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Richard Myers

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The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« on: February 26, 2016, 06:54:42 AM »
Come Rest Awhile

     On returning from their missionary tour, "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 awhile: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat."   
     The disciples came to Jesus and told Him all things. Their intimate relationship with Him encouraged them to lay before Him their favorable and unfavorable experiences, their joy at seeing results from their labors, and their sorrow at their failures, their faults, and their weaknesses. They had committed errors in their first work as evangelists, and as they frankly told Christ of their experiences, He saw that they needed much instruction. He saw, too, that they had become weary in their labors, and that they needed to rest. 
     But where they then were they could not obtain the needed privacy; "for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat." The people were thronging after Christ, anxious to be healed, and eager to listen to His words. Many felt drawn to Him; for He seemed to them to be the fountain of all blessings. Many of those who then thronged about Christ to receive the precious boon of health accepted Him as their Saviour. Many others, afraid then to confess Him, because of the Pharisees, were converted at the descent of the Holy Spirit, and, before the angry priests and rulers, acknowledged Him as the Son of God.
     But now Christ longed for retirement, that He might be with His disciples; for He had much to say to them. In their work they had passed through the test of conflict, and had encountered opposition in various forms. Hitherto they had consulted Christ in everything; but for some time they had been alone, and at times they had been much troubled to know what to do. They had found much encouragement in their work; for Christ did not send them away without His Spirit, and by faith in Him they worked many miracles; but they needed now to feed on the Bread of Life. They needed to go to a place of retirement, where they could hold communion with Jesus and receive instruction for future work.
     "And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile." Christ is full of tenderness and compassion for all in His service. He would show His disciples that God does not require sacrifice, but mercy. They had been putting their whole souls into labor for the people, and this was exhausting their physical and mental strength. It was their duty to rest. 
     As the disciples had seen the success of their labors, they were in danger of taking credit to themselves, in danger of cherishing spiritual pride, and thus falling under Satan's temptations. A great work was before them, and first of all they must learn that their strength was not in self, but in God. Like Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, like David among the hills of Judea, or Elijah by the brook Cherith, the disciples needed to come apart from the scenes of their busy activity, to commune with Christ, with nature, and with their own hearts. 
     While the disciples had been absent on their missionary tour, Jesus had visited other towns and villages, preaching the gospel of the kingdom. It was about this time that He received tidings of the Baptist's death. This event brought vividly before Him the end to which His own steps were tending. The shadows were gathering thickly about His path. Priests and rabbis were watching to compass His death, spies hung upon His steps, and on every hand plots for His ruin were multiplying. News of the preaching of the apostles throughout Galilee reached Herod, calling his attention to Jesus and His work. "This is John the Baptist," he said; "he is risen from the dead;" and he expressed a desire to see Jesus. Herod was in constant fear lest a revolution might be secretly carried forward, with the object of unseating him from the throne, and breaking the Roman yoke from the Jewish nation. Among the people the spirit of discontent and insurrection was rife. It was evident that Christ's public labors in Galilee could not be long continued. The scenes of His suffering were drawing near, and He longed to be apart for a season from the confusion of the multitude.
     With saddened hearts the disciples of John had borne his mutilated body to its burial. Then they "went and told Jesus." These disciples had been envious of Christ when He seemed to be drawing the people away from John. They had sided with the Pharisees in accusing Him when He sat with the publicans at Matthew's feast. They had doubted His divine mission because He did not set the Baptist at liberty. But now that their teacher was dead, and they longed for consolation in their great sorrow, and for guidance as to their future work, they came to Jesus, and united their interest with His. They too needed a season of quiet for communion with the Saviour.
     Near Bethsaida, at the northern end of the lake, was a lonely region, now beautiful with the fresh green of spring, that offered a welcome retreat to Jesus and His disciples. For this place they set out, going in their boat across the water. Here they would be away from the thoroughfares of travel, and the bustle and agitation of the city. The scenes of nature were in themselves a rest, a change grateful to the senses. Here they could listen to the words of Christ without hearing the angry interruptions, the retorts and accusations of the scribes and Pharisees. Here they could enjoy a short season of precious fellowship in the society of their Lord. 
