Junk Food Rest

It’s going to take a promise to make rest a reality.
Is rest lost? We’ve talked about all the reasons it shouldn’t be, but is a weekly Sabbath possible? At the end of the work week, especially in a family with kids either back to school or getting ready for it, it’s not a stretch to answer no, and mean it. It sounds so good, but in the same moment we’re also thinking of...
all the things that need to be done this weekend, and if we’re honest, in the weeks to come. That brings us right to the tension with rest and the Sabbath. It revives, restores and blesses us but there’s one final thing it’s going to take—a commitment to it, and fighting against the junk food rest we settle for.

Junk food rest is what Netflix, Crossy Roads and 24-hour news channels all have in common. When we have a spare night, it’s often these kinds of things taking up our “night off”. Martin Saunders, blogger for Christianity Today, calls this a junk food version of rest at best, pointing out, “When we fill our evenings with these kinds of easy, time-passing pursuits, we can end up feeling a little like a kid who just ordered and ate “the works” at McDonalds. Everything felt enjoyable at the time, but now we can’t help feeling a bit bloated, and yet still in need of nourishment.” Fun? Yes. Useful? Maybe in small doses. But rest? No, not really. It’s not the kind of rest that God knew we would need.

A promise to making a Sabbath, resting as God showed us how, and calling it holy is no small thing. It’s the kind of promise that holds enormous possibilities and life-changing perspective, not to mention real rest.

READ, THINK and LIVE… Read and apply the Bible.
Paul is praying to strengthen the believers and communicate what is possible when we come to God for all our needs.

Question: What are the possible outcomes Paul shares here?

Ephesians 3:16-19 (New International Version)
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Answer:  What kind of rest have you been getting? Has your rest been Sabbath kind of rest or “junk food” rest? Try these three guiding principles to determine the difference:

Does it bring me joy?
Does it enable me to “exhale” or recharge?
Does it bring me closer to God? 

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

Use these words or pray on your own: Dear God, I kneel before You and ask for Your strength and power to be a daily reality in my life. Help me to keep a heart open to You, and a faith that puts Your love and Your ways first. Lead me to a commitment to making a Sabbath and keeping it set apart so that I may be filled with You. Amen.

Watch the Video
Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:
Click here to go deeper using the Life Group DVD by the teaching pastor or view the message, including bonus discussion questions.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS—Answer these questions with your friends and family:

What is an ideal day off for you?

Read Genesis 2:3 and Exodus 20:8-11. What is the Sabbath? Who designed it and for what purpose? If you had to describe it in one sentence to someone who didn’t know what it was, what would you tell them?

Barb talked this weekend about our deep need to realign our minds, hearts, bodies and souls. Which dial is out of alignment for you right now? Why? What will it take to bring it back into alignment?

What are the ways your soul is revived? How often are you doing these activities? Why or why not?
  1. How does the Sabbath demonstrate God’s deep and abiding love for us? How is it a blessing to you and those around you?
  2. If someone were to look at your calendar, your to-do list, and how you actually spend your time throughout the week, what conclusions would they draw about what the Sabbath and rest means in your life? Are these conclusions also an accurate reflection of your faith in Christ? Does how we rest have a direct reflection on our faith? Discuss.
  3. As a result of this discussion, what is one thing you want to be sure to walk away with?
August 2015 Memory Verse:
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
-Hebrews 4:12 (New Living Translation)
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..


  1. Hi Jan, this is very good and all so true. Love the memory verse for August. Have a blessed rest of the weekend.
    Hugs, cm

  2. Hi Jan! Another good one!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  3. Hi Jan, I hope you are doping well. Many changes for you. Your blog looks so pretty.