Sunday, November 25, 2012
Return Unto Thy Rest, O My Soul
Temple Baptist Church - 11-25-2012
A. Every now and then, I will preach on the subject of rest. In the Bible, we find:
1. The Sinner’s Rest - Salvation. The sinner’s rest is found only through faith in the finished work of Christ: the death, burial, and resurrection according to the Scriptures. Salvation’s rest finds its foundation two-fold:
a) The Work of the Saviour – “Come unto ME … I will give you rest” Calvary is a finished word because it involves both payment for sin by the Son and acceptance of that payment by the Father at the resurrection. That rest is in Christ.
b) The Will of the Sinner – “Come” Though Christ died for all, not all will come to Him for salvation.
1) Jesus indicted the Pharisees with these words: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (John 5:39-40)
2) He also indicted the nation of Israel with these words: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37)
3) Don’t blame a lack of salvation on the sovereignty of God. Blame it on the sinfulness and stubbornness of man!
2. The Saint’s Rest – Sanctification. The saint’s rest is found only in the person of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. It cannot be found in the circumstances or philosophies of this world.
a) A lack of rest comes through busyness. Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (One of the signs of the last days is that of busyness. Men and women have always worked hard because it is a way of life but today’s work has been made so much easier and productive by modern inventions. And yet, with these witty inventions, man has less leisure time now than ever. There was a time when work was done and families had quiet time before bed. No longer is this the case!)
b) A lack of rest comes through worry. Psalms 42:5a Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? (Men and women have always been worried to a certain degree, but—in these last days—worry has almost become a way of life as sin and uncertainty have escalated. Stress does more than just kill; it also ruins lives and families. Worry over family, finances, and the future are prioritized in the minds of people. A man once said, “Men live lives of quiet desperation!”)
B. In many of the Psalms, we find the people of God in distress because of sin, their surrounding circumstances, or the oppression of the wicked. In these verses that we read, we find the invitation of our Lord and Saviour. His invitation is both universal and limitless! It is for the saved as well as the lost. In this life, we find much in the way of sorrow and trouble but, thank God, there is a better day coming!
Revelation 21:3-4 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning! I thank the Lord that not only is He coming but also our circumstances eventually change and things get better.)
C. In Psalms 116:7, the Psalmist said, “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.” Here we find another aspect of rest: that of it leaving and returning. God has promised us rest but we often will not rest in Him and our souls become disquieted. “Return unto thy rest, O my soul!”
1. Here we find that our soul has a rest. (This is a spiritual rest.)
2. Our soul is meant to remain in that rest. (“Thy rest” is the state that God intended for our soul to be in. This spiritual rest is in the Lord.)
3. There is a possibility of our soul leaving that rest. (Here we find the possibility of a disquieted soul. My soul is no different from yours as I have times when my circumstances shroud my Saviour and the result is disquietness in my soul. The Psalmist asked the question, “Why?”)
a) Because our Battles can be Long and Hard
b) Because our Way can be Rough and Weary
c) Because our Tongues can be Bitter and Complaining
d) Because our Spiritual Eyesight becomes can be Dimmed and Limited
e) Because our Hearts can be Ungrateful and Selfish
D. There are several foundations of our soul’s rest.
1. The Foundation of love for the Saviour. (We love Him and He loves us!)
2. The Foundation of supplication to the Saviour. (He not only hears our cry but awaits it!)
3. The Foundation of confidence in the Saviour. (He wants the best for us and can do anything at anytime in any circumstance!)
E. There are some things that will cause our soul to return unto its rest.
1. We Need To Learn To Rest In Our Salvation - Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
2 We Need To Learn To Rest In Service – 2 Corinthians 7:5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
Mark 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
3. We Need To Learn To Rest In Our Stand - Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
4. We Need To Learn To Rest In Our Spirit – 2 Corinthians 2:13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.
5. We Need To Learn To Rest In Our Sanctuary - Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
6. We Need To Learn To Rest In Our Saviour - Matthew 11:28-29 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Conclusion: Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.