Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 30, 2018

Jesus, our Good Shepherd, provides us with rest: “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 6:30-32.

“The apostles *gathered together with Jesus;  and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught.  And He *said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”  (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)  They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves.”  Mark 6:30-32.


Today’s Scripture seems to be a follow-up to Mark 6:7-13 in which these apostles were sent out by Jesus to preach and heal.

The apostles needed rest, and Jesus provided it.  “And He *said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”  (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)”  Verse 31.

It should be comforting to us today that Jesus also cares for us and also makes sure we rest:  both rest on earth and rest in heaven.

“The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.”  Psalm 23:1-3.

But, just because there is eternal rest (which is more important) does not mean that we should resist or neglect the rest that Jesus provides us here on earth.

“7 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
9 For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.
10 Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.
11 But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.”  Psalm 37:7-11.

“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.

“Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.  For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also;  but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.  …  So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.  For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.  Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.”  Hebrews 4:1-2 and 9-11.

Other doctrine never rests, boasting how busy it is, trusting in its own wisdom, its own alleged free-will, and its own works.

But, Reformed Doctrine always rests, boasting how busy God is, resting in the Lord and trusting Him to provide all that it needs both on earth and in heaven.

“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’  For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things;  for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Matthew 6:31-33.

Q. 27.  What dost thou mean by the providence of God?

A.  The almighty and everywhere present power of God, whereby, as it were by His hand, He upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures;  so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, and all things come, not by chance, but by His fatherly hand. 

Q. 28.  What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by His providence doth still uphold all things?

A.  That we may be patient in adversity;  thankful in prosperity;  and that in all things which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall separate us from His love;  since all creatures are so in His hand, that without His will they cannot so much as move.  Heidelberg Catechism.

Reformed Doctrine trusts God to provide all that it needs for salvation from beginning to end:  from the beginning of God’s “Unconditional Election” through God’s “Limited Atonement” through God’s “Irresistible Grace” to the end of God’s “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

“7 On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
8 Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.  Selah.”  Psalm 62:7.

“Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.”  Psalm 116:7.


%d bloggers like this: