Posted in Hebrews, Matthew

Working to Rest

“There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:9-11

Confronted with the demands of ministry, I’ve thought a lot about the importance of rest. The center of Christianity is not our work, but Christ’s finished work on the cross. Our victory comes not from our human efforts but from learning to rest in Him, and allowing His life to overcome through us.

Our text tells us that if we tend to this one relationship, (“Be diligent to enter that rest…”) we will no longer be under the striving of our own works but be in a position where God can work through us. Working without entering that rest will always lead to unbelief and disobedience because only Christ in us can live the Christian life. On our own we can clean up the outside of the cup and even impress a few people, but real cleansing requires our ceasing from what we can do and yielding to the Holy Spirit’s presence in us.

Are you tired? Are you slowly burning out? Has your Christianity become one more burden instead of the lifter of all your other burdens? Jesus has some advice for all of us: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)


Pastor at City Church in Madison, Wisconsin