April 24, 2022: Pastor Prep Notes

April 24 GOD HAS A PLACE FOR YOU!

FOREVER!

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.

Hebrews 4:10-16

10 For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. 11 So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.

12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

Christ Is Our High Priest

14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.


Gospel Story: Luke 23:32-43 “TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE”


Reflection:

This moment with Jesus and the criminal on the cross is a powerful one. The one who knows our inmost thoughts and desires and to whom we must one day give an “account” for our lives and all the choices we made. This “ONE”, is Jesus, the WORD made flesh. And He sees through ALL this criminal’s stuff. Hanging on a cross, Jesus still forever compassionate cuts through every outward appearance related to this criminal on the cross beside him. And what does he see? Jesus sees faith in Him. In contrast to the other criminal hanging on the cross, Jesus sees a man who is humble and contrite in spirit, willing to honour and trust Him. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” (Lk22:42). This is one of the most beautiful confessions in the New Testament (read Lk22:41). And with it comes a promise, “Today you will be with me in Paradise”.

As I was writing this reflection, I was receiving and responding to some “random” texts from my friend Caleb. I invite you to follow along.


Caleb:

If we can agree with God "confess" about our sin, what about the rest of the equation? We ought to also agree with God and "confess" about our irrevocable righteousness!


Jeff:

Irrevocable righteousness. I'll say yes and amen to that!!!! What an amazing fruit it is to come from confessing sin..... like who knew it could be so glorious!!!!


Caleb:

Because if we just keep turning from sin and turning from sin and turning from sin, we simply become a dizzy sinner!

Repentance is not only turning FROM sin, but then turning TOWARD the freedom from it.


Jeff:

AMEN 🙏. Real Rest. Real freedom. The Real Life God intended for us to have from the beginning!!!!!


Caleb:

Glory to God! Praise the Lord!

Caleb gets it. Get real with Jesus, and the promise he made to that man on the cross, is a promise he will make with you, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise”. Much like when God “finished” his work at creation, so too Jesus on the cross declares “it is finished”. God’s work is done. The place of rest that God creates for us in Jesus Christ exists now and forever. We call it the “new creation”.Like the Maker Himself, it is eternal. It’s a forever thing. So as the author of Hebrews encourages us, “let us do our best to enter that rest.” … It’s the place God has for you. In Him you get, REAL REST. REAL FREEDOM. REAL LIFE. God’s Rest, it’s eternal life, now and forever in His Presence! That’s a big YES AND AMEN!

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