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Finding Inner Rest, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
July 8, 2022 9:00 am

Finding Inner Rest, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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July 8, 2022 9:00 am

Most of us are running so hard after success, that we miss out on God’s best for us! That’s the danger of busyness.

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Today on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. So he commands us to work six days to provide for ourselves by natural means but then to take one day off and let him work. And on that day we're saying to God, God I am doing less than I'm able to do because you commanded me to.

And ultimately providing for me is your responsibility and so I'm depending on you to make up what I'm missing here by not working. Welcome back to Summit Life with pastor, author, and theologian J.D. Greer. As always, I'm your host Molly Vidovitch. We're in the book of Hebrews chapter four with a study called Christ is Better. And if you missed any of the previous messages you can catch up with us by visiting jdgreer.com. Today pastor J.D. again describes the potential danger of busyness. You see most of us are running so hard after success that we miss out on God's best for us.

And his best almost always involves some sort of slowing down, taking a deep breath, and resting. So let's rejoin pastor J.D. right now in Hebrews chapter four, Finding Inner Rest. Let's look at the development of the Sabbath law in Scripture. The development of the Sabbath law in Scripture. The first time that we see the Sabbath instituted is at creation. God created the world in six days and he rested on the seventh day. Through Moses, God commanded that we do the same. So the command, the fourth command is found in Exodus 20 verse 9.

Here it is. Six days you shall labor and do all your work but the seventh day is the Sabbath to the Lord your God. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth the sea and all that is in them and he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. So he commands us to work six days to provide for ourselves by natural means but then to take one day off and let him work. To take one day off and do nothing. Nothing when we could be doing something and sometimes feel like we ought to be doing something. And on that day we're saying to God, God I am doing less than I'm able to do because you commanded me to.

And ultimately providing for me is your responsibility and so I'm depending on you to make up what I'm missing here by not working. That was Sabbath. That was the created Sabbath that God gave. One day to stop and remember that God was the point and God was the provider. How much did Israel contribute to their deliverance from Egypt?

How much? The answer is zero, right? I mean did they help stimulate the plagues? Was God like, I got a great idea. Why don't you go turn the Nile into blood? Why don't you go knock off all the cows?

Everybody go out cow tipping tonight. That'll be the third plague. Go collect all the frogs and release them on Pharaoh's porch. Is that what he did? You know that would have been more like the 10 practical jokes and would have just annoyed Pharaoh. No, he did those all by himself at the Red Sea. You know the great act of deliverance where God separated them from the armies of Egypt. Did they help out with that deliverance? Was Moses like, hey okay this group of people stand on this side and you blow this way and this group of people stand here and you blow that way and let's see if we can make a little trench in the water and we'll walk across it. Is that how that went down?

No. The rest that he is talking about here, the rest, the final rest, the rest that all these other things pointed to was Jesus. The Sabbath command and all the Sabbath teaching ultimately pointed forward to Christ. Jesus is the ultimate rest. So what I want to do is I'm going to give you four statements about Christ that show you how he is the ultimate Sabbath.

To show you how it is that you rest in him. All right, four things about Christ that make him the ultimate Sabbath and the ultimate rest. Number one, Christ is my righteousness. Christ is my righteousness. You see Christ restores to you the love and the acceptance by God that you've craved since creation. You didn't even know what you were craving but you were looking for it when you were trying to get ahead and you were looking for it when you were getting married and you were looking for it in all these pursuits you've been. You've been looking for your soul's been looking for that clothing that it lost when it lost God's approval. Christ gave it to you as a gift. He gave you righteousness. He took away your souls naked and clothed you with his garments. So therefore, verse 10, look at it, whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

What does that mean? Does that mean Christians don't work hard? Does that mean Christians don't provide for themselves? Christians don't serve Jesus fervently?

