YOUR STRENGTH IS IN HIS REST
INTRO: For many of us, our identity is caught up in striving. We need to work more; we need a better job. We need more money for more stuff and more entertainment. Our kids need to excel, get better grades, be involved more, have more. Because we believe we need more, we have no rest; we are restless. What we really need is a new identity, one that is centered on the One who is able to meet all of our needs – Jesus Christ.
I. Rest or Restless?
> We believe our identity is in our work.
- We believe we need to work harder, do more, have more.
- There is no rest; we are restless.
- The definition of restless is to be unsettled, unstable, or disorderly.
- When we are not restful, we are restless.
> How do we find rest?
- The definition of rest is to sleep, relief from anxiety, a mental or spiritual calm, or tranquility.
- Rest is not sitting around and doing nothing.
- The Message Bible version of Matthew 11:28 says: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
- In Christ, even while we are working, we are resting.
- Without Christ, we don’t rest even when we are not working.
II. Sabbath Rest
> We rest from our work, just as God rested (v. 10).
- Work is good, but that isn’t all there is.
- Would we lose our identity if our work would be taken from us?
- The Sabbath reminds us that we are not in control; God is in control.
- God wants us to come back to rest in Him.
- We should examine ourselves.
- Make an effort to enter that rest.
- The rest is there for us.
III. Rest in Jesus
> There is contentment when we rest in Jesus.
- The rest is Jesus’ righteousness.
- Jesus is our righteousness.
- We can’t get to heaven without Jesus’ righteousness.
- We give up our self-righteousness and choose Jesus.
- He is ready and willing to forgive.
- Jesus is the personification of grace.
> Are we genuine followers of Christ?
- Do we believe it means carrying a Bible or attending church?
- It is not in trying hard to be good enough.
- It comes down to trusting in our relationship with Jesus.
- In Christ, there is nothing that we can do to make Him love us more.
- God loves us as much as He loves Jesus.
- That is incredible!
> Our priority needs to be God first, then everything else.
- Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
- Don’t take on the attitude of the world.
- Make sure Jesus is in the center.
- If He is in the center, He is first in everything.
- There is rest in having Jesus as our priority.
- We won’t have to worry because He is everything we need.
- God provides for us.
- We don’t want to fall short in fear.
- We can ask Jesus to help us to be restful in spirit, soul, and body.
CONCLUSION: When Jesus is our righteousness, He is our identity. We need times of resting; we would have less stress. Dr. Jesus will take care of our problems and our stress. His prescription is to spend time alone with Him and read His Word. When we seek to keep Jesus in the center of our lives, we will find rest.