Posted by: judyhitson | September 2, 2019

Sabbath Rest

Sabbath Rest
by Judy Hitson

Hebrews 4:9 NASB So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.

I am convinced, Jesus Christ is our Sabbath rest. No need for me to debate earthly arguments about the Sabbath. He is Lord of the Sabbath. As Scripture says, the Sabbath day is the 7th day of the week. That is Saturday. There is a transition for the Sabbath under the Law of the Old Covenant rules and regulations. This was a foreshadow of Christ. The New Covenant  under grace and love brings us to an intimate, personal, love relationship with Jesus Christ, our Sabbath rest.

Jesus came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. He will fulfill it through us. It is good to work six days and rest one. The difference is either self efforts to keep the Sabbath or to know the Lord and rest in Him. That is not just one day a week but everyday of our lives.

Consider our need as Christians to cease from our works so Christ can work in and through us.
I hear: Gal.2:20 NASB I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

As I researched Sabbath rest I share two articles that were helpful:

  1. Theodore H. Epp, Founder of Back to the Bible,
    “What does God’s word say about the Christian keeping the Sabbath?”
  2. GotQuestions.org, “How is Jesus our Sabbath rest?”

The second article confirmed to my heart what I sensed the Spirit of God revealed to me, Jesus is our Sabbath rest. It blesses me to rest in the Lord and live in peace.

When you think of Sabbath rest, are your thoughts toward a day, a year, a Person or all of the above?

Scripture addresses each of these. Putting our reliance upon Jesus Christ, He reveals His word to us by His Spirit. If Jesus is our Sabbath rest than it is not a legalistic day of our concerted efforts to keep the Law. Rather, by the Spirit we find our rest in Christ alone.

Prayer: Father help us as Your children to rest in You through Jesus Christ, Your only begotten Son, as our Sabbath rest by Your Spirit. Amen.

Posted by: judyhitson | August 5, 2019

Rest in God’s Promise(s)

Rest in God’s Promise(s)
by Judy Hitson

1 Kings 8:56 NKJV “Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.

That is, from the promise of Christ, Messiah, Savior of the world to the fullness of an abundant life. We can discover the many promises of God in His word. We can live Christ and follow Him all the days of our lives by His Spirit who gives life.

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name, Ps.103:1.

From the big picture to the challenges in daily living, let us look to Jesus and rest in Him who is God’s promise to the world. We previously looked at the promise of God’s rest in Hebrews 4, today let us see Jesus Christ as God’s promise.

As Christians, we believe God’s promise of salvation through Jesus Christ and grow in our understanding of God’s promises through His word in personal ways. That is believing what He says in His word will come to pass.   Like a word He lifts off the page as we read the Bible and receive it as His promise for our lives.

For example,
God’s love for us is everlasting, Jerm.31:3
He is our peace, Eph.2:14
He will never leave us or forsake us, Heb.13:5

Are you resting in God’s promises for you?

This devotional developed after singing the hymn ” ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” at church. First the phrase, “Just to rest upon His promise,” shot deep within me as a word from the Lord. I asked, Lord, Do You want me to write about this? Looking in the Bible to find this concept in His word, I found our key verse, 1 Kings 8:56. It resonated in my heart for us today.

Remember:
Rom.15:4 NASB For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instructions, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Rom.11:17-24 We are grafted in.
Matt.21:22 NASB And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.

Prayer: Father in heaven bless us to rest and be at peace in Your promise of Jesus Christ, see Him from Genesis through Revelation by Your Spirit. Bless us to live Christ and rest in the promises of God through Your word in daily living. Amen.

Posted by: judyhitson | July 1, 2019

God’s Rest from Adversity

God’s Rest from Adversity
by Judy Hitson

Psalm 94:13 NKJV That You may give him rest from the days of adversity until the pit is dug for the wicked.

Rest in the Lord, He will take care of you in days of adversity. My husband and I discovered this following a hit and run accident. Driving home from a road trip to visit family, a car attempted to speed in front of us. There wasn’t room! As a result that driver hit our car into the highway’s cement median divide while speeding ahead and not return to the scene of the accident. Though my husband’s airbags deployed, he hit his head and blacked out briefly with the thrust of impact on his driver side of the car against the cement divide. Miraculously, we walked away from our vehicle. The people behind us were kind to stop, call the police and ask how they could help us. We didn’t realize the toll this accident would take on my husband’s health from the head injury. Our car was totaled, we needed to rent a car and seek medical attention but God’s peace and presence were with us.

