True Rest

Journal Entry // December 24, 2022

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (ESV)

Revelation 14:13

Rest… This can become one of the focal points of my days and weeks. I sometimes let this idea of rest drive and motivate my every decision and thought throughout the day and week. My mind seeks rest. My body seeks rest. My desire and purpose is to just simply rest. What I struggle with as I consider this passage about the rest found only in Jesus is that the “rest” I am seeking and desiring on a daily basis is not this same godly rest found in Christ. No, the rest I am seeking is more often founded and based upon sin in my heart. When I say that I desire rest, I typically mean that I want the freedom to do as I see fit. I want full control of my actions and even the right to indulge my laziness and apathy. The rest I seek is not this holy rest from a life of laboring for Jesus. The rest I seek is an escape from the rigors of this world. This false rest is deceptive because it builds up within my mind the idea that I am working and laboring so intensely that I need rest to recover. When in actuality the work I have been about is not the true sweet labor of following Christ each and every moment of each and every day.

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Unwavering Heart

Journal Entry // April 10, 2021

My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being!

Psalm 108:1 ESV

Steadfast = resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.

This verse gives me hope, but maybe not in the way that one would tend to think. My hope is buoyed from this verse as I think and reflect that David wrote this Psalm and was able to say this about his own heart. David, a man after God’s own heart, was able to say about his heart that it was steadfast. My hope arises as I remember that David did not live a perfect life nor a life that was not tainted by sin, fear, shame, guilt. David was a man that struggled in his heart to be faithful to our Lord just as I do. David was rebuked by the Lord for the sin in his waywardness, just as I have been. David failed at times to live up to the standard and calling that the Lord had given him, just as I have. Yet David can say that his heart is steadfast.

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Daily Denial

Journal Entry // Mach 19, 2021

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Luke 9:23 ESV

Daily… Surely I have read this passage dozens of times throughout my life. It is one of those familiar passages that lose some of the nuance and impact because of how often they are repeated. Over time my brain has filtered out the word ‘daily’. Usually when I hear this taught or when I read it for myself, I mostly think about this passage in the sense of when we come to Christ for the first time. Or I may think about it in the faulty notion that I am already obedient in this. Which is true in some sense, as I think about carrying Christ’s sacrifice on the cross before me.

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Sure Fulfillment

Journal Entry // December 18, 2021

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end-it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

Habakkuk 2:3 ESV

Patience… Perseverance.. Steadfastness… These are the character traits that the Lord continues to press into my life at the moment. It seems as though every day I am having to learn this same lesson over and over again. I am learning to be patient as I learn about being patient.

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Confident Reward

Journal Entry // November 6, 2021

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

Hebrews 10:35 ESV

Remember, remember… All the great and wonderful ways the Lord has not only blessed me, but rescued me, and sustained me. After reminding his readers that they have joyfully watched as their possessions were taken from them, endured hard struggles and suffering, having been publicly exposed to shame and ridicule – the writer tells them the result of all these things, which is the building up of their confidence. A confidence not in themselves but in the Lord, which is of immense eternal value.

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