Our Bible verse for today: “On the seventh day God had completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” Genesis 2:2 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “God wants you to rest”
I want to thank everyone for being patient with me as I was on my mission trip to Kentucky and therefore not sending out the daily devotionals. It was a great mission trip but I’m glad to be home. We’ll now spend the rest of this month exploring the topic of “Sabbath Rest”.
“God wants you to rest”. That’s something I’m trying to get better at. I’m a doer by nature. I go from early in the morning till late at night, day after day, and I often wear myself out. However, I’m getting ready to go on vacation soon and I’m a little stoked about it because I’m looking forward to the rest and relaxation. I intend to try to make it a true time of “Sabbath Rest”.
Sabbath Rest is a concept that is widely misunderstood and often misapplied. “Sabbath” is most commonly understood as being a day set aside for worship and gathering in our faith communities. That would be the 7th day (Saturday) for observant Jews and the 1st day (Sunday) for most Christians. Gathering with our faith communities is an important part of Sabbath, but it is only part of it.
The other part of Sabbath is “rest” (thus the term “Sabbath Rest”). Rest is a period of time when we cease from work and other strenuous activity for the sake of renewal and rejuvenation. Good rest should be restorative and nurturing. For Sabbath Rest we cease from the strenuous activity of work, we lay aside our chores and other stressful activities, and in many varied ways we renew and restore spiritually. That renewal can take many forms. It could included extended times of prayer, Bible study, reading Christian books, quiet meditation, etc. But it might also mean sleeping late (sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to take a nap!) It could also include time with family and friends, long walks on the beach, or various kinds of play and recreation.
In Genesis chapters 1 and 2 we read that God worked, and then He rested. Did God rest because He was tired? No. He’s God. He doesn’t get tired. God worked and then He rested as an example for us. He was teaching us an important lesson. We need to rest and relax.
Sabbath Rest is actually a crucial part of staying healthy and balanced. There are lots of ways to be spiritually renewed and refreshed and we’re going to consider many of them throughout the month. I look forward to spending this month exploring with you some of the many varied ways we can accomplish that.