Friday, September 12, 2008

Introduction





















"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt 11:28-30 (NIV)

What kind of rest is Jesus offering? Is it the kind of rest where we get a day off of work and pursue recreational activities? Is it rest that gets us away from our usual activities? Or is there a deeper rest He's calling us to? We go thru the routines of our daily lives feeling a heaviness that we have difficulty defining. The economy goes bust and we add another layer to our worry quotient. Will I be able to retire - like, ever? Our kids make stupid choices, and we feel helpless to intervene. One more layer. And so it goes.

Deeper than all of those concerns is a gnawing sense that we aren't really connected to God. We remember the times when we knew His presence, but just can't get back to that place. People talk about "intimacy with God." What does that mean? We go to church and make friends. We go on picnics, talk about who we knew in college, make the connections, talk about church politics, have a short, somewhat awkward sundown worship, and then play Rook. What's this intimacy thing? Not in my life!

Then comes a time in which we are brought face-to-face with the reality that there is more to this religion thing - and we've missed it. The child of God in the picture above, Gently Broken by Ramone Romero, has decided to take the risk of coming to Jesus with her disappointment, discouragement and weariness. She has come in her "filthy rags," carrying the tablets of stone that have become too heavy for her to carry. Not knowing what else to do, she has laid them down at Jesus' feet, hoping against hope that He can give her rest - real rest - hoping that He will accept and embrace her. She wants to feel close to Him.

As He reaches down to her with His nail-pierced hand, it triggers a memory of something she's read. "Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise." Gal 4:21-23 (NIV)

What does it mean? Suddenly, she notices that the tables of stone, that bear the indictments against her, begin to crumble - then break. Could this be true? Could it be that "He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross." Col 2:13-14 (NIV)

She sees the answer in His eyes. He did! He gently reminds her that, "the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now." Then He says to her with a sound of conviction that goes to the depths of her being, "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son. Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman." Gal 4:29-31 (NIV)

Oh, Jesus! Take it from me. Take my weariness and my fear. Let me become obedient to Your voice. Forgive me for entering in to a covenant that was never mine to embrace. Show me what it means to be a child of the free woman.

This is the beginning of the journey into being gently broken. Come and enter into the Rest that awaits us in the New Covenant. The studies on this site contain information that can aid you in finding the closeness to God you have always desired. "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I WILL give you rest."


Next Chapter: How It All Began

What is the purpose in devaluing the Sabbath? What possible good could come of it? Even if it isn't still mandatory, if I like it, why mess with it? Well, perhaps there is something better, something more in harmony with the will of God. Perhaps the Sabbath is keeping us from the Best.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

For the past couple of months I have been given several opportunities to share with others what I have learned about Jesus being our Sabbath rest and also the truth about SDAism.
Tuesday night was amazing! My friend called me at the last minute to see if I would go to a church meeting with her. God has really taught me to see these moments as Him lining me up for His divine appointments. Well, He didn't disappoint hehe

At the end of the meeting, an older lady came over to talk to me. She didn't know that I was SDA. She started telling me about her two brothers. Now they are SDA and not only that but they were trying extremely hard to get her converted to SDAism. She told me that she was really beginning to wonder if she shouldn't be keeping the sabbath. She mentioned trying to read the Desire of Ages and how every time she would sit to read it her mind would just go blank. I had to laugh at that one cuz my other friend that I helped out of SDAism experienced the same thing when she was an SDA. She could never read EGW....never. Her mind would just go blank too haha I told her the Holy Spirit was protecting her mind from reading that book.
Well, after I shared my testimony with her and explained the Old and New Covenants with her and what the sabbath is in the Old and Who it is in the New and explained we rest in Christ's finished work, she saw the light. In fact, as I was telliing her all this, I was 'reading' her and I saw her eyes just fill with light! When I saw that, I knew that she was fully delivered from the lies her brothers were feeding her. I told her to go home and throw those EGW books away. Get them out of your house! ASAP! Then I gave her your website and told her to read thru the Ultimate Rest study.

You know Cherry, I am discovering that most christians don't understand the covenants. That is scary cuz it opens them up to receive the lies of churches like SDA. Just like this lady at church Tuesday night. So now we are both praying for her brothers to be set free from SDAism.

This story is something that happens to me a lot. It seems that God has been opening doors for me left and right since July of this year in sharing the truths that I shared with this lady. I just LOVE IT!! And whenever I am given the opportunity to share I always give them the gentlybroken website and the study of the Ultimate Rest cuz the covenants are plainly laid out in your study. I have made your study one of my tools haha Thank you!!

As a matter of fact, the SDA friend I mentioned above that couldn't read EGW, I gave her a printout of your study and that is what launched her out of the SDA church. Her story is a "God thing" too. Cuz she just moved back to North Platte from Oregon just as I was coming into the true truth and she was the first SDA I shared what I had discovered with. She came into the church oh.....I think about 12 years ago thru a prophecy seminar in North Platte. Before that she went to Assembly of God church.

I just truly enjoy witnessing now that I am no longer SDA! yaya!!!!
Thanks sister for the study that helped get me totally free of SDAism!!!
lynn

Gently Broken said...

Lynn, thank you ever so much for posting your comments. I loved every bit of it.

As I was writing the studies on this site, I shared the book "Great Controversy" with a friend. I wanted her to get the flavor of White's writing and to see for herself the inner workings of the Adventist mind. She had the same experience as the woman who couldn't read "Desire of Ages." She simply couldn't focus and gave up even trying to read it. I think it is the protection of the Holy Spirit to keep people from deception.

When I left Adventism I had the naive belief that Christains outside Adventism understood the truth. What I have found instead is that The Church is woefully in need of solid biblical instruction.

There is a great benefit to the stuggle we have experienced in studying our way out of Adventism. Perhaps what we have gained thru the battle can be used by God in the churches that open their arms to us.

It's true Lynn, it is just plain fun to share the gospel now. The confusion and complexity are all washed away in the simple truth of the gospel. Thank you, Jesus!