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.
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