No. It just means I'm no longer working to justify myself. I'm no longer working to clothe myself. I'm no longer working to earn my place before God because that's been given to me as a gift in Christ. That's why Tim Keller talks about our damnable good works. It's good works that we do because we don't believe that God has given us full righteousness in Christ. So we feel like I've still got to accomplish this and I've still got to be this good in order for God to accept and approve of me because you just don't believe that God has settled it forever in Christ that he could not love you any more than he does right at this moment because he has completed your salvation once for all in Christ. Whoever understands that has rested from his damnable good works where he tries to earn acceptance before God just like God did from his.

Jesus did it and he sat down. So that means in trying to earn God's approval you can sit down because you have it in Christ. All right Christ is my righteousness.

Number two. This one is very closely related to that one. Christ is my identity. Christ is my identity. One of the reasons that we can never rest is that we're always trying to prove ourselves to prove our value and one of the ways I showed you at the beginning that we do that is through our work. Right?

We build our identity, our self-identity on our work. I mean you know the example I've used a few times about this goes back to the greatest, one of the greatest movies that any child of the 80s should know. Actually this movie wasn't in the 80s. It was 1978 but still it's an awesome one. Rocky one.

The only one of the Rockies that was really any good. You know what I'm talking about? I'm not talking about Rocky 38 where he fights people in rest homes because that's just like weird. But Rocky one where you know he's got this little Philadelphia kid that's trying to you know he gets this fight with the world champ Apollo Creed and you remember that scene where he is walking around the ice skating rink with Adrian.

Adrian that's right. And he's walking around Adrian and you remember she says, Rock why are you doing it? You know why are you going to get into the ring with the world champ? You know he's going to pulverize you. Do you remember Sylvester Stallone, great philosopher theologian that he is? Do you remember his answer back to her because it's actually pretty brilliant? It's because if I can go 15 rounds with the world champ then I'll know I'm not a bum. Right? Is that pretty good?

Is that what it sounded like? If I can go 15 rounds with the world champ then I'll know I'm not a bum. And I've told you that that statement even coming out of the mouth of Rocky Balboa is a brilliant statement about how most people will pursue life.

Or for you it might not be going 15 rounds with the world champ. For you it might be getting married and having children and then you'll feel like you're worth something. It might be graduating a certain place in your class.

It might be making a certain income, living in a certain neighborhood, driving a certain kind of car or achieving something in your career. But whatever you're doing you're trying to lift yourself out of bumness. Right? Bumness is just another name for nakedness.

Nakedness is just another way of understanding our fallenness. And let me tell you something that gets tiring when you're always trying to prove your value through what you accomplish and what you work and in your work. Right?

Because even if you do go 15 rounds with the world champ you know at some point Mr. T shows up. And then you got to take him on too and then some crazy Russian. You know and then it's like it just it never ends. Right?

And then you're making Rocky number 918. You're like don't let it go. You're like man just let it die.

You're not a bum. You know you've escaped. But it never ends.

It gets tiring. Try and constantly to establish your worth. You see the gospel speaks profoundly differently to you. It says that you are held in the highest regard by the highest being and therein you find rest.

I'm reminding myself that I have the highest regard by the highest being. You know what that tells me? It means I don't need your approval to feel good about myself anymore. That's what that means.

It means that I don't need to achieve a certain salary level. It means that our church doesn't need to get to be a certain size. I don't need anything besides him for everlasting joy because I have the highest regard by the highest being. And if God is for me, if God could not love me any more than he does, then who cares about the opinions of a bunch of no account earthlings. Because Christ is better.

He's better. Psychologists say that three. Remember learning this in psychology class. Psychologists say that three of our biggest needs as human beings are to feel clean like morally clean, to feel safe, and to feel significant. I remember learning that in my psychology class and then reading 1 Corinthians 6 11 and having it just explode off of the page to me. Paul, the apostle Paul says, you are washed, you are justified, you are sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the spirit of our God. Washed means you're clean. Justified means you're safe before God. And if you're safe before God, then what else have you got to fear? Sanctified means you're significant, set apart for God. In Christ, you are clean. In Christ, you are safe.

