Category Archives: Rest
Psalm 4:8 “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for you, LORD, only make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 127:2 “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”
Proverbs 3:24 “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
Job 11:19 “You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor.”
*S -Speak The Word Of Faith*
*E -Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving*
*P -Prayer Without Ceasing*
*T -Trust In The Lord*
*E -Exalt His Name Forever*
*M -Magnify The Lord*
*B -Believe In His Promises*
*E -Expect To Receive*
*R -Rest In His Assurance Of Victory*
Note: This song was sung up by Fernando Ortega, lyrics written by Annie S. Hawks (1835-1918) and musical arrangement by Robert Lowry (1826-1899)
1. I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
no tender voice like thine can peace afford.
I need thee, O I need thee;
every hour I need thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.
2. I need thee every hour; stay thou nearby;
temptations lose their power when thou art nigh.
3. I need thee every hour, in joy or pain;
come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
4. I need thee every hour; teach me thy will;
and thy rich promises in me fulfill.
5. I need thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son.
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Learn to relax in the promises of God. Never get carried away by the external that you forget to trust God inwardly. Indeed, Jesus rebuked those disciples about their low faith when they were scared of of the great storm despite being with him the boat (Refer Mark 4:35-41). Do not get fearful about anything, for instance the economy, wars, relationships etc. Instead put your trust in the word of God.
Jesus said; Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)
It’s normal for the world to pass away. Despite all the great beauty and delights that this world still has, one must take into account that this is still a fallen world. The only thing that will abide forever even at the end of the world is the word of the Lord God.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40:8)
The problem is that though the promises of God are trustworthy, not every one believes in them. One of the reasons for that is that people do not read the Bible enough. They read it only when they are reminded by their preacher. However, if the preacher is busy on some other matters, they take things lightly. So the cure to such lack of Bible reading is well; read the Bible, whether someone reminds you or does not remind.
Then there are people who do read the Bible regularly but do not read it in faith. Bible reading is not be mere reading alone. You got to try to understand it. You got to believe in it. Most importantly, one who reads the Bible must read it so one becomes more like Christ in obedience to God.
By which are given unto us exceedingly great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.(2 Peter 1:4)
Then we have some people who have some faith in God’s promises but are not aggressive enough to pursue them. You need to be dauntless and enduring in claiming the promises of God for yourself. Don’t get fooled by what the Devil throws at you, you just keeping holding on the God’s promises. Rebuke all the falsehood of the Evil One in the name of Jesus.
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. (Matthew 11:12)
I will list out a few promises of God in the Bible. Now this is not a complete list, so I encourage you to open your Bible for yourself later on and get reading. Here the verses, which you can claim for yourself as they are your inheritance in Jesus Christ:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
I know that it’s not yet December and still I feel inspired to share 25 tips to prepare spiritually for Christmas. A head start in preparation should be of good help for you.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus our Lord. Do remember that almost everyone has celebrated their own birthday at some time or the other. Many love to celebrate the birthday of their friend and loved ones. It’s a way to express their love for the gift of life their own have received. And here we have someone even more greater, the giver of life, Christ himself. How much more are we to value his birth and his coming to save us from sin and death?
Let’s read the following scriptures:
- For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:7)
- She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21)
- And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:8-11)
So now here are 25 tips to prepare spiritually for Christmas:
- Read the scriptures about Jesus, especially the reason why Jesus had to come as a man on earth. Read as much as you can. (A little head start, please read 1 Peter 1:20, Hebrews 9:26, Acts 2:23-25)
- Meditate on the scriptures pertaining to the birth of Christ. (Please read Isaiah 11:1, Isaiah 7:14, Jeremiah 23:5, Micah 5:2, Luke 1:39-45, John 1:9-14)
- Pray by yourself alone in God’s presence even more. (read Matthew 6:6 which says But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.)
- Don’t neglect to pray in groups as well, especially with your family (read Matthew 18:20 in which Jesus said; For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them)
- Learn to sing praises to the Lord. If you are good at singing already you might as well sing with your family and Christian friends. If not, then do try by yourself first.
- Eat well but in proportion. Do not overeat no matter how nice the pie looks like. This is not a time to gain weight but rather to seek God.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in God’s will. Try to realize what the Spirit wants you to do this Christmas.
- Repent of all sins that you are still stuck in. Our Holy God is best praised by a holy worshiper. So truly repent with your heart and ask for pardon and mercy from Christ.
- Feed the poor and needy, the widows and orphans in need. You may not be able to feed all of them in your city but surely you can feed at least one. Some churches around this season have a feed the poor program, so you might like to check out with them if they need some help from you.
