Restored in His Presence

Last Sunday I preached a message around the topic of rest. Here is a snippet from Sunday's message: 

"I don’t know about you, but so often I can find myself caught up in ‘doing’ lots and lots of things for God, at the expense of simply ‘being’ with God and finding rest in Him. We live in a society where the understanding of what it actually means to rest is largely lost."
 
Is that your experience of rest? Do you set aside regular times to rest in and with God? Or are you so busy and pre-occupied with other things that you actually never experience life-changing, encouraging, soul-restoring rest with Jesus? Is rest largely 'lost' for you?
Scripture is really clear on this matter. Rest and relaxation are so important that God even included them in the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:8-10:
 
"“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.”
 
Pretty clear isn't it?
But how do we rest? What does biblical rest look like?
Jesus provided a pretty decent example of what biblical rest looks like during His time of earthly ministry. Here are three observations or ideas around rest that we can glean from focussing in on Jesus' example. In order to rest well like Jesus, we need to:
  • Be people who purposefully take the time to rest in relationship with God;
  • Be people who are purposeful in how we rest;
  • Be people who are diligent in freeing ourselves from distractions in order to prioritise – and get the most out of – time with God.
If you want to know more about each of these points and hear some practical examples of what each of these might look like, have a listen to last week's message on our website.
I want to encourage you: learn to rest. Take the time to rest. Set aside and enjoy a regular Sabbath. As Jesus reminds us in Mark 2:27:
 
“Man was not given for the Sabbath but the Sabbath was given for man.”
The Sabbath was God's gift to you and I... set it aside and enjoy it!

 

Blessings,

 
Ps Joel Hawting

 

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