Those ‘other’ three little words

Believers on every continent of the earth continually give heartfelt thanks for the three little words in John 3:16, that remind us why grace is so amazing! “…God so loved…”. Then immediately following are three more astounding and glorious words, “…that He gave…”. And who is the recipient of this great, benevolent love? The following three words enlighten and encourage the seeker with the answer: “…that whosoever believeth…”. Of course, these words flow together to explain our entrance into eternal life and the kingdom of God. Without the truth contained in this single verse there is no salvation, no life, and no hope.

But what about our lives after conversion? How are we to be a faithful and victorious follower of Jesus Christ? In my own life I have come to learn that discipleship flourishes if I remember, and fulfill the truth inherent in the following three little words: RUN-REST-ALL. As a believer I never stop Running to Jesus — I remain at REST in Jesus — and these things only happen as I give my ALL to Jesus. I RUN, I REST, I give my ALL — it’s just that simple!

If you are loving, then you are running. Salvation is a joyful, deliberate, and consistent running to Jesus. We never stop coming to Him. Psalm 42:1 “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.” Don’t get laid-back — keep panting! Psalm 63:1 “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You”. Psalm 119:32 “I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart.” Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” If you ain’t runnin — you ain’t lovin!

If you are trusting — then you are resting. In faith we run and rest at the same time. We run to Him and rest in Him. Rest is the benefit and evidence of the peace of Christ in you. Isaiah 30:15 “In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.” Exodus 33:14 “And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Rest is not the absence of trials or tests; it is the enjoyment of peace in the midst of them.

If you have not given ALL to Jesus Christ, your running will fade, and rest will elude you. Deuteronomy 4:29 “But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?” Philippians 3:7-8 “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ”.

Die to self. Give it all. Run. Rest. See you in heaven!

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)