In times like today, a sense of rest and peace seem to be becoming ever more elusive. Many people are tired in their souls and every day the bad news that hit home through the news channel or through surrounding circumstances seem to burn into many daily lives. How does a Child of God find rest in days like these?
Not too long ago, Pr Edmund Smith of Real Love Ministry shared a message that reached out to this most important of issues. ‘The kind of rest that comes from God is a spiritual thing, and it is the kind that even the best holidays cannot give you.’
The Bible speaks often of God’s blessings. ‘Only God can give you true blessings,’ shared Pr Edmund. ‘No one else can give do that for you. We can give others small little nice things, but the kind of blessing you receive when you hold a new-born child in your arms, those kinds of blessings can only come from God. The air that we breathe. The restoration of relationships. This kind no money can buy and can come from no one but God alone.’
The Bible provides 2 verses as a key for Christians in search of spiritual rest and blessing. The first is found in Proverbs 10:6-7 in which it is written that the righteous will be blessed and the wicked cursed.
‘In other words, if you’re not righteous in God’s standard, you cannot be blessed. God is absolute and there are only two groups before His eyes. So we need to know and understand what it is to be righteous before God and we need to pay attention. Desire to be righteous and not according to the world’s standards but God’s.
‘When God’s blessings enter into your mind, there will be peace in your soul. When God’s blessings enter into your soul, there will be joy in your heart. This is the power of the blessing upon the righteous. It is a great deal.’
The second verse is found in Hebrews 10:12-14:
But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool. For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
This is a central to our faith as Christians and our relationship to God. We were once lost to sin but Christ has through His one act on Calvary offered for all time an antidote to our hopelessness.
The word “forever” in this verse is a great thing. It meant that Jesus’ love for His children is eternal and not just for a time. ‘Jesus is not schizrophrenic, one minute loving us on the deepest level, the next forsaking us.
‘When Jesus made that sacrifice on the cross, it was for all people. None of us can claim to save someone else’s soul. When we bring someone to Christ, we cannot claim credit for it. All we did was to share the Good News of their salvation to them. Even before we were born, Jesus loved them and He died for them. It’s only God’s glory and mercy, and salvation belongs to the Lord.’
‘When He ascended to Heaven, Jesus sat down at the right hand of God. His work is complete and finished and nothing we do can add to that work; Jesus did for us a very powerful thing. Many of us take this for granted and do not realize the full meaning of it.’
This verse in Hebrew also says that since that time Jesus waits for His enemies to be made His footstool. ‘When the verse says Jesus waits, it means that it hasn’t come to pass yet. God’s enemies are not people. God created people, He sent Christ to die on the cross for us. He loves us. God’s enemies are satan and his demons. It is only whether people chose to embrace God into their lives.
‘People have a choice to decide their destiny for themselves, whether to embrace salvation or otherwise. The devil on the other hand knows there is nowhere else he is going to go except hell and he knows his time is running out. So the enemy is trying his utmost to war against us, even trying to take many to hell.
‘We need to know this truth. When we fight against the enemy on our own we lose. But when God is the one who fights, the battle has already been won. So because the enemies are still moving, we need to stick like glue to Jesus, as close as possible. Daily arm yourself with the armour and sword of God. That is why we are reminded to work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12) and to be hungry for God’s word.’
In the same passage, Scripture tells us that our spirits were made perfect forever by that one act of Christ. It also says that we are in the midst of being made holy. So while our souls are not flawless, when we accepted Jesus into our lives our spirits were made spotless. And when God looks at us, He sees into the spirit.
He is not concerned about the externals, but about the spirit that has been made perfect. The only way we can receive such a spirit is when we have faith in Christ and when we hold on to our faith and relationship with Him. And as long as we hold onto Jesus, we are forever righteous, forever sanctified. And we can claim the blessings of God.
‘So when we struggle with our souls and imperfections, do not forget who you are in God, and that He has made your spirit whole. When we fall into weakness, it doesn’t mean that God will forsake us. This also does not mean that we are free to sin, however, for the road does not stop there. Our souls are still on a journey. A Christian who does not feel remorse about sin raises questions.
‘If we are born-again, we can no longer live in sin. We become uncomfortable with sin because when our spirits are made perfect, our souls embark into a sanctifying process. The more we understand truly what God has done for us, the more we will abhor sin and transform our lives. This is what it means to be born-again.’
‘As Christians, we must desire perfection,’ counseled Pr Edmund, ‘for Matthew 5:48 has given us the admonition to be perfect in the same way our heavenly Father is. An imperfect body cannot go with God. Therefore, don’t take your life nonchalantly. We must desire to be on the road of perfection. We must get our spirit perfected through Christ and then get our souls into the journey of recovery.’
We have learned through Scripture that a faultless spirit can only come through faith in God and true blessings only through being righteous in Him. There is only one way. We must learn to put Jesus first in our lives. Jesus must come before all else. He must be our Lord and Saviour. Not many people are willing to put Christ as Lord in their lives or they allow their minds to take precedence over His Word.
When Christ gives a command, we must obey. When Christ declares us perfect through Him, we must also take His Word as Truth. We are perfect and righteous not by our works or of our own merits but by God’s grace and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. When we declare this, it will spread through our whole body, soul, and spirit and every area of our lives.
The Bible speaks about the new body of believers when Jesus returns. In this journey, our spirits have already been made perfect, our souls are getting perfect along the journey, and our bodies will become perfect. And when our body meets Jesus, every part of it will be true and whole.
|Share The Good News|
NOTE: Pastor Edmund Smith who is fondly known as Ps Ed, is the Senior Pastor of Real Love Ministry (RLM) Melaka, Malaysia. RLM is a church and ministry that reaches out to the Sexually Broken. Ps Ed himself had a transgenderred identity and lived a homosexual lifestyle for many years. Today, Ps Ed is married to his amazing wife Ps Amanda, and they are blessed with two lovely children, Angelica and Ethan. Ps Ed travels all over Malaysia and even all over the world to teach and preach God’s truth and Sexual Recovery. Ps Ed is also a professional Performing Artiste.