April 12 “Yoke”

Yoke

The words “yoke” and “rest” do not often appear together.
The surprising invitation of Jesus is this: “Take My yoke upon you and I will give you rest.” Usually yokes involve work, hard work that requires teams of workers bound together. When American pioneers moved west, they used 3 to 4 yokes of oxen to pull their Conestoga wagons. While one set worked, another set rested, only pulling their own weight across the plains, deserts, and mountains.

Jesus brings work and rest together.
This is one of the most amazing things about following Jesus—His burden is light and His yoke is easy. Just the other day, we were talking about the high cost of following Christ and it was all true. The outside forces of opposition are dangerous and we do serve the Lord at considerable human risk. The work of the Lord sometimes involves long hours or tedious work or even hard labor. So can it be, at the same time, easy and light?

The Easy Yoke
To follow Christ is to take up His yoke which He promises to be “easy” or literally, “useful.” In other words His yoke is easy because it works—it fits us perfectly, matching our gifts, skills, and interests. I love to conduct choirs, orchestras, and concert bands. I am trained to do this and it is an easy yoke for me to bear. When we find God’s will for our lives, we discover the easy yoke He designed for us. The other factor that makes the yoke easy even when the work is hard is the factor that the yoke-fellow relationship is a coupling, a joint venture. We do not pull the load in our own strength but in His strength, step by step along the way.

The Light Burden
Make no mistake, there are burdens to be born for the Christ-follower. The Lord often grants us the privilege of taking on heavy responsibilities in His Kingdom. Brothers and sisters in the faith depend on us to show up and follow through on these responsibilities. As we bear these burdens, they are made lighter because we have a power assist from the Holy Spirit. The Apostle tells us to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” We do not serve at the limit of our human strength but with the power His might. We are encouraged to cast our burden upon the Lord to receive his sustaining strength. We learn that we can do more than we can do!

Rest for Your Souls
As we enter into this yoke-fellow relationship with the Lord Jesus, we will work hard and fulfill great responsibilities and our bodies will tire and require rest. We will also see a miracle. To do the work God has called and anointed us to do actually contains rest within the work! Rest for our souls—our inner person. There is rest within the work we do for God.

These are the mysteries revealed to those who would take up the yoke of Christ and bear His glorious burden. Jesus is saying, “Come do my work with me and you will find rest for your souls!”

Scriptures:
Matthew 11:25-30
At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Ephesians 6:10-11
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Psalm 55:22
Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Hebrews 4:9-11
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest…

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, You have called me to work for and with You! I will labor to enter into that rest. As I answer that call every day, I feel Your strength beside me pulling the load. We are a team! The willingness is mine but the power is Yours. Help me keep my mind on the work and not any weariness I may encounter. In the traces with You, I am stronger than my strength, wiser than my wisdom, more sure-footed than my human sense of balance. Together, we will not stumble and the work will be done! Amen and amen.

Song:
Come unto Me
Words and Music: Charles P. Jones

1. Hear the blessed Savior calling the oppressed,
“Oh, ye heavy-laden, come to Me and rest;
Come, no longer tarry, I your load will bear,
Bring Me every burden, bring Me every care.”

Refrain:
Come unto Me, I will give you rest;
Take My yoke upon you, hear Me and be blest;
I am meek and lowly, come and trust My might;
Come, My yoke is easy, and My burden’s light.

2. Are you disappointed, wand’ring here and there,
Dragging chains of doubt and loaded down with care?
Do unholy feelings struggle in your breast?
Bring your case to Jesus—He will give you rest.

Refrain

3. Stumbling on the mountains dark with sin and shame,
Stumbling toward the pit of hell’s consuming flame;
By the pow’rs of sin deluded and oppressed,
Hear the tender Shepherd, “Come to Me and rest.”

Refrain

4. Have you by temptation often conquered been,
Has a sense of weakness brought distress within?
Christ will sanctify you, if you’ll claim His best;
In the Holy Spirit, He will give you rest.

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

TheJesusStory devotions are also found at KingdomWinds.com.

November 25, 2017 “Retreating”

Retreating

Retreat is not always a sign of defeat.
To avoid the appearance of a defeat, military commanders sometimes order a “strategic withdrawal” instead of a retreat. It is more than a trick of words; there is a real difference.  In terms of war, a retreat could mean the abandonment of territory gained in battle or previously possessed. A strategic withdrawal is a delaying action, saving the army to fight again another day.

In spiritual terms a retreat is usually considered a positive thing. It is much more like a strategic withdrawal. We are not surrendering to the forces arrayed against us. We are withdrawing from the front lines for a time of rest and recreation. In modern warfare this necessity has been so recognized as to need only its initials—“R&R.”

