Come Rest a While

And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. 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. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. {KJV Mark 6:30-32}

It is good news to realise that the heart of the matter in the above text is from Jesus Christ. His disciples, coming with a report of their ministry, everyone eager to give a report, he intercepted in a way that can seem rude to an average reader. Haven’t you thought so… Here are the disciples eager to report the results of their labour, but Christ seems to have no time for that. At least, not until they have had some rest.

The fact that Jesus called upon his disciples to have some rest is very significant for anyone who would want to be useful in the Ministry or in recommending Christianity. Rest in this context could stand for team building activities, fun days, or even celebration of some achievement. In today’s language, it is in the fashion of something outside the routine duties of an organisation. And this is in a spiritual context, not merely in the professional areas of life.

Does your Spiritual routine involve a time for rest and reflection? A time for catching up with friends and partaking in acceptable and holy pleasure, or you are worn out with endless strains of duty? This ought not to be so. Christ found it necessary, yet He was temperate in all things. What about us who live on the unacceptable side of temperance? Constantly weighed down by overwork? We need to rest a while.

But if there is a painful burden to carry, it is the burden of sin. The burden of disobedience and embattled conscience, pinned down by the terrible and exacting court of cognitive dissonance. How is our natural heart?

“The natural heart is a battle-field, upon which there is a constant warfare; conscience seeking to hold sway, and passion also struggling for the victory.”

—Signs of The Times, May 19, 1881, par. 19

Most people have not enjoyed the peace and joy of obedience. They know how bad and soul-crushing the life of sin is, but no sooner do they suffer its regrets and pains than they take another deeper draught and even crush the little life force with which to hold upon God. It’s a back and forth of rebellion and regrets, deeper and deeper yet.

Some have not known peace for a long time. They cannot appreciate God’s love for them. They know the course they are pursuing is preparing them for the second resurrection—the resurrection of damnation—but they find themselves choosing wrong all the time. While love for God is the foundation of pure and undefiled religion, there’s is motivated merely by the hope of reward or fear of punishment. In the end, it brings no sweet peace, no assurance of God’s favour.

The call of Jesus to His disciples in the first century, “Come rest a while” should be heard by many people today. Those who have served sin too long—a servitude of sin for any duration is too long—should try this noble and rewarding rest. They should try the sweet peace they have often forsaken in looking for something better in the wrong place.

Sin is deceitful and often it promises more than it does provide. We end up spending so much and gain nothing in return unless you consider death as a real reward! But we must not give up. He who asked His disciples to “come rest a while” is asking of you and me the same today. Will you head the call?

In the article, “Another Definition of Freedom” we realised that someone could be serving no jail term yet not free. This could be the best answer to such a person.

But is there a condition for this rest? Elisha Hoffman sang it, and you can too, but if you can’t then read these powerful words:

Is Your All on the Altar?

You have longed for sweet peace,
And for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed.
But you cannot have rest,
Or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.

Refrain:
Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

2 Would you walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
And have peace and contentment alway?
You must do His sweet will
To be free from all ill–
On the altar your all you must lay. [Refrain]

3 Oh, we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid. [Refrain]

4 Who can tell all the love
He will send from above,
And how happy our hearts will be made,
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at His feet
When our all on the altar is laid! [Refrain

17 thoughts on “Come Rest a While

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