Our daughter likes to entertain.
In the confines of our home, my wife and I have seen hundreds of performances ranging from comedic to dramatic. Her songs have included piercing high notes and surprising low notes. She’s demonstrated dance moves with more coordination at 3 than I have at 40. Some in our inner-circle have witnessed this, and she always seems to enjoy an audience.
That’s why I was a puzzled at her first Christmas performance at preschool. We heard from her teachers in the weeks before how much she enjoyed practicing and how we could expect to see her ham it up. But when she joined her classmates on-stage, she didn’t look comfortable as the crowd of parents looked up at her.
She sat down where she was supposed to sit. She wasn’t sad, upset or scared. She kept scanning the crowd as if she didn’t know what to do with all the attention.
She was looking for us.
Our culture is constantly going about a million miles per hour if you haven’t noticed already. Chances are, you’re skimming through this post as fast as possible to get to the next one or the next item on your to-do list to check it off. Besides, who doesn’t want to check items off of their list in order to “get things done?”
Productivity and going 24/7 is often applauded in many areas, especially within the workplace. We have devices everywhere and social media has provided a way to feel constantly connected, even though most of us by now realize it doesn’t count as real relationships at the end of the day.
Whatever it may be, we are busy. The problem that occurs though in our culture of busyness is that followers of Christ are not called to be “on” 24/7 and to never pause and take a rest. In fact, we are commanded to take a sabbath and rest in the Lord. Why? I’m convinced because we not only need the physical rest, but spiritually we need to be reminded that God is in control, not us. We need to grow in our dependance on Him, not in our independence and superiority of ourselves.
If you don’t make a regular practice of this, look at re-evaluating your schedule and working it in each and every week. At the end of the day, God will accomplish His will with our without you and invites you to be a part of it. Trust Him, be obedient to Him, and rest.
Here are 5 practical ways to take a sabbath:
1. Plan Some Time To Do Nothing
We need time very week that is unplanned and unstructured (some people are going crazy just reading that) where you can do whatever you feel like doing. This may sound boring, but the problem is if you fill up your sabbath with planned activities, you will be just as tired when you finish. Don’t work too hard at filling up your day of rest, just go with the flow and see how God leads you in the process.
There are many things we get stressed out over – studying for exams, the holiday season, a difficult job, how much money we have, or even what God is calling us to do with our lives, but is stress ever permissible at the end of the day? I’m not going to act like I never stress out over anything (because I sure do a lot), but I’ve learned through my own experiences that when I stressed, I’m ultimately not trusting in God.
Over and over in the Bible we are reminded of how good God is to us and how He provides rest to the weary. He is the giver of peace. He brings joy to our souls. The question is, do we really believe that?
I’d like to encourage you to be reminded that no matter what you are going through today, God is bigger and better than any circumstance that you could be facing. He calls you to cast your burdens onto Him and that He will sustain you. Trust in Him one day at a time.
Here is what the Bible has to say with scripture on stress:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Well, it should be. Our mighty God’s plan to enter our context and subsequently bring about salvation through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is certainly worth celebrating.
But do you see what I see? It appears the gift we should celebrate most is easily lost in the shuffle of a busy month.
An alien visiting our current culture might find we have a tendency to:
- Mark the evening or early morning after a day of giving thanks for what we have by rushing to find something new.
- Look the other way on debt as long as it means gifts under a Christmas tree.
- Get irritated by crowds in the stores, on the roads and in our homes.
- Throw Christmas cheer out the car window with one honk from an impatient driver.
- Illuminate our homes but not our hearts and minds.
I never really grew up in the Church. Yes, I technically was an alter boy and was in the Catholic Church off and on, but I seemed to miss out on a lot of things that I’ve learned over time was “just the way it was” back in the day in the Church. Things like a Gospel glove, Sandi Patty, and rededication.
No offense to those who’ve used a Gospel glove or who have jammed out to Sandi Patti…those are great conversations for another day, but for this one, let’s talk about the rededication part.
There’s a lot of people walking around confused or not sure of their salvation. Many are still looking for hope and satisfaction even though they would proclaim they follow Jesus. Why is this? Where is the confusion? Is it too odd to be sure of your salvation?
I don’t want to come across like I have never questioned anything myself…for sure I have, but it doesn’t last long and if it did, it would drive me crazy. I don’t want to knock rededication in terms of someone who is wanting to draw near to Christ, but I’m talking more about someone who wants to “rededicate” and get “saved again.” Here are ways we can be SURE we have obtained salvation through Jesus Christ, for those who follow Him.
The Bible Doesn’t Lie
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” – 1 John 5:13
The Bible doesn’t lie to us. God doesn’t lie to us. It says as clear as day – if you believe in the Son of God (Jesus) you may know that you have eternal life. Boom! There it is! So when someone says, “how do you know you are saved?” or “are you sure you’re going to heaven?” you can actually say yes because you believe in Jesus Christ.
We appreciate and want to thank the supporters of Before The Cross this December. Not only do our supporters help make this site possible, but we are partnered together to glorify God by sharing the love of Christ!
Each supporter offers something unique in regards to ministry and we would like to encourage you to give them a look. If you have any questions, please let us know.
- Logos Bible Software
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- Salt & Light
Paul Sohn seeks to glorify God through equipping, connecting, and transforming people and organizations into Christ-centered, world-changing influences of our society. He writes about intentional leadership, living, growth, and the Christian life.