The invitation is to rest

Doug Boock

Years ago, I developed the habit of taking a Sunday afternoon nap. It’s a habit I quickly fell in love with. At the same time, I found it to be very helpful.

Taking weekly naps let me catch up on lost sleep, and prepared me for the week ahead. Getting the extra rest sustained me when work and other responsibilities of my week entered in.

Rest is hard to beat. It helps make life more manageable and enjoyable.

In the spiritual sense, rest is even more important – it’s the key to entering God’s family.

Hebrews 4:9-11 says, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest . . .”

What this passage means is that when a person receives Jesus as his savior, there’s nothing more he needs to do to be accepted by God. He doesn’t need to try to work his way to heaven. He gets to rest from – in other words, stop – such labors, which can’t earn salvation anyway.

To clarify this further, God says it’s “the people of God” who get to “cease from their works.” In His words, those who continue trying to work their way into heaven aren’t “the people of God.” They’re outside His family.

How about you? Where do you see yourself in this passage – resting in Jesus and being a member of God’s family? Or still working toward God, yet still not belonging to Him?

God’s invites us to find rest by receiving Christ.

“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it . . . For we who have believed do enter that rest.” (Hebrews 4:1,3)