Living in a 24-7 World

Reflect

Genesis 2:1–3 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Jeremiah 45:1–5 The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book [a]at the instruction of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: 3 ‘You said, “Woe is me now! For the Lord has added grief to my sorrow. I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.”

4 “Thus you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, what I have built I will break down, and what I have planted I will pluck up, that is, this whole land. 5 And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says the Lord. “But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.” 

Genesis 20:11 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.

2 Samuel 7:12 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

Mark 6:30-32  ‘Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.’

Genesis 4:1-17 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” 8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.”

13 And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14 Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”

15 And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him. 16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden.

17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch.

Discuss

What surprises you from the Bible verses?

What do they teach you about people?

What do they teach you about God?

Is there a command to obey?

Who do I need to share this message with?

 

Study Notes

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Running on Empty  Lack of sleep and exhaustion are very real problems. Perhaps more troubling however, are the times we feel we are running on “emotional empty.” When lack of sleep is added to emotional trials, we can become painfully discouraged and quickly spiral out of control damaging not only ourselves, but the people around us. All these things bring despondency, misery, and a crushed spirit. So, where do we go from here?

Come and Rest… Jesus gives to you a special invitation – “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (NKJV).

This is great news for those who are burdened and feel crushed. The key question we then need to ask, what does this ‘rest’ look like? In this Bible verse, Jesus uses a verb form for ‘rest’ often found in the New Testament anapauō, to “rest, relax, refresh.” It can also refer to physical rest (Matt. 26:45) or in the case of Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, Paul expresses his joy over the arrival of friends who refreshed his spirit (1 Cor. 16:18).

Another Greek verb used to indicate rest is hēsychazō. It describes the Sabbath rest of the disciples, and the rest Jesus experienced in the grave (Luke 23:56). The verb is also used to describe living a quiet life (1 Thess. 4:11) and can indicate that someone has no objections and, thus, keeps quiet (Acts 11:18).

On another occasion, when the disciples returned from an extensive mission trip (Mark 6:7), Jesus calls them to first rest awhile. Mark includes an explanatory note: “For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat” (Mark 6:31, NKJV). “Come aside by yourselves . . . and rest a while” (Mark 6:31, NKJV) was not framed as an invitation, but rather an imperative, which is an order or a command.

Jesus reminds us that we need to guard our health and emotional well-being by planning seasons of rest.

In the midst of your busy life, perhaps even locked down and locked out from your usual day to day activities, Jesus extends a personal invitation to come and experience His rest.

The invitation to rest is not shallow nor empty, but genuine and real. This invitation will give you true freedom as you rediscover rest.

Notice what Jesus goes on to say. “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Why would we do this? Jesus goes on to explain, “for my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

So what are the things you need to find rest from. Do you need to unburden yourself and heal emotionally, mentally and spiritually? Jesus says, ‘take my yoke, for it is light.’

This is the path to freedom.

Next Step

What is the next step you need to take on your freedom journey?  

 “Freedom is not a quality of man, nor is it an ability, a capacity, a kind of being that somehow flares up in him. Anyone investigating man to discover freedom finds nothing of it.

Why? because freedom is not a quality which can be revealed–it is not a possession, a presence, an object, nor is it a form of existence–but a relationship and nothing else.

In truth, freedom is a relationship between two persons. Being free means “being free for the other,” because the other has bound me to him. Only in relationship with the other am I free.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies

FINDING FREEDOM IN REST