In Christ, you are significant. That provides you with rest. I can rest. This inner turmoil, this lack of inner rest, this constant anxiety that all goes back to that soul nakedness. I find rest from all of that in Christ that I have the highest acceptance by the highest being.

And listen again, all of you, but especially my heart right now is for some of my fellow men. Until you get this, vacations are not really going to work for you because your body might be resting but your soul is still in turmoil. Without Christ, you will end up working even when you're resting. With Christ, you'll rest even when you're working because your work is no longer done to prove yourself.

It's done out of rest. Number three, Christ is my security. Christ is my security. I showed you in Deuteronomy 5 a few minutes ago that God says to the children of Israel, if I cared enough about you to deliver you from slavery all by myself, don't you think I'll take care of you now? I'm not a Pharaoh, I'm a father. Paul says, listen, essentially the exact same thing in Romans 8.30. Romans 8.30 is the New Testament version of Deuteronomy 5.15 where the apostle Paul says, he who did not spare his own son will he not also freely give us all things.

If God saved you when you were his enemy, do you think he'll take care of you now that you're his child? We'll get right back to today's teaching with Pastor JD in just a moment, but first let me tell you about a daily email devotional that's available to our Summit Life family. I know we all get spammed with lots of stuff we simply don't care about, but this is one that you'll not only come to appreciate but actually experience growth from as a result. The devotionals even follow along with our current teaching in the book of Hebrews so you can stay plugged into these messages regardless of your schedule.

To sign up for this free resource, visit us at jdgrier.com slash resources. You can also learn more about our brand new monthly resource available with your gift to the ministry today. Thanks for being with us. Now let's get back to the final moments of today's message.

Here's Pastor JD. That brings us back around to the Sabbath command to take one day off a week. I mean, it's actually a pretty good deal, is it not? Take a day off and I'll pay you for it anyway by multiplying your work in the other six days.

Give money away to things that as a believer you love and I'll pay you back by multiplying that money back to you. But what kind of idiot would turn down that deal, right? I'll tell you what kind of idiot.

The 40% of you that don't take off a Sabbath day and the 70% of you that don't tithe, that's the idiot. Boom, roasted, all right? All right.

Now listen, I'm not trying to use this or trying to imply that this is not a manipulation tool. No, really not. Sometimes the fullness that God gives back to you is not financial because he knows the bigger need that you have is not financial. And I used to tell people, I actually, I used to never tell people about all the promises in the Bible that God gives about multiplying your time and your money when you honor him with the Sabbath and with tithe and all that kind of stuff. Because when I did it, I felt like one of those crazy TV preachers. You know, I was like, hey, give your money to me and then God will multiply.

And I hate that. But folks, I'm going to go ahead and tell you, there's just too many verses in the Bible for me to, I finally was, I was being unfaithful to scripture and to you when I didn't at least tell you about those verses. Proverbs 11, 24 and 25, Proverbs 22, 9, Malachi 3, 10, 2 Chronicles 31, 10, Luke 6, 38, 2 Corinthians 9, 6 through 9, just to name a few.

Where God says, you honor me and you watch because I want you to learn that I'm your provider, I'm your provider and you honor me out of faithfulness to me and you watch what I give back to you. And I know some of you sitting here thinking, oh, you know, he's doing this because this is not, I'm not about to take up an offering. That's not the point, right? In fact, I'll tell you this, and I mean this with every fiber of my being, if that's a problem for you, give it somewhere else. I don't need it, okay? I mean, this is not about what I need as a pastor or as a church. This is about your soul understanding that the weight of responsibility is not supposed to rest on you. What God wants from you is faithfulness. And when you are faithful to God, God says, I will show myself as your provider.

