Work Life WK # 3 “Rest” Believers Statesboro 08-25-13

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O Lord, my God, Creator and Ruler of the universe, it is Your Will that human beings

accept the duty of work. Pope Benedict XVI

We at Believers agree. We are all called to work and provide for our families as long as we are physically and mentally able. But we are also discovering deeper meaning in our Work Life, finding our work fulfilling and satisfying as we discover God’s eternal purpose in our jobs and careers. (Col 3:23-24) But if we are going to keep pace and work whole heartily as unto the Lord we also need to learn to rest. Rest is necessary to maintain good health. (1 Cor 6:19-20)

No one had a greater work to do than Jesus, but even He and His Disciples needed rest. (Mark 6:31-32)

We need physical rest, but mental rest, and spiritual rest as well. In scripture we see a principal of rest, often times referred to as a sabbatical, taken from the concept of a seventh day rest or the Sabbath.

In Exodus 20:8-11, God established that the Sabbath day would be a holy day for the children of Israel. As a matter of fact it is the longest commandment of the Ten Commandments. Today we don’t live under the letter of the law, but the spirit of this law is something that we need to consider. The Sabbath is more than a day off, it is a chance to refocus, regroup, remember, and recharge spiritually. It is a day to remind us that we are not just the sum total of our Work Life, our efforts, and all of our hard work, but we are spiritual beings who are led and empowered by the Spirit of a Living God.

Conventional Christian wisdom holds that we would all be wise to observe some form of Sabbath with:

1. A quiet time daily.

2. A day of rest weekly.

3. An extended rest yearly.

NEXT STEP: Rate myself on a scale of 1-10 on how well I observe a Sabbath rest.

A Sabbath Reminds Us That God Is In Control, Not Us

On the sixth day of creation when human beings were created, God had already done all of the heavy lifting, creating the heavens and the earth without our help. Then when everything was ready he introduces mankind into His story, so that we can experience His grace and power, and walk in a relationship with Him. We are to love Him, trust Him and put our Faith in Him.

Sometimes when life gets busy and hard, we charge ahead thinking that everything is dependent on how hard we work, and our talents and abilities to make things happen. The Sabbath reminds us that it is not about us, but God. The Sabbath helps us learn to trust and rest in Him.

Yes, we are created for good works, but those good works are only going to produce fruit when we are resting and abiding in Christ Jesus. (John 15:4-5)

Jesus also calls us to a life of rest in Him as we work. We are yoked together with him. (Matt 11:28-30)

A Sabbath Reminds Us That Our Rest Will Be Eternal

Rev 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them." (NIV)

A Sabbath Reminds Us That Our Rest is Now in Christ Jesus

Hebrews 4:1-2 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’" And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world.

NEXT STEP: Read Hebrews 4 and rethink what it means to rest in Christ.

A Sabbath Quietness Allows Us to Hear

Luke 10:38-42 (NIV) As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman

named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet

listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She

came to him and asked, "Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell

her to help me!" 41 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things,

42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

· I have to confess that I have hated this story for years, or at least I have hated people’s teachings on rest as they used this story.

· I am a Martha at heart and I want to stand up and defend her and say, “Somebody’s got to get the work done!” “If somebody doesn’t make the preparations how can Jesus’ needs be met?”

· I felt like lazy people use this story to sit around and do nothing. Maybe they are hyper spiritual, forgetting that faith without works is dead!

· I, like Martha have looked around at nonproductive people around me and said, “Lord don’t you care that they have left me to do the work by myself? Tell them to help me!”

But I missed a few truths in this story.

Martha was right to open her home to Jesus and yes preparations had to be made. But verse 40 indicated that she allowed those preparations to distract her. Jesus was right in the room with her and she was still distracted by what needed to get done.

Jesus told her the problem wasn’t that things needed to be done, but that she worried and became upset by them. And when it comes right down to it she really only needed one thing and He was standing right in front of her.

Luke 10:42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away

from her." (NIV) What better thing had Mary chosen? Luke 10:39 She had a sister called Mary, who

sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

The thing that Mary needed and Martha needed and you and I need is to take the time to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him!

Sometimes I think Jesus is chasing us all thought life, as we are busy chasing our tails, and He is shouting to us at the top of His lungs, but we are too busy to hear anything He has to say. We need to pause and quieten ourselves and listen to what He is telling us to do.

Close To the Heart of the King

In 2 Samuel 23, you will find a list of David’s Mighty Men. These guys are some the biggest, badest, warriors recorded in scripture and there feats and exploits are recorded for us to marvel.

2 Sam 23:13-15 During harvest time, three of the thirty chief men came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15 David longed for water and said, "Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!"

· In the quiet darkness of that cave, in the midst of battles and war, David began to day dream about the water that he used to drink from the well near the gate of the now occupied Bethlehem.

· With the Philistines clearly in control of that City, David may have wondered if he would ever drink from that well again.

· I don’t even know if David realized that he had said this out loud. And I believe it was probably no more than a whisper, “Oh that someone, somewhere, somehow would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem.”

· This was not a command. This was not a challenge; “If you slay the dragon I will give you my daughter for a bride”, type of arrangement. It was just a heart’s desire.

· It was the Kings heart’s desire expressed out loud.

2 Sam 23:16-17 So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD. 17 "Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this!" he said. "Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?" And David would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three mighty men. (NIV)

A great story of valor, honor, and selfless sacrifice. But a lesson to be learned in this story is that no matter how talented or skilled you are. No matter how brave or hard working you are. No matter what a mighty warrior you are… You have to be close enough to the King to hear His heart’s desire.

Out of the thirty men, and I’m sure the others were doing important things, only three took the time to get close to the King and spend a little time with him. Close enough to hear his heart.

That’s why we must rest. We must pause. We must still ourselves. We have to spend time with the King to hear His heart. So that we can do His will.

NEXT STEP: Set aside at least 5 minutes a day for the next 5 days to rest in the Lord.

NEXT STEP: Pick one day this week I will turn off all of my electronic devices, quiet myself and listen for the whisper of the Lord.

Life Group and Family Devotional Questions

1. Do you take a rest daily? Weekly? Yearly? If so, share your experience, what you do and what benefit you receive from your rest.

2. How will a regular Sabbath rest remind us that God is in control?

3. Read all of Hebrews 4 and explain in your own words what it meant to enter into Gods true rest.

4. Read Ex 33:13-18. What type of rest do you experience when you are in the presence of the Lord?

5. What do you think Jesus meant when he said in Mark 2:27-28 "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath?”

6. Do you see yourself as a “Mary” or more of a “Martha”? Explain.

7. Share your experience when you quiet yourself and listened to the whisper of the Lord. What is King Jesus’ heart’s desire for you?

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