April 10 GOD HAS A PLACE FOR YOU!
IN THE PROMISED LAND!
It’s called “HIS REST”
A Verse to Remember: Matthew 11:28-30
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 4:5-6
(Backstory, people wander for 40years and don’t get into promised land )
5 But in the other passage God said, “They will never enter my place of rest.”
6 So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God.
Gospel Story: John 12;12-19 PALM SUNDAY (its worth reading all of chapter 12!)
Recently, Mike and I did a message together. Mike said, something like the “promised land” is more than than about a piece of property. Hebrews tells us that Joshua may have lead the people into the land but they still didn’t choose to receive what God intended for them (Heb 4:8) …HIS REST. This caused my buddy Caleb, to put it this way, “The Promised Land is not just a piece of real estate!”. What really matters to God is that we find His Rest wherever we reside. Fascinating that we consider this point as today is Palm Sunday.
Remember that Palm Sunday moment? “A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to King of Israel!” (Jn 12:12-13). The palm branches, riding on a donkey, it all evokes the old testament promise of the coming Messiah King! More than likely the people in that crowd wanted a Messiah that would lead them into victory that they might gain the “promised land”. The Messiah they were hoping for would conquer their foe and deliver them from Roman rule. No wonder when Jesus didn’t do this, many in that same crowd would soon cry out “Crucify him!”
I’ll never forget driving past bridge after bridge, filled with people, standing in minus 20’c , waving Canadian Flags along with other flags, including ones that said “thank you truckers”. Never in my life could I have imagined driving a transport truck amidst a uniquely Canadian moment in History. I felt like Forest Gump. Except I kept asking God this question, how did I get here? I was ahead of the convoy that was coming. I had a load to deliver. But bridge after bridge, filled with people, in freezing weather, waving, cheering “me” on. I had never seen or experienced anything like it. It was emotional.
Then all of a sudden it was like this Holy Spirit flashback. My truck became a donkey. The crowds were waving palm branches.They were looking for a conferring King that would lead them into the promised land. And there in my truck I began to cry. Here’s the thought that triggered my tears, “If they knew me, very soon they too would be yelling, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” And in that moment I had a whole new appreciation for Jesus’ ride into town with crowds cheering him on and the victory branches waving in the air! (see Jn 12:17-18 and Jn 37).
So what do those victory Palm Branches mean for you and I? If as Mikey and Caleb say, “The promised land is more than just a piece of real estate”, then what victory was Jesus really hoping to gain for us? In His own words, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark”. (jn 12:47).
To trust Jesus is to live in God’s rest. Let’s not fail to enter it. Because as Hebrews says, “God’s rest is there for people to enter …” (Heb 4:6). His Rest, its more than just becoming the proud owner of some fancy real estate. It’s about living and doing life with God. In whatever land you live in, let’s live the dream. Take hold of God’s rest by acknowledging, appreciating, valuing the opportunity we have to live in His Presence today and everyday! Do this and the land in which you live will become more than just real estate. The land you “occupy” will be the place of God’s REAL REST, REAL FREEDOM AND REAL LIFE. All because of Jesus Christ. This is the “place” where I want to live!