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  • East Martin CRC

Take a Break

Exodus 20:8-11

Verse 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Today we begin our study about keeping Sabbath. As we see in the key verse for today, God has shown us by example what He expects of us in the area of Sabbath keeping. He isn’t commanding something of us that He didn’t follow Himself.

The word Sabbath is a verb that means to rest from labor, the day of rest. Did you notice that it was a verb? How can a word about resting be a word of action? God knew that we would need to be intentional about taking time to rest. He had been intentional in the first week of earth to take a day of rest after a week of work. The whole basis of the Sabbath day is to set it apart as a day to cease doing. There are multiple things we need to cease from but we will talk about the most basic today – ceasing from work.

Our culture isn’t driven to rest. If we looked at most of our calendars we are running from one thing to the next. Our work schedules often reflect that same pace. The American dream is reached by working hard and that has led to a lifestyle of long hours and hours full of trying to get as much done as possible in one day. Sometimes this may be necessary to get everything done that needs doing, like a farmer needing to get the fields harvested before the weather takes a sharp turn to winter. But there are also times where our drive isn’t so much about getting a job done well as it is based on the more we can get done the more income that will be given us. This later mind-set reveals a heart that is turning, or has turned, to what we can acquire versus what we already have. A person who refuses to cease working is showing that God isn’t the Lord of their lives.

One reason we are to cease working is so that we can focus on God. We can’t truly focus on Him if we are so focused on our work. To work 7 days a week is not healthy for our bodies, minds and definitely not our spiritual health. God didn’t suggest we rest, He commanded it. He wants us to care for ourselves bodily, emotionally and of course spiritually. This was God’s plan from the start. Are we ready surrender to Him and obey His command to cease from working for one day of the week?

Making It Personal

In what ways do you need to learn to take a rest from work? Is your day of “rest” filled with work other than your occupation? What intentional decisions do you need to make in life to obey His command of ceasing to work one day a week?

Making It Personal Kids

What does it mean to take a day of rest from work? How could this work in a family? Are God’s commands optional to obey?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for the reminder that You commanded a day of ceasing to work. Help us to embrace the fact that it isn’t just about not working but ceasing to think about it. We are commanded to rest in body and mind. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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