Welcome to Rest for the Weary
The gospel is far better than you think it is. Immeasurably better.
My passion is helping people come alive to the wonder of God's immeasurable grace with theologically substantive, biblically grounded, redemptively focused devotional articles that magnify the cross of Jesus.
I want each article, essay, and podcast to awaken your heart to the Father’s heart for you, awakening your soul more and more to the height, depth, width, and breadth of his deep, deep, unrelenting love expressed to you most undeniably through the cross of Christ. Oh, that we would savor and celebrate the glorious gospel!
If there is a word that most encapsulates the theological foundation of the gospel, it is substitution. This is why every piece of content I produce touches on the concept of “Jesus in my place.” He lived in my place, achieving an actual record of perfect righteousness with which to replace the rags of my unrighteousness and self-righteousness. He also died in my place, satisfying in full the demands of justice my sin deserved. As my sin-bearer and righteousness provider, Jesus is my substitute in life and death. His resurrection serves as confirmation that these extraordinary gospel promises are true.
As I press into the vine with that conscious awareness of the present value of Jesus’ blood, the Holy Spirit, like sap from the vine, flows into me, filling me with new desires and abilities.
When I believe that, the Spirit engrafts me into Jesus like a branch is connected to a vine. Theologically, we call this union with Christ, where I abide in him by faith, believing that Jesus’ perfect righteousness is now my perfect righteousness (my new and true identity). As I press into the vine with conscious awareness of the present value of Jesus’ blood, the Holy Spirit, like sap from the vine, flows into me, filling me with new desires and abilities.
In this way, Jesus, by the power of the indwelling Spirit within me, not only is my Justifier but also is my Sanctifier.
In John 15, Jesus says that if I abide in him, I will produce much fruit but apart from him, I can do no spiritual or moral good at all. Zip. Zero. Nil. Nuthin’.
When we tie this to Paul’s statement on the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, we see how spiritual growth and change takes place. Not by trying harder, making promises, or resolving to be more religious but by consciously abiding by faith in the gift-righteousness of Jesus. When I really believe, moment to moment, that Jesus is my substitute in life, death, and for the life to come, everything changes.
And the weary rest. What an amazing thing! To rest. To be secure in the forgiveness and love of God, confident in my identity in the gospel, at peace, hopeful, and even a bit… joyful. Ahh.
And I haven’t even touched on the most powerful gospel reality—spiritual adoption. Just can’t cover it all today. Remember, the grace of God in Jesus is immeasurable. We cannot plumb the depths or heights. But like an impassioned explorer, we can try. :)
Will you join me on an expedition into the heart of God to discover the riches of his grace in Jesus?
It is the longing for spiritual rest in my own life that drove me to create Rest for the Weary. 2020 was a beast. Sitting up late one night, I wondered, if others are feeling the way I am feeling, maybe I can be a source of hope, sharing with folks like you what I need for myself. I became motivated to leverage everything I’ve learned in the past twenty-six years of pastoral ministry toward helping bruised and broken, weary and worn out, discouraged, and disillusioned Christians like me experience genuine spiritual renewal where rest, peace, hope, and joy are not abstract concepts but living realities.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” — Jesus in Matthew 11:28
If weary describes you, I pray that RFTW will be an oasis of grace for your soul. Whether you drop by to browse the latest articles or subscribe to receive essays via email, each post is designed to serve as a gentle reminder for you to pause your heart. And rest in Jesus. If you think that would help, let me encourage you to subscribe. Feel free to cancel anytime.
By the way, there are many applications for each article. Some folks will read Rest for the Weary as material for personal spiritual nurture—like a daily devotional. Others may go a step further and use the articles for easy to lead family devotions. Pastors not only will find their souls nourished but will find helpful sermon material within the confines of each article.
Be encouraged. The gospel is far better than you think. Immeasurably better.
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For visiting, please feel free to download a free gift, The Bronze Serpent, a 100 page, 30-Day devotional designed to help tether your life to the cross with Scripture-based prayer.
“I want to help you experience spiritual rest by discovering the immeasurable riches of God’s grace in Jesus.”
Meet the Author
I have been married for twenty-eight years to Kristy, a beautiful red-head with whom I’ve been graced with three children (25, 22, and 17). Having received B.A., M.Div., D.Min., and Ph.D. degrees, I have served as a pastor for over twenty-five years in roles ranging from assistant pastor, to lead pastor, and most recently as a church planter and founding pastor for Creekstone Church in Dahlonega, GA. I also enjoy the privilege of teaching on the faculty for Metro Atlanta Seminary. In 2021, I am transitioning out of my pastoral role in order to focus full-time on writing and developing resources for individuals, small groups, and churches through Rest for the Weary.
For much of our lives, we misinterpreted the gospel to be a form of religious moralism. From that perspective, God would accept and bless us based on our goodness (or at least if we looked better than others). We lived like the Jews in Romans 10:3, “Being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” This was a life of doing more than being, pretending more than repenting, and working more than resting—not a life of abundant freedom and joy.
However, over the years and by God’s grace, Kristy and I have been growing in our understanding of the present value of Jesus’ blood, coming alive to the substitutionary nature of the cross, to the imputation of Jesus’ righteousness, and what it means to be a dearly loved, adopted children of God. These doctrines have become very precious to us and now serve as the centerpiece of our ministry through Rest for the Weary.
Rest for the Weary has three membership options: the Basic Plan, the Premium Plan, and the Sponsorship.
The Basic Membership (Free)
A free subscription to one article per week via email.
The Premium Membership ($10/mo or $97/yr)
A paid subscription provides access to a new devotional article every weekday (5 per week), access to the content archive, and bonus resources such as free books, podcasts, videos, and more. The Premium (paid) Membership provides far more value than the free membership
Daily posts begin Feb 1, 2021.
A paid subscription that is the same as the Premium Plan, but allows folks to give above the annual subscription fee in order to “sponsor” me as a writer. For these folks, I am especially grateful.