So I'm going to ask you to do less than you can so that you give me space to work. So I'll tell you this, listen, if you're trying to manipulate God, that's your wholeheartedness, that's a hard issue between you and God. But see, if you're given in faith and you're saying, God, I'm going to honor you as you commanded me with my time and my money, and I'm going to let you be my security, that's exactly what God wants from you and why he gave you the command. He wants to be your security.

He don't want you to be your own security. Before I move on to our last point here, let me share with you one other place in scripture that this principle has become especially sweet to me. I love it, it's one of my favorite psalms. Psalm 127 one, look at this. Psalm 127 one, if you can't find it, I'll put it on the screen for you. Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 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.

Here's something you've never heard in church. What is the sign, in verse two, what is the sign that you know God? Sleep.

I'm looking at a handful of you right now that are demonstrating you know God right at this moment, so awesome. That's not the kind of sleep he's talking about. What is the sign in this verse that you know God?

Sleep, rest. God intended sleep to be a time every day where you remind yourself that you're not God. God says, you're not me.

You're not me. It's not your responsibility to guard the city. It's not your responsibility to build the house or pay the bills. That's my job. It's your job to be faithful. After you've been faithful, you can lie down to sleep and leave it all in my hand. That, my friend, listen, is why God designed you so that you need sleep and you need Sabbath so that you could remind yourself daily and weekly that you're not God. Until you get this principle, listen, again, vacations are not going to work for you because even when you're on vacation, you're going to be worried about what you're not getting done.

You're going to be worried about the money you're not making, which is why you men cannot leave that stupid phone at home. You need to recognize that that's the original sin. The original sin that says, I want to be God. God says, you don't be me.

That's why some of you men, you can unplug from the activity, but you never unplug from the strain. Because your soul has never found its rest in Christ, your righteousness, your identity, and your security. Number four, Christ is my priority. Christ is my priority.

Remember Sabbath was given to teach them once a week that Christ was the point of it all. You got to stop every once in a while and ask why you're doing what you do. Isn't it amazing how many times we don't ask the most fundamental questions about life? Why are we doing what we're doing, and who's it all for, and where's it all going, and why am I here? We never ask that question.

We just get involved in the activity. It's almost like you're driving a car and you're worried about the direction of the mirror, and you're worried about what radio station it's on, how loud it is, and there's a climate control right in the car. That's all great, but I would suggest to you there's an even more important question you ought to ask when you're driving a car.

Where are you going? I would say that's the most fundamental question about driving a car is where are you going, because if you know where you're going, then you can start evaluating whether the decisions and the turns that you're making are the right ones. That's why I love my little GPS with my inner British woman in there, because I can just tell her I want to go, and then she starts to evaluate the decisions I'm making while I drive to tell me if it's going to help me get to where I need to go.

Right? So I can say, well, this is where I'm going, and then this turn right here is wrong. But you understand, listen, when you stop and think about where you're going, it might help you make evaluations about decisions.

Getting that extra job might help give you that little cash bump, but it's going to cost you your children. Maybe every once in a while you have to stop and realize that that's a much more important objective, and God's view is your children, because they're eternal, and that job is not. Or you might say, yeah, making this move would be good for my career, but it's not good for the kingdom, and it's not good for my family. In light of eternity, I think the kingdom and the family are much more important than exactly how much money I make or where my career ends up. Sabbath and tithing reminds you that God is your priority. For many of you, this is precisely the place where your faith, listen, is going to become real, because this is where the rubber of your faith hits the road. For many of you, God is this theory. God, God.

But this is where it actually becomes real. I got a letter. A lot of people wrote me all these letters for my 10th anniversary here at the church, and I got a letter from a girl who no longer goes to church here because she moved out west.

She wrote her letter, and she basically said this. Said, I came to Christ at your church. I started to date a guy at the summit who also came to Christ here. Said, we were really growing in our faith.

It was an exciting time. We got engaged. She said, shortly after we got engaged, after one of your sermons, he came to me, and he said, God has convicted me that I need to start tithing. She said, I freaked out because I knew that if he was going to start tithing, he wasn't just going to tithe on his money.