     The rest which Christ and His disciples took was not self-indulgent rest. The time they spent in retirement was not devoted to pleasure seeking. They talked together regarding the work of God, and the possibility of bringing greater efficiency to the work. The disciples had been with Christ, and could understand Him; to them He need not talk in parables. He corrected their errors, and made plain to them the right way of approaching the people. He opened more fully to them the precious treasures of divine truth. They were vitalized by divine power, and inspired with hope and courage. 
     Though Jesus could work miracles, and had empowered His disciples to work miracles, He directed His worn servants to go apart into the country and rest. When He said that the harvest was great, and the laborers were few, He did not urge upon His disciples the necessity of ceaseless toil, but said, "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest." Matthew 9:38. God has appointed to every man his work, according to his ability (Ephesians 4:11-13), and He would not have a few weighted with responsibilities while others have no burden, no travail of soul. 
     Christ's words of compassion are spoken to His workers today just as surely as they were spoken to His disciples. "Come ye yourselves apart, . . . and rest awhile," He says to those who are worn and weary. It is not wise to be always under the strain of work and excitement, even in ministering to men's spiritual needs; for in this way personal piety is neglected, and the powers of mind and soul and body are overtaxed. Self-denial is required of the disciples of Christ, and sacrifices must be made; but care must also be exercised lest through their overzeal Satan take advantage of the weakness of humanity, and the work of God be marred. 
     In the estimation of the rabbis it was the sum of religion to be always in a bustle of activity. They depended upon some outward performance to show their superior piety. Thus they separated their souls from God, and built themselves up in self-sufficiency. The same dangers still exist. As activity increases and men become successful in doing any work for God, there is danger of trusting to human plans and methods. There is a tendency to pray less, and to have less faith. Like the disciples, we are in danger of losing sight of our dependence on God, and seeking to make a savior of our activity. We need to look constantly to Jesus, realizing that it is His power which does the work. While we are to labor earnestly for the salvation of the lost, we must also take time for meditation, for prayer, and for the study of the word of God. Only the work accomplished with much prayer, and sanctified by the merit of Christ, will in the end prove to have been efficient for good. 
     No other life was ever so crowded with labor and responsibility as was that of Jesus; yet how often He was found in prayer! How constant was His communion with God! Again and again in the history of His earthly life are found records such as these: "Rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." "Great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed." "And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." Mark 1:35; Luke 5:15, 16; 6:12.
     In a life wholly devoted to the good of others, the Saviour found it necessary to withdraw from the thoroughfares of travel and from the throng that followed Him day after day. He must turn aside from a life of ceaseless activity and contact with human needs, to seek retirement and unbroken communion with His Father. As one with us, a sharer in our needs and weaknesses, He was wholly dependent upon God, and in the secret place of prayer He sought divine strength, that He might go forth braced for duty and trial. In a world of sin Jesus endured struggles and torture of soul. In communion with God He could unburden the sorrows that were crushing Him. Here He found comfort and joy.
     In Christ the cry of humanity reached the Father of infinite pity. As a man He supplicated the throne of God till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that should connect humanity with divinity. Through continual communion He received life from God, that He might impart life to the world. His experience is to be ours.
     "Come ye yourselves apart," He bids us. If we would give heed to His word, we should be stronger and more useful. The disciples sought Jesus, and told Him all things; and He encouraged and instructed them. If today we would take time to go to Jesus and tell Him our needs, we should not be disappointed; He would be at our right hand to help us. We need more simplicity, more trust and confidence in our Saviour. He whose name is called "The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace;" He of whom it is written, "The government shall be upon His shoulder," is the Wonderful Counselor. We are invited to ask wisdom of Him. He "giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not." Isaiah 9:6; James 1:5. 
     In all who are under the training of God is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, or its practices; and everyone needs to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, "Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10. Here alone can true rest be found.  And this is the effectual preparation for all who labor for God. Amid the hurrying throng, and the strain of life's intense activities, the soul that is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. The life will breathe out fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men's hearts. 

