Graceful Truth

Filter By:

Is Your SOUL at REST?

main image

Almost everyone I know is longing for rest. For some, it's just literal, physical rest. Young mom's and dads, busy professionals, students who are up late.

But for most, it's way more than that. It's about their souls. People are not at rest in their soul. They are anxious, weary, confused, disappointed, hurt ... and the list goes on. They are restless. The phrase "sleep like a baby" is descriptive, for a baby knows none of these burdens to their soul.

Where do we find that deep rest where it matters? Here's God's prescription (and, I figure that He would know).

Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16)

Apparently, God wants us to look back and see what brought rest to those contented men and women who've gone before us. Those who found God and His ways and walked in them. The eternal prescription that is found in God's Word.

If we ignore God's ancient path and choose our own, we're on our own and the weight is over the legal load limit.

Jesus would later say it like this:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Jesus knew that the remedy was found in walking with Him. We are not to come to a system or program, but to HIM ... and HE would give us rest. When we walk with Him, He carries the load with us (as in the double-yoke He describes here.) The burden becomes light when we're walking in the right path with the ever-strong right Person.

Why walk around weary the rest of your life? There's a path to rest, if you'll come to Him and walk the ancient path!

Posted by Bill Elliff
in Church

Who's In Charge (and what difference does that make to me?)

main image

There are thousands of "drop the mic" statements in the Bible. These are definitive statements which, if dealt with properly, should be the end of the discussion. These statements define what really IS, whether we agree or not.

And, they demand a response. We can ignore them if we choose, but there are unnecessary and serious consequences if we try to live counter to what is true. It simply won't work right.

One of the greatest such passages is Colossians 1:13-20. It is, perhaps, the highest statement in Scripture about Christ's fullness and authority.

Take one statement in this magnificent passage: "He is also head of the body, the church" (Colossians 1:18a).

Pause and meditate on the implications of this simple, but all-encompassing truth. As Christ is the Head of the church, it means ...

  • Everything flows from Christ in the church.
  • He is the "MIND" of the church and should be treated so.
  • No one in the church has the ability to lead, except under HIS leadership and authority.
  • The church has the grand opportunity of being led by a perfect MIND, if they will listen and cooperate
  • Man's ideas of the church are meaningless, unless they are coming from the Head.
  • If we are not rightly related to the Head and continually engaged with Him (through prayer and the Word), then we have no hope of the church heading the right way, making the right decisions, living properly.
  • This demands of church leaders (and members) that we constantly listen to the Head's leadership and direction.
  • This explains why many churches are dysfunctional and dying: they have—somewhere and somehow—become disconnected to the Head and are not following His leadership. This is the simple reality.
  • As the Head of the Body, Christ has everything to gain by leading well, by ordering those things that are going to bring health and life to His body. Why would He direct the body in ways that would destroy itself? Therefore, we must trust that His directions are trustworthy and good at all times, and we should instantly obey with glad submission.
  • Every member of the body, the church, is connected to Him, not just one. Therefore, all of us can hear God. And, the Head has graciously provided instructions with black and white ink on pages to make sure there are no misunderstandings. And, given us His Holy Spirit to "lead us into all truth."
  • There should be perfect unity in the church IF each member is connected to the same Head. This does not mean that we are all alike, but that each diverse part of the body—rightly connected to God—will play their part with other parts of the body in perfect harmony. (Tozer said, ““Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become 'unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”
  • One day we will be appalled at all the ways we have ignored His leadership.
  • If the Head is leading the body, and good occurs, then the members should not take credit for what has happened, but instead deflect all the glory to the part of the body which is singularly responsible.
  • ... and on and on and on. The implications for us are eternal!

One response comes to mind … 

Hallelujah for the Head! Praise God that He has so designed His body that is not mindless or leaderless, and at the head is One who is perfect in all ways and all directions and we will gladly submit to His leadership! 

And one prayer … 

“Dear Jesus, Head of my life and Head of Your church, please give us the wisdom to draw near to You, listening constantly to You and moving only at Your initiation. Protect us from the pride that makes us think we can move without You. Lead us in all the right paths for Your name’s sake. And, as You do, protect us from stealing glory from the One from which all things good come.”

 

Posted by Bill Elliff

Previous12345678910 ... 155156