Sometimes it didn’t turn out so well.
In the American Civil War the regiment from the state of Maine commanded by Col. Joshua Chamberlin was placed in the center of the line on Seminary Ridge at Gettysburg because they had been severely reduced by their heroic rout of Confederate troops at Little Round Top. The center of the line was considered the safest place for them to rest. The next day General Robert E. Lee order one of the largest infantry charges on the whole war, led by General Pickett, on that very spot, the center of the Union line. The was no rest for the boys from Maine.

In World War II the same thing happened with the First Infantry Division. After months of continuous combat, they were sent to the center of the line in the Ardennes, thought to be safe from German assault. That is where the Battle of the Bulge began.

Retreating in the Bible
The Old Testament required equal parts of rest and worship for the Sabbath Day and for all the feast days prescribed for Old Covenant worship.  Perhaps the reason mankind has been ordered to rest by our Creator is our internal drive that some of us have to work.  This impulse needs moderation.  In others, the impulse to work seems to missing and they attempt to make life one long Sabbath.  In other words while some of us need for someone to built a fire under us, most of us need to let the fires within us become campfires warming us while we sit beside them and dream.  The fires within the believer, when they burn with the oil of the Holy Spirit, will provide warm and safety while we rest awhile by their light.

Jesus Himself knew how to retreat for a time during His earthly ministry.
There were times when He dismissed the crowds and went away alone to pray.  At other times, He left the disciples to find a place of solitude.  In the book of Acts, the apostles followed His example of the prayer retreat—a strategic withdrawal.  These prayer retreats preceded important decisions or discoveries:

  • Jesus spent the night in prayer before He chose the twelve disciples.
  • Jesus retreated to pray alone before He walked on water.
  • The transfiguration happened on a prayer retreat with Jesus, James, John, and Peter.
  • The Garden of Gethsemane was the last of their prayer retreats.
  • Peter went alone to the rooftop to pray and saw a vision that changed everything in his life and expressed the inclusive nature of the New Covenant.

In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus located daily prayer in a place of seclusion, free from distractions and interference.  That place of prayer is called different things in different versions: the closet, the secret place, your room, your inner room, your most private room and the point is obvious.

When we find that place of retreat, we yield no ground to the enemy, we acknowledge no permanent defeat, we put out no fires within us, and we fear no enemy out there in the dark.  In the Secret Place of prayer we stoke our fires, polish our weapons, nourish our inner selves, and we rest in the assurance of tomorrow’s victory.  This retreat is not defeat; it is a strategic withdrawal.

Scriptures:
Mark 6:45-46
Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
Luke 6:12-13
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:
Matthew 14:22-24
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Luke 9:28-30
About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.  As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.
Matthew 26:36-38
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Acts 10:9-10
About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.
Matthew 6:6-7  NKJV
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, Just as I find my calling and vocation in You, I also find my rest in You. Help me avoid the “Messiah Complex” that says to rest from my labors is a sin, or at least an act of neglect. Lord, I know, that I am just a part of Your Kingdom and that things will go well as I rest–of course they will. Let my mind rest today. Send me interesting things to think about that will enrich and refresh me. Help me find activities that are wholesome and restorative. I know that Your great heart includes times of retreat and renewal–all in the heart of God! Thank You, Lord! Amen.

Song:
Near to the Heart of God
Words and Music: Cleland Boyd McAfee

1. There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God,
a place where sin cannot molest, near to the heart of God.

Refrain:
O Jesus, blest Redeemer, sent from the heart of God,
hold us, who wait before thee, near to the heart of God.

2. There is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God,
a place where we our Savior meet, near to the heart of God.

Refrain

3. There is a place of full release, near to the heart of God,
a place where all is joy and peace, near to the heart of God.

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

November 18, 2017: “Escape”

Escape

Escape is not always a cowardly thing.
Sometimes heroes are the ones who lead an escape.  Jesus is certainly such a hero.  Through his courage and action, we can escape:

  • the judgment our sins demanded,
  • the wrath of God which is surely coming on the earth, and even
  • death itself.

There are other things we cannot escape:

  • the responsibility for the call of God on our lives,
  • the consequences of a lifestyle of sin,
  • the pain we cause others who are counting on us if we fail to follow through with our ministries, and
  • that wonderful/horrible day when we stand before the Lord and give an account of what we did and did not do with His grace in our lives.

There is a great danger that each of us must learn how to escape. 
The more serious we are about fulfilling the plan of God for our lives, the greater this danger looms.  Faithful ministers of the Gospel are especially susceptible to this danger.

Because we love Him so much and the work before us is so important and the needs of the people around us are so pressing, we can acquire the idea that we are indispensable to the work of God.  This leads to illegitimate feelings that we must learn to escape:

  • If we stop praying for a minute it is a sin for the Bible clearly says to pray without ceasing.
  • If we take a day off and do nothing to advance the Kingdom, we are sinning because we are not redeeming the time and our harvest is in jeopardy.
  • If we relax our high-speed, multitasking brains for an hour or two, we may miss the return of Jesus because the Bible says “ in such an hour as you think not, the Son of Man cometh.”

