Recess

Barb Roose, Today's Teaching Pastor
There were endless possibilities, not out of reach.  – John Maynard Keynes, economist
In 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that Americans would only need to work three hours a day, and probably only by choice. That sounds like crazy talk, right? We couldn’t imagine a scenario where an American employee could earn enough to support themselves, much less a family, on only three hours per day. However, 85 years ago, Keynes observed our country’s rapid economic progress and technical advances and assumed that Americans would experience tremendous access to leisure...
and rest.
 Except, that isn’t the case. How many of you would use words like “tired”, “stressed” or “busy”, to describe your lives? Don’t be ashamed because if you do, you’re in good company. Lots of us feel like we are losing the battle to get it “all” done. For all of the time-saving advancements like smartphones, carryout, Evernote, text messaging, etc., we’re still feeling rushed. And each day the pressure to complete our never-ending to-do list mounts, filled with items that overflowed from the days before. One task after another, after another, after another…

We heard the story of one Creeker mom who worked part-time, but felt her schedule was overrun by her kids’ ballet, basketball and travel sports schedule. Her husband worked fulltime and coached one of the travel teams. As much as she loved watching her kids engage with activities they enjoyed, her mind was always moving and planning out how to manage their nonstop schedule. Maybe your family situation is different, but have you ever felt like you were hostage to a nonstop schedule?

This weekend, Barb’s message was titled, “Recess”, where we had a conversation about the importance of rest. Here is a reminder of one of her main ideas, “If you want to be blessed, then prioritize rest.”

In Genesis 2:3, we read how God shows great love for us by modeling rest. Remember, God created the universe. THE UNIVERSE. While God doesn’t need rest, He set aside one day of the week and rested from His work. What does that mean for us? If God set aside a day for rest and called it “holy”, then we need to integrate that practice into our lives as well.

Yes, we’re busy. Time is precious. But, we are more precious to God than time. Our human bodies were designed by an Almighty God to operate within a healthy rhythm: meaningful work followed by a period of rest. This weekend, Barb talked about how rest realigns us with God’s purposes. When we work and then we rest, we create space for God to do a miracle within our hearts, our minds, our bodies and our souls. Think about your spine and what happens when your spine gets out of alignment. Our lives can get out of alignment. We can lose track of God’s priorities by being too busy. But, when we rest, we give God space to do a miracle in us! He can revive our hearts, our minds, our tired bodies and our weary souls. Is your life out of alignment? If so, then you need to make plans to rest!
THIS WEEK’S STUDY IS ABOUT PRIORITIZING REST AS A NECESSARY GOD-HONORING RHYTHM OF OUR LIVES.

What is Sabbath?
Big Point: The Sabbath was made and demonstrated by God first.

If you rest, you rust.  – Helen Hayes

Why don’t we rest? Ask anyone around you if they want to have a day to rest this week, and while their initial reaction is usually an enthusiastic yes with the body language to follow — shoulders losing their tension, maybe even a wistful smile — it’s quickly followed by the list of reasons why that won’t happen. Why don’t we rest, really?

1)  We don’t think we NEED rest. Sometimes it’s because we’re control-freaks and can’t let anything go. Some of us have endless ambition while others of us really like to work. Sometimes it’s a Superman or Superwoman complex going on, “I can do everything- you can count on me!” And if we’re being honest, there’s currency in being busy, an air of importance that we believe is real.

2)  We don’t know HOW to rest. We have prioritized certain activities above other activities and rest isn’t even on the list.  In Genesis 1, the very first thing we see God doing is work. He created. In contrast, on the seventh day, He rested. In between is a week filled with meaningful, creative and necessary work, but the order is important—He started with work and ended with rest.

The Sabbath is one day a week when we don’t work. It’s when we rest our bodies, rest our minds, rest our hearts and rest our souls for God’s purpose. This kind of rest demonstrates that we trust in God’s provision for our lives. Simply put, it reminds us that there is a God and it is not us.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
In the very first verse of the Bible, God already establishes the importance of His ways in our life.

Question: What did God model to us first in Genesis 1:1?
Genesis 1:1 (New Living Translation)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Answer:
From Genesis 1:1 to this verse in chapter 2, God is creating the world in an orderly fashion. For example, light before vegetation, the fish in the sea and livestock before humans.

Question: What did God create on the seventh day? Why?
Genesis 2:2-3 (New Living Translation)
On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.

Answer:
God provided written instructions for His people, known as the Ten Commandments or the law, to help lead them to a life that would be pleasing and holy to Him.

Question: What is the definition of Sabbath that God provided?
Exodus 20:8-11 (New Living Translation)
Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

Answer:
LIVE… What will you do now?

What does Sabbath mean to you?

Read Genesis 2:3 again, this time noting all the verbs in the verse. For example, rested, finished (there are a total of 5). Looking over this list, does this match what you described?

Now, take that same list of verbs from Scripture and line up what each of these could actually look like on your Sabbath day. (A couple of examples have been done for you.)

Rested—
Finished—celebrate project reaching first goal
Blessed—
Declared holy—journal my prayer

Imagine if God didn’t model rest or a Sabbath day – would that be loving? What are you modeling for the people around you when it comes to rest? What do you want to model?

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

Use these words or your own: Dear God, thank You for work and thank You for rest, for a day to declare as holy. We were made in Your image and right from the start, You have shown us how we need both. You have shown me how deeply You know me and can meet my every need. God, I’m asking You to help me see the area where I need to pay the most attention and seek You the most this week. In work or in rest, lead me to first desire knowing and following You more. Amen.

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Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

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