- Tell others about Jesus Christ to non-Christians. Again, you may not be able to reach out to the whole area that you live but you can always speak a little bit here and there to your non-Christian friends who might be curious about the Christian faith. Why not invite them to a Church service that preaches Christ as the Savior of the world.
- Speak about Jesus Christ at home with your family. Even if all know Christ, it’s still good that you as a family reaffirm your faith and unity in Christ.
- Send out greeting cards (or emails for those in the fast lane) to all your friends and dear ones away from home. Let them know that Christ came into the world for them and cares for them.
- Reach to your family especially your parents or anyone whom you have not been in contact for a long time. Speak kindness and encouragement to them. If there are differences see to the best that you can to reconcile in good faith with them. (This point was not what I intended to write today but feel inspired to write anyway. Maybe it’s God’s message for some people who will be reading this)
- Write poems unto the Lord. I’m not talking about publishing them. Rather its about penning your good thoughts about Jesus back to him. It might be your first time but I’m sure the Lord will appreciate your heart into expressing your love to him in poems. (There is no compulsion to do this but do it as you feel inspired by the Holy Spirit to do so. Maybe the Lord wants you do some other art form)
- Refrain from worldly passions which distract you from the will of God. Do not get entangled in unseemly entertainment, hobbies etc.
- Manage your time. I mean schedule your leaves and work or study timings to spend quality time in prayer, Bible reading and praising God.
- Submit your plans to God. As the year is coming to a close and a new year will begin, think of all the things you want to do in the future. Don’t be a in a hurry nor anxious but do it with an open mind ready to accept the grace of God.
- Pray for the persecuted Christians. Not every land on earth is free from violent bigots. A lot of Christians suffer persecution and injustice just because of their faith in Christ. Pray that they come out of prison, pray for their dignity, pray for their peace and safety.
- Do not overspend. Christmas is not a time of splurging and getting into debt. So do not waste money on unnecessary expenses. Keep yourself out of the grasp of materialism. Jesus is going to look at your heart instead of how richly you spend, so don’t worry if you can’t afford a lavish Christmas.
- Be free of legalism. Jesus came to set you free. Do not get into the trap of anything falsely called tradition but only makes you go into a guilt trip to do things to earn the grace of God. If the grace of God can be earned, then it’s not grace at all.
- Rest in God. An often neglected teaching but one must find one’s true rest in Christ Jesus. It’s that you must believe unto God to give you rest. Take time to receive his rest.
- Don’t get too busy in the things that one does to generally prepare for Christmas such as the tree lights, decorations etc. These are just external ways to celebrate and can be a distraction from the true meaning of Christmas if you are too focused on it.
- Avoid undue fights in relationships. Whether its home or church do not waste your time getting into foolish arguments on petty issues like the choice of food and drinks, Christmas carols, clothes etc.
- Be safe. Though it may seem a physical tip it’s much related to your spirit as your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Avoid any contaminated food or drink. Don’t try dangerous stunts just for a camera shot that you want to share with others. Hope you get the idea.
- Be thankful to God. Christmas is the time to thank God for sending Jesus Christ his Son on earth as a man to save us. So do express your gratitude to God.
- Jesus Christ Immanuel God is with us (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- What is the meaning of the Incarnation of Christ? (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- Rest In All Thy Goings !!!!!! (levithetford.com)
- A reminder of God’s love for those who believe in Christ (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
There are many Christians who are missing on the rest which comes from God. Due to which they are restless. God loves them but they are unable to receive the love of God because they have closed their hearts to Jesus due to their unbelief. Instead these love the deceitfulness of the world. They are like functional atheists. Though they profess the name of Christ on their lips their hearts do not put in even an ounce of faith in Christ. They value pleasures of the world but ignore the joy of the Lord. They choose the earthly, sensual and demonic by choosing pride and being arrogant towards the Gospel in their thoughts, words and deeds.
Instead of simply trusting the Lord Jesus who is the high priest of our confession they turn towards the vanities of life. Moses was a great prophet of the Lord God and yet he was humble towards God. He totally depended on the faithfulness of God when he had to prophecy for the liberation of the Jews. Indeed great miracles came through Moses and at a great cost to Pharaoh because that Egyptian king hardened himself towards the commands of God. Pharaoh’s stubbornness earned him the wrath of God.
Jesus is without a doubt greater that Moses. If the people couldn’t escape judgement due to Moses, do they even stand a chance if they challenge Jesus the Son of the Living God? No chance in heaven nor on earth!
When the Holy Spirit speaks you better listen. But when the Holy Spirit speaks the same thing over and over again, you ought to make sure that you listen even more fully and that too without any falsehood.
Your calling is to enter into God’s rest. God wants to give it to you freely without any need of you to earn it. You receive it by faith in Jesus. God’s will is that you don’t miss out on it. No wonder the Holy Spirit expresses his desire repeatedly that you do not harden your heart lest you do not enter in God’s rest due to your unbelief. Happy are those who believe on the Lord Jesus in all sincerity for truly they will enter into God’s rest!
