits.  Christians meet on the first day of the week to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death and the grave!  Join with God’s people today and enter God’s rhythm of grace!  His “Sabbath rest” is available every day as you walk with Him!

In Christ’s Rest,

Pastor John and Mary

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Sunday rest and reflection!

Dear Friends,

This year we will be reading six days and resting on the seventh in the pattern outlined by God in Genesis and Deuteronomy.  The only difference is that in the Old Testament times, the seventh day would have been Saturday.  Because Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after His death by crucifixion, the early church celebrated their day of rest on Sunday, the day Jesus rose from the dead!

God set aside a day of rest for His people in order to help them re-connect with Him and enjoy His presence, Word, and rest.  God understands the stressful world that exists now because of man’s sin and rebellion.  He calls His people to enjoy rest and work out of a rest in Him every day.  In New Testament thinking, each day is another day to rest in Christ’s finished work.  “Today” is another “sabbath” day to rest.  Hebrews 4:6-11 explains this understanding.

May the Lord refresh you today as you rest in Christ’s glorious salvation!  He is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory every day on earth and forever in His Kingdom!

In His Love,  Pastor John

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Entering His Rest!

Scripture reading for November 2nd: Hebrews 4:1-16

“Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be  careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.  For we also have had the Gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.  Now we who have believed enter that rest. .” (Hebrews 4:1-3a)

Faith in Jesus Christ for complete salvation brings us into what the writer of Hebrews says is ‘His rest’.   Jesus Christ finished our salvation when He cried from the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30)   However, even this act was completed in God’s mind before the creation of the world. (Hebrews 4:3b)   God rested along with creation on the seventh day, which God set aside as a day of rest.  (Genesis 2:1-3)  Man’s first full day on earth was to be this day of rest.  Man was to rest in God’s finished provision and to worship and enjoy God’s fellowship as a child with a loving Father!

However, sin entered and man was lured into a dependency on his own abilities to know good and evil.  He gave into Satan’s temptation to try and become like God in his own effort.  The consequences were deadly!  Man died because sin separated him from the relationship of rest in God’s complete provision.   There is truly no rest for those outside of God’s grace.  Eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth is the fate of those dying in their sins! (Revelation 20:15)

God set apart a nation of people through Abraham who He could use as an example of those who would follow Him by faith back into the rest.  Moses was leading this nation out of slavery in Egypt, but the people would not listen to God’s command to possess the promised land.  They did not mix faith with the word of God!  (Hebrews 4:2)  God swore that they would never enter His rest because of their unbelief!  (Psalm 95:11)

But ‘Today’ the promise of rest in Jesus Christ is open to all men.  “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:11)  What a joy it is to rest in the hope of eternal life!  Let’s lay hold by faith and enter in today!

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Holy Priests

Scripture reading for February 9th: Leviticus 21-23

The job of a priest is to represent the people before a holy God.  In the old covenant, these priests had some strict rules about their dress and conduct if they were to do this job and live.  Dealing with God was (and is) not a matter to take lightly.  Two anointed young men, Nadab and Abihu, found out the hard way!  They took strange fire and entered the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was and died instantly!  (Leviticus 10:1-2)  As we think about these requirements today, we can be thankful for the New Covenant and the blood of Jesus Christ!

Priests had to be careful what they touched and where they went.  They were forbidden to touch a dead body, except for a very close relative.  Shaving their heads or trimming their beards or cutting their bodies for a tattoo was forbidden.  God evidently loved and wanted them to present their bodies before Him without any modifications, other than a bath.

Priests also had to be careful who they married.  They must marry virgins only and could not marry anyone divorced or defiled by prostitution. (Leviticus 21:7, 13-15) God evidently looked on a priest’s marriage as He designed marriage.  The two of them become one and any defilement in the wife would also defile the husband.  God wanted holy offspring and these children would serve as priests as well so must be pure.  (Malachi 2:15)  Sexual immorality is often related to idolatry. In fact, God says this in His word and warns that an immoral person will not inherit the kingdom of God!  (Ephesians 5:8)

No priest could have a physical defect or deformity or sores related to disease and serve as a priest.  He could eat the holy food but could not go behind the curtain and come before the Lord.  These defects included blindness, lameness, dwarfism, or even damaged testicles.  Holiness in God’s sight was also related to physical health and soundness.  (Leviticus 21:18-23)

As we look at the requirements for priests, we are reminded of God’s statement, “I am the Lord, who makes them holy.” (Leviticus 21:8,15,23) Even though the priests kept the rules, only God’s grace allowed them to serve and come before Him.  A blood sacrifice must be offered to complete the process.  Cleansing is by faith and granted through God’s amazing grace!

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