Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Tuesday, February 01, 2011 @ 9:54:00 AM - Written by Doug Hignell -

Learning to engage weekly in an extended period of rest has tremendous benefits, but it is not normal practice for many of us. Rest is difficult in our current culture. We are bombarded with activity every waking moment. Traditionally we think of Sunday as a day of rest but if we are not careful Sunday becomes just as full of activity as every other day.

We are all familiar with the Old Testament commandment to keep the seventh day holy as a Sabbath, a day of rest. In the New Testament the Sabbath is equally important but the emphasis expands to a life style not just a specific day or time period.

Why does God emphasize rest? For several reasons: (1) the need for our body to rejuvenate, (2) to maintain proper perspective, (3) to learn to live moment by moment in His presence, and most importantly (4) to learn to trust in God not our activity.

For me Hebrews Chapter 3 and 4 have been the key New Testament passages on the concept of rest. Hebrews 4:9-11 is a good summary of these two chapters:

"So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God; For he who has once entered [God's] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly His own. Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves]…" (Amplified Bible)

True rest involves resting from the weariness and pain of human labors, something we all experience. Every new car has an operating manual in the glove box that encourages the owner to change the oil every 3,000 miles. Why? To protect the engine from normal wear and tear and extend its life. As the owner you can ignore the advice but not without consequences. The same is true for our mental, physical and emotional bodies. Many illnesses are related to the typical stress of life. It is a loving, caring God who challenges us to live a life that includes significant rest so that our bodies don't wear down prematurely and we can face the trials that each day brings.

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