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Entering God’s Rest (Hebrews 4:1-13)

Hebrews 4:1–13 - 1 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” 6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. What does today’s passage say? Today’s passage cautions against missing out on the rest that God offers drawing parallels to how certain Israelites missed entering their promised land due to disbelief (vv. 1-2). It emphasizes that Gods rest is still accessible and represents a profound spiritual rest akin to God resting on the seventh day of creation (vv. 3-5). The author stresses that entering this rest necessitates faith and obedience contrasting with those who fell short due to disobedience (vv. 6-11). The passage ends by highlighting the power of the Word of God in revealing our thoughts and intentions prompting us to approach God with reverence and transparency as nothing remains concealed from Him (vv. 12-13). How can I apply Hebrews 4:1-13 to my life? In our journey with God, we encounter moments that test our faith and disturb our peace. Life presents us with challenges, some easy while others are more difficult, that show where our true faith lies. This passage directly addresses our struggles offering guidance and hope. It speaks of a kind of rest that God has prepared for those who love and follow Him. This goes beyond rest like the rejuvenation we feel after a good night’s sleep. It is a rest that brings peace and assurance to our souls regardless of life’s challenges. This passage also serves as a reminder that our connection, with God is not stagnant; it is alive and engaging. He communicates with us through His Word, guiding, correcting, and uplifting us. Our role is to listen and respond with faith and obedience. It involves releasing our understanding and wholeheartedly embracing God’s purpose for our lives. This requires us to trust in God’s assurances, following His will and immersing ourselves in His teachings. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

  1. Trust in God’s Promise to Provide Rest for His People (vv. 1-3): God assures us of a form of rest – not physical, but profound spiritual peace found in depending on Him. This is the kind of rest that God entered into on the seventh day following creation. While this rest is available to all believers today, we must actively choose to embrace it through faith and obedience. When our minds are filled with worries or when we encounter challenges and difficulties, it's common to feel overwhelmed. This is when we need to hold on to God’s promises fully. By letting go of our fears and uncertainties and placing them in His hands we acknowledge His authority over our lives and the world around us. Embracing God’s rest involves releasing our self-reliance and instead, relying completely on God’s strength and wisdom. It means having faith in His supremacy and goodness of what we are going through. This rest will influence our choices, attitudes, and relationships providing a sense of peace and satisfaction that can't be found elsewhere. As we dwell in this state, our lives become a testimony to God’s grace, inviting others to experience His rest as well. Let us accept this gift by trusting in His assurances and embodying His peace each day (Matthew 11:28-30, John 14:27, Philippians 4:6-7).

Food for thought: How does your life show the peace that God offers? What actions can you take to surrender to Gods tranquility?

  1. Understand the Importance of Obedience to Enter God’s Rest (vv. 6-11): Entering rest in God is not just about believing; it also involves responding with obedience as an act of the will. In the Scriptures, we see that even those who heard Good News did not enter into His rest due to their lack of faith and disobedience. This serves as a reminder that our beliefs and actions are closely connected. Following God is not about following rules; it is about living in a loving and trusting relationship with Him. It means recognizing His wisdom as superior to our own and obeying His commands even when they conflict with our desires or societal norms. This kind of obedience leads us into Gods rest, a place of serenity in spite of our external circumstances. It is in this rest that we are most able to confront life’s trials and uncertainties. Obedience may demand sacrifices and may not always be straightforward but the peace it brings is truly valuable. By choosing to follow God’s will, we open ourselves up to His blessings and direction and experiencing the assurance of His rest in our day-to-day walks. Let us make a commitment to heed God’s guidance and walk in His path so that we can embrace the completeness of His rest (John 14:15, 1 John 5:3, Revelation 14:12).

Food for thought: Have you ever thought about how following Gods guidance plays out in your life? How can you adjust your actions to better match Gods teachings and find peace in His presence?

  1. Let God’s Word Shape Your Heart and Actions (v. 12): The Bible is not just a book; it is living and active and can cut deep into our innermost being revealing our true selves. It challenges us, convicts us, and leads us where God would have us go. When we immerse ourselves in its teachings, it has the ability to transform us profoundly. The Bible uncovers our desires and thoughts showing us if we are in alignment with Gods plan and where we may have gone astray. This self-reflection often leads to confession and change. Allowing the Word of God to shape us requires not just reading it, but also applying it to how we live our lives. It means letting the Holy Spirit use Scripture to shape our character, guide our decisions, and steer our paths. By surrendering to the authority of God’s Word, we discover wisdom for every circumstance and strength for every trial. Our lives become a living testament to the life changing impact of Scripture and encourages others to follow. This should compel us to study the Bible and discover the growth and peace that can come from its divine wisdom (Psalm 119:105, James 1:22-25, 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Food for thought: In what ways has the Bible shaped your life recently? What steps can you take to make God's Word a bigger part of your daily routine? It's easy to get caught up in the stresses and lose sight of the peace and rest that God promises us. In today’s passage from Hebrews the writer encourages us to embrace the rest that God offers. This isn't a one-time chance; it's an ongoing invitation to live a life filled with peace, faithfulness, and obedience. However, this requires living in alignment with Gods plans recognizing His authority and trusting in His promises during challenging times. Finding rest in God isn't about knowing His Word; it's, about putting that knowledge into practice. Choosing to trust Him, to obey Him, and allowing His truth to change us are decisions we must actively make every day. By doing, we will enter into the rest that He has prepared for us. Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your Word and the guidance it gives. I ask for the strength and the wisdom to rely on Your promise of peace during those times when I am overwhelmed or fearful. Help me to obey you in all things not just out of fear but out of love and appreciation. Grant me the wisdom to understand Your Word and the bravery to put it into practice every day. Help me to turn from my self-reliance and to depend on Your strength and wisdom fully. May Your Word shape my thoughts and actions directing me in every choice I make and drawing me closer to You. I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Hebrews 4:1-2 – “ 1 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.” With His Blessings, Pastor Corby

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