As we near Independence Day, I hope and pray for you that this moment, which marks our freedom as a country and people, is filled with rest and reasons for joy and celebration. I also hope that, in the midst of the rest and celebration, your hearts drift toward God in gratitude and worship.
Celebrations such as Independence Day provide us with the opportunity to thank God for the daily freedoms we experience as a result of those who sacrificed greatly to give us liberty. If we allow them to, these celebrations will also remind us of the even greater freedom we have been given by Jesus. Because of Christ, we not only break temporarily to restfully enjoy a Holiday weekend; we have been given a soul-level rest that sustains us through the responsibilities, pressures, demands, and burdens of this life.
Jesus gave us this promise...
“Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
There is no greater rest than this – rest from ceaselessly striving to prove myself before God and others; rest from the endless attempts to find significance in the things of this world; rest from having to satisfy the demanding expectations of others.
Through his own sacrifice and death, Jesus has forgiven our sin, freed us from needing to satisfy the demands of the law, and given us complete acceptance in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
And when you experience Jesus’ freedom, your life will be marked by celebration and gratitude and you will experience even more joy over the remarkable day-to-day freedoms that we experience in our country.
This weekend, I’ll be teaching on rest...our need for it, God’s provision of it, and how we practice it.
I came across an insightful and helpful article that provides a starting place for understanding the gift of rest that God has given us and invites us to embrace. I’ve shared it here and encourage you to read it sometime this week. (Open PDF)
Harbor, I love you and look forward to seeing you this weekend!