What It Means When We Work Without Rest

stress rest Christian

Work without rest.

I saw these math equations today on a blog I started following recently.

Work – Rest = Trust in self.

Work + Rest = Trust in God.

If you’re interested, you can read the rest of the post here: Your Faith in Math by SammyA. I thought he pretty much nailed it.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Jesus Christ, Matthew 11:28-30

Love Like Jesus–Even If It Disrupts Your Sabbath: Mark 3:3-6

Love Like Jesus SabbathJesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.

He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.

Mark 3:3-6

How Jesus Loved People

Jesus cared more about loving the man with the withered hand, than He did about keeping the Pharisee’s tradition concerning the Sabbath.

How to Love Like Jesus

She was walking on the shoulder of the road, in bare feet, on a day when it was too cold to be out in bare feet. Her mascara ran in the shape of a capital U down both cheeks. She was crying. No, she was sobbing.

Continue reading

Love Like Jesus — Love and the Sabbath: Mark 2:27

Love Like Jesus: Sabbath -- keep it“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” -Jesus Christ (Mark 2:27)

How Jesus Loved People

Jesus loved people effectively by keeping the Sabbath.

How to Love Like Jesus

Looking back, the times in my life when I was enthusiastically keeping the Sabbath were the times I was loving people more like Jesus. But there have been a few times in my life when the cult of busy-ness caused the Sabbath to become a casualty.

One such time Continue reading

Genesis 2:1-3 — The Seventh Day — Rest

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Genesis 2:1-3

Here we see that God has finished His creative work and rests on the seventh day. He doesn’t need to rest. He’s God. He’s omnipotent. Rather He rests as someone who has just finished a great work and desires to step back and enjoy it.

Notice also that God has blessed the seventh day and made it holy. The Sabbath day is a gift to you and to me. And yet it’s been my observation that the practice of observing the Sabbath among Christians is becoming increasingly rare. This is contrary to God’s word. The Sabbath is a holy day, it’s a day in which we’re to commune with God, it’s a day in which we’re to visit His house, and it’s a day in which we’re to rest.

Do you ever feel as though you can’t string together five minutes without being interrupted by a phone call, a text, a tweet, or an email? The variety of forms of communication today is staggering. Telephones calls, cell phone calls, television, the web, texting, tweeting, emailing — all of these make it more difficult than ever to rest. In large part, because of these technologies, people are now exposed to as many as 5,000 advertisements a day — according to a recent article by CBS news. That’s 5,000 attempts to convince you that you need to spend your money, 5,000 instances of potential influence toward working more to earn more to buy more. It’s more difficult than ever to slow down and rest.

God blessed the Sabbath day, rest is a blessing, and God intends for us to rest. Do you realize that the stress in your life is, to a great degree, a function of an absence of rest? Think about it: imagine the recreational activity that you enjoy performing more than any other activity in life, now imagine with me that you’re about to engage in that activity, now imagine that you’re completely bone tired, yet you’re still obligated to perform that activity. It’s not enjoyable anymore! Even that which is most enjoyable to us when we’re rested, is not when we’re worn out. And, by the way, the greater the energy required to perform an activity, the greater the rest required to ready yourself to perform it.

When we find ourselves outside of God’s design for us to rest one out of seven days, we cause ourselves unneccessary hardship.

Oh, and for those of us who have the opposite problem, notice that God designated six days in which we are to work!

Finally, as important as the Sabbath is, we must recognize that the Sabbath is only a shadow of Jesus. The Sabbath day, the day of rest that God took after finishing His creative work, the day that He blessed and made holy, is a shadow of Jesus. Of course a shadow is only formed from something of substance and Jesus is that substance from which the shadow of the Sabbath is formed. We’re no longer under the law. We no longer have to labor to earn righteousness before God, but rather, we can rest in Jesus because He, Jesus, is our righteousness. (1 Corinthians 1:30) On the Sabbath day we’re to rest, but on every day, we as believers, are to rest in Him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus from Matthew 11:28-30

References:

Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

Dr. Jim Loehr, Human Performance Institute

Caitlin A. Johnson, CBS

Chuck Smith

Matthew Henry

Rest — 3 essential ways to rest to keep you at your best

Dick Cheney recently had a heart attack according to a Huffington Post article from February 23, 2010. His fifth since age 37! The heart attack was characterized as a mild one, yet having already experienced four others, the cumulative amount of heart muscle death is troubling. He had surgery at George Washington University Hospital on Tuesday, February 23. His recovery appears to be on track.

Yesterday a New York Times article talked about the pressures that President Barack Obama’s top advisor, David Axelrod, faces. In the article Axelrod’s detractors criticize him for mismanaging the president’s communication with the public. Many say that the pressure in Washington is taking it’s toll on Axelrod whose typical work day starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 11 p.m. Friends openly worry about him burning out.

Your Life:

Rest! According to the Relationship Economy website the amount of digital information we will be subjected to is going to increase 10 fold over the next 5 years. At work we’re interrupted as often as once every 3 minutes. (see Goodreads.com‘s review of The Overflowing Brain) Cell phones, texts, emails, faxes, landlines, pages, tweets, facebook — the pace of life is ever increasing.

I spent the last week at a firefighter and police leadership seminar listening to author and speaker, Dr. Kevin Gilmartin, talk about how expenditure of our energy on one end, a high, absolutely must result in a corresponding low energy phase that can, without rest, result in serious depression.

It’s essential that we follow God’s commandment to keep the sabbath. It’s essential that we set aside one day a week to:

1) Rest in the Lord

Go to church. Relax within the body of Christ. Rest in Him. Be influenced by Him. Gilmartin cites a study that shows that those who attend church regularly are 40% more likely to be happy than those who don’t. Over the years I’ve watched the lives of those who attend church regularly and those who don’t. In the short term the differences may be unnoticeable. But in the long term — it’s a hard road for those who fall into a pattern of apathy toward their church involvement.

2) Rest your body

This might mean passive rest if you worked construction all week. Or active rest, physical exercise, yard work if you enjoy it, or helping a friend to move (a means of finding out who your true friends are BTW) if you sit at a desk all week.

3) Rest your mind

Disengage your mind from your work life. Focus on God and family for a day.

Remember that all of God’s commandments are for our own benefit. It probably seems counterintuitive but you and I will be more effective in the long run if we take one day and rest. Jesus said,

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

Mark 2:27