Superfluous or Holy?

Peter Swann

We know we need it, yet few attain it. We desire it, yet shut it out. We like it, except live like we don’t. That’s how rest is.

In the midst of our fast-paced society, rest has become optional, even superfluous. We have shoved it into the margins of life, relegating it to our left-overs. We have somehow forgotten that rest is holy.

When God created the world, He rested. When He gave ten commandments, He commanded rest. And in His Son, we find an invitation to rest. Rest is holy, rest is righteous, rest is God-honoring… and as such, rest is not optional.

Rest is to be cherished, enjoyed, and pursued. It must become a prized possession, something we fight for and cling to. Rest must dominate our affections because it gives glory to our greatest affection.

The reality is that we don’t take rest seriously enough. Our cultural value on productivity is trumping our scriptural value on rest. And as a result, we are tired… so very tired. Living as if life depends on us has caught up to us.

So God invites us to rest, because He invites us to trust. Our ability to rest is linked to our ability to trust, and it’s time to trust. It’s time to trust our Father, and rest. It’s time to release it to Him, and just rest.

May God rewire us, and our priorities. May He take the superfluous and make it central. May He help us fight for rest, for rest is holy.

What International Missions Is Not

In general, we have a good idea of what international missions is. It’s about following God’s call, it’s about a heart for the nations, it’s about a surrender and commitment. It’s an exciting, life-changing journey, hopefully for you and for the people you’ll be among.

But often we fail to reflect on what international missions is not. It’s vital to recognize these to avoid misplaced motivations in going. Here are three things that international missions is not.

Read More

Money as a Spiritual Thermometer

How spiritually mature are you? Not an easy question to answer is it? 

I sometimes wish there was a test I could take that would grade me and let me know if I am progressing. But then I would probably just get arrogant if doing well, or let the enemy beat me up if doing poorly. So maybe I should be glad there is no test. 

But it is interesting that when John the Baptist was asked a similar question, he had an answer, and it may surprise you. In Luke 3 he was asked what it would look like to bear fruit that matched repentance and faith. He responded with 3 answers, and they all had to do with money. 

Read More

Loving God by Loving God's People

All genuine Christians will love other Christians. Period. God’s Word is clear on this: Christians are called to show their love for God, in part, by the way they love other Christians. We see this concept repeatedly in the book of 1 John. I want us to briefly examine two particularly noteworthy passages on the subject:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 [1]

Read More

Battling Pride

Why do I always want the recognition for a job well done? Is it that I crave affirmation that I have been faithful? Or am I looking to feel good about myself or boost my identity in some way? At what point should I simply rest and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done and not need the praise of others to affirm me? 

Read More

Songs That Teach Us

I like to sing the swelling, explosively epic bridge where we repeat the same line 10 times in a row as much as the next guy. When it's a line with great richness and meaning, it can be a powerful tool to stimulate worship as we corporately meditate on the truth we're singing about God. Think of the bridge to "Jesus Paid It All":

O Praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead

It's an amazing experience to worship Jesus by singing lines like these repeatedly with our church on Sundays. I absolutely think it's appropriate to enjoy the experience of singing praises to the Lord in corporate worship (e.g. Psalm 71:23, 84:2, 95:1, 111:1, etc). That's an amazing role that singing can play in corporate worship: enabling us to experience joy while singing a great song to the Lord.

Read More