This behavior pattern is called a messiah-complex.
How we escape the messiah complex?  We established that Jesus is our hero, our rescuer, our Messiah.  Escape begins when we realize that He is the one upon whose shoulders the government of the Kingdom of God rests—not us!  Jesus is the Messiah—we are not! The man or woman of God must learn a new level of trust in God Almighty.  The Bible says He never sleeps.  Might that be true so that we can sleep?  In fact, God set the example of resting—taking time off!—on the last day of the creation week.  If are going to be rested and ready to worship God on the Lord’s Day, we need to set aside time to rest up, to escape from the pressure of work for a few hours.

One of the reasons we are given minds capable of learning all sorts of things is to give us interests beyond our work.  We should never let the enemy of our souls accuse us wasting time when we are following those interests.  God remembers that we are human beings.  He knows our minds need rest and our bodies need exercise.

Go ahead today and escape or a while from the cares of this life.
Have some fun.  Learn something new that means absolutely nothing to your work.  The Kingdom of God remains secure, resting squarely on the broad shoulders of the Messiah—and that isn’t you!

Scriptures:
Hebrews 4:9-11
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Proverbs 11:9
With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape.
Psalm 68:20
Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.
Luke 21:34-36
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NKJV
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Psalm 103:14 NKJV
For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
Psalm 91:1-2
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, today is the Sabbath, the day You ordained for rest. Free me from any tiny bit of a Messiah complex. You are the Lord; I am Your servant. You do not count my rest-time as time wasted. Tomorrow, Sunday—the Lord’s Day—is the day when I will spend every ounce of my heart, soul, mind, and strength to the joy of expressing my love for You. In preparation for the day of worship, I will enjoy a day of rest and/or diversion. These things, too, are gifts from You. For Your Glory, Lord! Amen.

Song:
Rock of Ages
Words: Augustus Toplady; Music: Thomas Hastings

1. Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.

2. Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s demands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.

3. Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.

4. While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment th

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

November, 15, 2017: “Cold”

Cold

Cold (cool, refreshing) is to life, like silence is to music.
There is more to music than sound; there is also silence. The sound of music is not just the measured vibration of the notes:

  • A-440, the standard pitch, is a note sounding at exactly four hundred forty vibrations per second.
  • Half that, A-220, and the note sounds an octave lower.
  • Double it, A-880, and the pitch sounds an octave higher.
  • All other pitches vary in relation to this standard, each with a precise number of vibrations per second.

In theory.

Real live people making music on real instruments make their own imprecise versions of the pitch.  The standard is seldom an exact match to the sounds musicians make.  It is called being “out of tune.”  Playing “in tune” is the mark of a fine player.  It isn’t easy and requires the constant attention of the musician.

Silences are also precisely measured in terms of time:

  • 1 beat,
  • one half of a beat,
  • one third of a beat, or
  • 1 measure or more.

Rests are counted just as carefully by the musician as the notes.

How is cold to life, like silence is to music? 
Life is heat but living requires periods of cold.  Like an immature musician who skips the rests and practices only the notes, we tend to focus on the heat we need to stay alive:

  • body temperature,
  • spiritual temperature,
  • circumstantial heat in the trials of life, and
  • the chosen fires of discipleship.

Sometimes we need to cool down.
As we play our life’s little sonata, we begin to produce music that makes sense when we learn to count the rests as well as the notes.  We do not panic when we feel ourselves cooling a bit, knowing that we cannot live long with constantly elevated temperatures.  We also know that when the “rest” is over, the “notes” will be there again for us to play.

All in all, God never forgets that we are human beings, not divine ones.  We need heat to live and we need cold to rest.  Like the tall and strong hardwood tree that braves the northern winter without its covering of leaves, we rest during the cold seasons.  We can rest because we know that the God of the winter is also the God of the spring.  Warmth will come again as surely as grace flows like a River of Life from the Throne of God, and these bare branches will soon be hidden by the green of new leaves.

As our calendars cool, it is important that our hearts retain their heat for the Kingdom of God. Our music will be measured and comprehensible because the notes we play will be ordered and defined by the rests we count.

Scriptures:
Genesis 8:20-22
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
Psalm 103:6-18 NKJV
The LORD executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,  to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them.
Proverbs 25:25
Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, life keeps the heat on for. Sometimes it feels I will be overcome by the details, exhausted by the demands, and discouraged by the defeats. I know You are working all things together for my good and I look forward to those resolutions. As I follow Your will for my life, help me not to miss the rests, the cooling off times You also provide. Help me find moments to take deep breaths and relax in faith, knowing that You have me. Protect me from those who would steal my rest. And, Lord, as I cool down from time to time, keep my heart warm for You! For Your Glory, Lord. Amen.