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2016, 04:13:05 PM »
   The disciples came to Jesus and told Him all things. Their intimate relationship with Him encouraged them to lay before Him their favorable and unfavorable experiences, their joy at seeing results from their labors, and their sorrow at their failures, their faults, and their weaknesses.

We need to look constantly to Jesus, realizing that it is His power which does the work. While we are to labor earnestly for the salvation of the lost, we must also take time for meditation, for prayer, and for the study of the word of God. Only the work accomplished with much prayer, and sanctified by the merit of Christ, will in the end prove to have been efficient for good. 
   
As one with us, a sharer in our needs and weaknesses, He was wholly dependent upon God, and in the secret place of prayer He sought divine strength, that He might go forth braced for duty and trial. In a world of sin Jesus endured struggles and torture of soul. In communion with God He could unburden the sorrows that were crushing Him. Here He found comfort and joy.

If today we would take time to go to Jesus and tell Him our needs, we should not be disappointed; He would be at our right hand to help us.

....everyone needs to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, "Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10. Here alone can true rest be found.  And this is the effectual preparation for all who labor for God. Amid the hurrying throng, and the strain of life's intense activities, the soul that is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. The life will breathe out fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men's hearts. 

I pulled out some of the things I have high lighted in my Desire of the Ages. The quotes my sound different but in my mind they all have a common thread. That is... having a friendship with Christ. The disciples were not fearful of admitting their mistakes. It doesn't sound like it took them days to work up the courage to confess their faults to Him. They knew Him as a friend were not fearful of Him. Christ isn't there to condemn but to help us. No wonder the disciples were to ready to lay all before Him without fear. Not only did Christ teach and instruct and correct but lead by example with His relationship to the Father.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2016, 05:57:50 AM »
Amen, Jim!!  Jesus has proved His love, we just need to know Him! What a blessing to be able to read together with others who know Him!! When we spend time beholding His life, when we learn of His love, it prepares us for the day ahead. So, it was with Jesus.

  In a life wholly devoted to the good of others, the Saviour found it necessary to withdraw from the thoroughfares of travel and from the throng that followed Him day after day. He must turn aside from a life of ceaseless activity and contact with human needs, to seek retirement and unbroken communion with His Father. As one with us, a sharer in our needs and weaknesses, He was wholly dependent upon God, and in the secret place of prayer He sought divine strength, that He might go forth braced for duty and trial. In a world of sin Jesus endured struggles and torture of soul. In communion with God He could unburden the sorrows that were crushing Him. Here He found comfort and joy.


As we take time out of our busy lives to know Christ, we learn to know the voice of God. "We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, "Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10. Here alone can true rest be found.  And this is the effectual preparation for all who labor for God. Amid the hurrying throng, and the strain of life's intense activities, the soul that is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace."

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 06:30:14 AM »
It doesn't sound like it took them days to work up the courage to confess their faults to Him. They knew Him as a friend were not fearful of Him. Christ isn't there to condemn but to help us. No wonder the disciples were to ready to lay all before Him without fear. Not only did Christ teach and instruct and correct but lead by example with His relationship to the Father.

I appreciated the thought you shared, Jim--that in confessing our weaknesses and errors to Christ it is not about condemnation, but help that He longs to impart to us.

I also appreciated how you shared today, Richard, about the need for us to come to discern and learn the voice of God. This is something that we cannot have done for us by another. Only by personal communion with Christ and in surrender to Him can we learn what He so desires to teach us of His love and character each day.

