“The Sabbath Rest” ( Hebrews 4: 10, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


God’s works, writes the author of Hebrews, “have been finished since the foundation of the world.” (Hebrews 4:3) God finished all His works on the seventh day, at which time He entered His rest. We, as God’s people, enter that same rest from works when we “hear His voice” and choose “not to harden [our] hearts” in disobedience. When we hear God’s voice, we choose to leave behind our self-efforts, our self-righteousness and obey the call to enter a Sabbath rest. “Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.” (Hebrews 4:16) We are able to approach God’s throne boldly because our “great high priest” — even Jesus Christ the Son of God — is able “to sympathize with our weaknesses.” He “has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:14,15) “He [like every high priest taken from men] is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since He is also subject to weakness.” (Hebrews 5:2,1,5) “He learned obedience through what He suffered” and “after He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.” (Hebrews 5:8-9)

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:7)

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“Falling Into The Hands Of God” ( Hebrews 10: 30 – 31, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“For we know who it is that says, ‘Justice is mine: I repay’; and again, ‘The Lord judges His people.’ It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

The author of Hebrews calls us to enter God’s rest, writing, “See that you do not refuse the voice that speaks. Those who refuse to hear the oracle speaking on earth find no escape; still less do we escape if we refuse to hear the One who speaks from heaven.” (Hebrews 12: 25 – 26)

Open your ears; listen. Soften your heart; believe. Steel your nerves; walk aright. “Think of Him (Jesus) who submits to such opposition from sinners; that helps you not to lose heart and grow faint. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (Hebrews 12: 3 – 5)

Admit this to yourself — you struggle against sin. We all struggle at times to cease from our work so that we may enter God’s rest, His Sabbath rest. Jesus gives us help both as an example and via the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

No one should think that God’s discipline is not “terrible.” Via discipline, He molds us like clay into what He desires; after all, He is our Creator. He is God; who are we to question Him? Paul rhetorically asks: “Is God to be charged with injustice? By no means. For He says to Moses, ‘Where I show mercy, I show mercy, and where I pity, I pity.’ Thus it does not depend on man’s will or effort, but on God’s mercy. For Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘I raise you up for this very purpose, to exhibit My power in My dealings with you, and to spread My fame all over the world.’ Thus He not only shows mercy as He chooses, but also makes men stubborn as He chooses.” (Romans 9: 14 – 18)

“You say, ‘Then why does God blame a man? For who can resist His will?’ Who are you, sir, to answer God back? Can the pot speak to the potter and say, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Surely the potter can do what he likes with the clay.” (Romans 9: 19 – 21)

Therefore, be grateful that God chooses you. Do not be arrogant, but be humble — knowing that it is truly by God’s grace that you stand in His company, that you find His Sabbath rest.