Pretty soon, he was going to be tithing on my money. And she said, I was all fine with God being out here and everything. She said, but that's real money.

Real money. And she says, it freaked me out. But then she went on in her letter, she said, but God used that to show me the difference in a faith that was in word only, in a faith where I actually trusted God. She says, I know you get a lot of hate mail whenever you talk about giving, and I do. I do.

I'm ready for it. She said, I know you get a lot of hate mail, but I want you to understand that this issue of giving is exactly the place where my faith went from being a theory to being something where I actually, in reality, trusted God. For many of you, this is going to be the issue, to show you whether or not trust in God is out here or whether trust in God is actually how you live. Because when you trust in God, you honor him first, you do what he tells you to do, and you leave the rest to him.

Summit Church, listen, I will tell you there is rest, so much rest, in having Christ as your priority. Because I know that if I'm honoring Christ as my priority, he promises to provide everything else, everything. One of my favorite promises, Matthew 6-33, but seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you. All these things, you know what that includes? That Greek word that's translated all is a very unusual word. It literally means all. You know what all means? It means everything. It means anything you can tuck in the word all. It means your job, it means your finances, it means your retirement, it means whether or not you get married, whether or not you have children, relationships, all of it, all of it. When Christ is your priority, when you put him first and he says everything else will be added to you, the writer lands a plane this way, Hebrews 4-1, therefore all the promise of entering his rest still stands.

Still available. Let us fear lest any of you, church, should seem to have failed to reach it. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

Israel, you see, failed. They wouldn't believe. They thought they still needed to build their identity.

They thought that they still needed to provide their security. They made themselves a priority and they did not enter in the gift that God had offered them which was rest in Christ. It is a gift and a gift has to be personally received. It is a gift that is offered to you. Christ has paid all your sin.

That's your righteousness. He's offered you full acceptance to the Father. He says that will be your identity because when you have the love of the Father, the highest being gives you the highest approval, you won't need everything else. He will be your security because he will watch over you as a tender father. You no longer live underneath the reign of a cruel taskmaster.

He will be your priority which means you honor him and everything else he will add to you. That's a gift and he says if you will enter it, you will find rest. Verse seven, today if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. And when you begin to rest in him, you'll find your work. You don't quit working hard.

It just takes on a different flavor. It's not a work that comes out of strain. It's a work that comes out of rest. You can rest even while you're working because you found your identity and your security in him.

I'm telling you, this for many of you will be a line in the sand. You will look at your life in two parts because you started to understand how Christ was your identity. Christ was your security. Christ was your righteousness. Christ could be your priority. Your soul will finally experience that rest you have craved and never been able to find in vacation. Take a deep breath.

True rest is available to you right now. Stop striving so hard and take time to enjoy the blessings of Jesus. That's the message today on Summit Life with Pastor J.D.

Greer. We're in a teaching series called Christ is Better and you can hear previous messages or download the sermon transcripts when you visit us online at jdgreer.com. While you're there, you can also browse Pastor J.D. 's blog. He covers a ton of topics about real life issues with wisdom straight from God's Word. And when you subscribe to our email list, you'll get future blog posts and resource updates sent straight to your inbox.

Go to jdgreer.com. Summit Life is here for you every day on your radio station and online. Thanks to the generosity of listeners like you who donate because they want to reach more people with the hope of the gospel. And when you join our team and donate today, we'll say thanks by sending you our featured resource from Pastor J.D. It's a Bible study that follows our current teaching through the book of Hebrews, 10 sessions to drive home that Jesus is worthy of our trust and devotion. We want each chapter of the book of Hebrews to challenge and encourage you in your walk with the Lord. Ask for your copy when you give by calling 866-335-5220 or get a copy when you donate online at jdgreer.com. I'm Molly Vitevich. Be sure to join us next week as we continue this study in the book of Hebrews right here on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-26 19:25:44 / 2023-03-26 19:36:41 / 11

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