Let’s read Hebrews 3:1-19 which says:
Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. 3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years. 10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’11 As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
One must find the time to relax in the Lord. Jesus said “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
You may be tense or in anguish. Don’t handle it alone. Surrender it to Jesus Christ. He will turn your sorrow into joy. Receive the rest that comes from Christ and you will realize how shallow is worldly rest. The rest which comes from the world makes you work so that you can pay it for rest. Like the words go, ‘earn your vacation’. This is not the same with Jesus. He grants comfort and rest without money. He cares for your soul.
Therefore receive the yolk of Christ which is to trust him. Trust him for holy living, trust him for daily living and needs. The world asks you to proves your worth. But Christ makes you worthy by his cross.
Think of great works of the Lord. Think of how he redeemed you from sin and death. Think of how he loves you. You didn’t love him first but rather he made the first move. Daily he preserves your life. He guides you by his Holy Spirit. God desires to let you experience his love. Don’t let distractions get in the way.
If you have a lot questions running through your mind, then remember that Jesus is the great Amen to the promises of God. If you focus on the answers you may miss the answer giver. But if you seek the answer giver the Lord Jesus then you will surely be at peace and receive the answers in due time. Just open your heart unto Christ and let go of all that worries you. He won’t get weary, for he loves it when his people draw near unto him. He will comfort you with his peace. You don’t need to earn your respect for respected you even when you didn’t know. That’s how great the Lord Jesus is. Trust in him at all times!
Wishing everyone all the blessings of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Jesus the Lord, is amazing for he rose from the dead and gives us new life. Blessed are those who haven’t seen him but yet believe in him. Here’s a poem by me in the Lord Jesus’ honor:
The Risen Lord
Rejoice greatly, rejoice on high,
Faint no more, no more sigh.
For Jesus has risen from the grave,
Lord is he, mighty to save.
Angels in heaven shout out in wonder,
Singing his victory louder than thunder.
God has done a mighty thing,
O Death, where is your sting?
Rejoice creation, the Gospel profess,
Salvation for you, nothing less.
Christ kept his resurrection promise for he’s the best,
In him you’ll find hope and true rest.
Depression and anxiety tend to have a negative impact on body and soul. People get depressed due to different reasons such as death of a loved one, financial loss, wars, lack of respect and appreciation etc. These may be valid reasons to be depressed. There are also unnecessary worries that cause depression.
Too much sorrow and anxiety puts strain on the nervous system. It causes insomnia, irritability, hopelessness etc. Even your spirit feels down and sometimes broken. You need to start realizing that you need to escape this soon. Maybe you feel at home with depression due long times of suffering but the Bible reminds us of the true nature of sorrow. You’ve got to be genuinely cheerful again.
Psalms 127:2 – [It is] vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: [for] so he giveth his beloved sleep.
Proverbs 12:25 An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
Proverbs 15:13-14 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
No matter what your reason to be anxious and sorrowful, you need to make a choice to get out of depression and anxiety. Being depressed or anxious won’t solve anything let alone fix the cause of your worrying.
Anxiety won’t help you pay the bills. It won’t get you more beauty. Depression won’t make you more wise. It won’t strengthen you.
Jesus knows all hearts perfectly because he has made them all. No wonder he spoke about the reality of cares and worries. Here’s what Jesus the creator of all hearts had said about worrying:
Matthew 6:27-29 “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow.
John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled:ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Come to Jesus and give him your anxiety and worries. He will not cast out those who approach him in faith. Doesn’t matter if you caused the mess. Just approach Christ and take it all to him in prayer.
Worldly wisdom is partially right in letting go of your worries and sorrows by speaking it out to someone. But not everyone will hear out your problems. Not everyone cares about troubles you face. They will say please don’t discuss this with me for I don’t have time for this or some other excuse. Some only want to hear of your worries to see how they can take advantage of your situation. I say that such people will get their due judgement for this.
Some people can hear you out but can’t really help you due to their lack of knowledge or human limits. They will not be able to comprehend how badly hurt you are. Some may even find certain worries of yourself amusing though you may not like such people’s response. Only few people can actually listen and help you overcome your griefs.
This doesn’t mean you don’t speak about your sorrows to others. There are genuine Christian counselors who can hear and guide you. I used to hear out different counselors on what they would do to help someone get out of depression. I realized that the most effective one is when makes a free choice to cast his/her sorrows into the hands of Jesus and truly lets go. So I decided to then directly surrender my thoughts to Jesus when I’m faced with negative thoughts. Nobody can help more better that Jesus with the Holy Spirit for the glory of God.