September 1, 2013: “Holy Rest”

Posted on : Aug 29th, 2013 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

A friend of mine recently had been working so hard with his full time job and additional freelance projects that he eventually became so exhausted that his body shut down and he was unable to move or even go to work.

This incident reminded me of early on in church planting ministry, when I was surrounded by a very hard-working Taiwanese culture that did not talk or emphasize much of the importance of Sabbath or holy rest. The emphasis upon doing and ministry eventually wore upon me to the point of being exhausted physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. Spiritual exhaustion or burn-out is a serious thing. I know from personal experience that it took me several years to recover.

Our Scripture text in Deuteronomy 5:12-15 introduces us to the concept of a day of rest, but it goes a step further than just a day of physical or emotional rest. True rest comes about when we make that rest a holy rest that brings us close to God.

Deuteronomy 5:15 provides an interesting motivation for holy rest that speaks of the importance of remembering deliverance and salvation. In the Old Testament, the Israelites experienced freedom from slavery in Egypt. Today, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, we continue to celebrate our freedom in Christ from slavery to sin, death and evil. When I think of what remembering did for the Israelites and what it does for us, I think of how rooting holy rest in freedom from slavery helps us remember the freedom God gives us in many areas of life.

Today, there are many forms of slavery that we can easily fall into: worry, fear, doing, work, perfectionism, and the list can go on and on. We need holy rest and are invited for holy rest. I pray that this Labor Day as we celebrate workers across our nation with a day of rest, may we also be encouraged to celebrate a holy rest in our lives that draws us near to God.




~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

12 Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy, as God, your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God: in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle, or the sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and God, your God, brought you out of there by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore God, your God, commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.


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