Enjoy a Life-giving Day of Rest

Exhausted? Discover Rest By Honoring the Sabbath

Ross Sawyers
Jun 2, 2024    48m
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Are you exhausted from the relentless pace of life, struggling to find true rest amid endless work and activities? In this insightful message, you'll explore God's design for honoring the Sabbath and embracing a life-giving rhythm of work and rest. Discover practical ways to hit pause, spend time with God, and experience refreshment for your soul. By honoring the Sabbath, you can cultivate greater mental health, joy, and flourishing in every area of your life. Don't miss this opportunity to realign with God's plan for rest and renewal. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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Ross Sawyers: [00:00:21] Our grandson Myles is now a little over 14 months old and is a lot of fun to hang out with. And the other day, we were hanging out with him, and it is fun watching him walk because he's kind of...Do you remember when kids were little, if you got them, you know what I'm talking about? If not, you have to remember it. But, you know, he can walk, he's about yay tall, and he walks, and then he does this, and then boom, he's down, and then he pops back up and keeps going. For me, if I did that, it's eight weeks of rehab; for him, it's just pop up and keep moving, and so we get a lot of joy out of him being in our home and watching him walk around and explore everything now.

Ross Sawyers: [00:01:03] The other day when he was there, we were eating, and kids ate differently than ours did. For example, everything's organic; you know, there's no baby food; it's just kind of game on. And so we're doing blackberries and bananas, and you kind of cut them up and put them there for him to shovel in. And he takes it, and the first thing, he just takes it and he looks at it and grabs it, and then shakes his head because he knows he's not supposed to do that, but he's just kind of preempting, getting in trouble. And so Lisa, when she was driving with him the other day, I just wanted to give you an idea of what it looks like when he does the whole ‘no’ thing, there it is, uh-huh, it's still no. And our daughter-in-law told us that that's what he's starting to do now to things he's not supposed to touch, or things he's not supposed to do; he'll do it, and then he'll do that. So he knows he's not supposed to. And that's what we do, we think it's funny, but we don't laugh in front of him; we turn our heads and laugh. Because it's funny now, it's not funny as someone ages.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:22] And isn't that just like it is with any law, any rule, or any command? We look at it as adults and we say, [shakes head no] and we don't do it. There's something about the law, or rule, or command that makes us shake our heads no, instead of yes. And we're talking, these few weeks, about the Ten Commandments in Exodus chapter 20, if you'll turn in your Bibles to Exodus 20, we'll be in verses 8 through 11. We're thinking about these as timeless truths in a shifting culture, and one thing we're kind of looking at is, are we looking at these and saying, yes, or are we looking at these and saying, no? And we're just trying to look afresh, it's something that can be an anchoring for us in a culture that's run amok. Can we have something that we can hold on to that will guide us, as we walk in a world that says that which is good is now evil, and that which is evil is now good? And these are the ways that God has established for us that we can walk foundationally solid and strong and walk in a way where we can actually flourish in the midst of a culture that says no to most of these.

Ross Sawyers: [00:03:44] By way of review, if you're newer with us, we've looked at the first three and will be on the fourth one today, of the ten commands. The first one we looked at really was the foundational and pivotal command, it's there are no other gods besides me or in addition to me, God says. And we have to keep in mind of where they had just come from, it had only been a few weeks before that they were coming out of 400 years of slavery to the Egyptians, who had this whole pantheon of gods and goddesses, and God is establishing for them up front that he's the only God, and that ultimate devotion is to him only. And what that means for them, and what it means for us today, is that anytime we violate a command of God, we say no to that of God, anytime we do that, there is a layering of sins that we're committing. And foundationally, every time we sin against God, we are sinning against this first command because what we're saying is that our ultimate devotion is not to God, but it's to something else.

Ross Sawyers: [00:04:55] The second command logically follows. Because the first one is more about the who, the second one is more about how would it actually be shaped by him? And it would make sense that if God is our ultimate devotion, then we would have our lives shaped by him. And then the commandment actually says there's to be no idols or anything that we worship or serve that we've carved out. And the way we talked about that is anytime I'm being shaped by something other than God himself, I've, in effect, carved out an idol that I'm serving or worshiping. So the question was, are you being shaped by yourself and looking more and more in your own image, or into the image of God? That's the second command.

