Serious Rest, Enjoyable Rest

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We’re all friends here, right? I hope that means that it’s okay for me to be honest as I write this blog post.

I definitely needed to hear this sermon this week. If you missed it, click the link to check out the podcast. In it, Jeff continued the Created & Called sermon series by moving into the first three verses of Genesis chapter 2.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
– Genesis 2:1-3

There have been a number of times throughout my life where I’ve gotten it into my head that I want to read through the entire Bible. I’ve started that sort of reading plan more times than I can remember. And where does one begin when making a plan to read through the entire Bible? Genesis! Every time. Ask me how many times I’ve made it past Leviticus… Let’s not talk about it.

Needless to say, I’ve read Genesis a lot. And so, I’ve read the Creation account more than I’ve probably read any other section of the Bible. By that logic, I should have a firm grasp on the importance of God’s decision to take the seventh day as a day of rest. Maybe, in my head, I do have a firm grasp on it. In my heart? Not so much.

It’s a lesson I have to learn over and over again. God set aside day seven of Creation, not because He was tired. You and I, we would be exhausted after doing six days of work. But God doesn’t need sleep. He doesn’t need a nap. Then why should He bother taking a day off?

Because God designed us, humanity, His creation, to require rest. We were designed to need Him as our source of strength. So by taking the seventh day as His day of rest, God was showing us what it should look like to take a day out of the week to rest and rely on Him.

I don’t recognize the need to rest very often. Despite knowing that God gave us a day of rest as a gift, I still need to be reminded repeatedly just how crucial it is to follow that model that God gave on the seventh day.

And I don’t practice what I preach. When I meet with Northstar’s Stephen Ministry team, I am constantly reminding them how important it is for them to take care of themselves. The thought here is that it’s not possible to care for others if you are unable to care for yourself. Part of that self-care should involve taking an intentional day off to rest and recharge by getting plugged in to our Creator.

So I ask, how do you Sabbath? How do you rest in the Lord? Or maybe I should ask, do you rest? In our 21st century culture, where we are so easily connected to everything and everybody, it can be easy to ignore that little voice that tells us we need a rest. Honestly, how many of us go into panic mode if we leave our phones somewhere?

I want to encourage you to take time this week to rest in God. In fact, I encourage you to take an entire day. Follow the Lord’s model. Determine what your rest will look like. But remember how important it will be, not only to rest, but to include worship as a part of your Sabbath day.

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