We remained calm through this adversity. It was like God’s peace in a storm. The initial medical care we received was Chiropractic adjustments for neck and back pain we both experienced. Weeks later  my husband began to manifest changes from the head injury with short term memory loss and cognitive decline. Our family physician determined he had a concussion and needed to see a Neurologist. This led to further testing with physical, occupational and speech therapists that resulted in lifestyle changes. My husband can no longer drive or manage the checking account. Our youngest son said, “Dad, you helped Mom all these years. Now she will help you.” Learning cognitive decline can be reversed, we followed recommendations of a relative. Through natural medicine with supplements and dietary changes, my husband had some improvement. Through prayer God reveals His ways for us. Through God’s provisions, we experience His love and care for us. Through God’s peace and guidance, we experience His rest from days of adversity.

Prayer: Thank You God for Your rest from adversity. Thank You LORD for blessing us with Your instructions and teaching us out of Your law, Ps. 94:12. Thank You that You are with us by day and by night. Amen.

Posted by: judyhitson | June 18, 2019

Waiting in Remembrance

Waiting in Remembrance
by Brenda D. Flowers

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.

 I will say to the north, “Give them up!” and to the south, “Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—

everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.

All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble. Which of them foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,  . . . (Isaiah 43: 5-10a, NIV)

Are you waiting for answers to prayer?
Do you long for circumstances in your life to change, but nothing seems to be changing?

It is in these difficult times that we learn some of our Heavenly Father’s most tender lessons. As His children, He wants us to stand strong against the storms of life, turning to Him as our source of strength.

He asks each of us through Jesus’ words, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25a)

Faith grows as we remember what God has promised and the fulfillment of His promises.

Throughout the Bible, God allowed trying times of waiting in the lives of faithful men and women. Consider Abraham, Gideon, Rahab the harlot, Joseph, Peter, John, and Paul.

Be encouraged by remembering their life stories and testimonies of other faithful ones

in your times of waiting through dire circumstances.

As Christians, let us share our personal testimonies and take opportunities to testify to the truth of God’s Word. This helps us remember God never leaves us. He desires an intimate love relationship with us.

What a blessing! God is with us in the waiting. Remember His words of comfort, His personal words of promise, and His answers to past prayers. As we depend upon God in waiting, we learn of Him more deeply and intimately.

It is often during hard times that we reach out to God the most. He wants us to know that He is with us even in the waiting times of our lives.

Godly fruit takes time to grow. Maturing takes time.

Rest in remembering that we are chosen for such a time as this. There is purpose in waiting. Remember . . . It took time for the disciples to cross over to the other side of the lake. What lessons can we learn as they went through the storm? (Luke 8)

Prayer:  Lord, when we are in times of waiting or facing difficult circumstances, help us remember what You have taught us in Your word and through testimonies of men and women of faith. Help us draw close to You and trust You to empower us to do what You call us to do even in challenging times. Thank you for Your love and faithfulness. In Jesus name we pray and to You we give glory, honor, and praise. Amen

Posted by: judyhitson | June 3, 2019

God’s Presence-God’s Rest

God’s Presence-God’s Rest
by Judy Hitson

Exodus 33:14 NIV The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Imagine the LORD speaking these words to you, “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.” This promise is available for us as it was for Moses.

What comes to your mind when you consider God’s presence?

I think of Immanuel, God with us, Matt. 1:23. We are not alone. God is here. He offers us an  intimate love relationship with Him through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us we can do nothing apart from Him, John 15:5b. We can have daily communion with Him, moment to moment from morning ’til night.

If this is your experience, you are blessed. If not, God bless you with His desire to experience His presence and His rest.

Fear, anxiety, doubt, worry, jealousy, greed are some enemies that can rob our peace and joy. God calls us to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ. We must fight the good fight of faith by the Spirit for personal victory to live in God’s presence, be filled with joy and receive His rest.

We have a choice to go alone in this earthly life or go with God.

What will it be?

Does your soul long to fully know the LORD God?

He wants to fill that longing. God is not a respecter of persons, Acts 10:34.

I know this from experience. If He did it for me, He will or is doing it for you now. God’s presence and God’s rest are available for you as they are for me.

I hear, “There is no rest in the LORD apart from His presence.” This brings to mind a phrase from
Ps. 16:11 “in His presence is fullness of joy.”

I also hear, “To be in God’s presence, Cut out the noise!”
In quietness and trust shall be your strength, Isaiah 30:15

Experiencing God’s presence and rest in my life, I learned: Be still. Be quiet. Be emptied of self and filled with the Spirit. Look to Jesus. Acknowledge God’s presence. Be with Him in Spirit and truth. Bask in His love. Receive God’s rest.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I pray for deep revelation and understanding regarding God’s Presence and God’s Rest. Grant me joy on this journey with You through continual personal experience. Lord, I believe; help my unbelief,” Mk. 9:24b. Amen.