Ross Sawyers: [00:05:39] The third one logically follows the first two. If my devotion is ultimately to God only, and then I'm being shaped by him, then we talked about not taking God's name in vain. Put positively, we would respect the sacred name of God. So it would stand to reason that if we're ultimately devoted to him, and being shaped by him, that our words would be reflective of the sacred name of God, which actually reflects our heart. That what comes out of our mouth, really is what is in our hearts.

Ross Sawyers: [00:06:15] And that brings us to the fourth command, and these first four are vertical in nature, they point us to how to love God. The first two commands by summary are Love God and love your neighbor, the first four of these are about loving God, and then the next six are about how we horizontally love each other. And this one also makes sense to me in the flow, if God is ultimately to whom I'm devoted, I'm being shaped into his image, and I'm respecting his sacred name, with the sin nature that we have, it would make sense that there needs to be a day that's set aside in remembering the Sabbath, so that we can reset on our ultimate devotion to God only, being shaped by him, and respecting the name.

Ross Sawyers: [00:07:05] The fourth command, in which we will spend our time in the next few minutes, is remembering the Sabbath. And the way I'd like to frame it. I'd like to frame it in one big idea and then ask a question for us to consider as we think about this command, the idea here is to enjoy a life-giving day of rest. The Sabbath was given so that we'd have a day to enjoy, and that it would be a day that's life giving. The question I would ask, is do you have a rhythm of God centered rest in your life? Do you have, personally, a rhythm of God centered rest? And we'll see if that makes sense as we unfold the command.

Ross Sawyers: [00:07:55] So verses 8 through 11, if we were going to do Bible study, and part of what we're trying to teach in this season is not just here's what it says, but how can we teach you to be more and more equipped to study this yourself? And so I'll work through a few questions today like I have the past few weeks, that could be a Bible study method for you, just like it is for me. There are lots of ways to study, this would be one way to do it. What is true for all of us who know Christ today is that we've been given the Holy Spirit of God, and the Holy Spirit is our teacher, and every person can sit with God's Word, with the Holy Spirit as our teacher, and we can study it for ourselves, and this will just be a way to approach it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:08:44] And the first thing we'd want to ask is, what does it say? Well, we always want to know, what did the author intended, what was it for that particular day, before we launch into what does it mean for today? So what does this command say? Verse 8, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." That word, remember, is exactly what we would think it means, he wanted them to remember. It had just been weeks before that they were delivered, yet they did have some concept of the Sabbath. They would have understood from Genesis that God created in six days and rested on the seventh, therefore, there would have been some sense in them of a Sabbath day. However, being in Egyptian slavery, they were involved in backbreaking labor, they wouldn't have been given the space to have a day like this. And I would have to imagine that when they heard that they actually get a day that's a break from all the labor, it would have been an incredible relief for them to have heard that there's actually a day they can take a break on it. So they remember, they are to remember it.

Ross Sawyers: [00:09:51] And the word Sabbath means Shabbat in Hebrew. So they still use that word today, and they still practice it today. We were in Israel several months ago, and we were actually then in Jerusalem on Shabbat, and it was almost eerie. It was totally shut down, nobody was driving, and almost nothing was going on in the city on that day, they were practicing Shabbat. What does the Sabbath mean? What does Shabbat mean? When you hear the word Sabbath, it means to stop working straight up. That's what it means, the Sabbath means to stop working. Another way to frame it is, it is to cease from the norm. There are six days of normative work, and then on the seventh day, cease from the norm of what you're doing. I think that's helpful for us today, as we think about how we would actually practice what God is commanding here.

Ross Sawyers: [00:10:57] So, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." The word holy means set apart, so there's to be a day that's different from all the other days. So here's six days, you kind of run the same route, and the seventh day it's different than the other days, it's to be a set apart day. In verse 9 it says, "Six days you shall labor and do all your work." Again, this is going back to the rhythm that God has set that you're to work for six days, and in that six days, you're to get all your work done is what he says. So what we find in Scripture is a work rest rhythm that God has set in place for his people. And I think most of us would agree that when someone creates something, they're probably the ones who know the best how that particular thing works. And God, as creator, designed us in such a way that we're to work six days and rest another. This is God's design of six days and then a seventh to rest.

