We all know a workaholic. Maybe it’s a coworker who works so much that they don’t have time to spend with their families, or a friend who’s constantly checking emails, even when trying to enjoy time with loved ones! Now don’t take it the wrong way – there’s nothing wrong with working hard and going the extra mile. But some people just don’t understand that if they’re always going without taking a break, they’ll end up less productive than they would be if they had taken time to rest!
God knew how important it was for us to rest, which is why He created the Sabbath. However, He didn’t want the Sabbath to be harshly mandated. “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” Mark 2:27 (NKJV). He wanted to give us a day to recuperate from the week’s hard work, relax, and most importantly, spend time with Him and with each other. During Jesus’ time on Earth however, He encountered some who had forgotten the purpose of the Sabbath, only seeing it as another law to follow.
Matthew 12:1 tells of when The Pharisees criticized Jesus and his disciples for picking food for themselves from a grain field on the Sabbath. The Pharisees considered the simple act of gathering food to eat as “work,” but they were completely missing the point! If we don’t understand the purpose of something, it’s only a matter of time before we abuse it. Yes, resting on the Sabbath is expected, but that doesn’t mean that any and every task should be strictly outlawed.
The Pharisees allowed religion to blind them to how a gracious and merciful God created a space for us to take time to appreciate Him and His creation…not just a day of Sabbath rest, but to a life of Sabbath rest. So the next time that you’re trying to relax but can’t stop thinking of the next day’s work, take some time to appreciate the Sabbath and rest in God instead.
Dr. Derek Grier
Click here to read the message notes: The Essentials, Part 4 – Lord of the Sabbath
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