Posted by: judyhitson | May 10, 2019

A Lifestyle in God’s Rest

A Lifestyle in God’s Rest
by Judy Hitson

Psalm 37:7a NASB Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him…….

As I contemplated on this lifestyle, the hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” written by Helen Howarth Lemmel, kept coming to mind. Meditating on the lyrics gripped my heart. The three stanzas of this hymn spoke to me of what a lifestyle in God’s rest looks like. Jesus must be first, not anyone or anything else.

When worry, fear, anxiety or doubts pierce your thoughts:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

There was a time in my life when I was desperate for God to deliver me from areas of bondage. A friend’s church brochure caught my attention for a series starting that week on deliverance and inner healing. Thankfully, I followed the prompting of the Spirit to go. When the teacher said, “God works when we are desperate,” it shook me to the core. In a state of desperation, I found that to be true when I received prayer during ministry time. It was a miracle to be set free from bondage, walk in the light of God’s promises and embark on a life lesson. That is, learn to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him, not rush ahead from earthly perspectives to make fleshly decisions.

Too often my mind is on things of earth. The Lord exhorts us, Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth, Col. 3:2.

It is a process to surrender and yield ourselves to the Lord. We receive  profound blessings as we learn to walk and live in the Spirit. This leads us to a lifestyle in God’s rest.

Here are some questions that come to mind for us to consider:

Do I think of the Lord when I wake in the morning?

Is He on my heart through the day?

Do I walk with Him, talk with Him and hear what He is saying to me?

Is He my first love?

Is He on my mind when I lie down to sleep at night?

Prayer: Father, a lifestyle of rest is what You want for Your children. For this I ask by Your Spirit who gives us life. In Jesus name. Amen.

Posted by: judyhitson | April 15, 2019

Rest in the Waiting

Rest in the Waiting
by Brenda D. Flowers

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
T
hey shall mount up with wings like eagles, . . .
Isaiah 40:31a NKJV

What a beautiful promise we are given from the LORD! If we wait on the LORD, He shall renew our strength; We shall mount up with wings like eagles, . . .

As I meditated on these words, God spoke clearly to me. Rest in the waiting, Brenda.

Have you had times when you cried out to the Lord because of hard circumstances you were facing?

Like me, you may be crying out for God’s help to change the circumstances. Or you may be crying out for His guidance or His answers to difficult life questions.

Sometimes God does not answer right away. He may seem distant. You may start to wonder if He even cares. But, it is during these times of waiting, when God may be speaking even in the silence. He wants us to learn to rest in Him.

In a recent difficult season of waiting, God revealed this truth to me. I found comfort and hope meditating on scripture.

By searching deeper meanings of key words in scripture, we can discover new revelation.

This happened to me when I found out that the original Hebrew word for “wait on” the Lord is a verb meaning to wait for, to look for, to hope for. Its root meaning is like that of twisting or winding a strand of cord or rope.

God wanted me to see that as I was waiting on Him for answers and help, He was right there with me, united with me. God knows my circumstances and my needs, and He knows what is best for me. He is my lifeline, my cord of hope.

We can rest in knowing that God is with us, united with us.

We are not alone as we are waiting. God is preparing us. There is power in this truth and it is in this revelation that we can find rest.

Father, thank you for showing us that you are with us when we are waiting. You give us strength to carry on even in difficult circumstances. You are joined with us and we can trust that You are preparing us. Thank you for being our Lifeline of Hope. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Posted by: judyhitson | April 2, 2019

Maintain God’s Rest

Maintain God’s Rest
by Judy Hitson

Hebrews 4:10 NKJV For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

To enter God’s rest is one thing. To maintain God’s rest is another. Both require dependency on the Holy Spirit who gives us life.

Think of it this way. To be in good physical health, we maintain a healthy daily diet, exercise and rest. The same holds true for us to be in good spiritual health. We need to maintain a healthy daily diet of God’s Word, spiritual exercise of Bible reading and prayer, and rest in the Lord our God.

When reading the Bible, do you sense God’s presence and receive revelation and understanding for your life circumstances or relationships?

This is Holy Spirit giving life to live Christ. Consider Philippians 1:19-21.

We need the life of the Spirit to maintain God’s rest. That is to enter His rest and cease from our work.

It is Christ in you, the hope of glory, Colossians 1:27.

It is like Galatians 2:20 NKJV I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Jesus said in John 15:5b without Me you can do nothing.