Ross Sawyers: [00:12:01] Verse 10, "But the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you." I realized as I was studying this afresh this week, that I forgot this part, the Sabbath command is not just for you personally to consider, it's for you to think about your family and the people who might work for you anyone you are responsible for and you're to help them have the same thing. It's not that you cease from work and keep everybody else working, you're responsible for helping those around you to not work as well, so it's more of a community kind of command.

Ross Sawyers: [00:12:56] Verse 11, “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy." We go back to Genesis chapter 2 in verses 2 and 3, "By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." It is a day that God blessed, he has put favor on it. The word sanctified is the same kind of idea as holy, it's a set apart day, so it's a blessed and a favored day. This day is a gift from God, it's a day to bring life within his creation. It's baked into his design from the very beginning.

Ross Sawyers: [00:14:01] Now, any era would be an interesting era in which to live. We live in a season of time where people, for the last several years, have systematically tried to move God out of the picture and just to take him out of play. An example of that is trending now is a monogamous relationship; somebody has decided that that's a good idea, that there would just be like partners for life. Well, that's God's idea, but first, we need to remove God and then come back in and insert it, and now it's our idea. That's human, sinful nature, it is how can I get credit? So this whole other thing is not working, maybe we should do it this way, but God's not thought about in it. God has baked it into the design. People know deep down that design.

Ross Sawyers: [00:15:03] In the same way, God has designed this work rest rhythm, and we don't really like the way God lays it out. So instead, what we read about people all the time is the need for risk. We're not trying to do a six-day, one-day off, we're trying to get five days down to four. It's baked into people to rest, but not in God's design, but in their own design. So it's just inherent in us, there's something that says we should rest. So is this a rhythm of God-centered rest, and what we're not talking about is a day off. A day off is different than the God-centered rest I'm describing as the Sabbath, that's two different things, it could be one in the same, but not necessarily.

Ross Sawyers: [00:16:04] Well, it's not just settled in creation that this is based because it's based on six days of creation, one day of rest. But it's also a sign, and in the Old Testament, there would oftentimes be a sign attached to something God did. For example, God promised he would never flood the earth again, and he gave them a sign, it was a rainbow. The Sabbath is a sign, verse 13 of chapter 31, in Exodus, "But as for you, [Moses is speaking] speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you." So the Sabbath for them was to be a sign that would point towards when they took that day and stopped working, it would point towards the covenant relationship that God had established with them, it was a sign, it was a point. God has multiple reasons for why he does things, and in verse 17 it's the sign, but at the end of verse 17, it says that He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.” So the Sabbath day is designed to be a day to refresh people, it's a refreshment, and it's life-giving.

Ross Sawyers: [00:17:35] In Deuteronomy chapter 5, Moses is going through the Ten Commandments again, and he's reminding them of what God said it meant to be his people and the way they're to live. And in verse 15 he says, "You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day." So it was to be a remembrance of the rescue and deliverance of the people when they were in slavery. So on that day, they were to remember their salvation and think about the Lord's Supper. That's a way for us to remember our rescue from sin into salvation, from something to something. Same with the Sabbath. We don't always adhere to what God says. Psalm 23 is helpful to us, the psalmist says, "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters." Sometimes God has to make us do the things that are best for us. I would say it would be better if we just looked at this and said yes and experience the flourishing that comes when we do.

Ross Sawyers: [00:19:05] Well, that's in essence what this command says. But the question we'd want to ask next is what does it say about God? This is God's story, so we must say, what does it say about God? And when I read this, there are some things that come to the forefront for me. One would be that God is the creator and the designer, and he knows what his creation needs because he's the creator. And then we see again that God is holy, that he set apart. We see this all through Scripture. The holiness of God is an attribute that defines every attribute of God. His love is a holy kind of love. His grace is a holy kind of grace. It's set apart. And we see in Isaiah 6 what Isaiah catches in a vision, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts." it's what he sees in the heavens. In Revelation chapter 4 verse 8, we see the same thing "The angels are crying out, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.” This is all through Scripture, the holiness of God, and we see that in this command. We see that God is a God who blesses. He desires to bless and give favor to his people, and he's a God who cares about his creation. He doesn't just kick us in down here and say, here you go at it however you want to do it, he cares, and he set up a rhythm for us to live. And he's a God that can be trusted to work even when we're not. Do you have in your own personal life, and are you helping those you're responsible for, have a God-centered rest? A rhythm of God-centered rest.

