Where Rest Begins

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The key to entering His rest

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. Hebrews 4:1 NIV

What causes people to not enter His rest? It seems unbelievable that someone would stop short of entering God’s rest. Like a mountain climber turning back a few meters short of the top, it doesn’t make sense. That’s where the second part of the verse comes in:

For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Hebrews 4:1-2 NIV

Entering God’s rest happens when we trust Him. You can’t enter His rest unless you stop trying to do it your way, and trust Jesus––following His way.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of 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. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

So trust Him and enter.

The Blessing of Humility

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The Narrows, Zion National Park

Humble Pie
by Stephen Hufman

Humble pie drab and crusty
Has texture that’s kind of dusty.
Giving credit to God alone,
Leaves little left to call my own.
I prefer another way to follow
Yielding glory not quite so hollow.
Tis joy I find in great renown,
To hear applause in every town.
Not to worry I’ll give God his due,
I’m sure he’s proud of all I do.
Someday we’ll meet there in the sky,
He’ll set before me that piece of pie.
But I now prefer a tastier dinner,
One where I announce the winner.
I want to live life my way now,
Where I will never need to bow.
So off into the expanse of space,
No humble pie will I now face.
On my own path all alone,
A place where I can set the tone.
For no one there will I abide,
In no one there do I confide.
Just me alone in first place.
No humble pie in MY face.

“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

Deep Roots

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Deep roots to stand strong.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 NIV

There is no shame that the love of God cannot remove.
There is no anger where God’s love cannot bring peace.
There is no hurt that the love of God cannot heal.
There is no dark place God’s love cannot reach.
There is no imperfection that will not yield to the love of God.

Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:17-19 NLT

Let your roots go deep into God’s love.

Unending Praise, Unending Joy

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The joy of praising God.

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Psalm 36:5 NLT

This morning I stopped to enjoy God’s love for me and my family.
To give thanks for the Lord is good and His love endures forever.
So I wrote this psalm:

Give thanks to the Lord, for creating all things.
They display His goodness, and His love, providing us with enjoyment.

Give glory to God, for His love will prevail against all evil.
His great love gives hope to the hopeless.

Give glory to God for His love will sustain us,
In our weakness He stoops to give us His strength.

Give all your worship to God, for His love will allow no other gods
He is jealous and will come out to find me when I wander off.

Worship the LORD, for He is the source of goodness and love.
And we become more like Him when we worship Him.

Give all praise to God, for His love and goodness are eternal,
And will never diminish nor change.

Give all praise to God for His power is infinite.
And it is always directed by His love.

Give all praise to the Lord, for if we do not the stones will cry out,
And we will miss out on the joy of praise.

Forever Praise

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Joyous wonderful praise to our Creator

The water drops bounce in exaltation to God,
As long as the river runs they sing praises to God.
Day and night they leap about in joyous worship.
Yes, You have given me the gift to praise You forever.
That knowledge stirs in me even greater thanksgiving and praise.

I will exalt you, my God and King,
and praise your name forever and ever.
I will praise you every day;
yes, I will praise you forever. Psalm 145:1-2 NLT

Oh, the Love of God

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Safe in love

“Love” is a word used so often that it has lost meaning, and now can mean anything from like to lust. We are in need of a source, an epitome, of what love is by which all love is compared. To help us understand this word, God uses an earthly representation in explaining His love. When I tell my child “I love you,” it speaks of a deep personal affection and commitment. God loves me as His child and that love is very intimate and personal––just for me. It carries remarkable promises of all that God wants for me. This love is defined, and fully shown in Jesus Christ. Nothing is held back, it does not come in a measured amount equal to our response, but comes completely and unconditionally. Even when we are not responding to God’s overture, love is poured out in hope that we will wake up to its presence and receive it.

The most amazing thing about God’s love is that we can receive it fully, even though we do not fully understand it.

…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

Memories of Tomorrow

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Children are like wildflowers in the sand, making memories beautiful.

Yesterday we had so much fun.
The joy my grandkids bring.
To have the laughter never end
With songs we love to sing.

Visit cut short I wanted longer,
So many seeds to sow.
Time consumes the love we shared,
Waning as they grow.

My hope is not in memory
Nor in a fading sorrow.
But in Jesus, Lord of all
He’ll make yesterday a foretaste of tomorrow.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

In memory of John B. a good friend, loving father and teacher

A Few Words Make All the Difference

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A few blossoms but so much to behold

You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5

How can so few words have such a profound impact on my day? Because they are not my words but God’s word spoken over me…and you. If you let Him.

Standing Firm

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Pounding Surf

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – Jesus, John 13:34-35 NIV

At the end of time how we have loved is what will count, what will remain.

And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. -Jesus, Matthew 24:10-13 NLT

Don’t let your love grow cold. Let the Word of God help you endure against the waves of hate.