Everyone enjoys a good break from the normal activities of life. Whether a week vacation, a break during the workday, or a weekend, you welcome a chance to rest. There is power in giving your mind and body a chance to refresh and recharge. Your body needs it and it’s even biblical. However, in your spiritual life, it’s easy to gravitate toward rest more often than not. What happens then, dear Christian, to the works He has prepared beforehand for you to do?
No Rest from Labor…For Now
It’s fun to play and it feels good to just sit or lay down and rest after a long day, but work is…well, work. Maybe you enjoy some of it sometimes, but it still requires effort and energy. Even work that is fulfilling or enjoyable will tire your mind and body. That’s why sometimes it’s just so hard to get started. You know what it will require so you avoid it. Often this happens as you think about discipleship and following Christ. Guard against it! The stakes are far too high.
Jesus said the harvest is plentiful. The harvest of wandering, distressed and dispirited people, uncertain about tomorrow, is plentiful. These are the people all around you. At your work, in your neighborhood, and in your family. People searching for meaning and purpose. They paint a happy face on the outside, but they’re dying on the inside. People who need Jesus. How will they know Him if no one tells them? If no one reaches out to love them, how will they ever know the love of God?
The harvest of broken, dispirited people is truly plentiful, but that’s only half the story. Jesus also said that the workers are few. Unfortunately, though there are many who claim to know Jesus, there are disproportionately few in His labor force at any given time. The need is great, my friends. If you and I don’t join Him in reaching the world, who will? What about the people He’s placed in your path?
Created for good works
The Bible says you were created in Christ for good works. (Ephesians 2:8-10) Good works don’t save you, rather they are a product of your salvation. You were saved for good works that God prepared for you beforehand. You were created for good works and saved to walk in them. Reading your Bible and praying are beautiful parts of the Christian life. However, praying, going to church, and reading the Bible is just the beginning. Being Jesus to the people He brings your way is where you put it all into practice.
It’s His work
Maybe you feel inadequate to join Christ in His holy mission. Perhaps it scares you to even think about approaching the people you come into contact with. It could be that you’ve had a bad experience in the past or you just don’t feel you can muster up the courage. Here’s where it gets really interesting, though.
While you were indeed created and saved for good works and even though God prepared them for you beforehand and wants you to do them, it’s not actually your work. It’s His work that He Himself works in you both to will and to do. (Phillippians 2:13) God Himself will work through you. He Himself will provide all the resources you need to complete the work He gives you. All you have to do is follow Him in faith. Just take that first step.
Blessing in store
When you make the decision to follow Him and to step out in faith and minister to people, it’s natural to think you’re giving a blessing to them. And it’s true. You will be. God will absolutely use you to bless others, and He will impact their lives through you in ways you never imagined. And it’s amazing and awesome and beautiful. There’s nothing like it in this life.
In the process, though, you will likely find it may be you yourself who receives the biggest blessing. It may be you whose life is changed in ways you never imagined. It may be you who God reaches down and touches and whose life will never be the same. Don’t you want that?
Rest is Coming, Dear Christian
Sometimes when you hear things like, “there is no rest from labor for the follower of Christ”, it feels heavy-handed or maybe like a very stern view of the Christian life. It would be true, except for the fact, as noted earlier, that all the work He gives you, He intends to do through you. He supernaturally sustains you and gives you both the desire and the ability to complete all of His work. You only need to be a willing vessel.
That being said, however, there is indeed rest in Christ promised for us who believe. At the end of this life’s journey after all the work we complete, we will finally have rest in Him from all our labor. (Hebrews 4; Revelation 14:13.) In the meantime, He says,
“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 NASB
Join His Labor Force
The harvest is plenty, dear friends, and the workers are few. Will you answer His call? There is a tremendous opportunity right now and the church of Christ is uniting to be His hands and feet in this time of need. Don’t miss out! The time for rest from labor is coming, dear Christian, but it’s not here yet. How will you respond?
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