Ross Sawyers: [00:20:58] Well, that's what it says about God, but what does it say about us? Once we see what it says about God, then we ask, what does it say about people? We look at the people then and then now. And if you have your Bibles and you're kind of moving around with me and Isaiah chapter 58, we start to see something happen with God's commands and the way people are responding to them. And I think we see this in all of our lives, we start out a particular way on something, and then we start doing some things with it that aren't exactly what God intended, and that's what was happening with God's people in Israel. Isaiah 58, verse 13, “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word. 14Then you will take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” What's the prophet saying? He's telling the people their inclination is towards their own pleasure rather than God's pleasure. What does it say about us when we can't carve out space to be alone with this God Himself to enjoy? That's what this is doing, this is just carving space to be with God himself. And what does it say when we seek our own pleasures? And he says, if you'll honor this day and delight in me, then you'll ride on the heights. The soaring that we want to be about, it will happen as we honor God's design in the way that we will most flourish.

Ross Sawyers: [00:23:04] Now we have a couple of tendencies in our day. One tendency is going to be to work too much, we never turn off. Another tendency is to play too much. So we can tilt either way of too much pleasure, too much play, too much work, that's our tendency. Jen Wilkin, who I've mentioned I think every week, her book on the Ten Commandments, it's an excellent book. She tells a story about Thomas Edison in this chapter, and Edison created the electricity, the light bulb, all the things that kind of kicked in in 1879, which is only 140 years ago. We had more natural rhythms before the light bulb. The sun rose and you had daylight and you worked, and when the sun went down, it was dark, and you were done. But what Edison did in his invention, Jen Wilkin, the way she described it, he actually invited us into a world that never sleeps. Edison actually believed that sleep was a waste of time. I was embarrassed as I read that because I've lived seasons of my life that way. When we started the church, our mantra was we can sleep and we can rest when we get to heaven, we're not going to worry about sleeping now, we've got things to do. That's sinful, by the way. Edison also had his employees doing the same, and his mantra was, just like ours was years ago, rest is the enemy of productivity. Wilkins says that what that's done is ushered in a sleep epidemic in our world today.

Ross Sawyers: [00:25:01] So we have tendencies that come when we think about this command that gets exposed in us, and it also exposes legalism. As things progressed for Israel, the Pharisees became the religious leaders, and they started adding more rules to what the commands already were. So they were defining what it meant to actually work on the Sabbath, what you could do, and what you were not supposed to do. By the time of Jesus, there were 39 categories of work prohibition. So imagine it's not just keeping the Sabbath, it's now you got to figure out of all of these different things, and then there are sub-things underneath those categories, it was just hundreds of rules of what you were supposed to do or not do. For example, could you carry could you carry a child with you, or would that be work? Would that be thought of as work? Well, the answer was you could carry a child, but if the child had a stone in his or her hand, then that was violating the Sabbath. And it was that ticky-tack kind of stuff that was just one after another of the rules, it would have been exhausting by the time you got to Jesus of what you were expected to do or not do on the Sabbath. We can be a people who tend towards legalism. And generally, when we're legalistic, we're bending that towards our own biases, that's where our legalism comes in. We figure out this is how it should be, and we bend everybody towards us and on ourselves. A couple of things it also says is that we are a dependent people, that we are dependent on God to work while we rest. We literally need him. And then the last thing I would say about the us part when I look at it, I would say it would be, we actually reflect the image of God when we work in this rhythm of work rest that he's designed for us. This is a reflection of our maker.

Ross Sawyers: [00:27:11] So as we talked so far, would you say when you think about your own personal life, do you have a rhythm of God-centered rest? Well, like all of these commands, I don't know about you, but I end up a failure in all of them fairly often, and if I stopped doing Bible study right here, it would be pretty despairing. But that's why we always go and say, what about Jesus? What does this say about Jesus? Because we know that everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus. We know that the gospels tell us about Jesus, and we know everything after that goes and points us back to Jesus himself. So everything in Scripture points us to Jesus. So what does this say? The Sabbath is the way that the Pharisees tried the most to trap Jesus. They were constantly trying to trap him, and they used the Sabbath as a way to do that.

