Resting our way to the Inheritance

Heaven and Earth were finished, down to the last detail. By the seventh day God had finished his work. On the seventh day he rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day. He made it a Holy Day because on that day he rested from his work, all the creating God had done. — Genesis 2:1-3 (The Message)
Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don’t do any work-not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day. — Exodus 20:8-11 (The Message)
Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!” — Mark 2:27-28 (NLT)
“Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly. Then the Lord will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the Lord, have spoken!” — Isaiah 58:13-14 (NLT)
One thing that I find super-cool about our “job” (I have a hard time using that word, since what we do feels so little like work) is that we get to visit lots of churches, hear different pastors, and experience worship services in many venues and styles.

This past Sunday was no exception. We attended the Acts 2 United Methodist Church in Edmond, OK.

We enjoyed worshiping with this body of believers, and were thrilled to see their emphasis on discipleship (since that is what Christ called us all to do). Yet, the thing that stuck out most to us was the “Office Hours” posted on the door.

They went like this:

Monday: 9a – 5p
Tuesday: 9a – 5p
Wednesday: 10a – 7p
Thursday: 9a – 5p
Friday: SABBATH

SABBATH

As a posted office hour!

Awesome!!!

That resonated with us in a big way.

Sabbath is critical to a successful life.

Rest.

Taking a break from labor.

Taking a break to just rest.

It’s important.

So important, in fact, that when God finished creating the world, He rested.

God.

The great Creator.

The I AM.

Took a break to rest.

As we embarked on this adventure, our Mentor told us to rest. Take one day out of every seven and rest (not always the same day of the week, rather one of each seven).

So, we did.

The first Sabbath that we took, we slept in.

Even the kids.

When we got up, we ate breakfast.

Then, we napped.

We woke up and ate lunch.

Then, we napped some more.

We slept more in that 24 hours than we had ever slept in a 24 hour period before.

We didn’t feel any more tired going into it than we ever did. What we didn’t realize is how tired we were.

The funny thing about Sabbath is how much more productive we are after we Sabbath. It seems counter-intuitive. We’re taught that if we take a break, then we will fall behind. Yet, honoring the Sabbath makes the opposite happen. When you are rested, you are more productive.

Sabbath means NO WORK.

None.

Don’t clean the house, mow the yard, cook a meal, wash the laundry, answer the email, answer the phone, etc. Don’t do it.

Just rest.

Sit outside and enjoy the weather.

Spend time together as a family enjoying each other.

Just don’t work.

Isaiah 58 teaches us that when we take time to honor the Sabbath, the Lord takes time to honor us. Sabbath actually becomes a condition of the promised inheritance. In other words, you can’t work your way to be honored with the inheritance.

You have to REST YOUR WAY to it.

So, to the staff of Acts 2 UMC, thank you for setting an example for the believers. Thank you for honoring God through the Sabbath.

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