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CAT | Rest or Car Crash: You Choose! -Pt1

ALWAYS CHASING MONEY!

Matt 6:33   But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  (NIV)

GOD IS OUR PROVIDER.

When we are challenged by the issue of rest, it’s easy to kick into excuse and reason mode. “Well I have to work 7 days or a 60 hr week to earn enough money to survive, go away on holiday or buy the luxuries we need; I work long hrs because of problems in my marriage”.

Jesus answers all these questions in Mt 6:19-34. This story is about making a god out of money or possessions or coveting what others have; and He cuts across these issues in v32-33,” For after all these things do the Gentiles seek. But you, seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you”.

Jesus spoke these words under the law, but you and I are no longer the law we’re under grace and Paul says in 2 Cor 5:21  God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. When we came to Christ we entered the Kingdom and became righteous. We exchanged our self righteousness for Christ’s righteousness and as we receive this revelation by faith and rest in this promise, God will add to us the things we need. Make it a daily confession, meditate on the words, allow it to challenge our wrong thinking and align our behaviour. Over time God will add to us the things we need because we are trusting in His righteousness.

We are now in a place to take time out for the rest we need. Time to spend with our family and friends, time to pursue our hobby, time to re-sharpen our cutting edge and re-charge our batteries.

Meditation point: Does God’s Word tell us to burn out in order to live or does He promise to provide for us.

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Artist Painting (resting)

Mark 6:31   Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat.    (THE MESSAGE)

Some people think that rest is to cease from all activity, ‘WRONG’. Rest is doing anything that we enjoy which can also include ceasing from all activity ; it could be painting, walking, reading, swimming, writing, car mechanics, sewing, knitting etc. Rest is anything that we enjoy doing that is different to our work. It also means ‘switching off‘ all mobile or cell phones, computers or anything that ties us to work otherwise we cannot rest completely.

It works like this: eg -  When we are painting  we automatically shut the door in our brain on the room marked ‘work’ and open the door marked ‘enjoyment’. This allows the body to rest and relieves us of all stress, pressure and concerns. We are then in the place to recharge our batteries, restore our energy levels and the cutting edge of our life.

When God made our bodies He put within us a reservoir of nervous energy that we call ‘adrenelin’. Adrenaline is there to be used for emergencies, it protects the body from shock and danger.E.g. – we are driving the car, suddenly a dog runs across our path and we have to slam on the breaks leaving us shook up and drained; we will recover from such a shock because our adrenaline kicks in to protect our body system. But if we continually draw upon our adrenaline through worry, stress or pressure, we will drain the reservoir of nervous energy and our body system will collapse. This is whats called a break down or burn out.

We then have to take time out for our body to rest and our reservoir of adrenelin to refill. Why not prevent this from happening by taking out regular periods of rest which will sustain us in this pressurised fast paced world we live in.

Meditation point: Only regular periods of rest will keep my mind and body strong enough to cope with the strenuous lifestyle of today.



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Weekly Calendar

Ex 23:14-16  Three times you shall keep a feast to me in the year.  You shall keep the feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) And the feast of Harvest (Pentecost) and the feast of Ingathering (Tabernacles) which is at the end of the year, when you reap the harvests out of your field.

Every year God commanded the Israelites to keep 3 feasts (Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles), times when they would sacrifice and celebrate their relationship with God. There were also a number of special Sabbath (rest) days apart from the weekly Sabbath. This meant that a considerable amount of time was separated unto God each year. God commanded them to take this time out of their religious calendar.

Herein lies a message for us. If we are to have regular periods of rest we must purposely  block out those times in our calendar week. By doing this we are forced to organise our appointments around these times; and if we will hold to our new system, rest  will become a regular part of our lives, as important as all other times. Without such a system to anchor rest into our weekly lives all our purpose will dribble away like water down a drain pipe. We will lose the habit and end up with nothing.

TRY IT – IT WORKS!

To be cont……..

Meditation point: Am I determined to block out a weekly time in my calendar for a period of rest.

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...Field & 2 Fallow Fields

Ex 23:10-11 “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow (unploughed and unused).     (NKJV)

OK: Pt 1 cont…  we are looking at natural, physical rest; we see that the law and nature teach a rest of the land in order to bring in a fruitful harvest. The picture you see is of a strawberry harvest. Each year the farmer allows 2 of his fields to rest ( lie fallow, unploughed and unused). Why is this?  It’s because it takes a year for the land to replenish itself with the appropriate chemicals and nutrients needed to continually produce a fruitful crop of strawberries.

God has ordained in His word that mankind is to rest 1 day out of 7; as Christians under the New Covenant we are no longer under the law nevertheless experience teaches that we need regular periods of rest if we are to yield the greatest success for God.

Eccl 10:10  A dull axe requires great strength; be wise and sharpen the blade.   (TLB)  If a man chops down trees, eventually the blade of his axe will become blunt. If he continues chopping he will have to exert more strength and it will take longer  to chop down a tree; and we would say that man was foolish to continue chopping. Why?  because wisdom says, when the axe is blunt take it out of service and resharpen the blade.

Are we the fools who work, work and work without taking ourselves out of service (rest) for a while in order to have our cutting edge restored!  All work and no play makes Jack a dull (blunt) boy and Jackie a dull (blunt) girl.  To be cont……

Meditation point : Am I a wise or a foolish person?


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Van Gogh: Rest

Matt 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.   NKJV

God has clearly laid down in scripture the concept and application of spiritual and practical rest. Unfortunately many have not heeded the advice and are living on the edge of burn out or have already hit the wall and crashed; hence whenever it becomes obvious that things are not working we should always go back to the basics and there we will find the answer to our dilemma.

Hitting the Wall

The first mention of rest is found in Gen 2:2 On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all his work.   NLT. The word, ‘rested‘ can also be translated , ‘cease‘, God ceased from all His work. God was saying to man that He had not only created him for work but also play, relaxation and leisure: ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jackie a dull girl.

God now set in place the principle of 6 days work and 1 day of rest or sabbath as it became known. He then enshrined the sabbath in the law. God did this for man’s benefit because He knew man had to recharge his batteries and renew and restore his vigour; so over the next few weeks we are going to be looking first at physical rest followed by spiritual rest.

Meditation point: If God took a day of  rest, should I build rest into my life?

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