Our Restoring Rest
Matthew 11:27 - 30
"This passage is first and foremost about SALVATION"
Matthew 11:27 - 28
1 Timothy 1:15
"This passage is about LIFE"
"This passage is about PEACE"
Ephesians 2:14a "For he himself is our peace
I hope that everyone was able to hear and reflect on the topic of Sunday’s message. The topic of rest is critical for our culture--not because we understand and practice it, but because we are dangerously close to seeing its extinction, at least in the biblical sense, as our ‘always-connected’ culture swiftly bypasses the opportunity to rest on the way toward its unceasing pursuit of ‘achievement at any cost’. Sunday’s message came from Matthew 11, but the passage for today’s study will come from just a few chapters earlier - Matt. 7.
As a group, discuss how the world perceives the topic of rest. How would they define the term? How would one, who does not understand the biblical meaning, typically practice the act of resting?
One common misunderstanding of the concept of rest is that it is the act of ‘doing nothing’. This misunderstanding, is certainly not what we learned from Sunday’s message, and it also is not what is taught through the entirety of scripture. Let’s take a look at some passages of scripture that demonstrate this.
We know that God’s grace allows us to experience rest, but what does 1 Cor. 15:10 say that God’s grace causes in Paul’s life. How does it confront the misbelief that a biblical rest is ‘doing nothing’?
Now let’s turn to the main passage for today’s study, Matt. 7:13-14.We see two pretty distinct sides described in this passage. Identify them and the characteristics of each?
As a group, discuss which of these two paths would require you to ‘need rest’?
As a further evidence of this glorious truth, turn to Hebrews 3:19-Hebrews 4:2. While the complexities of this passage are multiple and time does not permit us to exhaustively exposite every glorious truth, let’s focus on what can be seen plainly.
Hebrews 3:19, is speaking of the Israelites not being able to enter the rest of God’s promised land. But what does it say is the reason for their not being able to enter?
Hebrews 4:1 tell us that the promise of God’s rest still stands, and that it is so important that we should fear not entering it! How does v2 distinguish between those who will and those who won’t enter into God’s rest?
Think about how we have described the Christian life so far--hard, narrow, difficult, work--so is there any doubt as to why, in Sunday’s passage, that Jesus offers rest to our souls?! He is not saying that the Christian life is about doing nothing--He is saying, ‘for those who know me and who work hard to be obedient and strive to bring me glory by entering the narrow gate, and find me ultimately satisfying--I will give your souls rest by being your ultimate satisfaction. And this rest is essential because the way of life that I have called you to is difficult. You will not have to look anywhere else for your satisfaction, purpose, or security. What an amazing promise! PLEASE DO NOT MISS THIS! God is defining rest in this way-- nurture your vitality by resting in my rest! I came, suffered, and conquered sin. Afterward I rested to set a pattern for you to also rest. Through my work everything was satisfied--nothing remains, your victory is sealed in Me--so rest in that--rest in Me! Rest is not doing nothing--rest, in the biblical sense, is consciously choosing to focus on God during our work and then trusting in His provision and victory when we have come to end of our ability and need to respite.