Love of Christ
Christ loves His own. He knows their fears and He knows their needs. The apostles were weary and tired, fearful, and distressed. The great prophet and voice of one crying in the wilderness… the one who had prepared the way for Him Who was to come, had been cruelly murdered to suffice a foolish promise. The beloved John who cried out: “Behold the Lamb of God”… the one who had pointed many of these same men to the One that stood among then – he had been slaughtered in an orgy of lust and crudity, and so they gathered themselves to Jesus. Should not we in like manner gather ourselves to the Source of all calm? Should not we similarly flee to the Lord and rest under the pinions of His love? Should not we cast all our burdens upon Him – for He cares for you too?
Clamour of Life
The world is being rocked by earthquakes and submerged in mud-slides. People are rushing hither and thither to seek for answers and search out solutions. Many eyes are being distracted – removed from the Source of understanding. Men’s hearts are failing within them.. believers and non-believer alike. Ofttimes we are like the disciples who get fearful of the crazy things around us. Sometimes the distresses that are coming on the world can cause us to fear. Should we not listen to the still small voice of His perfect peace that loves His own.. and come aside to the fountain of Life and drink deeply of Him.
Lack of Peace
Despondency contracts the soul and withers the heart. Depression renders one unfit or unable to receive His inner peace. Discouragement magnifies the burden and renders it too heavy to bear. Distress is the outcome of a heart that has not anchored itself on the Lord.
Call to Rest
He calls us in His gracious tones to come aside and rest awhile too. “Come unto Me”, He gently whispers in His still, small voice. “Come unto Me and I will give you rest”. “Come ye yourself apart into a desert place and rest awhile.” “Come to me, that ye might have life”. “Come, come, come and follow me”. “Let him that is athirst, Come”. But there are those that He bids to “Come” … “but they will not come”.
Place of Rest
There are many desert places that we can slip into, in the most tumultuous of days. One resting place is the night-time, where our empty life-fountain can be refilled. One is the morning-time as we awake to find ourselves resting in His love. One is the quite-time where He so delights to still our anxious thoughts as we rest in Him.
Anxiety of Many
Sadly, in this increasingly dark world, many lives are in a state of unbroken anxiety. Other fret and fume, while others search relentlessly for unachievable answers. To be perfectly at rest amid the hurly-burly of daily life is a secret worth knowing. It is only achieved in a life abandoned to the Lord – a life that trusts His Word. Looking away from the raging world and fixing your eyes upon Jesus. It is achieved by the one that will come to Him – and rest.
Rest in Christ
One wonderful thing about the ‘Rest’ that the Lord invites us to participate in is that we are to rest with Him – “Come – Ye… Come Ye Apart.. and rest”, He said. But we are also to rest IN Him – “Abide in Me and I in you, as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you”. John.15:9 – Abide in My love – Remain in My love – Rest in My love.
Promise of Rest
It is His lovely presence that gives us the blessedness of rest. It is His loving grace that truly refreshes the heart. It is lying on His bosom, when we are tired or fretful, that gives us His peace. This is no mere sentimentality. His rest is more real than the clamour of the world in which we sojourn. It emanates from the love of the Father to the Son. It is a divine Life : a divine Love : a divine Rest.
Possibility of Rest
As the Son rested in the love of the Father through His life and death and grave, so the love of Christ is to be our rest in and through this time of turmoil. And how do we achieve this divine life, this divine love, this divine rest? You must believe that His promises are binding and true. You must rest in His Word for He Who said it is faithful and true. You must believe that it IS possible so to live moment by moment, resting in Him.
Focus of Rest
‘But how” you ask. ‘How do you reach the rest that He has promised you?’ Turn away from the visible, if you would possess the invisible. Take time with the Lord Jesus and gaze on His loveliness. Fix the eyes of your heart on Jesus and away from the world’s ugliness. Turn away from your own efforts and from faith in yourself, and allow Him to occupy your thoughts until He is resting within your heart. Come away from all else and set your heart, your thoughts, your mind on Jesus.
Rest in My Love
Don’t seek the answers from others but occupy yourself with Him. The apostles gathered to Jesus, and He said to them, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while”. But this is still His desire for each of us today. “Even as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you. Remain in My love. Rest in My love.”
31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
30 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
2 Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.
3 For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.
4 And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
5 For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:
9 But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.
10 Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.
11 For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.
12 For thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.
13 There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines.
14 All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.
15 Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.
16 Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.
17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.
18 Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.
19 And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
20 Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.
21 And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the Lord.
22 And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
23 Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.
24 The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until he hath done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.
3 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
12 Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
3 The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.
6 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.
55 Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.
2 Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise;
3 Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.
4 My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
5 Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.
6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.
7 Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.
8 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.
9 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it.
11 Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets.
12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:
13 But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.
14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
15 Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.
16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.
17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
18 He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.
19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.
20 He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant.
21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.
22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
23 But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.
56 Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.
2 Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.
3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
5 Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.
6 They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul.
7 Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.
8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
9 When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.
10 In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word.
11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
12 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.
13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?