Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Rain and Rest

We’ve had a dry spell here in the Philippines—until this week. Storms have come in and brought a lot of rain. Heavy rains cancel classes due to flooding, etc. Our ministry goes right along with the class schedule, so our ministry has been shut down along with classes.

It is frustrating to have a week’s worth of Bible studies and other ministry opportunities canceled. Regardless, I know that God is in control. He has chosen to give us a week of rest. This has caused me to think about the concept of the Sabbath and rest.

We know that God rested when He created our world (Genesis 2:2). The Almighty did not need to rest, but He did this in order to give us a pattern. He later commanded His people to rest on the Sabbath day (Exodus 20:8-11). The actual day became less important when Jesus brought us into the new covenant (Colossians 2:16-17). The principle of the Sabbath (a time of resting), however, is still just as important as it was in the beginning. Here are some truths that this week has reminded me of:

A time of rest focuses our attention on God:
We build relationships by spending time with each other. If we wish to know God, we have to dedicate time just for Him. This means spending time with Him alone and worshipping Him with other believers. According to the Bible, “Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” (Luke 5:16). If Jesus needed this, how much more do we need it!

A time of rest allows us to physically recover from work:
Medical science has confirmed the importance of rest. Without it, our bodies and minds simply do not work as well. If we are always pushing ourselves without proper rest, we will suffer physical and psychological consequences. In extreme cases, a physical or psychological breakdown will happen and impose a Sabbath on us.

A time of rest gives us a realistic perspective of our roles:
We tend to overestimate our own importance, as if the world would stop without us. Some sacrifice everything (social life, family, etc) for the sake of their careers. Ministers like me are often more guilty of this than anyone else. This week has reminded me that virtually everything I do can be shut down overnight.

A time of rest reminds us to use our time wisely:
Jesus told His disciples, “We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work” (John 9:5). Jesus was referring to His limited time here on earth. Like Jesus, all of us have limited time here. We will experience a “permanent Sabbath” (death) in which we can no longer work. Temporary rest times remind us of this fact.

I recently shared this message at Full Cup. Just check their website if you’re interested in hearing it.

5 Comments

  1. how i long to rest… don’t give me food… beddings is enough… though my focus was in Him, my physical body become weak.. hmm.. i don’t wanna open the shop tomorrow… yes, i need to rest.. thanks!!!

  2. yeah rest is very good. when we have nothing to do we can reflect more on God. but when we have nothing to do, the devil can also easily tempt us. we have to be careful talaga

  3. This is true Harold, but we can also be very vulnerable to temptation when we are tired, stressed out, and unrested.

    It’s all about balance. If we rest too much then we can become idle. In the States we say “and idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

    Blessings!

  4. Nice theological excuses for being lazy all day! ;-P

    Rise and Shine you sluggard! Hahaha! Joke!!!!!!!

    It’s worse here in Baguio. Temperature’s down a few more notch. It’s a tad colder than normal. All the more my students are mastering their _Bed-eology_. 🙂 Too bad they live on campus so no excuse for being absent.

  5. down with the flu right now.. sometimes God pegs me down with the flu because I am simply too stubborn to rest. i work to death and end up sick in bed. He beckons on me to spend time with Him..

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