Saturday, February 8, 2014

rest: how to rest

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and overburdened, and I will give you rest!” (Matt. 11:28)

Jesus’ response to tired people is rest.

   If Christianity is supposed to be a life filled with joy and meaning, why do I always feel as if I’m, struggling and tired of it? Why do I feel so guilty? Why is it so hard for me to rest, even when I need to? Why can’t I stop all of my religious activity, even though it long ago ceased to be a joy? Why do I find myself repeating patterns I vowed I never would?
    When we ask, “What’s wrong with me?” Jeff VanVonderen has listed what he describes as some common traits and their definitions for a “shame- based” identity. For more information please read pages 19 to 28 of Tired of Trying to Measure Up. His final answer to “What’s wrong with you? Nothing. You’re normal. Wounded, but normal.
   Books offer knowledge, which is important; what we do with the knowledge, is more important; yet our focus on Jesus Christ is most important.
  Books give incite, relationships offer practice to what we have learned. God reveals to each of us our misperceptions of events. God created each one of us unique and exactly as He wanted us. Focusing on Jesus Christ allows Him to flow and change our misconceptions. We are to cease striving to be like… It is OK for you to be you and me to be me.
   Part One of this book instructs on how shame may begin in many of our lives. For example, in chapter five, we are instructed on the shame meaning and message for topics such as personal behavior, divorce, addiction, abusiveness and suicide.
   Read on and on, Part Two explains how to be healed by Grace. “By learning to look through a ‘grace-grid’ we’ll learn how to fight a different kind of battle than the one we’ve been trying to win through our own self effort…
   What’s so wonderful, is that we can be loved, accepted, capable, and worthwhile for free-because, in love, God purchased our eternal state of ‘acceptedness’ with the blood of His own Son, Jesus Christ. That’s the real Good News of the gospel!”
   “God’s gift absolutely and irrevocably contradicts and obliterates everything in the message that says that you and I are defective and unworthy of any attention or love. Instead of the old, shaming sources, He becomes our new Source of messages about ourselves. God’s stance toward wounded, tired people is one of compassion, grace and forgiveness. As our Father, He is our healer and provider…we have a Father who has chosen us, just as we are. As the Holy Spirit, He is our Comforter and Helper. We are never alone because of His continuing and indwelling presence. He is the proof of God’s settled acceptance of you and me. As the flesh-and-blood Son, God demonstrated His love and compassion through both His life and death. Through the cross, the penalty of all our guilt was paid once and for all, and we have been rescued from death and destruction and shame.
   Now there are new messages about ourselves to consider. We are loved, accepted, lovable and acceptable-and not because of any laws we’ve kept or spiritual merit badges we’ve earned. We are brand new creations-clean, innocent, blameless-no longer under indictment. We are His heirs.”
Tired of Trying to Measure Up by Jeff VanVonderen

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