My favorite bible story from Luke is one of God's becoming one of us. God ~ came to earth as a baby with the surrounding manifestations of singing angels, bright stars lighting up the sky in celebration, and shepherds watching their flocks by night…all to let us know that GOD has made peace with us through the fulfillment of His promise.
The angelic proclamation, "Peace on earth, Good will toward man," is not about brotherly love but much more. God isn't angry with us.
Why? Jesus' coming has made peace between God and man.
Our only work today is to rest & believe in what Jesus has already completed.
In Isaiah 54, the Gospel of Peace prophetic passage, written 700 years before Christ, expressed what Jesus would accomplish.
"For a mere moment, I have forsaken you, But with great mercies, I will gather you. With a little wrath, I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness, I will have mercy on you, "Says the Lord, your Redeemer. "For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
Waters of Noah are Waters of REST
Your only work today is to rest & believe in what Jesus has already completed. There is a principle of Bible interpretation called the law of first mention. When you are studying a topic or a word, look at the first time it appears in the Bible. You will find a lot of spiritual truth and significance when you study the first occurrence of that word in the Bible.
For example, the word "blood" was first mentioned in the story of Cain and Abel. The first mention tells us that blood has a voice (Gen. 4:10).
Abel's blood cried out for vengeance, but when Jesus shed His blood on the cross, His blood cried out for mercy and redemption for the ones who don't deserve it, and that is why Jesus' blood speaks of better things than that of Abel (Heb. 12:24).
The first mention of the word "holiness" is also found in the book of Genesis. Studying this will help us understand an important truth about holiness.
The opposite of holiness is not sin. It is commonness. The Hebrew word for holy is "Kadosh," which means "set apart." Therefore, to be holy is to be uncommon, set apart from the world.
In Genesis 2:3 NKJV, "Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified ('Kadosh') it because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
The first mention of the word "holiness" or "Kadosh" is associated with rest.
God blessed the day He rested and called it holy. Rest is holy. Hebrews 4:9 ESV tells us that "there remains a Sabbath rest for people of God." This "Sabbath rest" does not refer to a specific day but refers to the rest that Jesus has bought His people through His finished work at the cross. This is a rest you are meant to experience every day of your life.
It is a rest where you know God supplies everything through grace.
It is a rest built on knowing how much you have been forgiven and are loved by Him because of what Jesus has done at the cross.
It is a rest that allows you to take on a task or go for an interview being conscious that God highly favors you and His supply of grace is flowing to you.
You can be supply-oriented when you know God has finished all His work through Jesus Christ (Heb. 4:3 ESV).
To be holy is to be set apart. We only set apart things that are valuable. When God tells His people to be holy, He tells us to rest and let Him do all the work, as we have learned from the law of first mention.
Our only labor today is to work to enter His rest (Heb. 4:10–11a), and as we rest, He will work in us every good thing, and we will produce the fruits of the Spirit.
Psalms 23:2: "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters."
God causes David to lie down in green pastures, but He leads him beside still waters.
Still waters in Hebrew is "me menuchot" which literally means waters of rest. We rest when we believe what He has done for us.
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