Thursday, August 18, 2011

"THE VALUE OF REST"




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Before I get started with the scripture text, I would like to elaborate on the above verse. I looked it up in the Message Bible and I really like the way it is stated. It says OBSERVE the Sabbath day to keep it holy. In other words we are to observe or do holy things to honor God on that day. Not saying that we shouldn't abide by His Word everyday, but this commandment is as plain as ever. Set apart this day specifically for Him. According to NKJV Reference: It says With this command, God set Israel apart from it's neighbors. Other peoples had their own various patterns of work and rest, but Israel was to set aside one day in seven for rest. The sabbath was specifically the seventh day, Saturday. It was patterned after the seventh day of rest for God following the six days of creation. Why or when we started celebrating the Sabbath on Sunday is another post. (After I've had time to research it).

And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. (24) And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. (25) And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord to day ye shall not find it in the field. (26) Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. Exodus 16:23-26 KJV

And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? (29) See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.

The CEV (Contemporary English Version) stated it this way. Moses told them that the LORD has said, "Tomorrow is the Sabbath, a sacred day of rest in honor of ME. So gather all you want to bake or boil, and make sure you save enough for tomorrow.":

The people obeyed, and the next morning the food smelled fine and had no worms. "You may eat the food, " Moses said. "Today is the Sabbath in honor of the LORD, and there won't be any of this food on the ground today. You will find it there for the first six days of the week, but not the the Sabbath." . . . . Exodus 16:23-26

The Lord Said, " . . .Remember that I was the one who gave you the Sabbath. That's why on the sixth day I provide enough bread for two days. Everyone is to stay home and rest on the Sabbath." Exodus 16:28-29

Children persistently resist sleeping and battle to stay up. Many adults such as myself resist getting needed rest too. God created the Sabbath as a time to focus and concentrate on Him, to thank Him for what he as done for us, as well as just for WHO HE IS. We are to use this day for this purpose and to relax and refresh our bodies, minds and spirits.

At God's direction, the Israelites observed the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week. At this point I am going to veer away from the writer of the devotional that I am using as my "inspirational idea", and be a little blunt. According to the devotion, they said " Now Christians chose when and how to rest. It might be Sunday, the "traditional day of worship, but it doesn't have to be. Personally, I disagree. God's Word said He worked for 6 days and rested on the seventh. I read NOWHERE in His Word where He said "pick a day of the week and rest."

We must remember to use the Sabbath for physical and spiritual renewal. The word Sabbath means "to cease from work." Real rest begins with slowing down, noting our blessings, expressing gratitude to god, releasing stress, and letting go of worries, which is partially done by getting all of your chores done the day before so you don't have to worry about them that day. It allows us to get our priorities straight. God first, family second, then everything else. On the sabbath, all we need think about is God and our families. We can use this day to spend with our families and maybe even talking to each other about what God means to each other After all, He does say "train up a child in the way they should go and when they get old they will not depart from it". The only way your children are going to know about God is through your teaching them and your example. If you are a workaholic and don't think about God in a serious way, or take His holy day seriously what makes you think your children will. Children learn what they live. Parents should be their best role models and if the parents don't take God seriously do you think the children will as they grow?

He also doesn't say playing "catch-up on your "chores" around the yard or house is ok as long as you think about Me. He says do what you need to do the day before the sabbath so you can completely rest and do nothing but spend time rejuvenating your body mind and spirit and and spend time reflecting on how good He is, What He means to you, Where you would be without Him, How merciful He is, and How much bigger and greater He is than any problems we may have. He can take care of ANYTHING. He allowed His fleshly body to die on the cross for us. I think we can give Him AT LEAST one day of complete focus on Him.

I'm not saying we have to sit in continuous prayer all day and night on Sunday. I'm not even saying we have to read our Bibles for a long period of time. I'm saying reflect on Him and His greatness and what He means to you. Don't substitute His time which He commanded for us to keep holy with watching tv, playing computer games, washing clothes, mowing the yard or whatever else you can find to take up that time. He deserves at least that much consideration if not more. Yes, I'm preaching to myself again. I'm really bad about my tv and computer games, but I promise I will change my ways, and I want to put the challenge out to you as well. I know we will all be blessed if we will do this. We will gain a closer relationship with God, we will gain wisdom and knowledge about Him as well and many other blessings.

To get off the subject a little bit, my friend and I started in a new Bible Study group today. We will be studying two different topics. The first few months will be about "Celebrating Jesus In the Feasts of the Lord", and then later on we will be studying Beth Moore's, "Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent", an in depth Bible study of
Psalms 120-134.

As we get deeper into these studies, I may use some of what I learn for a blog post now and then. It sounds as though they are really going to be interesting.

Good Night to All and May God Bless.


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