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The Rest of Faith (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

Summary Notes

1. Introduction
· Psalm 23:1-2 “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down”
· David expresses his personal relationship with God – Shepherd, personal friend.
· David outlines in Psalm 23 the friend of this relationship – the outcome of faith.
· “He makes me lie down” = picture of sheep resting with legs folded in sheepfold (Ezekiel 34:14)
· What is he resting from?
•Stress •Anxiety •Fear •Pressure •Danger •Striving •Self effort
•This is the rest of faith! – a friend and outcome of relationship.

2. Kingdom Life is about Rest not Works
Romans 14:17 The Kingdom of Heaven is not about eating and drinking (law keeping) but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
· Peace is an evidence that the inner life is at rest from striving, struggling.
· Peace is a gift that God imparts to us when we learn to trust (John 14:27).
· Anything that disturbs our inner peace is a signal something is wrong.
· Colossians 3:15 “ Let the peace of God rule in your hearts….”
· Rule = NT1018 = to attribute, act as an umpire, rule, prevail.
· Hebrews 4:10 “He who has entered his rest has himself ceased from his works as God did from His.”
(a) Cease from Works = Cease from Struggling
· OT laws – full of works to be done to earn blessing, often forever.
· Reliance on own efforts and strength results in striving and struggling.
· This leads to cycles of defeat, frustration, trying ‘to be good enough’.
· People lean towards self effort, ‘keys to success’ instead of faith.
· Books/resources abound in keys to success – works to do!
(b) Repentance from Dead Works is Foundation in Christ
Hebrews 6:12 Repentance from dead works and faith towards God.
Dead Works Faith
-Striving -Rest
-Self Effort -Grace of God
-Reasoning -Revelation
-Anxiety/Pressure -Peace
-Self Centered -God Dependent (Faith)
· Rest comes when overcome inner pressure by faith in God and His Word.
· Enter rest when you believe in your heart what God says and act upon it.
· Enter rest = focus effort on believing not doing.
· Holy Spirit rests on men of peace who have come to rest of faith.2
(c) The Rest of Faith Produces Fruitful Works
Titus 2:14 “…..zealous for good works”.
Titus 3:8 “…..be careful to maintain good works”.
Titus 3:14 “Let our people also learn to maintain good works to meet urgent needs that they may not be unfruitful”.
Hebrews 4:11 “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest (of faith)”.
Diligent = NT4704 = to make effort, labour, study, haste
= Key issue is where effort lies:
•From contending to get results.
•To contending to believe Gods Word

3. Jesus Invitation to Rest
Matthew 11:28-30 The Kingdom of Heaven is not about eating and drinking (law keeping) but
(a) The Invitation to All
· “All who labour and are heavy laden".
Labor = NT2872 = to feel fatigue, wearied, work heavy, troubled.
Heavy Laden = NT5412 = to load up an animal, overburden, heavy cargo.
· Invitation is to all in turmoil in their souls to find rest.
Turmoil of duties, have to’s, laws, anxiety, stress, pressure, intentions.
(b) “Come to Me”
· This is the first of three decisions you need to make – rest is the outcome.
· Connection to a person not a principle – rest is in the person of Jesus.
· Peace/rest is a gift from Him – if it is a gift then it is not a work.
· Centre your focus on Jesus not on storms or pressure of life.
Eg Matthew 14:28-31 Peter walking on water.
While he maintained focus on Jesus not the storm he walked on water.
(c) “Take My Yoke on You”
· “Yoke” = teaching and lifestyle of a Rabbi.
· “Take Yoke” = to become a disciple/follower of Jesus and His lifestyle.
· Jesus was surrounded by turmoil, agendas, hostility, malice but walked in inner peace.
· Jesus rested by listening to directions of the Holy Spirit (John 5:19) and refused the pressures, expectations others placed upon Him.
· Loss of peace = signal to evaluate what is happening and yield to obedience.
(d) “Lean on Me”
· This means to receive instruction in the same way, same attitude – meekness and humility, disciples did from Master.
· A process of interaction, questions, enquiries listen to response.
· A process of gaining insight, wisdom through direct interaction.
· Slow down – stop reading – ask Holy Spirit questions – listen and obey.
Results: “Find rest for souls”.