A statement that spoke to me was regarding the tendency of the Pharisees: "In the estimation of the rabbis it was the sum of religion to be always in a bustle of activity. They depended upon some outward performance to show their superior piety. Thus they separated their souls from God, and built themselves up in self-sufficiency. The same dangers still exist. As activity increases and men become successful in doing any work for God, there is danger of trusting to human plans and methods. There is a tendency to pray less, and to have less faith. Like the disciples, we are in danger of losing sight of our dependence on God, and seeking to make a savior of our activity. We need to look constantly to Jesus, realizing that it is His power which does the work. While we are to labor earnestly for the salvation of the lost, we must also take time for meditation, for prayer, and for the study of the word of God. Only the work accomplished with much prayer, and sanctified by the merit of Christ, will in the end prove to have been efficient for good." {DA 362.2}

The reason this spoke to me is that the counterfeit often lies close to the genuine--both Jesus and the Pharisees were very active...but the life of Christ was also one of intense application to prayer and seeking the will of the Father. I think of how much of a blessing it is to be active in God's service--but that cannot become an end in itself. We must first come aside and rest awhile, behold the loveliness of Jesus, let Him fill us with all the fruits of the Spirit (and not one will be missing as we surrender our hearts entirely to Him), and then go about doing good like Jesus did, empowered by His divine grace. The struggle for the Pharisees was that they left Christ out of their labors, and tried to do things in self. We can do nothing good apart from Jesus--so may we today sense our continual need of resting in Him, abiding in Him, and then going about our labors sustained by His presence. Praise the Lord!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Vicki

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2016, 02:14:36 AM »
Amen!

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2016, 06:13:15 AM »
While we are surely blessed when God blesses us with His love and power, there is a great danger also. Being evil by nature, and in great need of God's love, we are prone to think there is something good in us, especially after being so greatly blessed. Elijah is a good example of the danger. After His success in bringing fire from heaven, he failed to maintain his connection with Christ and feared for his life when threatened by Jezebel.

    As the disciples had seen the success of their labors, they were in danger of taking credit to themselves, in danger of cherishing spiritual pride, and thus falling under Satan's temptations. A great work was before them, and first of all they must learn that their strength was not in self, but in God. Like Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, like David among the hills of Judea, or Elijah by the brook Cherith, the disciples needed to come apart from the scenes of their busy activity, to commune with Christ, with nature, and with their own hearts. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2016, 06:17:57 AM »
Amen, Richard! We need to spend that time with Jesus so that we realize His goodness, our inability of ourselves to do any good thing, and to continually cling to Him so His grace can work in us. Well would it be for us to continue to spend this thoughtful hour upon Jesus' life and ministry, especially as we approach the closing scenes of His life in this beautiful biography of Jesus!

I appreciate how Christ is sensitive to human weakness and need--He knows that our physical constitution is not able to continually be under the strain of labor and work, and that we need quiet times with Him. Of all the chapters in the book, this day's reading of the chapter was exactly what I needed to hear and experience!

"And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile." Christ is full of tenderness and compassion for all in His service. He would show His disciples that God does not require sacrifice, but mercy. They had been putting their whole souls into labor for the people, and this was exhausting their physical and mental strength. It was their duty to rest.  {DA 360.2}

I choose to respond to Christ's invitation, and I trust that His grace will sanctify the times of rest in preparation for active labor in soul-winning ministry! It is Jesus who loves us so much that He tells us just what we need, and it is to our best good to follow Him in every aspect of our lives. Praise the Lord!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2016, 05:58:56 AM »
I am deeply moved by the simplicity and power of the implication of these words:

In Christ the cry of humanity reached the Father of infinite pity. As a man He supplicated the throne of God till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that should connect humanity with divinity. Through continual communion He received life from God, that He might impart life to the world. His experience is to be ours.

This is the simplicity of the gospel. We need Jesus continually, that we may have a constant connection by faith to our Father in Heaven. It is by the Spirit that we can have this living-faith connection! Jesus' experience is to be ours! Praise the Lord!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2016, 07:52:48 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!  As I read today's chapter, my mind was led to better understand how sad is our understanding of the Book of Job. It has never been so clean in my mind what Job's problem was. Yes, I understand why he sinned, but today's reading made is ever so clear. My hopes are that those who are reading along with us will also see Job's difficulty in a clearer manner.

