Tag Archives: Best Efforts

Rest

Heb 4:1 God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. 2 For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God. 3 For only we who believe can enter his rest.

There is a rest for this weary race of man. There is a rest from the unceasing quest for peace, for calm, for a feeling of being good with God. Most religions of the world offer a never ending treadmill of works to attain heaven with no assurance of ever having done enough. These are brutal faiths. Faiths based on our works, our efforts to be good enough, to push all the right buttons, to look just right so our eternity will be a good one. These are religions that offer no rest.

But there is one faith, only one, that offers a place of rest. It’s a rest from the works of man to please God. In this faith, and this one alone, there is a place of rest….a rest based on the works of someone else. It comes only to those who put their faith in the works of another, Jesus Christ, to have done all that’s asked of God for us to be accepted. It brings those who believe to a place of rest where all self-efforts are done. Finally, for those who trust rest is available. Finally all efforts are finished, there’s nothing more for us to do, it’s all been done.

Imagine all of mankind standing on one side of the grand canyon with God on the other. Our quest is to reach God and with our best efforts we jump to bridge the chasm. The fate of all who do this in their own strength is inevitable and is found at the bottom of the canyon. But imagine that spanning this grand chasm is a moving bridge. All you have to do is step on it and it will carry you to the other side. Most around you would say it’s too easy, you have to do something, you can’t please God without doing something! And yet, this bridge is the only way to the other side.

While all around you men and women are trying to jump the chasm and falling to their death you can simply take a step of faith and, like the moving walkways in the airports and malls, you find yourself being moved to the other side…effortlessly! It’s a result based on a step of faith and a rest in the God’s only provision to bridge the chasm. “It can’t be that easy!” some would say. “You’re just not trying hard enough.” others declare. And they’re right. It’s a rest, a rest in the work done by another to accomplish something none of us can do on our own.

Why do so many refuse to take the bridge (faith in Jesus Christ) and choose to try to jump the chasm on their own? For some reason many think their salvation depends on their own works, but the chasm is much too wide for us to bridge by our own works, in our own strength. We need help!

As the author of Hebrews writes, “only those who believe can enter his rest.” Are you resting in him or trying to work your way to God? Only one will bring you to your desired destination.

Only one choice will give you rest from the quest for God’s acceptance.

All others find their end at the bottom of the chasm.

 

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Salvation!

There is a story in Chile that has been unfolding for months. It’s the story of more than 30 miners who have been trapped underground. It’s a story I have been thinking about as I watch the efforts to rescue them.

This story has amazing similarities to the dilemma the human race is in regarding sin. We, like those miners, have been trapped! In spite of our best efforts we cannot get out of this mess ourselves. We are trapped! We need someone to rescue us. That is the drama of the last few months as millions have been spent to drill down to them, to save them, to rescue them.

They are trapped in their cave. There is no way out by their own efforts. Someone has to help them, dig them out and save them. As I thought about these men and their helpless situation it struck me that the human race is in a similar situation. We are trapped by sin and cannot rescue ourselves. We need help! We need someone to save us.

That is what the good news is about- God’s rescue plan for the human race. Since we are unable to save ourselves he made his way to us and provided a way out…Deliverance! Rescue! Freedom! Salvation! It’s only when we realize how helpless we are that we look for help from someone else. These miners know they cannot save themselves and so they wait…they wait for salvation.

How many of them will take advantage of salvation when it comes? How many will get in the recovery pod to be brought back to life by someone else? Do you think any of them will decline? Will there be any who would say, “No thank you, I can save myself. I don’t need anyone else to save me. I’ll do it myself, thank you very much.” To even write these words is silly. None will remain behind. None will believe they can rescue themselves. All will respond to the saving work of others. All of these men will gladly say “YES!” to salvation.

Like these miners the human race is trapped and in need of salvation. God has come and done for us what we could never do for ourselves. He has rescued us, provided a way out….he’s sent the recovery pod for us. Why would any say no to his wonderful rescue plan? Why would any turn down God’s gift? Here is his salvation plan for mankind. Who wouldn’t want to be rescued from the dark pit of sin and death? Who wouldn’t respond to this free gift of life?

John 3:16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”