It comes to mind that to maintain God’s rest, we must maintain clean hands and a pure heart to ascend His hill, Psalm 24:3-4.

God has given us a wonderful promise in 1 John1:9 NKJV If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

This is not a long to do list. It is utter dependency on the Lord our God, to maintain His rest by His Spirit in us, that He can work in and through us. It is to walk in the Spirit and to live in the Spirit. Review the contrast lists in Galatians 5:19-25.

Let us live a life of love and obedience, John 14:21.

Prayer: Lord help us not go astray in our hearts but rather know and walk in Your ways. Help us believe You the living God. Help us fear You Lord God, be in awe of You, treat You as holy and not come short of Your rest. Thank You that You understand our weaknesses. Thank You Lord for Your word and Your available grace and mercy in our times of need. Amen.
(Hebrews 3:10-19; Hebrews 4:1, 12-16)

Posted by: judyhitson | March 6, 2019

Enter God’s Rest

Enter God’s Rest
by Judy Hitson

Mark 6:31a NLT Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”

To enter God’s rest, it takes time. It takes practice. It takes focused attention on Him. Let us not come short of it as we are exhorted in Heb.4:1.

“It takes time to be apart – to replenish not only our physical strength, but also our spiritual and emotional well being.” (Kate R. Thomas)

What is God’s rest?

Is it not a place of peace in His presence by His Spirit?

To be honest, I thought I understood how to enter God’s rest and mature to maintain that place of rest in Him. Sensing the Lord’s call to write on this topic from experience, I return to the basics. Yet, doubts attempt to dismantle what the Lord taught me. The question from the serpent in Gen.3:1 comes to mind, “Did God really say…..?”

I hear, “Dispel the darkness when doubt knocks at the door of your mind. Listen and sing the lyrics of  “Jesus, I Am Resting”.”

In following that word, I let faith arise and enter God’s rest, secure in Him.

Yes going off with Jesus to a quiet place to rest awhile is key for us to enter His rest. To experience it, we need discernment of the enemy’s subtlety versus the peace of Christ. When we go with Jesus to a quiet place, we discover we may enter His rest in quiet or amid busy circumstances as we find in Mark 6.

Come with me a moment.
Be quiet.
Take a deep breath of Holy Spirit.
Experience His presence. He is here.
Bask in His love, joy and peace to enter God’s rest.
Be refreshed, renewed and revived by the Spirit of God in you.

That spiritual exercise takes but a moment to acknowledge the Lord, our need to be filled with His Spirit and our need to be rid of enemies of the flesh, world and devil. This is what I’ve learned as a divine exchange. Let us not be trapped in our human understanding to live life but rather rely on the Lord our God, Jesus Christ. Then we can enter His rest, assured of His presence and peace regardless of our circumstances. Peace, be still! These words the Lord spoke to the sea in the storm, Mk.4:39.

Prayer: Thank You Lord. There is a rest for the people of God. Amen.

Posted by: judyhitson | February 7, 2019

The Promise of Rest

The Promise of Rest
by Judy Hitson

Hebrews 4:1 NKJV Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.

Do you find it amazing as you read familiar passages in the Bible when one comes alive with a new perspective the Holy Spirit highlights?

That’s what happened to me with our key verse, Hebrews 4:1. I thought, Lord I know You taught me a lot through this chapter. I cannot get passed the first verse. You stop me in my tracks here. So I breathe in deeply Your Spirit, trusting You to reveal what You want to say to me and those who read this devotional.

Hebrews 4 is the second Scripture passage the Lord taught me about His rest. This chapter, as I recall, is packed full of lessons on rest for us believers. Yet as I read it, Heb. 4:1 struck my heart. In its simplicity, there was depth to consider. First, it is a promise of God.

Being a slow, methodical learner, I tend to slow down and soak in words that capture my attention. In this case, it is God’s promise of rest for us. Come with me, slow down and contemplate on this promise:

Let us receive the reality of  it.
Let us fear and not come short of it.
Let us be cautious in our walk with the Lord and in awe of God, who is our rest.
Let us not miss this promise as we read below what happened to the Israelites.
Consider what the Spirit said recorded in Hebrews 3:10-11 NKJV
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.”

God’s promise of rest is vital. It is life for us.

Are you familiar with the old hymn, “Standing on the Promises?”

This hymn impacted my life. It is good to pause and consider the lyrics with all five stanzas and ask,

Lord, Am I standing on Your promise of rest?

Prayer: Father in heaven bless us as Your children to stand on Your promise of rest, walk in light of it by Your Spirit and be pleasing in Your sight. In Your name Jesus. Amen.

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