We live in an action-oriented world!  There always seems to be something to do and no time for rest.  Yet God demonstrated that rest is appropriate and right.  If God himself rested from His work, then it should not amaze us that we also need rest.  Jesus demonstrated this principle when He and His disciples left in a boat to get away from the crowds (see Mark 6:31,32).  Our times of rest refresh us for times of service.

“On the seventh day, having finished His task, God rested from all his work.” Genesis 2:2-3



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 When the disciples had returned from their mission, Jesus took them away to rest.  Doing God’s work is very important, but Jesus recognized that to do it effectively, we need periodic rest and renewal.  Jesus and His disciples, however, did not always find it easy to get the rest they needed!

..Jesus said, “Let’s get away from the crowds for a while and rest.”



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Why God wanted Israelites to rest on the Sabbath:

The Israelites were not to work on the Sabbath – not even to cook food.  Why? God knew that the busy routine of daily living could distract people from worshipping Him.  It is so easy to let work, family responsibilities, and recreation crowds our schedules so tightly that we don’t take time to worship.  Carefully guard your time with God.

The leaders of the people came and asked Moses why this happened.  He replied, “The Lord has appointed tomorrow as a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord.  On this day we will rest from our normal daily tasks.  So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow.” Exodus 16:23


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Why God wanted Israelites to Rest on the Sabbath:

The Sabbath was a day set aside for rest and worship.  God commanded a Sabbath because human beings need to spend unhurried time in worship and rest each week.  A God who is concerned enough to provide a day each week for us to rest is indeed wonderful.  To observe a regular time of rest and worship in our fast-paced world demonstrates how important God is to us, and it gives us the extra benefit of refreshing our spirits.  Don’t neglect God’s provision.

Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God.  On that day, no one in your household may do any kind of work.  This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.  For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then he rested on the seventh day.  That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

 Exodus 20: 8-11


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Why God wanted Israelites to Rest on the Sabbath:

The Sabbath had two purposes: It was a time to rest and a time to remember what God had done.  We need rest.  Without time out from the bustle, life loses its meaning.  In our day, as in Moses’ day, taking time out is not easy.  But God reminds us that without the Sabbaths we will forget the purpose for all of our activity and lose balance crucial to a faithful life. Make sure your Sabbath provides a time of both refreshment and remembrance of God.

The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: “Tell the people of Israel to keep the Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever.  It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.” Exodus 31:12-17


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 When Our Rest In Christ Begins)

God rested on the seventh day, not because he was tired, but to indicate the completion of creation.  The world was perfect, and God was well satisfied with it.  This rest is a foretaste of our eternal joy when creation will be renewed and restored, every mark of sin will be removed, and the world will be made perfect again.  Our Sabbath-rest in Christ begins when we trust him to complete his good and perfect work in us.

God’s rest has several meanings in Scripture: (1) the seventh day of creation and the weekly Sabbath commemorating it; (2) the Promised Land of Canaan; (3) peace with God now because of our relationship with Christ through faith; and (4) our future eternal life with Christ.

Lord, be compassionate to those who have died, welcome them into the company of the faithful departed –

Hebrews 4:4


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 God’s Invitation To Enter Into Rest

God had given the Israelites the opportunity to enter Canaan, but they disobeyed and failed to enter.  Now God offers us the opportunity to enter his ultimate place of rest – He invites us to come to Christ.  To enter his rest, you must believe that God has this relationship in mind for you; you must stop trying to create it; you must trust in Christ for it; and you must determine to obey him.

Today is the best time to find peace with God.  Tomorrow may be too late.

“Today you must listen to his voice.  Don’t harden your hearts against him.”

Hebrews 4: 6-7