Series: Stand Alone Sermon by Roy Dowdy
Sunday, July 8th, 2018: “Not for the Wicked or Weary”
The concept of a peaceful mind is wonderful! It is not an era of time or a movement in the USA in the 60’s and 70’s. It is something born of God. Jesus talked about the concept of peace in John 14 reminding the disciples that He gives peace that is not like the world. He provided an ongoing peace through the Holy Spirit. This is a very hopeful and heavy truth to ponder.
Rest and peace are complementary concepts. They are very similar to joy and happiness. One flows from the inside out, and the other is an outer influence that can be personally invoked or dependent upon circumstance and other factors. Peace comes from God and can at times “pass all understanding” as the Bible tells us. It is something the world longs for, and if anyone finds the truth about salvation, they will arrive at peace through Christ. It is one of the Fruit of the Spirit evident in the believer. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Rest has a historical foundation in the Sabbath created by God for the nation of Israel so they would rest. The passage in Luke can be tricky to read because at first glance, it would seem that Jesus is dismissive of the law and tradition. His account of David’s men in history may look like he is just being argumentative, poking holes in the law and tradition irritating the Pharisees. His healing in the synagogue may lead you to believe he was outright challenging authority. In fact, he makes this very important statement that cannot be overlooked. He said, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
What Jesus just said established HIS authority over the Sabbath. He asked meaningful questions to lead them to a proper conclusion rather than the man-made rules that Pharisees had imposed. In terms of rest, Jesus statement about his “yoke being easy and burden light” had everything to do with a shift from what we are doing (law/rules) to what was to be done (grace). It was a shift back to the true intention of rest and the Sabbath which was to pause, look at what work was accomplished, recognize satisfaction in the work and reset for the work ahead. It is acceptable to both eat and do good works on the Sabbath.
The person who has peace can fully realize rest because they have recognized the “Lord of the Sabbath” and can put into practice those intentional habits laid out so long ago in the 10 Commandments.
Here are some thoughts about God’s purposes in the Sabbath that may help you rest today:
• God was the first to take a day of rest during creation
• God established and commanded us to do so in the 10 Commandments
• Rest is necessary for productivity
• Rest helps us actively listen to God
- How would you describe the difference between peace and rest?
- What habits do you have that cause you to rest in a week or in a day?
- How is the concept of taking the Sabbath Rest from the talk on Sunday practiced in your life?
- What impact does your ability to rest have on you, your work and your relationships?
- Starting today, what is one thing you will change about your life that will help you rest?