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Rev. Carl H. Kemp, Pastor

Rest
(Recuperation, Refreshment, Relaxation)

July 23, 2006

 

What does the Bible say about rest? 

BIBLE READINGGenesis 2:2-25

KEY BIBLE VERSE: And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:3niv)

Rest is important to maintaining a balanced life. 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 (see Mark 6:31-32). Our times of rest refresh us for times of service.

BIBLE READINGExodus 20:1-26

KEY BIBLE VERSE: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. (Exodus 20:8niv)

Rest is important for worship. 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. By observing a regular time of rest and worship in our fast-paced world, we demonstrate how important God is to us, and our spirit is refreshed. Don’t neglect God’s provision.

BIBLE READINGHebrews 4:1-13

KEY BIBLE VERSE: So there is a full complete rest still waiting for the people of God. Christ has already entered there. He is resting from his work, just as God did after the creation. Let us do our best to go into that place of rest, too, being careful not to disobey God as the children of Israel did, thus failing to get in. (Hebrews 4:9-11tlb)

Rest is part of God’s ultimate plan. 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 full complete rest in Christ begins when we trust him to complete his good and perfect work in us.

 

Rest is a gift of God. God wants us to enter his rest. For the Israelites of Moses’ time, this rest was the earthly rest to be found in the promised land. For Christians, it is peace with God now and eternal life in a new earth later. We do not need to wait for the next life to enjoy God’s rest and peace; we may have it daily now! Our daily rest in the Lord will not end with death, but will become an eternal rest in the place that Christ is preparing for us (John 14:1-4).

 

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