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"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Friday, July 13, 2012

July 13: Take a Long, Deep Breath

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NOTE TO SELF: If you read this scripture in it’s full context, you would quickly discover that in verses 12-17 that God is explaining the importance of resting.

“Above all, keep my Sabbath, the sign between me and you, generation after generation, to keep the knowledge alive that I am the God who makes you holy. Keep the Sabbath; it’s holy to you…There are six days for work but the seventh day is Sabbath, pure-rest, holy to God.”

The Message version says, “Yes, because in six days God made the Heavens and the Earth and on the seventh day he stopped and took a long, deep breath.”

When was the last time you exhaled? You know what I mean. When you sat still and experienced “pure-rest.” You took that much needed “long, deep breath.” Many of us don’t do that and/or believe we don’t have time for it, but God commands us to rest. In fact, it was so important that God said it was punishable by death! This was no small request from God. He declares it as a “sign” between Him and us, “generation after generation.”

This time of rest is to reflect on God. To sit still. To let your mind focus solely on His creation and holiness. And we need to teach our children the difference between rest and laziness or boredom.

God understands that we need to work, so He tells us that there are certain days designated just for that, but there is one day meant to be holy. Many of us confuse it with Sunday. But the Sabbath is actually on Saturday. That’s when most of us are running like a chicken with our heads cut off trying to meet al the demands of life we can’t accomplish during the work week.

If the Creator of Heaven and Earth needed to rest after working so hard, what makes us think we don’t? God understood what resting meant, how it would refresh and renew us. It was so important that God told the Israelites that by keeping His Sabbath it would be a sign to Him that they acknowledged and recognized that He was the One who made them holy!

PRAYER: God, you have commanded us to rest. Open our eyes to the things that are truly important instead of finding unique (and wasteful) ways to be busy. Help us to slow down and reflect and focus on all that You are and all that You have done for us. Calm our spirits, ease our minds. Help us to find pure-rest. Amen.

JOURNAL: Write about what rest means to you. You may be extremely busy with kids and family and household chores. But how can you find time to rest before God?

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