Sabbath

by Pastor Mark Jordan

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“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG)

Yesterday we took our daily water time to look at the need for having a special and sacred place where you can retreat regularly and experience the richness of God’s presence. Daily prayer time is essential for developing a Godly perspective, but it isn’t the only thing. In addition to daily time with God, you need an entire day set apart to pray and play, finding recovery in God. Going back to the Good Book, we see this weekly time away called, Sabbath. In the Jewish faith, Sabbath was always kept from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. That can be hard to keep for some. When you observe Sabbath isn’t as important as observing it in the first place, so find what works best for you, and enjoy that time of rest and re-creation.

I absolutely love today’s passage. It points to the need of a Sabbath, which is a weekly day of rest away from the demands of hectic life. A Sabbath rest is essential in the rhythm of a healthy life, but it is something so easily neglected. I know how guilty I am of working on my Sabbath days out of fear of getting behind. In reality, though, Sabbath is essential for physical, spiritual, and emotional renewal to keep you from getting burned out and falling even further behind. If you were to say to God that you cannot afford to stop and rest, He would say you can’t afford not to.

We see the rhythm of Sabbath-keeping, which goes all the way back to creation. We read that God made the heavens and the earth and everything in them in six days, and then rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3). Sabbath-keeping made God’s 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). Jesus went on to teach that He was placed in charge of the Sabbath, to help us rest and recover (Matthew 12:6-8). Since Jesus wants you to learn the unforced rhythms of grace, what better way to learn from the Master?

As we close out this week’s series on developing a Godly perspective, I want to encourage you to make Sabbath-keeping a foundational element. You need that time away from the demands of life so you can be recharged and restored. Will you make it a priority for you this week and always?

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the reminder to rest. I want a Godly perspective, and I know how essential rest is to help me. Forgive me for the times I don’t think I can afford to rest, and help me to know I can’t afford not to. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.