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Rest in God, Part 6

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
September 4, 2023 10:15 am

Rest in God, Part 6

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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September 4, 2023 10:15 am

Hebrews 4:1-10

A clear view of God’s character and purpose will make us intensely aware of our own brokenness.  Surrendering makes us whole again.  Today, Pastor Rich continues in Hebrews 4:1-10, showing how finding our rest in God frees us from the desperate striving to find meaning and purpose on our own. Let’s listen in.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. A clear view of God's character and purpose will make us intensely aware of our own brokenness. Surrendering is what makes us whole again. Today, Pastor Rich continues in Hebrews 4, 1-10, showing how finding our rest in God will free us from the desperate striving to find meaning and purpose on our own.

This is the third part of a sermon, which was first preached on June 3, 2012. To understand its purpose, but you know what? As long as that tree branch is separated from the tree, it cannot know life, it cannot produce what it was intended to produce.

That's the tree branch. One of our main pursuits in our culture today is beauty, because image is everything, isn't it? One of the most beautiful people, dubbed by People Magazine as one of the most beautiful people, is Halle Berry. Let me read you what she says about beauty. Beauty?

Let me tell you something. Being thought of as a beautiful woman has spared me nothing in life. No heartache, no trouble.

Life has been difficult. Beauty is essentially meaningless, and it is always transitory. I can't believe what people do to themselves to make themselves look beautiful. The excesses, and then they end up distorted.

Worse, they still have that hole in their soul that led them to change themselves to begin with. Aimless conduct. The writer Peter says to his readers in 1 Peter 1-18, this is aimless conduct.

It is the broken off branch, striving for meaning and purpose and productivity in life, and it has none, because it's broken off from the tree. Ernest Hemingway. We laud him for his writing successes. We quote his his readings, his writings, all the time. Ernest Hemingway was the epitome of the 20th century man. He had it all. He could have whatever he wanted. He could have written the book of Ecclesiastes. When he was 61 years old, he took his own life. He left a note and it said this, life is one beep thing after another.

What is that? It's meaninglessness. That is not the rest that God has intended for us.

That is the tree branch that is broken off from the tree, from the source and sustenance of life. Woody Allen says this, the fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. Death is absolutely stupefying in its terror and it renders anyone's accomplishments meaningless. What a confession.

What a confession. Let me give you an example here and now read an example from Charles Colson, Chuck Colson we know him as. Now Chuck Colson, if you don't know who I'm talking about, he just died about a month ago and he had spent some time in prison because he was involved in the Watergate scandal in the Nixon administration back in the early 70s. So he spent some time in prison.

He was introduced to Christ and from then on for the rest of his life he devoted himself to ministering to people in prison and thousands of lives have been transformed and brought to Christ as a result of Chuck Colson's ministry. And he says this, this is a story about his hometown in Naples, Florida which he calls quote one of the garden spots of the world. He says it's an absolute nirvana for all golfers and they all come there. They're all CEOs of major corporations and they retire to Naples and this is it.

27 golf courses and miles of sparkling beach and the best country clubs. I watch these guys. They're powerful people. They have this New York look in their face. They're determined but now all of a sudden they start measuring their lives by how many golf games they can get in. I often say to them do you really want to live your life counting up the number of times you chase that little white ball around the greens?

And they kind of chuckle but it's a nervous chuckle because in six months they've realized how banal their lives are and they've got beautiful homes, castles and when they get bored with that they build a bigger castle and they're miserable. The object of life is not what we think it is which is to achieve money, power, pleasure. That's not the holy grail. The object of life is the maturing of the soul. The object of life is to walk with God to know him and to enjoy him. That's the rest that God has for his people.

This is what the writer of Hebrews is telling us. Why chase anything else? It's vanity.

It's vanity. You see rest in God is no longer striving to discover our meaning and purpose. Our objective is God. Our means is Christ. We simply follow him. Rest is not doing nothing.

We are rescued from merely striving for survival and grasping for meaning. Just this last week in the news, Junior Seau, a well-known passionate superstar of the NFL San Diego Chargers. I remember watching him play. I enjoyed watching him play. In his 13-year football career, Seau made the Pro Bowl 12 times. He was selected to the NFL's 1990s all-decade team. Sadly, May 2nd at the age of 43, Seau took his own life. Seau's death stunned the northern San Diego community who adored him for his service and outgoing personality. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, his former teammate and friend Rodney Harrison explains that in Seau's last days, he was desperately searching for peace.

How is it? How is it that someone can be so successful and still searching for peace? Because a tree branch broken off from the tree can strive, but it cannot know life until it is reconciled to the tree. They're in his rest. They're in his rest. The rest for the people of God involves activity that is the outflow and delight of a love relationship with the one who made us for himself, our soul's reward. That is the rest for the people of God. The final point then, as the writer of Hebrews says, it remains for some to enter. That's why he gives the warning, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. Come short of what? The rest that God has intended.

Let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. You see that, bro, those broken branches on there? All those other branches, those healthy branches, those are the ones that are reconciled to God. Those are the ones that are growing and productive and living because they're simply resting in the tree. But those broken off branches, they're striving for life. They're striving for productivity. They're striving for meaning and they're not finding it because they're broken off. There remains some to enter the rest.

Some have come short of it. Why does the writer of Hebrews say let us fear? I thought you were inviting us to rest and now you want us to fear? What it comes down to, folks, is an accurate understanding of God. We must know God for who He is. I can't approach God on my terms in terms of what my perceptions of who He is. I must know God in the way that He has revealed Himself to me. An accurate, and this is fear, this is why he says let us fear, an accurate understanding of God's character and purpose makes us intensely aware of our own brokenness.

Surrendering makes us whole again. You see those tree branches that are broken on there? Those are broken branches. They are not living. They are dying.

They are thirsting. They are suffocating. They are not productive branches. The only way those branches will live and find the rest that God has intended for them is when they recognize God's character and His purpose to surrender to that and then God reconciles them to Himself and then they live and then they produce. That's the rest that God has for His people. That's why He said, as we read in Matthew chapter 5, happy, blessed, blessed means happy, are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Those who mourn for they shall be comforted, the humble for they shall inherit the earth. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness because they will be filled.

Filled means satisfaction. Are you restless here this morning? Are you surrendered to your sovereign who made you and redeemed you? Are you a broken branch striving for life, striving for meaning and purpose for productivity? Or are you a branch that is simply resting in the sovereign one, the source and the sustainer of life and as you rest in Him, your life is the outflow of that because your life draws from Him.

That's rest. The writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 95 and he says, oh come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

What is that? Kneeling before the Lord our maker is a posture of what? Surrender.

Listen, apart from that you will not know God's rest. The writer of Hebrews is calling us today. Surrender.

Let us fear. Surrender so that you can know the rest that God has for you and you can know it today. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker for He is our God. We are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hands. Today, if you will hear His voice, surrender. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-04 12:36:51 / 2023-09-04 12:41:19 / 4

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