* The value of rest

We live in an action-oriented world! There always seems to be something to do and no time to rest. Yet God demonstrated that rest is appropriate and right. If God himself rested from his work, then it should not amaze us that we also need rest. Jesus demonstrated this principle when he and his disciples left in a boat to get away from the crowds. Our times of rest refresh us for times of service. (NLT)

Genesis 2:2-3 – On the seventh day, having finished his task, God rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from his work of creation.

* When the disciples had returned from their mission, Jesus took them away to rest. Doing God’s work is very important, but Jesus recognized that to do it effectively we need periodic rest and renewal. Jesus and his disciples, however, did not always find it easy to get the rest they needed! (NLT)

Mark 6:31 – Then Jesus said, “Let’s get away from the crowds for a while and rest.” There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.

* Why God wanted Israelites to rest on the Sabbath

The Israelites were not to work on the Sabbath—not even to cook food. Why? God knew that the busy routine of daily living could distract people from worshiping him. It is so easy to let work, family responsibilities, and recreations crowd our schedules so tightly that we don’t take time to worship. Carefully guard your time with God. (NLT)

Exodus 16:23 – He replied, “The Lord has appointed tomorrow as a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. On this day we will rest from our normal daily tasks. So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow.”

* The Sabbath was a day set aside for rest and worship. God commanded a Sabbath because human beings need to spend unhurried time in worship and rest each week. A God who is concerned enough to provide a day each week for us to rest is indeed wonderful. To observe a regular time of rest and worship in our fast-paced world demonstrates how important God is to us, and it gives us the extra benefit of refreshing our spirits. Don’t neglect God’s provision. (NLT)

Exodus 20:8-11 – “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of 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; then he rested on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.”

* The Sabbath had two purposes: It was a time to rest and a time to remember what God had done. We need rest. Without time out from the bustle, life loses its meaning. In our day, as in Moses’ day, taking time out is not easy. But God reminds us that without Sabbaths we will forget the purpose for all of our activity and lose the balance crucial to a faithful life. Make sure your Sabbath provides a time of both refreshment and remembrance of God. (NLT)

Exodus 31:12-17 – The Lord then gave these further instructions to Moses: “Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the Lord, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the Lord considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death. The people of Israel must keep the Sabbath day forever. It is a permanent sign of my covenant with them. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but he rested on the seventh day and was refreshed.”

* What “God’s rest” means

God’s rest has several meanings in Scripture: (1) the seventh day of creation and the weekly Sabbath commemorating it; (2) the Promised Land of Canaan; (3) peace with God now because of our relationship with Christ through faith; and (4) our future eternal life with Christ. All of these meanings were probably familiar to the Jewish Christian readers of Hebrews. (NLT)

Hebrews 3:11 – “So in my anger I made a vow: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”

* When our rest in Christ begins

God rested on the seventh day, not because he was tired, but to indicate the completion of creation. The world was perfect, and God was well satisfied with it. This rest is a foretaste of our eternal joy when creation will be renewed and restored, every mark of sin will be removed, and the world will be made perfect again. Our Sabbath-rest in Christ begins when we trust him to complete his good and perfect work in us. (NLT)

Hebrews 4:4 – We know it is ready because the Scriptures mention the seventh day, saying, “On the seventh day God rested from all his work.”

* God’s invitation to enter into rest

God had given the Israelites the opportunity to enter Canaan, but they disobeyed and failed to enter. Now God offers us the opportunity to enter his ultimate place of rest—he invites us to come to Christ.  To enter his rest, you must believe that God has this relationship in mind for you; you must stop trying to create it; you must trust in Christ for it; and you must determine to obey him.  Today is the best time to find peace with God.  Tomorrow may be too late.  (NLT)

Hebrews 4:6-7 – So God’s rest is there for people to enter. But those who formerly heard the Good News failed to enter because they disobeyed God.  So God set another time for entering his place of rest, and that time is today.  God announced this through David a long time later in the words already quoted: “Today you must listen to his voice.  Don’t harden your hearts against him.”

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: ; ;;


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