Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday in the Word: Rest In the Lord, Part 1

Back in June, I attended a Pastors' Wives Retreat (the same one as last year). Much to my surprise, my husband got an email several weeks before the retreat, asking if I'd be willing to bring one of the evening lessons during the week. The topic was Rest In the Lord, and I was more than a little scared to speak on that topic, because I have a tendency NOT to rest, but to fret and worry. Sometimes God has a sense of humor, yes?!

One of the Scripture passages given me was the one about Mary and Martha. You know the one, where Martha is running around getting all the things ready for Jesus and his disciples to eat with the family, and she looks out and sees Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus . . . when there's work to be done! (Luke 10:38-42)

I began to study about Mary, who is actually one of my favorite Bible characters (Ruth is my all-time favorite), and one afternoon the outline came together for my lesson from three Scripture references to Mary. I thought I'd share it here with you, in a series of posts, in hopes that you, as I did, might learn a little more about resting in the Lord.

The three things I learned were these:

Mary Was Content: Resting in God's Provision
Mary Was Confident: Resting in God's Promises
Mary Was Comfortable: Resting in God's Presence

First, we learn that Mary was content: she was resting in God's provision. Luke 10:42 says that Mary had chosen the one thing that was needful, and that was sitting at the feet of Jesus. And God has given us today the one thing we need: fellowship with Him. I know you hear it again and again, especially if you're in a Bible-believing and -teaching church: the way to have fellowship with God is by reading His Word, the Bible, praying regularly, and keeping short accounts with God about our sin. The amazing thing? God wants this fellowship with us! (Matthew 11:28)
"He invites us into an abiding relationship with Him where we can find true love, close friendship, and an eternal purpose. What a wonderful provision from a wonderful Saviour!" (emphasis mine) ~ Paul Chappell, Abiding in Christ: Becoming Like Christ through an Abiding Relationship with Him, p. 68
Also notice that Mary had chosen to be content with fellowship with Christ: "Mary hath chosen that good part . . ." Much of the Christian life is indeed made up of choices. We choose to read the Bible, pray, witness, react with grace, forgive, be kind. Fellowship with God is our choice (Revelation 3:20). He doesn't force us to fellowship with Him. Are you choosing to fellowship with Christ, or are you letting life happen and hoping that you'll develop a close relationship with the Lord? Unfortunately, resting in God doesn't just happen; you have to choose to rest in Him.

Three statements about being content to rest in the Lord:

1. When we abide with God (rest in Him), we get the answers we need for our lives. (John 15:7; Psalm 37:4)
2. The closer we get to Him, the closer He gets to us. (James 4:8)
3. We are most fruitful when we rest in Him. (John 15:4,5)
"How does the branch bear fruit? Not by incessant effort for sunshine and air; not by vain struggles - it simply abides in the vine, in silent and undisturbed union, and blossoms, and fruit appear as of spontaneous growth." ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe, as quoted in Abiding in Christ: Becoming Like Christ through an Abiding Relationship with Him, p. 68
I know life is busy and we, as Christian wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, and church members, can easily be overwhelmed by all we have to do. But God invites us to be content in His provision of fellowship with Him. Take the time each day to read something from His Word and talk to Him in prayer.

How do you personally choose to sit at Jesus' feet each day? What is your devotional quiet time like?


  1. Very good outline, Susan. I don't know why we're so prone to rush and stew rather than rest. I am so glad for the rest we can have in Christ.

  2. Me too, Barbara! I hope the other two parts of the outline will be a blessing!

  3. Copied and pasted this so I can read it at my little trailer.
    So glad to see Wed in the Word again

    1. Good to see you, nanasknoll! I'm glad the devotions are a blessing to you! :)


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