Biblical Rest (Day 7)

Genesis in 3D:Design  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:08
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Biblical rest is modeled and granted as an act of God's completion, not the remedy for exhaustion.

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After we were told by our leaders to adjust our clocks last night, many of us can really get interested in a sermon on Rest. I’m guessing some of us would rather I dim the shades turn out the lights and give you an opportunity to practice what I am about to preach.
The word translated as rest in today’s verses is not referring to napping or sleeping. It literally means a strategic work stoppage.
While in College I worked for several months for UPS. Please don’t blame me for you late or misdelivered packages, I worked only in the sorting center. The North and South sides of the building is where trucks would back in that needed to be unloaded and sorted. Rollers would extend into the trailers and 1 or 2 workers would send boxes out on the rollers as fast as they could. These rollers would dump onto a conveyor belt that ran in front of 12 or us sorters. Behind each sorter were six belts that lead in 12 directions. Packages would be picked along the 12 journeys and sent to truck waiting to deliver to the next center. Along the conveyor were removable “stop bars” which would prevent the package from continuing down the belt. It was up to the sorter to keep up with all the packages coming down the belt before they were caught by the stop bar and rolled off the belt onto the floor. Occasionally a sorter would get “buried” by the volume of packages at his stop bar and face a decision to either lift the bar and let his packages be added to the flow of the next guy, or each station had a large red button that would stop the miles of conveyors in the whole hub. Every sorter had to ability to pass along his task, or create a work stoppage, but we were warned and shamed into only using that button in the most extreme situation. Imagine one guy with boxes piling up around his feet as he tries to read the destination of each label. Eventually he is waist deep, he can’t take a step in any direction, yet he is still sorting 1300 boxes per hour to those 6 outbound belts. That is why many of your boxes arrive mangled. Now Scanners and levers do the sorting we did manually in the 1980s. When to stop, when to pass the work along, and when to keep plugging away beyond the point of exhaustion was the constant struggle of each sorter.
Many of us find ourselves on the “sort aisle” of life. The “stop bar” is the clock and the sort aisle is the calendar. We each must determine when we keep working, when we pass work to another day or another person, and when it is time to stop all progress.
God doesn’t rest because He is exhausted, because He is overwhelmed, or because the whistle declares the day is done. He stops because the work is completed, He rests by taking pleasure in a job well done.
I’ve heard “man works from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.” When I worked in a restaurant in High School I was introduced to the phrase, “Time to lean, time to clean.” There will always be more work that we can justify keep pushing on. But the example set by God is divide your work into manageable sections, work those divisions, and celebrate when each division is completed.
Transition: This “celebration of completed work” is what I want us to use as our definition of rest. We’ve all had those nights when our brain just won’t shut down, and we’ve had those nights when sweet, sound sleep came as soon as our heads hit the pillow.

Rest Defined

When a Blessing becomes a Burden (Mk 2:27)

God intends for us to celebrate like this.
Mark 2:27 ESV:2016
27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
2. Man turned a day of rest and remembrance into a list of rules. Jesus was frequently shamed by the religious leaders for not following their rules.

Work first, “play” later (Gen 2:1-2a)

Finished appears 2x before rest ever appears
We can’t finish what was never started.
Just like the television commercial about the guys who are worried about leaving the parking lot before they ever get into the stadium, I have had co-workers who asked about breaks before the day even started.

Creation’s purpose was established, and the system could run (v.2a)

Mankind hasn’t always understood the system, Our calendar changed from 13 lunar cycles to 12 months. And even with that we have to add a day every 4 years to recalibrate our systems.
God placed the planets and stars in such a way that they each serve His purpose. We have astronomers who can track the cycles hundreds of years back, and have made predictions moving into the future based upon the consistency of the cycles God established,
Transition: On day 7 God took pleasure in the systems that He had established. So He established another system for us to replicate.

Rest Modeled (Gen 2:2b)

God could have kept on going!

He never sleeps
He doesn’t grow weary
The Energizer Bunny has become a cultural icon of something that keeps on going and going without ever stopping. And while long lasting batteries are a blessing, on-going work is a stress that man was never intended to endure.
3. We seem to idolize the person who has no stop in him. But that is not the example set by our God.

More in 12 days than 13

1. So if God didn’t rest because He was tired, why did He do it?
Have you ever butted up against a problem that you just couldn’t get through, taken a strategic break, then returned with creativity to resolve the problem?
2. By ceasing our work, we admit that we need advice or assistance from outside of ourselves.
3. Many of us have committed a percentage of income that we donate to the Lord’s work. I have been told more times than I can count how people say, “When I give God His portion up front, He makes the 90% go further than I could have with 100%”. Many of us have found that when we set aside time to honor the Lord, He makes the rest of our workweek more productive.
This is what one business consultant calls Sharpening the Axe.
4. Colleges divide the learning cycle different than primary and secondary schools. School districts divide their learning cycles differently into quarters or trimesters. Weather forces adjustments to these plans by administrators. But this week is an example of a time where educators have planned out, by this time of the year, these are the tasks that should have been completed in order for the course to finish when finals are scheduled. Many teachers are using this week to evaluate where they have been and how they need to adjust to get the work finished by early/mid May.
Transition: God doesn’t only define and model rest, He sets it aside as a special blessing.

Rest Blessed (Gen 2:3)

A rest prepared for them (Dt 6:10-12)

Deuteronomy 6:10–12 ESV:2016
10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
One plants, another waters, but God gives the increase. And he distributes that increase as He desires.

A rest prepared for us (Hebrews 4:9-11)

1. Paul knew that God had laid out a course for Him. While there were still things on Paul’s bucket list, He looked forward to the day that he would rest because he had finished God’s course for him.
2 Timothy 4:7 ESV:2016
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2. This same rest is prepared for each of us who run the race God intends for us.
Hebrews 4:9–11 ESV:2016
9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

A Rest earned by Christ (John 19:30)

John 19:30 ESV:2016
30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
1. God has planned a course for each of us. (Job 14:5)
Job 14:5 ESV:2016
5 Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
2. We can’t add to what Jesus has already finished.
Galatians 3:11 ESV:2016
11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”
3. God will help us finish the race before us.
Philippians 1:6 ESV:2016
6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Conclusion:

4 clues to help us enjoy the rest that God has blessed for us:

· Separate busyness from business
· Redeem the time – focus on what matters
· Trust God to bless the work of our hands.
· Rest is a trusting reward for completion.
Song #405....... “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place”
Benediction:
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