    As the disciples had seen the success of their labors, they were in danger of taking credit to themselves, in danger of cherishing spiritual pride, and thus falling under Satan's temptations. A great work was before them, and first of all they must learn that their strength was not in self, but in God. Like Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, like David among the hills of Judea, or Elijah by the brook Cherith, the disciples needed to come apart from the scenes of their busy activity, to commune with Christ, with nature, and with their own hearts. 


Great men, those who have given their hearts to Christ and been a reflection of Him in time of trial are in great danger of thinking there is something good in them apart from Christ. It is easy to see in the lives of some in the Bible. There is Elijah who after his great victory on Mt Carmel fled from Jezebel. There is Moses who was faithful in all of the house of the Lord. God spoke face to face with him, then he was angry with Israel and too the glory which belonged to God to himself when he struck the rock. We think of King David and how he slew Golaith, but then had Bathsheba's husband, Uriah, murdered. Then, in history closer to our time we read of the two men who were given the gospel truth in 1888 and then fell from grace. There was Dr. Kellogg who had been blessed with the medical missionary truths and also fell from grace and was forever lost. Ellen White understood the danger of being chosen by God and she at first refused to accept the role God had offered her. God understood the very real danger and promised He would help her when she was in danger of pride. What as the "help" He used to keep her from pride? Does this have anything to do with Job? Yes, it does.

And, the greatest example of the danger of taking the glory to one's self when God has blessed mightily is Lucifer as the "covering cherub". Pride brought him down. He thought he was something he was not. He was so blessed, held such a high position in the government of God, he thought he could be higher than his Creator! Such silliness, such wickedness, such stupidity!

And, yet, when many the story of Job, they are blinded to the truth of Job's great sin of taking the glory which belonged to God to Himself, even though we read of him telling his friends how great he had been. And, at the end of the Book, we read for five chapters of what God had to say to him about his self righteousness. And what had Job failed to do which brought him down? He failed to talk with God about his need of Him. Instead he talked with his three friends who also thought themselves better than they were. Where is the gospel in the Book of Job? Where do we hear Job praying for strength, for grace to minister to others? Where do we hear of the great sacrifice of Christ that Job could continue to be His servant to a fallen world? Only at the end of the Book when God tells Job to pray for his three friends. It is then Job has turned his mind from his greatness to the greatness of God and his duty to minister to others. Then his trial was over. The lesson was learned the hard way.

     We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, "Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10. Here alone can true rest be found.  And this is the effectual preparation for all who labor for God. Amid the hurrying throng, and the strain of life's intense activities, the soul that is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. The life will breathe out fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men's hearts. 


God sent a true friend to Job before He spoke to him out of the whirlwind. Elihu reproved Job and pointed him to Christ. Then, God finished the work by repeating the reproof that we might learn from Job's sin. God doing great things through us can cause us to think there is something innately good in us when there is nothing good in us apart from God. We must guard against losing our connection with Christ so we do not repeat the lessons that are before us in the life of many who have been greatly used by God as witnesses of His love and power.



Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2017, 02:57:26 PM »
When God blesses our labor, we need to take care we do not become proud and take the glory to ourselves. It is Christ working through us that achieves great success. If we will keep our eyes upon Jesus, we will continue to have a standard before our eyes that reveal we are but "worms."

     As the disciples had seen the success of their labors, they were in danger of taking credit to themselves, in danger of cherishing spiritual pride, and thus falling under Satan's temptations. A great work was before them, and first of all they must learn that their strength was not in self, but in God. Like Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, like David among the hills of Judea, or Elijah by the brook Cherith, the disciples needed to come apart from the scenes of their busy activity, to commune with Christ, with nature, and with their own hearts. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2017, 06:34:37 AM »
  In Christ the cry of humanity reached the Father of infinite pity. As a man He supplicated the throne of God till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that should connect humanity with divinity. Through continual communion He received life from God, that He might impart life to the world. His experience is to be ours.

