Rest A While

“And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.

~ Mark 6:31

There is a physical cadence to life God has instilled in creation that requires His creatures to alternate between work and rest. We require rest. We need it to function at our best when we are awake and at work. Likewise, at times, Christians need seasons of spiritual rest, too. When we come to realize that our growing in grace and more fully in our Christ-likeness is really not so much about what we do, but rather who we are, it allows us to enjoy occasions of spiritual refreshing and rest. Sometimes, the best thing we can do for our souls is to come to a quiet deserted place, and spend some restful time simply communing in fellowship with the Lord. So come all who are weary and heavy laden, draw near to Christ, our beloved Savior, and rest a while.

~apl

Prayer Life Pause: Dear Lord, grant me times of quiet and solitude where I can refresh my spirit in Your presence and rest in the delight of Your grace and Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Peace

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

Like the other fruits of the Spirit, peace is not something we always experience outwardly, but it is something the follower of Jesus can cultivate inwardly. The kind of peace spoken of here is a result of ceasing the inner conflict in ourselves between sin and the Savior. There is always conflict when we are at odds with the Lord. And our peace comes when we yield to Christ and submit ourselves to His Word. Faithful obedience and grace-filled living leads to spiritual peace.

Prayer Life Pause: Lord Jesus, fill my heart with Your Word that it might chase out my sins and pour Your Holy Spirit in me that I might experience Your splendid peace. In Jesus, name, amen.

Let Us Lay The Axe

“If we look upon our progress in religion as a progress only in outward observances and forms, our devoutness will soon come to an end. But let us lay the axe to the very root of our life, that, being cleansed from [worldly] affections, we may possess our souls in peace.”

~ Thomas a’ Kempis

Peace With God

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.

~ Romans 5:1 (NKJV)

May we never minimize so great a peace! May we never discount what it means to be at peace with God. We may long for peace here and now, but may we ever so much long for peace in eternity. May we remember how far we have fallen away from the grace and favor of God and how far He has come to turn away His great wrath and grant us His peace. We now have the privilege of serving the Price of Peace. He who declares to the storms “Peace, be still”. He, who is Jesus Christ, and brings to us this peace which Scripture describes as surpassing our understanding. God’s peace does surpass our understanding, doesn’t it? Who can comprehend such mercy? Such love? That the sovereign and eternal God of heaven and earth, He who is holy, blameless and pure – He who the Bible says is comprised of unapproachable light – would justify poor sinners through the sacrifice of His own Son – and reconcile, that is join together, His lowly creatures back to Himself through and by His eternal and everlasting peace.

Amen

But To Serve

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

~ Mark 10:45 (NKJV)

The life and ministry of the Lord Jesus was to serve others. Jesus came to serve, and to be an example of what it means to live a life serving, loving and helping others. Though Jesus was, and is, God in heaven, in coming to the earth, He took on the form of a servant. He came not with pomp and glory, but as a man in humble life. He practiced self-denial on their account, and for them was about to lay down his life.

Jesus came to us in the form of a servant in order not only to show us the importance of serving others, but also ultimately to give His life for us – the greatest act of sacrifice and servitude. We have to choose this day whom we are going to serve. The Lord or ourselves? Jesus wants us to take on the heart of the servant. To find fulfillment, peace and joy in serving others just as He did during this ministry. Pray to the Lord to grant you a servant’s heart. A pure desire to see the needs of others even above your own. To think and esteem others before yourself. To humble yourself before God and man that you might better others through your acts of service. For, in the final analysis, when we really let our heart dwell upon it, is this not what Christ has already done for you?

~ apl

Enkindle In US

O God, Who art the unsearchable abyss of peace, the ineffable sea of love, the fountain of blessings, and the bestower of affection, Who sendest peace to those that receive it; open to us this day the sea of Thy love, and water us with the plenteous streams from the riches of Thy grace. Make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace. Enkindle in us the fire of Thy love; sow in us Thy fear; strengthen our weakness by Thy power; bind us closely to Thee and to each other in one firm bond of unity; for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.

~ Syrian Clementine Liturgy 380 A.D.

The Plan of Salvation

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”

~ Romans 5:1 (NKJV)

The plan of salvation by Christ reveals God as willing to be reconciled. He is ready to pardon, and to be at peace. If the sinner repents and believes, God can now consistently forgive him, and admit him to favor. It is therefore a plan by which the mind of God and of the sinner can become reconciled, or united in feeling and in purpose. The obstacles on the part of God to reconciliation, arising from his justice and Law, have been removed, and he is now willing to be at peace. The obstacles on the part of man, arising from his sin, his rebellion, and his conscious guilt, may be taken away, and he can now regard God as his friend.

~ Albert Barnes, Notes on the Whole Bible

As Wide As The World

Come to Me, all you 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 (NKJV)

The poor and needy; the weary and heavy-ladened; the soul sick of sin and of the world; the sinner conscious of guilt and afraid to die, may come to Jesus Christ and live, the invitation is as wide as the world. The child and the old man may seek and find salvation at the feet of the same Saviour. No child is too young; no man is too old: no one is too great a sinner. Christ is “full” of mercy, and all who come shall find peace. O how should we, in this sinful and miserable world, borne down with sin, and exposed each moment to death – how should we come and find the peace which he has promised to all, and take the yoke which all [who have believed on Him] have found to be light!

~ Albert Barnes, Notes On The Whole Bible

Making Way For Peace

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

~ Romans 5:1 (NKJV)

It is sin that breeds the quarrel between us and God, creates not only a strangeness, but an enmity the holy righteous God cannot in honour be at peace with a sinner while he continues under the guilt of sin. Justification takes away the guilt, and so makes way for peace. And such are the benignity and good-will of God to man that, immediately upon the removing of that obstacle, the peace is made…. And surely a man needs no more to make him happy than to have God his friend! But this is through our Lord Jesus Christ–through him as the great peace-maker, the Mediator between God and man, that blessed Day’s-man that has laid his hand upon us.

~ Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Romans 5:1