Let us strive to enter God’s rest!

Dear BA Family,

There was much to give thanks to God for in 2021. Many stories in our community of people moving to King Jesus. However, 2021 was also difficult for some of us: Burnout, Discouragement, Backsliding. And so I was grateful for God’s Word in Hebrews 3-4 that we heard the last 2 Vision Sundays which called us to strive to enter God’s rest. We will enter this rest when we arrive at God’s future city of Zion, where we will enjoy a forever perfect relationship with God.

The call to strive had strong warnings as well as soothing comfort. Our hearts needed to hear both.

Strong warnings:

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts (Hebrews 3:7-8)

Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “Today”, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13)

The word of God is living and active: hard hearts are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Soothing comfort:

We have a High priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses. His work for us and heart for us gives us confidence to draw near to God’s throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16)

As we enter into 2022, I’m praying that Bukit Arang will be a community that strives together towards Zion, God’s rest. I’m praying that we’ll take care of each other’s hearts. I’m praying that we’ll pursue those who are drifting away from Zion. I’m praying that we’ll point each other to our gentle high priest whose heart beats sympathetically for his people. I’m praying that as we strive, the lyrics to Isaac Watt’s hymn “Wth joy we meditate the grace” will burn in our hearts.

Striving together with you.

Your brother in Christ,

Ivan

//
Isaac Watts – With joy we meditate the grace

With joy we meditate the grace
of our High Priest above;
his heart is made of tenderness,
and ever yearns with love.

Touched with a sympathy within,
he knows our feeble frame;
he knows what sore temptations mean
for he has felt the same.

He’ll never quench the smoking flax,
but raise it to a flame;
the bruisèd reed he never breaks,
nor scorns the meanest name.

Then let our humble faith address
his mercy and his power:
we shall obtain delivering grace
in every needful hour.

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