This is a simple but profound thought--Jesus' experience is to be our experience, too! How? By beholding Him, we will be changed! Such a joy to experience His presence this Sabbath morning! God bless you all as you rest in His divine presence today!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2017, 05:58:30 AM »
This chapter presents to us the kind of life that Jesus lived, and it is amazing how deep communion is directly connected with earnest labor for souls:

No other life was ever so crowded with labor and responsibility as was that of Jesus; yet how often He was found in prayer! How constant was His communion with God! Again and again in the history of His earthly life are found records such as these: "Rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." "Great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed." "And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." Mark 1:35; Luke 5:15, 16; 6:12.

I am reminded of a statement from Steps to Christ that expresses how this truth will be wrought in our life experience as we abide in Christ as well:

Jesus says, “Abide in Me.” These words convey the idea of rest, stability, confidence. Again He invites, “Come unto Me, ... and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. The words of the psalmist express the same thought: “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” And Isaiah gives the assurance, “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Psalm 37:7; Isaiah 30:15. This rest is not found in inactivity; for in the Saviour's invitation the promise of rest is united with the call to labor: “Take My yoke upon you: ... and ye shall find rest.” Matthew 11:29. The heart that rests most fully upon Christ will be most earnest and active in labor for Him. {SC 71.1}

May we so connect with Christ by a full-heart surrender today that Jesus can send us forth to bless others, and then as He bids us to "come aside," may our communion and rest be of such a character as to help us be more effective in God's service. This is the key.

The rest which Christ and His disciples took was not self-indulgent rest. The time they spent in retirement was not devoted to pleasure seeking. They talked together regarding the work of God, and the possibility of bringing greater efficiency to the work. The disciples had been with Christ, and could understand Him; to them He need not talk in parables. He corrected their errors, and made plain to them the right way of approaching the people. He opened more fully to them the precious treasures of divine truth. They were vitalized by divine power, and inspired with hope and courage.

We may be tempted to take time for things that really break our communion with God (I have heard of people "zoning out" in front of the television, etc.)--and that is not restful. I remember when I was only a young man, before I even became a Seventh-day Adventist, that after having watched a few hours of television during some "down time" I felt emotionally and physically drained. Realizing this, the Holy Spirit was prompting me to do other things for recreation--like enjoying time outside in nature. What a difference I now find when even as I am traveling, I get to fellowship with Jesus by sharing with a good friend over the phone the wonderful things God is doing, and the loveliness of Jesus that he is revealing. God invites us to experience real joy, not the artificial "amusements" that the world has polluted with pleasure seeking.

Only in a full surrender to Christ continually will the spirit be kept in true rest and peace. How wonderful, then, to come aside to the scenes of nature, to pray earnestly and openly, to fellowship with Jesus as we read the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, to hear and sing sacred music, and to share with our brothers and sisters of how good God has been to us! This is truly restful!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2017, 07:59:27 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. Life is busy. Even those who are in full time ministry, they are busy too. But, what good is doing ministry if we are not abiding in Christ and He in us? We cannot help others unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit. If self is alive, then all is a misrepresentation of Christ.

We are being encouraged in today's reading to take time to spend with Jesus. The Sabbath was given just for that. But, those in ministry are very busy on the Sabbath ministering to others. If they do not take time to feed upon Jesus, then how can they give to others what they do not have?

  In the estimation of the rabbis it was the sum of religion to be always in a bustle of activity. They depended upon some outward performance to show their superior piety. Thus they separated their souls from God, and built themselves up in self-sufficiency. The same dangers still exist. As activity increases and men become successful in doing any work for God, there is danger of trusting to human plans and methods. There is a tendency to pray less, and to have less faith. Like the disciples, we are in danger of losing sight of our dependence on God, and seeking to make a savior of our activity. We need to look constantly to Jesus, realizing that it is His power which does the work. While we are to labor earnestly for the salvation of the lost, we must also take time for meditation, for prayer, and for the study of the word of God. Only the work accomplished with much prayer, and sanctified by the merit of Christ, will in the end prove to have been efficient for good.
 

