Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Come unto Me and Rest

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

In the pressures and stresses of life, what sweeter words could we hear than "take a break?" Let us consider the gracious words of Jesus by which he invites us all to come unto Him for rest, we who are at times weary and heavy laden. We all get weighed down with the struggles and the challenges of life, which may press us down so much that it seems like there is no end to the tunnel we are in.

We notice that before Jesus issued the call to come unto Him, He spoke of the unique relationship between He and his Father and of how no one can know the Father unless, He the Son, reveals Him. After He invites us to come to Him for relief, He invites us to be yoked (united, connected) to Him, calling upon us to learn from Him, who is meek and lowly of heart, saying that in this connection we shall find rest to our souls. There is a lot to think about concerning this, (rest to our souls). We know that there are two different types of rest, the first one being that we rest in order to be refreshed and strengthened. The other is that we stop working. God rested on the seventh day and rested from His work, not because He was tired, but that He was finished creating the world. Jesus rested on the cross when He said, "It is finished," revealing that all that was needed for sinners to be redeemed was now done. When we remain united (yoked) with Jesus, we are kept in a place of quietness and rest, for we do not have to think that somehow or someway we have to keep "doing something" to remain in good standing with God. Trusting in His work for us in Jesus is what keeps us in a close and eternal relationship with God. There is no work that He requires from us, but to believe upon that which He did for us. That is the gospel of Jesus. This is the rest that we are invited to abide in continually.

So in the big picture, we receive the work that God has done for us as a gift of His grace; and consequently, out of appreciation for the gift of faith we have received, fruit flows out of our lives. This seems to be what Jesus is talking about here, in that He is revealing the heart of God toward us by His example and His life. He calls upon us to rest in Him and simply allow His grace to be embedded so deeply and thoroughly in our hearts and lives that we no longer feel the pressure to perform for Him. It is as Apostle Paul wrote:

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

When we continue to trust in Him, we are then prepared for all things that may come upon us in our life. John Ruotsala preached a sermon on Sunday and he used this illustration to highlight what I just said. "There was a man who was hired by a farmer to be his right hand man. He would take care of all the outside things, such as feed the livestock, protect them from storms, protect their feed and so on. A big storm came one night, the farmer was worried about his farm, got up to check and noticed that the hired hand, instead of being out taking care of things, was sleeping in his bed. The farmer woke the hired hand up, demanding from him an answer as to why he was not out taking care of his farm. The hired hand said, "I knew that a storm was coming, so I put the livestock in the barn last night, I covered up all the hay with tarps, made sure that the animals had plenty of feed and so forth. Since everything was all taken care of, there was nothing for me to worry about when the storm came. I had prepared for the storm. " Did the hired hand understand what it meant to rest in Jesus?

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
The Hebrew writer gives us some commentary on what Jesus was talking about when he wrote the verses which are above, for we are reminded of the High Priest who continually intercedes on our behalf, also invites us to boldly come to the throne of grace with our prayers, with our weaknesses, our doubts, so that we could obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, so that we may with joy continue toward the city whose builder and maker is God!!

ESV Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we1 have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith1 into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

May we keep our eyes fixed upon Him today and always!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 16 Sep 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Abounding in Thanksgiving
As we continue into the second chapter of Paul's letter to the Colossians, we are struck again by the care and compassion that pours from the pages of the letter from the heart of Paul toward those that he is writing too. Let us listen in: Colossians 2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

It is as if he wants to again point them to the fullness that they have in Christ and of who they are in Christ Jesus. They have everything they need in Him, for in Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. They are lacking nothing! We are lacking nothing!! And now finally, after greeting them, praying for them, showing them of that which God has done for them through His Son, Jesus, and revealing his heart of love and commitment for their souls welfare, Paul begins to address some of what he sees as dangers to their remaining in Christ Jesus. He now gives three warnings throughout the rest of the chapter. Again, let us listen in to the letter being read to the Colossians Christians as well as to us who live in this year of 2010...

First warning: Do not let anyone's words lead us astray.
4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile (cheat, deceive, lead astray) you with enticing words.
5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

We recall that in verse 28 of chapter one, Paul spoke in this manner:
KJV Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Jesus Christ is the One we proclaim and in this proclamation there is both the warning and the teaching. We see this manner of proclamation displayed here by the beloved Apostle. He begins in verse 4 with the warning to not let any man deceive them with persuasive speech. (enticing words) But then it is as if he again wants to point them to the assurance of who they are in Christ, how he joys in the position that they are through their believing of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He then says, Be that which you are in Christ and live your life accordingly. He then points out four important things to them/us. We will use this for our application of what we have heard so far.

1. We are rooted in Christ
2. We are built up in Christ (ongoing)
3 We are established in the faith that we have been taught
4. We are abounding with thankfulness for that which we have received from God!

Let it not escape us that the Apostle has taken the entire first chapter to speak of that which God has done for us in Christ Jesus and he just now begins to give some warning/teaching to the practical part of the lives of the hearers of his letter. He begins by addressing first of all those who would be teaching doctrines contrary to the doctrine of Jesus Christ. This he does in a great spirit of love and concern, as in verse 5 one can feel the oneness that he share with those he has never met. Paul had come to realize and experience that the Body of Christ was not one, but contains all believers everywhere. We get the sense from his letter that Paul, by the eyes of faith, is able to be with those to whom he is writing to as if in person. He does not throw doubt on who they are in Christ through faith, but he through building them up gives them encouragement to continue with thankfulness to God for His grace in the Lord Jesus Christ! May we be encouraged and instructed by his words for us today.....

Til next time.

Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 Too the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 01 Sep 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Come unto Me and Rest
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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3/21 7:00 pm:Lent service
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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns