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Christian Living

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Grin and Grow with Kathy 06/21/17

Sabbath Rest

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STORY: Survey Says...

When you think of Sabbath Rest, what comes to mind? I recently turned to Facebook for answers. Here are some of them:

  • A day of the week relaxing and focusing on Jesus.
  • Reading His Word and praying.
  • No work. Just rest.
  • Shutting out as much as I can, including electronic devices.
  • Christ. He is our Sabbath rest.
  • It’s my favorite day.

What to do during your Sabbath?

  • Reading, movies, board games with the family, and taking a long drive with the hubby.
  • Focus on Scripture and my Lord.
  • Going to the lake fishing and enjoying the beauty of His creation.
  • I don’t do anything but the basics: eat, get dressed and read or play my piano. Attend church.
  • Sitting on my deck reading or just watching the clouds drift by. Often it is small moments and not a complete day.

Letitia Suk, author of Getaway with God, says defining Sabbath is subjective, but, “Most of us are aware when we are working and when we are resting even though it looks different for each one. It will vary in each season of life but the restoration from Sabbath is deep and satisfying. It doesn’t have to be a Sunday!”

Sabbath means “A time of rest, intermission, cessation from work.” So, the phrase “Sabbath rest” is redundant. It’s like saying “rest, rest.” Often, believers designate a distinct day or mode of Sabbath, and there are times in Scripture when a set time is established for specific reasons. There are distinctions between the Sabbath of the Old Testament and the Sabbath of the New Testament.

Susan K. Stewart makes an astute observation that, “Sabbath should not be confused with worship. I can rest and worship; I can work and worship.”

STUDY: The Bible Says...

On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. (Genesis 2:2-3 NLT)

  • Why do you think God rested from His work? Do you think He needed rest?
  • God made the day of rest special by blessing it and declaring it holy, why?
  • If God rested when He didn’t need to rest, how much more do we frail humans need to take a day of rest?

He told them, “This is what the Lord commanded: Tomorrow will be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath day set apart for the Lord. So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow.” (Exodus 16:23 NLT)

  • I think that word “complete” is in the verse just for me! What does it mean to have complete rest?
  • How can you make sure you have complete rest, based on how God taught the Israelites to work ahead of time to prepare for a day of rest?

Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. (Exodus 20:8-11 NLT)

  • The Mosaic Law included Sabbath rest. While we are no longer under the law, what can we learn from this?
  • Do you keep a day holy? What does that even mean?

It will be a Sabbath day of complete rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. This is a permanent law for you. (Leviticus 16:31 NLT)

  • Even though Sabbath is a day of complete rest, it’s not about you.
  • What does it mean to deny yourself?

Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt, but the Lord your God brought you out with his strong hand and powerful arm. That is why the Lord your God has commanded you to rest on the Sabbath day. (Deuteronomy 5:15 NLT)

  • This passage brings out a new element of why God introduced the Sabbath. It is a reminder of how God brought the Israelites out of Egypt.
  • Most of us reading this aren’t Israelites, and we weren’t brought out of Egypt, but God, with His strong hand and powerful arm has brought us out of bondage. How can you celebrate your freedom with Sabbath?

Blessed are all those who are careful to do this. Blessed are those who honor my Sabbath days of rest and keep themselves from doing wrong. (Isaiah 56:2 NLT)

  • Who is blessed?
  • How can you be careful to honor God’s Sabbath (not our Sabbath!)?
  • How will honoring the Sabbath keep you from doing wrong?

And I gave them my Sabbath days of rest as a sign between them and me. It was to remind them that I am the Lord, who had set them apart to be holy. (Ezekiel 20:12 NLT)

  • What was the purpose of the Sabbath?
  • God has not only set apart the Sabbath to be holy, but His people.

Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!” (Mark 2:27-28 NLT)

  • In the New Testament, several passages show how Sabbath traditions were changing, but not the Sabbath concepts. In this passage, what is Jesus teaching them?
  • How do we make Jesus Lord over our Sabbath?

STEPS: I Say...

  1. I will set aside _______ to focus more on God.
  2. I will plan ahead so my Sabbath has more rest and less fuss.
  3. I will deny my tendency to stress so I can fully rest.

Copyright © 2017 Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission.

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