Ross Sawyers: [00:28:10] In Matthew chapter 12, we find Jesus and he's walking with his disciples, it's on the Sabbath day, and they're hungry. They come across a field and the disciples start to pick the grain heads of the grain and start to eat. The Pharisees are watching, and they come to Jesus and say, hey, your disciples just violated the rules of the Sabbath. Well, Jesus pulls a story from their own background, as he masterfully does, and says, well, David and his men were fleeing Saul, and when they were, they were hungry and they actually went into the tabernacle, which was for the priests to be in, and they took the bread of the presence that was in the tabernacle. There would have been holy to the Lord, and only the priests were to eat it, and David and his men ate it. And then he says, God desires mercy, not sacrifice. Jesus goes on to heal a man with a withered hand in Matthew 12, so he heals on the Sabbath. And then in Mark chapter 2, verses 27 and 28, "Jesus said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." So Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, and the Sabbath was designed to be a benefit for people. So if there is a need that needs to be met, Jesus is kind of getting the Sabbath back to what it was intended to be, and if there's a need, meet the need. So if you're in a place of rest, there's a need, get in on it and help meet the need. The context of that, at the end of Matthew 11, "Jesus says, come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I'll give you rest." They were weary and heavy-laden because of the laws and rules and rituals that the religious leaders put on them. Not what God had said, what they had added to it, and Jesus came to say, I'm going to relieve you of that burden. So come to me and I'll give you rest.

Ross Sawyers: [00:30:36] This takes us to the Gospel, and that's actually where we're able to do the things that God has asked us to do. One of the things we've taught for the last year and a half, you may be exhausted by it, but I find repetition to be helpful. God's story, and a way that we think about worldview, and one of the things I've tried to say over time is it's not just about the big story of God, although it is about the big story of God, but it's how can I put in that story any theme, any topic. Because God is big in his story, and all of these things we talk about fit in the big story of God. And so I just want to show you with the message of Christ, how the Sabbath actually fits in God's story. So if we think about it this way, God is the very center of the story we've talked about that. And connected to the first chapter is creation, so God is the center he creates. What does he do in creation in relation to the Sabbath? Six days he created, the seventh day he rested. This idea was set up and grounded in the first chapter of God's story.

Ross Sawyers: [00:31:54] But then we get to the second chapter of the story, and there's a separation between God and his people, we call that the fall. What happened at the fall is Adam and Eve, it was really clear how they were to flourish, there was only one prohibition, and they said we are not going to do that, we're going to violate that. We know God said it, but we're going to do it anyway. That's why we've created our own rhythms for living, because we're a fallen and sinful people, and we believe we know a better place than God does, and so we do it our way. That's an example of sin.

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:42] The good news is, if we ended the story here, that's a bad news story, but if we get to the redemption, which is the third chapter of the story, that's the good news in the story. And we're connected then to God through the cross of Jesus Christ. And when we think about the idea of Sabbath and the work rest kind of idea, Jesus Christ, on the cross, he did all the work for you and for me. On the cross, he took on our sin, our shame, our condemnation, our guilt, all of it. And when we believe by faith and repent of doing it our way and instead yield and surrender to him, then he gives us rest. So now we don't just need a day to set aside for rest, we can live with an ongoing rest that comes from Jesus Christ and Christ alone. That's the redemption story.

Ross Sawyers: [00:33:37] Now our purpose in life is to live according to God's design, he's given us a pace and a God-centered rhythm in which we're to live in order to carry out the way he's designed us. And then in the new heavens and the new earth, this is the last chapter of the story, everything will be made new again. It will be like Genesis 1 and 2. And the Hebrew writer in verses 9 and 10 of chapter 4, he alludes to what's going to happen in the end, in the last chapter of the story, and says, "there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His." There's going to be a day for every person that knows Jesus Christ, will no longer be battling. The sin in this world will no longer be battling Satan in this world, will no longer be battling this world; we will be completely freed and at rest in the new heavens and the new earth. And Jesus Christ himself is our Sabbath rest. We don't have to work because he did the work for us. Now we move and labor in the power of the Holy Spirit in his purposes, out of a place of rest in Christ. So that would cause people to ask today, if Christ is my rest, then is the Sabbath still something that I practice today as a Christian? That's a question people ask. Jesus neither commanded it nor did he remove it. What it seems he did was get it back into the way that it ought to be lived out.

