Military Devotion – Rest – May 31, 2024

Based on 1 John 1:7-9; Isaiah 40:28-31; Ephesians 5:25-27; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 4:14-16; Matthew 11:28

Our devotion today is about Sabbath, which means “rest.” Are you struggling? Do you need rest? Listen to the words of Jesus today about rest. Prioritize your time with God’s Word, and you will find rest for your soul. Jesus promises it.

If you go to church this coming Sunday, it is the second Sunday after Pentecost. And if your pastor is following the assigned readings for that Sunday, almost all of them will have to do with the Sabbath and the Third Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.

That word Sabbath means “rest.” And I’m guessing that if you’re reading this devotion, you, like me, need rest.

If you are struggling with addiction, there is forgiveness for you, and there is rest in that forgiveness.

When we go to Jesus’ Word, he says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. And the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (based on 1 John 1:7-9). Rest in that forgiveness.

If you struggle with addiction, not only is there forgiveness for you, but there is also hope. Listen to these words from Jesus: “Do you not know, have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31). Rest in that hope.

Maybe you’re struggling with your marriage. Well, there’s forgiveness for that too. Here’s what Jesus says: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27). There is forgiveness for you. Rest in that forgiveness. And there is hope for you in your marriage.

In that same chapter of Ephesians, Paul uses the picture of Christ’s relationship with his church, which is us, as the model for husbands and wives. Give it a read today and rest in that hope for your marriage.

Are you struggling with loneliness? Listen to what Jesus’ words have to say to you. He says, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Rest in that promise from Jesus.

Do you struggle because no one seems to understand you? Well, here’s what Jesus says: “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16). Rest in that promise from your Savior.

And finally, Jesus invites each and every one of us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). So my encouragement to you today is this: Prioritize your time with God’s Word, and you will find rest for your soul. He promises it.

Eternal God, your Son, Jesus Christ, is our true Sabbath rest. Help us to keep each day holy by receiving his word of comfort that we may find our rest in him. And I pray, Father, for all who are deployed. Some of the places are unknown to us, but you know where they are. Other places are known to us, but we don’t always know exactly what their missions are, but you do. And so we entrust them to you, our all-knowing and all-powerful God. Send your holy angels to protect them, and through your Word, grant rest to their souls. In your name we pray. Amen.

Written and recorded by Rev. Paul Horn, WELS National Civilian Chaplain to the Military, San Diego, California.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Note: Scripture reading footnotes are clickable only in the web version.

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