Home > Culture, Theology > Sabbath: Living From Rest

Sabbath: Living From Rest

Image via hischarisisenough.wordpress.com

Image via hischarisisenough.wordpress.com

It’s late April, which means where I live classes are winding down at the local university, businesses are gearing up for their Spring and Summer promotions and families are making final preparations for their summer get-a-ways. Everyone’s trying to wrap up what remains of their winter projects, while getting a head start on summer responsibilities and vacations.

The tasks are piling up and time is running short.  This is the time of year when you grit your teeth, dig down deep and hang on for the weekend. With so much going on it’s easy to get overworked and under-rested.

Paradigm Shift

When times are busy like this most of us try to live to rest. We tell ourselves that we can rest only after we’ve completed our school projects and work assignments.  We say things like, “If only I can complete _____, then I can rest,”  “I’m too busy to take a break right now,” or “I’ve got so much to do I’m not even sure I’ll get a day off this week.”

Then, after working ourselves to the point of exhaustion, we self-medicate with our favorite junk food in front of the television for 2 hours every night and call that “rest.”  The result? We’re overworked, under-rested and in danger of burnout.

There’s a better way.  Genesis indicates that God created the heavens, the earth and every living thing in six days and on the seventh day he rested. Interestingly, though, he created Adam and Eve on the sixth day.  This means that the Sabbath, or “day of rest,” was God’s last day of creation, but man’s first day of existence.  Stated plainly, God created us to live from rest, not to rest.

Rest is a Person

Furthermore, in Matthew 11 Jesus invites his hearers to come find rest for their souls.  He’s speaking to a group of people who have been told their whole lives that they must earn God’s approval by what they do.  Christ must know that his listeners are weary from constantly trying to live up to impossible religious standards, so he invites them to stop relying on their own religious works and to rest instead in his finished work.

In other words, rest is not just in a day, it’s in a Person, Jesus Christ.  We’re not only to live from rest, we’re to live from rest in Christ. As Tullian Tchividjian says in his book One Way Love, “because Jesus paid it all, we are free from the need to do it all.”  Practically, this means we can take a break from our work and enjoy Jesus’ finished work.

Jesus has secured everything you need before the Father.  The work is finished. There’s nothing left for you to do.  He is ruling all things with your best interest in mind and he doesn’t need your help. Take a break and find your rest in the Lord. In other words, rest before you work so that you can be productive in your work. You know you need to!

This post is an excerpt from a sermon I preached at the Living Hope Church-Maryville Campus called “Living From Rest.” You can listen to the sermon by clicking here.

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Categories: Culture, Theology Tags: , , ,
  1. scythewieldor
    April 24, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Jesus, after the resurrection, commanded his disciples to go and make disciples of the gentiles teaching them to observe the things whatsoever He had commanded them. Here is one of those things.
    Mark 6:31And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. 32And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
    Apparently, this followed closely after the execution of John the Baptist. Bereavement and a heavy work load, together? Take some time in a desert place.

  2. April 24, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Reblogged this on Constant streams… and commented:
    Mmm…
    Looking forward to a men’s retreat (camping! :D) in a few weeks.

  3. April 24, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Sabbath is God’s way of saying , “enough.”

    • April 24, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      Sabbath day was made for man and not because God was tired (Mark 2:27)

      • April 24, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        I agree. God was not tired, but he wants us to quit our striving and rest and leave room for him to act.

      • April 24, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        Yes! In that we find peace because the word is the truth and the truth will set you free (John 31-32).

      • April 25, 2014 at 8:34 AM

        I agree. God didn’t rest because he was tired, he rested because he wanted to enjoy his work. We rest so that we can enjoy his finished work in Christ!

      • April 25, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        It’s our day dedicated to serve the Lord with gladness (Psalm 100:2)!

  4. April 25, 2014 at 6:29 AM

    This is fresh light from the Throne of Grace. Thank God for this revelation

  5. April 26, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    You know it’s just the same in any other field.
    You would think past teaches us at least anything, but no.
    Hate all you want but the world is changing, and none of us have no control whatsoever over it.
    E.g., If only Obama had enough balls to put Putin to his place, but it seems like it’s never happening, welcome world war.
    A profound post, thanks!
    Sarah http://phyto-renew350i.com/

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