We must be ever connected with Jesus. By beholding His loveliness we will be filled with His Spirit. Then, we will be an influence for good. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating the life of Jesus. This will bring peace and rest that nothing else can.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2017, 09:29:29 AM »
Amen Richard and pastor Sean. This isn't directly connected to your thoughts but every time I come to this chapter and see the title I can't help but think of that everlasting rest that we'll have some day soon. No devil to harass us and no sin cursed world to deal with and see but most of all we'll have eternity to spend with Christ and learn from Him face to face!
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2017, 04:30:06 AM »
Jesus is training us how to rest (this is preparation for service and for heaven!), how to be like Him in mind and character. Therefore we need time for this divine experience, that the plan of salvation FOR US will not be unavailing, but that we, by beholding the loveliness of Jesus, may be so transformed by communion with Him, that our lives will reveal Him to all we meet today!

In all who are under the training of God is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, or its practices; and everyone needs to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, "Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10. Here alone can true rest be found.  And this is the effectual preparation for all who labor for God. Amid the hurrying throng, and the strain of life's intense activities, the soul that is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. The life will breathe out fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men's hearts. 

May Jesus' atmosphere of light and peace so flow from us today that all who meet us will know that there is a God in the earth, and that He has a people--a people who love and reflect Jesus by having Him reveal through them all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing! God is SO SO SO GOOD TO US TO GIVE US THIS TIME WITH HIM morning by morning!!!!! Hallelujah!!!!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2017, 05:29:53 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. It was heart work with Jesus so it will be with all who labor for souls. It is the heart Christ wants. All else will follow if the whole heart is fully surrendered to Jesus. How do we reach the hearts of others? As Pastor Sean has pointed out:

The soul that is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. The life will breathe out fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men's hearts. 


When abiding in Christ, all of the fruits of the Spirit are seen in the life. It is this that others seeking truth will be drawn to. If today we would take time to go to Jesus and tell Him our needs, we should not be disappointed; He would be at our right hand to help us. We need more simplicity, more trust and confidence in our Saviour.

Amen!  It is so very sad when we labor in our own strength when Jesus is at our very side! Let us turn to Him continually that we might be a bright light in a very dark world.



Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2017, 06:42:05 AM »
"God has appointed to every man his work, according to his ability (Eph. 4:11-13), and He would not have a few weighted with responsibilities while others have no burden, no travail of soul."

God is so reasonable and fair. He does not pour us into a mold and expect us to perform like robots. He has given each of us our unique personalities and when connected to Him He is able to reach souls though we are all different. The more time that is spent with Jesus the closer we come to Him and to each other so that although all are different we function as a whole to accomplish the work of Jesus.

I pray that I will be doing my part in the work God has appointed to me this day. This being the preparation day which is always busy, it might mean a simple phone call to cheer a lonely soul or to someone who has lost a loved one. There are so many little opportunities that we let slip by because we get caught up in our own plans and commitments.

But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

colporteur

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2017, 09:41:25 AM »
"God has appointed to every man his work, according to his ability (Eph. 4:11-13), and He would not have a few weighted with responsibilities while others have no burden, no travail of soul."

God is so reasonable and fair. He does not pour us into a mold and expect us to perform like robots. He has given each of us our unique personalities and when connected to Him He is able to reach souls though we are all different. The more time that is spent with Jesus the closer we come to Him and to each other so that although all are different we function as a whole to accomplish the work of Jesus.

I pray that I will be doing my part in the work God has appointed to me this day. This being the preparation day which is always busy, it might mean a simple phone call to cheer a lonely soul or to someone who has lost a loved one. There are so many little opportunities that we let slip by because we get caught up in our own plans and commitments.



