- Expecting; and
|A restful beach in Belize, Central American|
How to prepare for your Sabbath rest
We must make plans for our Sabbath Rest. In Mark 3:9, Jesus was teaching and the crowds were pushing in on him. “And He told His disciples to have a little boat in [constant] readiness for Him because of the crowd, lest they press hard upon Him and crush Him.”
*Linked verses are in NIV translation for more clarity!
We see Jesus planning ahead. He knew that there might be some tough and anxious moments ahead, so he pre-prepared for a boat to be available as a retreat. Many times in the New Testament, Jesus retreats to a boat for rest.
The same goes for us, we should plan ahead to have a quiet time alone with God. God knows if we have children, jobs, and spouses to care for. This week, let's try to do what Jesus did by planning ahead for time away from people and for time alone with God.
How to dedicate yourself to the Lord
We should ask ourselves if we have a saving relationship with Christ through the forgiveness of our sins. If so, are we daily dedicating our life to the Lord?
In Mark 4:8, we see seeds planted in different types of soil and a description of the soils. As believers, we should be people planned in the good, rich soil.
Jesus said, “And other seed [of the same kind] fell into good (well-adapted) soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielded up to thirty times as much, and sixty times as much, and even a hundred times as much as had been sown.” [Mark 4:8]
As believers, we are like the good seed. Through our dedication to the Lord, we should be growing up and increasing like the seed. Our Christian growth should be in a constantly growth and germination mode.
We do that by being sure we are truly dedicated to the Lord. Settling our salvation is the most beneficial and joyous way one can truly know God. We accomplish this through confession of our sins and acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Only then can we have the strength and support to live in a daily relationship with the Lord through the power of His Holy Spirit.
“For on this day atonement shall be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before the Lord. It is a Sabbath of [solemn] rest to you, and you shall afflict yourself (by fasting with penitence and humiliation) it is a statue forever.” [Leviticus 16:29-31]
How to spend time with the Lord through Bible study and prayer
We need to take time to consider and understand the Lord through His Word and Prayer.
In Jesus’ words, “He said, He who has ears to hear, let him be hearing [and let him consider, and comprehend.] . . . And He said to them, To you has been entrusted the mystery of the kingdom of God [that is, the secret counsels of God which are hidden from the ungodly]; but for those outside [of our circle] everything becomes a parable . . .” [Mark 4:9-11]
Jesus is saying that once we have truly entrusted our life to God, and are reading our Bible and praying, we will begin to see mysteries and things of God through the Holy Spirit. We will begin to understand the Bible and we will learn how to listen to God. *If you do not own a Bible, I suggest purchasing an easy-to-read version. Many Christian bookstore employees are willing to help you find one that will meet your needs or reading ability.
Without being able to connect with the Lord, our business is seen through our eyes only, but now we can begin to see things through God’s eyes.
How to bear fruit
As we spend time with Him through Bible study and prayer, we will notice we are beginning to develop the fruits of the spirit.
“And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit.” [Mark 4:20]
|But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, |
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22 NIV '84
How to trust Jesus for protection and security
Let’s go back and look at the seed and how by planting our lives in the good soil of Jesus Christ we are protected and kept secure in Him.
In Mark 4:32, Jesus says, “It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all seeds upon the earth; Yet after it is sown, it grows up and becomes the greatest of all garden herbs and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air are able to make nests and dwell in its shade.” From a small start (like a seed), we can become strong in the Lord. God’s branches will protect us as we grow in Him and His Word.
As we grow, we will most likely notice people come to us for Godly advice or others asking us to participate in Christian service alongside of them. This is because God is ready to empower us for His service. Everyone has different gifts and callings. Sometimes it takes trying a few different “projects” to see what our gifts are. I once volunteered to help in a pre-school choir class. Almost immediately, I realized that was not a position for me. But, I was thankful for the opportunity to try it out. It moved me along to the next step to see what God had for me. In my case, most of my service has been along the lines of writing and using words in some capacity. I laugh sometimes when I think of that because I failed my first college writing assignment I wrote as a freshman. God does have a sense of humor!!!
“And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled.” [Mark 4:37]
In this situation, the disciples were scared; they called to Jesus for help. But look what the end result was – they looked to Jesus (as we should) and Jesus was right there taking care of their business.
How to turn continually and consistently to Jesus
One time Jesus was in a boat with his disciples and a storm erupted. The disciples were scared, but they turned to Jesus Christ to help them - as we should also.
Where was Jesus when the storm prevailed? “He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on the pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest though not that we perish?” [Mark 4:38]
These steps are not necessarily to be followed in a chronological order but in a cyclical order. As you see the cycle chart below, you may jump from one step to another one. Notice how the arrows change representing the different paths God may use to get us from one step to another. As long as we are rotating within the cycle - even jumping across to a step (not shown in diagram) - Jesus is right in the midst of our own personal journey with His hands reaching out to us guiding and loving us. Only then will we experience a true Sabbath Rest.
|Cycles to a Sabbath Rest|
Image Credit: Copyright Greene Family
I love Psalm 37:25 when King David says, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
That is because God is doing His thing and He knows what He is doing. Remember, God sees the big picture of our life, and we don’t. The sooner we understand this foundational truth, the sooner we will experience His peace, His trust, and His security in our lives.
God Bless You and may you find HIS REST this week.
Bible Verses: See above.
Prayer:My Heavenly Father, You have walked where I have walked. You know what struggles I have. You know what decisions I have to make. You know what paths You want me to take. Lord, I want to dwell daily in Your presence. Allow me to use this cycle to guide me to be all I can be for You. I want to be in a “Sabbath Rest” every day. With Your help, I know I can. I love you Lord, In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Books by Patti Londa Greene: Awaken Me: a devotional prayer journal and God, and God, It’s Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study
[Second/Updated editions will be out shortly. If you would like to order one of the first edition books, please email me and I will arrange for one to be mailed to you as soon as possible at a reduced cost.]To comment on this post, go to the blog at http://plgreene.blogspot.com/2015/08/sabbath-rest.html,
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