Sabbath Rest!

Sabbath Rest

Sabbath Rest

One of the most profound initiatives that God introduced into the creation of the world was the Sabbath Day of rest.  Genesis 2:3 says, “So God blessed the 7th day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”

Over the years many Churches and Christians have legalised the Sabbath as a day (generally Sunday) when you can’t play any sport, do anything other than attend church and have lunch with your family. Jesus was maliciously criticised for allowing his disciples to pluck grain on the Sabbath and for healing on the Sabbath (Matt 12:1-8), yet Jesus described himself as being ‘Lord of the Sabbath’ which gives him the authority to basically do what he wants with it.

 The Apostle Paul says in Colossians 2:16, “Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath…If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations, do not handle, do not taste and do not touch, according to human precepts and teachings?”

The Sabbath was designed for Israel to cease from their labours and reflect on the goodness of God in their nation and their lives. In the Old Testament the Sabbath was regulated for everyone and if you broke the Sabbath (a Saturday…hence seventh day adventists) you could have been stoned to death. But from Jesus teaching and example and Paul’s teaching and example, it doesn’t matter what day you have your Sabbath day but it does matter that you have one.

Having a weekly Sabbath day where you stop from your normal weekly work and spend time with your family, spend extra time with God, exercise or enjoy one of your hobbies, eating great food and hang around home is a God-inspired idea to save us from burning out.

For me Sunday’s is not a Sabbath day, it’s a crazy, awesome day of ministry, connecting with people and teaching God’s word to God’s people. I take Friday’s off as my Sabbath day and it typically looks like a day of extra time in my devotions, reviewing my past week and planning the coming week with my wife. As well as that the Sabbath is a day where i will spend extra time with family, exercising, watching a good movie and maybe hanging out with some close friends. I deliberately try to disconnectfrom e-mail, sermon preparation, leadership decisions, blogging, book writing and anything else that resembles ministry work.

Have you discovered for yourself God’s unforced rthyms of grace? Do you have a regular day in your week when you will STOP normal work practices and spend extra time in your relationship with God? Do you have a scheduled day off from the hustle and bustle of life? I pray you will think through the need for a Sabbath day in your life and not excuse yourself from God’s design for your spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical well being.

Lead the Change!

2 Responses to “Sabbath Rest!”

  1. Karen Tiller Says:

    This is awesome and So true.. Jesus says to walk in the Spirit daily…. and when we do its amazing to find that “he” gives us a day in each week (I also have discovered over time it isnt a Sunday!) to dwell in His presence, “Just “be” etc. Certainly makes the truth of “His yike is easy and His burden is Light!” a real actual living reality!

  2. Rach Wallace Says:

    This is great, Corey. Its so easy to work too hard, especially in ministry where often guilt or a poorly planned schedule can be a driving force. Its funny, but God has been showing me lately the whole theme of seasons and times and how I don’t need to feel guilty for resting; God has designated this and encourages time to rest and enjoy the rewards of the work of our hands. Its nice to hear this being preached from leadership, very encouraging. xox

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