The Gift of Rest, Part 4

“Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” ­ – John 10:7-10

As we’ve been considering the multi-faceted divine gift of rest Christ gives His people, we’ve been refreshed in finding rest in His provision of safety from predators and predatory fears, rest as we walk in love, humility at peace and in unity with one another, and rest in Christ’s provision of peace and tranquility within. A fourth and final condition we will consider in this series is the rest that Christ gives us in being fully satisfied. As the Good Shepherd says in v. 9 above, He is the door, the only door, through which we enter into salvation and then go and find the pasture of abundant life.

Jesus is the pasture of His people as He is the living Word of God. Christ fills His hungry sheep to the full with the spiritual sufficiency of His own fullness and His Word. He is our eternal satisfaction. He, and He alone, feeds and fully nourishes our hungry and thirsty souls. Jesus is the Bread of Life, as He marvelously proclaims in John 6:35 ­– “And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst [emphasis added].” Praise Him! Come to Him in true faith and be truly satisfied!

As Christ gives us Himself as the living Word, He also gives His Word in writing as green pasture for us as well. We are to feed upon the Scriptures. There is a glorious, inseparable connection between Christ and His Word as He is the message of it. How do we know this is true? The Bible reveals Christ to be the righteousness of sinners and the Savior of all who call upon His name (John 10:13). Further, in Romans 1:16 – 17, we are reminded, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’ [emphasis added].

Having been redeemed by Christ, we no longer hate the living Word, but love Him and long for Him. We are no longer repulsed in blind rejection and anger about the truth in His Word, but love and delight in it as we have eyes to see it as it truly is – the Word of God. It is our spiritual food and our pasture. Consider these wonders about the Word:

  • It is the bread that satisfies our hunger in abundance (Isaiah 55:1-3).
  • We know its awesome work in the hearts of men and women by the Spirit. (Psalm 19:7-9).
  • We know its value is far more than fine gold, and its sweetness far sweeter than honey and the honeycomb (Psalm 119:103, Psalm 19:10).
  • It’s milk for spiritual babes, and strong meat for the mature (1 Cor. 3:2, Heb. 5:12-14).
  • The Holy Spirit graciously works in our hearts to “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls [emphasis added] (James 1:21).
  • The Spirit also then works in us to keep His Word (John 17:6), as well as continue in it (John 8:31).

Beloved, be refreshed and encouraged in the complete satisfaction that Christ and His Word is to you and your family, as well as corporately to our entire body. May these truths help move you to have a more faithful diet, more consistent feeding, more prayerful study as His disciples. It’s a great blessing to find rest for our souls in Jesus as we are well fed by Him! Further, it pleases our God to put special honor on the preaching of the Word, the preaching of Christ crucified, and the whole counsel of God to us. It’s, therefore, a benediction to find rest for your soul as you sit under the ministry of the preached Word as well as to receive His nourishment in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

May this final word from the Word give you peace and joy – “For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: ‘This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy [emphasis added]’ ” (Psalm 132:13-16).