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Jul 02, 2017

Fourth Commandment: The Gift of Rest

Fourth Commandment: The Gift of Rest

Passage: Exodus 20:1-17

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Series: Love God/Love Neighbor: The Ten Commandments

Category: Peace, rest

Keywords: fourth commandment, holy, rest, sabbath, ten commandments

Remember the Sabbath, keep it holy. It is meant as a gift.

Devotional

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”  Exodus 20:8-11

During the week, I work, make appointments, cook, clean, walk the dog, taxi kids, entertain kids, grocery shop, volunteer, make plans with friends, check social media, call my family and plan a yearly vacation so I can rest….Sound familiar? And this was just a partial list…truth be told, on Sundays, I find myself going to church and returning home to do laundry and anything else that needs to be done before the work/school week begins. Can you relate? Sabbath, what is that? But God, in his fourth commandment, says to remember the Sabbath… is He serious?! In today’s world, who has time to rest?

For most of us, there are too many distractions these days and many people never feel fully rested and never spend enough time simply being with God. What does this mean? Let’s take apart the commandment:

1. “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” It literally means to worship God and rest from work. Take a break! You can google the importance of rest online and you will find over and over again that all of us need rest. You will also find that the happiest and most successful people (success being defined a variety of ways) worship on a regular basis.

2. “Six days you shall labor…, but the seventh day is Sabbath.” Ok, we need to realize that this may not actually fall on a Sunday, so let it go. Yes, we as Christians have traditionally recognized that Sunday is the Sabbath, but the Bible is not clear that it is on Sunday. So, if you can’t make Sunday your Sabbath, make it another day. Listen to one of Pastor Chris’ sermons online or via iTunes podcast and make a conscious effort to rest. To me, this can mean: a nice hike, sitting on my porch reading a book, going out to dinner, playing board games or watching a movie with my family. I honestly feel so much better if I do this once a week.

3. “On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.” The first thing that comes to mind when I read this is – who is going to cook and do dishes? Ha! I’m sure some of you feel the same. So, let’s make easy meals and easy clean-up or go out to dinner (the people working obviously don’t have the same Sabbath, right?).

4. “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth…, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Here, He is our example and He asks us to follow Him. He rested one day after six days of work. A day of rest is a holy day – a day to feel good about your work, to rejuvenate, to remember and look for God in all things we do. To appreciate, love and enjoy.

As we move through this week, challenge yourself and your family to take a Sabbath day and if you can’t dedicate a whole day, do as much as you can; strive to reach a whole day. The point is to get rest and find grace and peace with the Lord.

Prayer:

Dear gracious and loving God, I thank you for this world you created and for guiding us with your word. Please be with me and guide me into following the Sabbath. Show me how to allow a day of rest and an opportunity to praise You. For we all need a day for rest and a relationship with You.   Amen.

Lisa Korhnak is the Director of Communications for Arcola Church (she also Directed Arcola’s Care Ministry for 7 years). Her goal in working at the church is always to help others feel connected to each other, to God and to feel comfort when times are tough. In addition to her leadership as a director, Lisa is a congregational care minister and lay counselor — providing support to those in need of hope and healing. She and her family (husband, three children and labradoodle) live in South Riding and have been members of Arcola Church since 2005.