There are entire conferences without an LE. The leadership, publishing houses, and laity could do a great deal to change that through financial assistance, as well as prayer, and even hands on assistance. Now we are through no choice of our own considered "independent distributers" in all but two conferences in the US. A little aid here and there makes all the difference. Just not having to purchase our free literature alone is substantial.  Doctors office display books, insert cards, brochures, etc.. are all purchased by the LE now. This is why in part that out side of these two conferences as far as I know I am the only LE in the US that still places our Bible Story and Health books in the clinics.
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2017, 11:14:41 AM »
Amen, cp. The light given on the subject has been rejected. Because we have the internet, television, and radio, does not do away with door to door work. Human wisdom has supplanted the counsel given. Today's lesson touches on this:

     As activity increases and men become successful in doing any work for God, there is danger of trusting to human plans and methods. There is a tendency to pray less, and to have less faith. Like the disciples, we are in danger of losing sight of our dependence on God, and seeking to make a savior of our activity.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2017, 05:17:03 AM »
We need time with Jesus--quality, significant time with Him. We need the transformation of character that He alone can impart.

Mark 6:31-32: "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."

God encourages us to move to the country--out of the bustle of the cities--so we can more effectually commune with Jesus and then be prepared for our labor to reach the cities and the towns where souls are perishing for lack of knowledge of the love of God and His merciful character. I am so thankful that He helped me to take that step to move out of the bustle of the city over a year ago, and to move to a retired place in the country with acres of peaceful land in a place to spend time with Jesus. God can help each of us to take a step of prayerful faith to experience the blessing He has in store for us!

I love being with Jesus and He is truly giving an experience in preparation for heaven as we open the doors of the soul heavenward and close the doors of the soul earthward. We need close communion with God. We are so poor and needy--we have no wisdom of our own, and this thought is indelibly impressed upon my mind--we need to go deeper with Jesus. We are on the shore of a vast ocean of His infinite love, and the more we appreciate Him, the more our thoughts are of Him, the more we shall speak of Him and be a blessing to others, for Christ in us will desire to speak to those around us who do not know His tender, winning love. Love has a constraining power much more potent than any other. We need Jesus--His meekness, lowliness, simplicity, and power--and that comes to us through continual communion with Him in nature, with Him in prayer, by prayerfully studying His Word, and letting our own hearts speak to God in intimacy. Oh, there is an infinity beyond--and Christ invites us to have an experience as He had. What wondrous love is this that we can be called the sons and daughters of God--to be part of the heavenly family by faith even now!

"In a life wholly devoted to the good of others, the Saviour found it necessary to withdraw from the thoroughfares of travel and from the throng that followed Him day after day. He must turn aside from a life of ceaseless activity and contact with human needs, to seek retirement and unbroken communion with His Father. As one with us, a sharer in our needs and weaknesses, He was wholly dependent upon God, and in the secret place of prayer He sought divine strength, that He might go forth braced for duty and trial. In a world of sin Jesus endured struggles and torture of soul. In communion with God He could unburden the sorrows that were crushing Him. Here He found comfort and joy." {The Desire of Ages, page 362, paragraph 4}

This morning I did a search of the phrase "wholly dependent upon God" in the Ellen White app, and it led me to SpM, Ch. 43 (which is the Spalding and Megan Collection) as the last reference that had that phrase in it verbatim. I read the entire chapter--which was Ellen White's address in a meeting held in the Battle Creek College library, at the General Conference of April 1, 1901--and I was incredibly blessed. I thought you would be blessed with one of the gems I found in that reading this morning:

But God is going to have a change. He wants us to know what it means to work on the principles of heaven. He wants that all of us should know what it means to stand in their lot, and stand in their place, and every soul that has had a responsibility, that they should have been workers, that they should have had these principles, that they should have had patience, just as it is reported “Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” 2 Peter 1:5. Brethren, we all need these letters written and hung in the chambers of the mind, and to him that doeth these things,—if you live on this principle you will never fail; “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” {Spalding and Megan Collection, page 165, paragraph 1}

Yes, let us fill our hearts and minds with Jesus' words--so that we shall readily speak of Him as we have opportunity today. What a privilege we have in being co-workers with Jesus Christ. What a privilege to "come aside and rest awhile"!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}