Song:
The Haven of Rest
Words: Henry L. Gilmore; Music: John R. Sween

1. My soul in sad exile was out on life’s sea,
So burdened with sin and distressed,
Till I heard a sweet voice, saying,
“Make Me your choice”;
And I entered the “Haven of Rest”!

Refrain:
I’ve anchored my soul in the “Haven of Rest,”
I’ll sail the wide seas no more;
The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep,
In Jesus I’m safe evermore.

2. I yielded myself to His tender embrace,
In faith taking hold of the Word,
My fetters fell off, and I anchored my soul;
The “Haven of Rest” is my Lord.

Refrain

3. The song of my soul, since the Lord made me whole,
Has been the old story so blest,
Of Jesus, who’ll save whosoever will have
A home in the “Haven of Rest.”

Refrain

4. O come to the Savior, He patiently waits
To save by His power divine;
Come, anchor your soul in the “Haven of Rest,”
And say, “My Belovèd is mine.”

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

August 27, 2017 “Contentment”

Contentment

How can the true believer be content when spiritual and physical needs are present everywhere we look? 
This is an important question that can bridge the gap between two widely separated points of truth in the Bible.

  • The Word of God consistently warns against sloth, laziness, and a lack of compassionate actions on behalf of those in need.
  • At the same time, regular seasons of rest are commanded and peace is a gift from Jesus.  How can we find the dynamic center between two passages such as these?

Amos 6:1
Woe to you who are at ease in Zion…

Hebrews 4:9-11
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by… disobedience.

So what should we do? 
Work until we drop or take it easy in Zion and risk the wrath of God?

To find an answer, let’s think of the rhythms of creation:

  • God spoke and it came into being;
  • the evening and the morning marked the days;
  • the sun was to rule the day and the moon was to govern the night; and
  • Some creatures prowl the night and sleep during the day while others go about their lives in the opposite pattern.

God built rhythm into the universe. 
A form of classical music composition illustrates this for us.  The classical sonata is a form that dominated Western music for centuries.  It is a three-part work:

  1. Exposition, the introduction of themes and other musical elements,
  2. Development, the composer’s opportunity to create  extensive variations on the themes announced in the exposition, and,
  3. Recapitulation, the final restatement of the music themes, a literal “return to the head.”

Worship, work, and rest, are three movements of the sonata of life.
Each day and each week there must be time for each movement of the sonata:

  1. Daily worship and Lord’s Day worship in the company of the church, state our life’s themes:  the Lordship of Christ, the truth of God, the ever-flowing love and grace of God.
  2. Our work is the development of these truths in the context of our lives.
  3. Our rest is the comforting recapitulation of the truths we live by as each day and each week come to a close.

The result of this music is contentment.
We are not content because all the work is done, but because, all is secure in Jesus.  With tomorrow’s sunrise, His loving-kindness will be new again. His power-flow into and through our lives will reach its peak to meet the demands of the day.  We will make our music and with it change the world.

Scriptures:
Colossians 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Romans 13:11-14 NKJV
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Ephesians 5:14 NKJV
Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
Philemon 4:12-13
… I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
1 Timothy 6:6-9
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Hebrews 13:5-6
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”   So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
2 Corinthians 13:11
Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, help me navigate these waters. Help me know when to work and when to rest. As in all other things, Your Spirit leads me. I see that I should honor Your Day—the Lord’s Day—as a day of both rest and worship. I know that You have never cancelled the Sabbath Principle. Remind me that with Your Anointing, there is rest inside the work that we do at Your Command because we are merely the earthen vessel and Your Spirit is the power within us. Help me embrace the mystery of contentment with godliness when the need before me is so great and there is so much work to be done. Help me to “labor to enter into that rest.” For Your Kingdom, Lord. Amen.

Song:
Wonderful Peace
Words: W.D. Cornell; Music: W.G. Cooper

1. Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight
Rolls a melody sweeter than psalm;
In celestial-like strains it unceasingly falls
O’er my soul like an infinite calm.

Refrain
Peace! Peace! Wonderful Peace,
Coming down from the Father above;
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray,
In fathomless billows of love

2. What a treasure I have in this wonderful peace,
Buried deep in the heart of my soul;
So secure that no power can mine it away,
While the years of eternity roll.

Refrain

3. I am resting tonight in this wonderful peace,
Resting sweetly in Jesus’ control;
For I’m kept from all danger by night and by day,
And His glory is flooding my soul.

Refrain

4. And I know when I rise to that city of peace,
Where the Author of peace I shall see,
That one strain of the anthems the ransomed will sing,
In that heavenly kingdom shall be:

Refrain

5. O soul, are you here without comfort or rest,
Walking down the rough pathway of time?
Make Jesus your friend ere the shadows grow dark;
O accept this sweet peace so sublime.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved