Rest In Him

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The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pasture: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. -Psalm 23:1-4

When God created the heavens and the earth, the Bible says that He rested on the seventh day. Now, if God took a rest break in His schedule, then it’s safe to say that you and I will need a rest break as well along our journey. Take the approach of doing everything in your ability to accomplish His plan for your life and then rest in assurance that He will take care of making sure it comes to pass.

A lot of people reach a stage of burnout simply because they do not rest. They do not take the time to replenish their strength. Every now and then make sure to stop and just breathe for a moment. Taking a break from constant activity is something that can actually keep you energized as you continue to walk out God’s plan for your life. 

Make no mistake about it. God wants His children to rest. When you rest, it allows you to replenish your physical, mental, and emotional strength that keeps you fighting the good fight of faith. In the book of Psalm, David gives the analogy of a shepherd making his sheep lie down and take a rest. A shepherd would do this in order to make sure his sheep were rested for the journey that was ahead of them. Sometimes the sheep would fight and struggle, but because the shepherd cared for the sheep, he would make hem lie down. 

Just as the shepherd cares for sheep, God cares for you. He knows the journey that lies ahead for you and He will nudge you when it’s time to rest for a moment. Taking a rest break doesn’t mean you are losing ground; it just means you are getting prepared for the journey ahead into greater things. #RestInHim 

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The “LOVE” of God

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”-John 3:16

Have you ever just wondered what God was thinking when He sent His Son to die for us? Do you know the sacrifice He made for us? God loved us so much where He sent His Son  to die for propitiation of our sins. I think about what Jesus had to go through and how He was treated badly. It makes me sad. Every time I see the Passion of Christ and other related movies, I cry.  I can only imagine what He had to go through because of the love He has for His people. 

I love God because He first loved me. God’s love cannot be compared to any other. No one can love you the way God loves you. No matter who abandons you, reject you, or don’t love you, always know that you have someone who will always love you unconditionally-GOD! LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind, LOVE does not envy, LOVE does not boast, LOVE is not easily angered; LOVE protects, always trusts, hopes, perseveres, LOVE never fails. 1 Corinthians 13. LOVE covers a multitude of sin.

If God loved us so much to sacrifice His Son, then why do we as believers don’t express the same love He has for us towards others? We tend to hurt God’s feelings over and over again and He keeps on forgiving us. God will never hurt, harm, or abandon you. Sometimes we hurt, harm, and abandon ourselves and God. God is no respector of person, He treats and loves us all the same. 

Since we know that God’s love for us will never  fail, we should ask God to give us the capacity to love fully and completely. When I look at the cross, I know God has shown me the deepest depths of mercy. Sacrifice. Forgiveness. Salvation. We have to embrace this model of love and live it each day. God’s Word and love is a living example that inspires me towards a greater passion in life. Be consumed by God’s love today!

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1. God Loves you Unconditionally

God loves with agape, the love described in 1 Corinthians 13. He loves you so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for you, that you might have everlasting life. His love is not based on performance. Christ loves you so much that while you were yet a sinner, He died for you.

God’s love for you is unconditional and undeserved. He loves you in spite of your disobedience, your weakness, your sin and your selfishness. He loves you enough to provide a way to abundant, eternal life. From the cross Christ cried out, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” If God loved those who are sinners that much, can you imagine how much He loves you — His child through faith in Christ and who seeks to please Him?

The parable of the prodigal son, as recorded in Luke 15, illustrates God’s unconditional love for His children. A man’s younger son asked his father for his share of the estate, packed his belongings, and took a trip to a distant land where he wasted all of his money on parties and prostitutes. About the time that his money was gone, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He finally came to his senses and realized that his father’s hired men at least had food to eat. He decided, “I will go to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man.”

While he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming and was filled with loving pity. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. I think that the reason he saw his son coming while he was still a long distance away was that he was praying for his son’s return and spent much time each day watching that lonely road on which his son would return.

Even as the son was making his confession, the father interrupted to instruct the servants to kill the fatted calf and prepare for a celebration — his lost son had repented; he had changed his mind and had returned to become part of the family again.God demonstrated His love for us before we were Christians, but this story makes it obvious that God continues to love His child who has strayed far from Him. He eagerly awaits His return to the Christian family and fellowship.

Even when you are disobedient, He continues to love you, waiting for you to respond to His love and forgiveness. Paul writes:
Since by His blood He did all this for us as sinners, how much more will He do for us now that He has declared us not guilty? Now He will save us from all of God’s wrath to come. And since, when we were His enemies, we were brought back to God by the death of His Son, what blessings He must have for us now that we are His friends, and He is living within us! (Romans 5:9)

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2. God Disciplines the Ones He Loves

The love that God has for you is far beyond our human comprehension. Jesus prayed, “My prayer for all of them (the disciples and believers of all ages) is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are, Father…I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one — so that the world will know you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me.”

Think of it! God loves you as much as He loves His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus. What a staggering, overwhelming truth to comprehend! You need have no fear of someone who loves you perfectly. You need never be reluctant to trust God with your entire life for He truly loves you. And the almost unbelievable part of it is that He loves you even when you are disobedient. Even on the human level, loving parents display such love. I loved my daughters as much when they were disobedient as I did when they were good. For their sakes, because I do love them, I sometimes found it necessary to correct them. So, it is in your relationship with God. When you are disobedient, He disciplines or corrects you because He loves you.

Hebrews 12 teaches about the love that motivates God’s discipline:
Have you quite forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his child? He said, “My son, don’t be angry when the Lord punishes you. Don’t be discouraged when He has to show you where you are wrong. For when He punishes you, it proves that He loves you…Let God train you, for He is doing what any loving father does for His children. Whoever heard of a son who was never corrected?

Since we respect our fathers here on earth, though they punish us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to God’s training so that we can begin to really live? Our earthly fathers trained us for a few brief years, doing the best for us that they knew how, but God’s correction is always right and for our best good, that we may share His holiness. Being punished isn’t enjoyable while it is happening — it hurts! But afterwards we can see the result, a quiet growth in grace and character. Christ’s death on the cross has once and for all satisfied the wrath and justice of God for the believer’s sin. God chastens and disciplines you to help you grow and mature spiritually.

3. God’s Love Reaches Beyond Circumstances

The early Christians endured persecution, hardships and unbelievable suffering. Yet Paul wrote to them:

Who then can ever keep Christ’s love from us? When we have trouble or calamity, when we are hunted down or destroyed, is it because He doesn’t love us anymore? And if we are hungry, or penniless, or in danger, or threatened with death, has God deserted us? (Romans 8:35-37). No, for the Scriptures tell us that for his sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day — we are like sheep awaiting slaughter; but despite all this overwhelming victory is ours though Christ who loved us enough to die for us.

For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep Gods’ love away. Our fears for today, or worries about tomorrow or where we are — high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean — nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when He died for us. Such love is beyond our ability to grasp with our minds, but it is not beyond our ability to experience with our hearts.

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