Rest Revives

How we rest matters.   Rest:  cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength
The definition of “rest” is to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.  Paradoxically, in order to find true rest that revives, we actually have to do a little work, because it’s a different rest that gets us to be refreshed and restored. In other words, we have to be intentional about our rest and sometimes that takes work!     First of all, we must be persistent. So many things vie for our attention and time that if we are not persistent, and insistent, about our time of rest, we will never get it. Next, we must recognize the difference between  merely relaxing and real, restoring rest. Simply “vegging out” in front of the TV or playing...
on Facebook does not restore the  soul. In fact, using anything to block out our problems, even if it’s TV, does not make the problem go away, and it usually makes us feel worse later.

   The rest that revives us is intentionally acknowledging God. In order to do that, we must discover ways to connect with Him that speak to us personally. There are a lot of ways to do this and can range from still silence to playing outdoors. While some may connect with God more in nature, taking a hike or kayaking, others may prefer quiet time reading the Bible or listening to praise music in a candlelit room. Some find great connection in journaling, others may choose to watch sermons or listen to podcasts, while others may just like a quiet place in which to pray.

     There are many time frames to choose from as well, from one great intentional day of prayer and fasting to a retreat of several days. Even a restful vacation with family can be a great way to reconnect and refresh.

   Whatever we do, we must work at resting. Being persistent in taking the time, being intentional in our acknowledgment of our awesome God, as well as the ways in which we connect with Him will give us true, reviving rest.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
The apostles had been sent out to teach and cast out demons by Jesus’ authority. Upon their return, Jesus shows concern for their well-being, but then also becomes concerned for the gathering crowd.
Question: What does Jesus want to do with the disciples? What does he do for the crowd instead? Why?

Mark 6:30-34 (New Living Translation)
30 The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. 31 Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. 32 So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. 33 But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. 34 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

Answer:
Jesus then went on to feed 5,000 people with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Although he is interrupted in his quest for rest by first seeing the need to feed the crowd, both literally and spiritually, Jesus then continues persistently towards his goal.

Question: How does Jesus interact with the disciples after feeding the 5,000? What does Jesus do then?

Mark 6:45-46 (New Living Translation)
45 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. 46 After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.

Answer:
LIVE… What will you do now?
Does God immediately come to mind when you think of resting? Why or why not?

When was the last time you had the kind of rest that revives? How often does that happen? How can thinking of rest as reviving your soul change the way you approach rest?

As discussed, there are a variety of styles and ways to rest, reconnect and revive our resources as part of a Sabbath. What are the ways you would like to try? Not sure what would work for you? Take the quiz at this link to find out, then commit to one this weekend.http://common.northpoint.org/sacredpathway.html

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?
Praise God for giving you amazing examples of rest through His word and deeds. Ask Him to help you be more intentional about resting. Thank Him for His grace that not only gives rest, but mercy when rest is difficult to attain. 

Watch the VideoDigging 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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Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

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

2 comments:

  1. Hi Jan! This is good! Resting and waiting on the Lord is not always easy, is it? Hope all is well and thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  2. This was such a perfect and timely post Jan. I recently had decided to take a 1 week blog break which turned into 3. It was much needed and I pondered my life and the lives of my family and searched deep within myself. God was there. :)
    I hope you are enjoying every inch of summer. Thank you so very much for your friendship. It is a true treasure to me.

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