Ross Sawyers: [00:35:25] In Romans chapter 14, we're told about having a weaker conscience or a stronger conscience. And in that particular chapter, Paul says that to some every day is alike, to others, they may see one as a different kind of day. and he says it's a matter of conscience. So people look at that and say, well, I should treat every day as a day that's holy and set apart, then I don't have to do a Sabbath day. In Colossians 2, Paul says that the Sabbath is a mere shadow of the substance of Christ who's come. And if it's just a mere shadow, the substance is Christ, do I need to practice that today? You can wrestle that down with the Lord for yourself. I would say, that based in the creation design and the work rest rhythm, that it's something we continue to practice, the beauty of it. And with Christ in us today, we can actually have an ongoing rest in him, but then we have a day that we set aside that's different than all the rest.

Ross Sawyers: [00:36:43] So if we do that, what does that day look like? And this is where I don't want to be legalistic about it, what I would suggest is from the scriptures, there's some 24-hour period that we're to set aside that's different where we cease from our norm. And that's going to look different for everybody, for my wife and I, we think of Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon evening as our space. For others, you may think of Sunday as yours. For others, you might not be thinking about it. Sometimes if you work in a profession where you're serving, you're working on Saturdays and Sundays, and so there's another day that you think about like this. But the principle, I believe, is there.

Ross Sawyers: [00:37:29] So here are a few things to just stir the pot a little bit, as we think about it. And one thing I would say as you think about it, we're all in different seasons, so some people are retired and you're thinking, I've got seven days that are kind of off. Well, I don't believe God designed us to retire. And as a friend said the other day and reminded me of what someone else said to him, and I know someone else has said in our church, you don't retire from something, you retire to something. So it's not that you're retiring from, you might be retiring from a particular job, but you're retiring to something else that God would have for you. There's a rhythm he set for us. So you've got to be asking God, what does that look like for you if you're in that season? If it's a season of empty nesting that looks different. It's a season with kids that are younger and in all kinds of sports that that's different. If you’re single, if you're married with no kids, each season is going to look maybe a little bit different about how you would do this, and so you'd want to consider before God how do I go at it. And I would suggest today, by the way, you can disagree with me, but I would say with the intensity of extracurricular activities for our kids, I would actually argue that's their work. I'm not saying they're not having fun; I have fun at my job, but it is still work. And so I would say we need to help our kids have free play and a break day in the midst of all their work of school and whatever the extracurricular thing is, that's usually year-round.

Ross Sawyers: [00:39:08] So what are some of those things that we could do? I would just say be encouraged today in the ways that you're being faithful to God in this God-centered rhythm of rest, and I would say repent where needed. If you've looked at it and said, I'm not doing it, then repentance needs to happen, because that's saying to God, I don't value you, I don't value your design, and I'm going to do it my way, and so repentance would come. Where this is different and where it should be a different kind of day is some kind of worship of God ought to be in there, this is a God-centered day. You can have a day off and not be centered on God. You can have a day off and be centered on God. This would be a God-centered kind of day. A fourth thing that we could think about is to increase normal spiritual rhythms. So if your week is kind of packed, you can do it on the Sabbath, you can increase the amount of time you spend in the Word, increase the amount of time that you pray, memorize, and hide God's word, and take some longer space. Help each other in your family be able to do that.

Ross Sawyers: [00:40:26] This one, I would argue that this works us mostly, and we use it for work, and it is work, this is all kinds of work. And I would say if there's any way possible to disconnect from devices for a 24-hour period, and trust and see what God would do if you did that. Do you think there's no way? I have to be connected all the time. Well, that's not what I read. So how would you sit before God and say, I need to stay on this nonstop and constantly be looking at it? You realize most of the stuff running through here is fear-based, anger-based, imagine a 24-hour break from it every week, what that would do for the soul, it would be refreshing. Again, not legalistic, I am just throwing out ideas.

