Rest (2)

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The rest God has for you.

· As a young boy I played various sports—baseball, basketball….I was proof that a child could not be any good and still play…or at least, practice. I remember running laps, doing drills. I remember very clearly, when doing those laps and drills, that we had to continue and could not stop until the coach said so. We would go for what seemed like a long time. My legs were weak from running and squatting and jumping. My arms were sore from throwing and passing. When the coach said, “Alright, you can rest.” We stopped. And that rest was so sweet. Similarly, and so much more, there is a rest in God that is so sweet.
· The season of life--I was a young adult--that I received God's rest for me was a season that radically changed me and, to some extent, my trajectory. I lived life differently--freer. What changed is that I had inner completeness--an inner wholeness--I had internal satisfaction independent of external approval because God gave me rest and I received it. There was a spiritual transaction that impacted every area of my being. And while I had not arrived--and I still have not arrived--I was free to "become" because I was allowed "to be".
· In receiving God's rest for me I let go of chasing hard after validation and accomplishments. Over time I still received them both--validation and accomplishments--but received them as accessories to the finished work of Jesus Christ and without losing my soul.
· (Thinking of Jesus' question: Mark 8:36 (NKJV) 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?)
· I think REST is an invitation to what may be God's greatest gift to you.
· Today, I want to talk about that rest.
Opening Passage: Matthew 11:28–30 (NKJV); Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)
Matthew 11:28–30 CSB
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
· Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)
Psalm 46:10 NKJV
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
· ---------
· Rest is a natural and supernatural way for God to do for you what you cannot do for yourself.
· (PRAY)

Defining Rest

· In culture, rest is “The practice of ceasing work or [ceasing] activity [in order] to relax and restore one's energy.
· American culture often bad-mouths rest saying taking a break undermines success, achievement, wealth, and progress.
· Being a workaholic can project that “rest” is “laziness” in disguise.
· Contrary, perhaps, to popular belief, scientific research has borne the truth of how God engineered the human body through proper rest to heal itself, reduce stress, boost creativity, enhance productivity, and improve decision-making.
· (Rest is a game-changing element that people many around you are looking for but don't quite know it...or believe in it.)
· (
· (
· But more than that (those benefits), rest can position you closer to God.
· Well, how do we get there?

Biblical Rest

· In scripture, rest represents a break from physical labor and worldly striving.
· The concept of rest is represented in the Hebrew word “Sabbath”. God in His own activities rested a moment (in fact, a day) and ordained this moment the Sabbath—to be observance as a day of rest on which no work was to be done.
· The Sabbath's rest was initially and continuously meant to benefit you--the people who observe.
· Jesus, in His 3 1/2 years of ministry on earth, made a point of highlighting the Sabbath's purpose--Jesus conveyed God made the Sabbath to benefit people--to give people rest (Mark 2:27). Jesus addressed religious leaders who, through legalism, turned the Sabbath observance--what was meant to be a blessing--into a burden for people. Jesus taught the Sabbath was made for the people; not the other way around.
· (Okay, that’s fine preacher. but how does one get the benefits?)
· (Thank you, okay, I’m glad you asked.)
· (God commanded rest as a way of living.)
· God gave the Jewish people through the 10 Commandments a way to live that was counter-cultural of their day (and I would argue, of our day also). God said of rest and the Sabbath:
· Exodus 20:8–11 (NKJV)
Exodus 20:8–11 NKJV
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
· What I find interesting is that God, in His sovereignty, created daytime and nighttime, formed it into consecutive days, and marked the seventh one as holy and blessed. God created a recurring cycle of blessing to benefit people--to benefit you...and basically, all He asks us to do is stop so that we can receive the blessing.
· (Well, what are you talking about preacher? I am blessed when I can work. I'm blessed when I can study. I'm blessed when I can serve. I'm blessed when I can come and go.)
· (Yes, but there is also a blessing in you being still.)
· The definition for rest, "to cease", is a little misleading because while you are at rest there subsequently is meaningful activity going on.
· (God told the Israelite people:)
· Exodus 23:12 (NKJV):
Exodus 23:12 NKJV
Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed.
· Rest is a time of refreshment and restoration--mental, spiritual, biological, physical, and relational.
· (Proper rest is a tool of endurance)

When To Rest: a time of rest

· (Okay, when do I get the rest and benefit?)
· (Glad you asked.)
· (Old Testament Scripture teaches us)
· The scripture verse we just read is within a set of verses my bible commentary describes as "The Law of Sabbath."
· God spoke of rest as a day to be taken--the 7th day of the week, a Sabbath.
· God also spoke of rest as a practice of rest--to be taken every 7 years, every 7 days.
· Exodus 23:10–12 (NKJV): The Law of Sabbaths
Exodus 23:10–12 NKJV
“Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove. Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed.

