[CF Devotionals] 2013-05-31 - Rest

Summer is the season when many people vacation. They seek a little rest and relaxation. I know that is what I'm looking for when I go on vacation. And since my vacation is just around the corner, I spent some time thinking about rest.

Genesis 2:1-3 (NASB)

  1. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.
  2. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
  3. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

God sanctified it. Sanctify is a big church word that simply means to set aside for a special purpose. God set aside the seventh day to rest. God must've liked the idea because when he went to give the top ten rules to Israel he included it and even made a big deal of it. For some of the rules he just had a few words but this one he discussed at length with Moses.

Exodus 20:8-11 (NASB)

  1. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  2. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
  3. but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.
  4. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord  blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

God wanted us to rest but man's not real good about listening to God so over the years people started adding lots of rules and regulations to this simple command. Rules don't relax me; they stress me out. And so following rules bring me no rest. By Jesus' day, legalism had destroyed the rest making it more work to make sure you avoided work. It just wasn't fun anymore.

Rest is clearly an important activity, but I’d argue that in our modern busy world, we don’t do a great job of emphasizing how important it really is. What about you? Do you take a regular sabbath? What does a day of rest really look like?

I love to relax when I have time but for me a day of rest often fills up with lots of busy work and I really don’t get much rest. Have you ever heard someone say, “I did so much this weekend that I had to come back to work or to school just to rest”? That’s not real rest.

Luckily, God has an answer.

Matthew 11:28-30 (NASB)

  1. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
  2. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Read this slowly and mull it over as you do.

Come to me all who are weary, tired, and in need of down time.
Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, burdened, stressed, needing a break from it all.
If you are tired and stressed come to me. Take my yoke. Do my work.

Whoa! Did you get that If you're sick and tired of your work come to me and I will give you my work. That is just crazy talk but Jesus likes crazy talk. He likes to flip things around and make you pause and really dwell on what he is saying. If you are tired of work, come to me and I will give you my work. That makes no sense at all but let me share a story from a recent day of rest.

I was cutting up some trees and my five-year old son wanted to help. He was struggling with picking up limbs on his own so as I lifted up a large log I asked him to come help me. Putting all the weight on my shoulders he held his hand under it and "helped" me with my work. I did all the heavy lifting but he was happier. He was resting in my work and didn't know it.

Real rest comes from God. In Exodus 33:14, God and Moses are talking when he says “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Real rest comes from simply being in God. Moses still had a lot of work to do but rest was in being in the Lord and the Lord in him. God still wanted Moses to lead his people thru the desert years and serve his people and so too Jesus’ rest includes a yoke. Rest in work. Rest in God's work.

So how will you rest this summer?


[email adam] acdum@hotmail.com

All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted

CFD | May 2013 | Adam's Devotions | Yesterday's Devotion | Devotional Topics