Ross Sawyers: [00:41:27] Reflect on God's workings from the week. What about gratitude space? You know, this is another secular thing I hear all the time now is a gratitude journal. Fantastic, but is the gratitude towards God? And people have kind of knocked that out, it's just about gratitude, it's not about gratitude to God. What if we took some good space and reflected on all the things God did this past week, and thought about those things? Enjoy family and friend time, feast, enjoy, get people together, and have just good space together. Get out in God's creation, that's what this is grounded in, so get out in it and enjoy what God's created. Read, sleep, get extra sleep on this day, and help your family honor this command. How can we together help each other do the way God has laid out for us to do? And again, anytime there's an interruption and a need to be met, meet it, God designed us to do mercy to people whenever the time is. So a few just kind of random thoughts to kind of wrap it up.

Ross Sawyers: [00:42:49] In our sports world today, college, pro, and high school coaches work seven days a week, relentlessly nonstop during each season, before the season, and right after the season. And I'm just not aware of examples, maybe someone could share them with me. But what if a coach said we're not doing that, we're going six, and there's going to be a day that you can spend with God, you can spend with your spouse, and you can spend with your children? I wonder if a little less game film, a little less prep, that God might honor those six days. And I wonder if the rest of the staff might be a little bit more refreshed week after week when it comes to game time, and you actually get more out of everybody in a six-day period than in seven. Now that's an easy sports example, but a good portion of us are at it all the time, whatever the job is. Who would be the people that would have the courage to shut it down and say, I wonder what God would do if I did it this way? Everybody's different in their circumstances, I am just throwing out ideas. Some have said if you work a physical job, the Sabbath might want to be just a real mental kind of break and give your body a break. If you work a mental kind of job, maybe you want to do things that are more physical on the Sabbath, to give your body the extra kind of exercise and refreshment. But what what would this look like? Do you have a God-centered rhythm?

Ross Sawyers: [00:44:52] And here are my two final thoughts. People are not attracted to exhaustion and hurry. People aren't looking at exhausted, hurried people and saying, man, I want the God they've got. No, people are drawn to joy and peace and hope. And then I want you to hear this really carefully because everyone's affected by this somehow or another, but I wonder if we did God-centered rhythms of rest, which actually includes more than just one day, it's a secluded place every day with him. I wonder if we practiced that rhythm, if we would have less of a mental health crisis today. I wonder if there would be less anxiety, less depression, and less fear if we did things God's way. Cut it out, stop, and just enjoy him, and family, and friends. Take a break, and I wonder if there would be more calm, more peace, more joy. I know that doesn't solve it for everything, but maybe it preempts it, and it's a help or a solution at a minimum because this is God's design.

Ross Sawyers: [00:46:50] Father, thank you for time in this particular command today. And I pray, God, that we would just really rest loaded in your grace today as we wrestle through it. I pray we'd not be afraid to ask what a God-centered rhythm of rest looks like, and I pray that each of us would do that, and how we can help each other do it. I know I'm not all that great at this, so it's a constant battle, so I pray you'll help us all to do it. I also know when I'm practicing it, that you meet me in refreshing and powerful ways. So, God, would you help every person, in every season of life to look at what you say, and say, okay, how do we do this? Because we want to most honor God, he's our ultimate devotion, and we want our family to flourish in good things for our family, and for our friends, and for those we work with. So, God, we ask you today for your help as always, we're grateful, Jesus, that you fulfilled this perfectly. And I pray God that with Christ in us, we might be able to fulfill it some and enjoy the rest that you already offer. I am grateful that our ultimate rest today is in Jesus, and I pray for those who don't have that in Christ that today could be that day for them, where they enter into the rest that you have. And I pray in Jesus' name.

Ross Sawyers: [00:48:21] Let's be quiet before the Lord. You can start asking him, just directly, all right, God, I'm not sure that I'm doing this God-centered rhythm, help me. And then this is a conversation for later, for you and for whoever to be involved in it, but for now, may we at least get started in thinking about how God would want to work in it?



Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051
817.488.1213