Where To Rest: a place of rest

· God not only spoke about when to rest (7th day. 7th year). God also spoke about where to rest--a place of rest.
· To the people of Israel, before the birth of Jesus Christ, God gave them a place to rest referred to as The Promised Land--geographically located across the Jordan River. This place served as rest for the Israelites who had been wandering in the wilderness. And it served as rest from their enemies. (Deut. 12:10)
· This physical land is not the only place:
· Those who have received salvation in Jesus Christ will, in eternity, enter God's rest for us, resting from all of our work.
· The author of Hebrews speaks to it:
· Hebrews 4:9–10 (NKJV)
Hebrews 4:9–10 NKJV
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
· Well, what determines who are the people of God--the people who will enter this rest for eternity?
· Jesus claims it:
· John 14:6 (NKJV): Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

In Whom To Rest: rest in Jesus

· (Well, Who is this Jesus, and do I have to wait until eternity to have God's rest for me?)
· Hebrews 4:15–16 (NKJV)
Hebrews 4:15–16 NKJV
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
· Scripture says we have Jesus, our High Priest, who can sympathize with our weakness. He was at all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
· The author of Hebrews tells us to come boldly to the throne of grace, to obtain mercy and to find grace to our time of need.
· Well, what do we need? REST
· Rest from physical labor and worldly striving.
· Rest in the midst of suffering and struggling.
· We know we need rest because God commands it.
· But Jesus also invites us to it.
· Matthew 11:28–30 (CSB)
Matthew 11:28–30 CSB
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
· Jesus says, Take up my yoke--"Matthew 11:29 (FSB): Yokes were heavy, wooden crossbars used to connect two oxen together for more efficient plowing."
· Jesus says, When you learn from my teachings how to walk with me, your walk will not be laborious and burdensome (like some of the religious requirements of Jesus' day) but light and you'll find rest.
· What might Jesus teach you that would bring you rest?
Jesus May Teach…
· Jesus may teach God’s SOVEREIGNTY and answer your question, “CAN God do it?”
· I remember being in graduate school. I chose a particular slice of interdisciplinary research. I remember the day I recognized I was in up over my head. I rested from struggling and asked God, “CAN you do it because I can’t? I am up over my head.”
· God did it.
· Jesus may teach God’s FAVOR and answer your question, “WILL God do it?”
· I remember volunteering alongside a young woman named Rashele Cross. I realized my fresh deodorant and smooth talking were getting me no where near where I wanted to be. I rested from striving and said to God, “She’s the one I want as my wife.” I asked God, “WILL you do it because I choose not to force it?”
· God did it.
· Jesus may show God’s GLORY. And when we are resting in God’s glory there are no more questions.
· Every knee shall bow. Every tongue shall confess.
· We see God for Who He is and who we are.

How To Rest

· Well…
· You can rest involuntarily when you fall out, unable to go further.
· You can rest by choice—observing your Sabbath and other moments of rest.
· You can rest by promotion when God rewards your death in Jesus Christ with eternity.
· To rest in this life by choice, rest periodically.
· The best way to rest periodically (weekly) is to rest daily:
· When you think you don’t need it, rest…all throughout the day take moments with God.
· When you know you need it, rest. Bring all of yourself to God—your hopes, dreams, insecurities, frustrations, doubts, victories, defeats, disappointments, passions, prayers, and presence.
· As a act of worship, rest.

In Rest We Are Still.

· We re-center our lives on Christ when we press "pause" on all other demands and activities.
· We reclaim (and claim) a God-centered perspective when we bring our mind and thoughts to what God says of Himself in scripture (meditating on God's word).
· We recalibrate who we are in light God (I'm not God but am a child of God)
· Ultimately, we receive God's gift to us through Jesus Christ - salvation.

Radical Rest

· In scripture (John 13:23) it captures Jesus’ last supper (the passover meal) with His disciples. Jesus is teaching them, serving them communion, revealing how one of them will betray Him. Scripture says one of Jesus’ disciples John was leaning upon Jesus chest while they were at the table.
· Can you imagine resting on Jesus?
· I think that’s radical.
· Yet, resting on Jesus is one of the ways we’ll get closest to God.
· Matthew 11:28–30 (CSB): 28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
· Rest is radical today.
· What's radical about rest is that
· There are always more things to have
· Always more to do
· More ways to strive--in person, on social media.....
Labor And Rest
· Illustration:
· Two flashlights: which method is goes furthest?
· ——-
· Crosses.
· Spend time in God’s light
· Song: Walk in the Light
Walk in the light (walk in the light)
Beautiful light (well it's a beautiful light)
Come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright (Oh Lord)
Shine all around us by day and by night
Oh oh oh oh, Jesus is the light of the world
Nourishment Centers For Your Life
· Nourishment Centers for My Life
· OrLando Yarborough III (adapted from John C Maxwell)
· Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
· Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.
· 1. Music--what songs lift me?
· 2. Thoughts--what thoughts speak to me? Place quotes in the notes section of your phone. Take 5min every day in reading them. Pray Scripture.
· 3. Experiences--what experiences rejuvenate me?
· 4. Friends--who encourages me?
· 5. Recreation--what recreation re-creates like therapy to me?
· 6. Home--what family members care for me?
· 7. Spirit--what spiritual exercises strengthen me and my faith?
· 8. Hopes--what are my hopes, dreams? Go to my hopes and drink deeply.
· 9. Books--What books change me? Keep these visually before me.
· 10. Memories--what memories make me smile?
· 11. Giftedness--what gifts activate me, challenge and nourish me?
Additional Information and Resources:
· Nourishment centers Handout
· Http://
Conclusion / Final Thoughts:
· I think REST is an invitation to what may be God's greatest gift to you.
Next Steps:
· Complete the nourishment centers handout to start filling your Spiritual tool belt. (
· Think ahead into today and this week. What's one space that can use aHoly Spirit-filled, life-giving environment/atmosphere? What will you do to help build it?
· Consider Psalm 34
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