THE GRACIOUS INVITATION
"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said,"
"Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." — Matthew 11:28
Gracious "word" of a gracious Savior, on which the soul may confidingly repose, and be at peace forever! It is a present rest — the rest of grace as well as the rest of glory. Not only are there signals of peace hung out from the walls of Heaven — the lights of Home glimmering in the distance to cheer our footsteps; but we have the "shadow" of this "great Rock!" in a present "weary land." Before the Throne above is there "the sea of glass," without one rippling wave; but there is a haven even on earth for the tempest-tossed, "We who have believed DO enter into rest."
Reader, have you found this blessed repose in the blood and work of Immanuel? Long going about "seeking rest and finding none," does this "word" sound like music in your ears — "Come unto Me"? All other peace is counterfeit, shadowy, unreal. The eagle spurns the gilded cage as a poor exchange for his free-born soarings. The soul's immortal aspirations cannot be satisfied, short of the possession of God's favor and love in Jesus.
How complete is the invitation! If there had been one condition in entering this covenant Ark, we must have been through eternity at the mercy of the storm! But all are alike warranted and welcome, and none more warranted than welcome. For the weak, the weary, the sin-burdened and sorrow-burdened, there is an open door of grace.
Return, then, unto your rest, O my soul! Let the sweet cadence of this "word of Jesus" move quietly upon you amid the disquietudes of earth. Sheltered in Him, you are safe for time — safe for eternity! There may be, and will be, temporary tossings, fears, and misgivings; manifestations of inward corruption; but these will only be like the surface-heavings of the ocean, while underneath there is a deep, settled calm. "You will keep him in perfect peace" (lit. peace, peace) "whose mind is stayed on You." In the world — it is care on care, trouble on trouble, sin on sin — but every wave that breaks on the believer's soul seems sweetly to murmur, "Peace, peace!"
And if the foretaste of this rest is precious, what must be the glorious consummation? Awaking in the morning of immortality, with the unquiet dream of earth over — faith lost in sight, and hope in fruition — no more any bias to sin — no more latent principles of evil — nothing to disturb the spirit's deep, everlasting tranquility — the trembling magnet of the heart reposing, where alone it can confidingly and permanently rest — in the enjoyment of the Infinite God. "These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace."
John MacDuff (1818-1895)