Sunday, February 1, 2015

Finding Rest

NOTE: Your faithful blogger prepared this blog entry from last week, but forgot to post it. The message is still valid.

"Good morning!" Brad exclaimed. "I hope that as we meet today I hope you find rest for your souls."

~Pam noted that on February 8 we will be having a meeting after the service to discuss the capital campaign and update on the building
~Walt also gave an update on the progress being made. Volunteers are being invited to paint on Wednesday and Thursday. He also mentioned that the workers would benefit from a small fridge being donated if you have one not in use.
~Cheryl jumped to the front to share about camp, that it is time to think about registration. March 1 is the first discount deadline, in which you get a $50 discount. For those who can't afford camp, God has consistently provided in year's past as we prayer and support.
~Valentine's Day dinner will be... On Valentine's Day, a great meal provided by Chef Micah and Chef Leonard. Sign up before we're filled... only 100 will be served, $10 per person.
~A women's conference is coming to Duluth February 6 & 7 at Living Word. Details on the blue flyer in the back of the church sanctuary.

Darlene ushered us into worship with a beautiful rendition of "How Great Is Our God."

Brad read to us from Jesus' words "Come to Me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Then we sang together "Lord I Need You" and "How Great Thou Art."

After a time of prayer... Brad began leading today's message.

Finding Rest

How many of you observe Sabbath religiously? How many of you observe Sabbath once a month? Is anyone willing to share an experience about Sabbath growing up? Paula shared an experience of Sabbath with her grandparents who were Seventh Day Adventists. Mae shared a story of her parents who were farmers.

Brad picked up a large rock that he had under the altar, and held it as a metaphor for the burdens he carries. He shared some of the burdens he carries and asked us to share our burdens.

The Sabbath is a gift, and has to do with finding a way to lay this down.

John 14:27 relates these words of Jesus: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

How does this relate to Sabbath? Many of us havethis idea of rules and Sabbath is one of them. Jesus did not "do" the Sabbath, He was the Sabbath.

Genesis 2:1 is the first reference to resting on the seventh day.

God was not exhausted by the work of creation. God's rest was not from being weary after the work he'd done. Rather, when God began creation, it was creation out of chaos. Each day there was evening and morning for the first six days. Afterwords He could set about the business of blessing in the manner noted in Psalm 132: 13-18.

Though sin entered the world, there were promises of a liberation from its power.

Brad read Exodus 20:8-11  "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy..." in which even animals were to be included in Sabbath rest.

In Leviticus it's even extended to the land every seven years.

As we carry our burdens we're not fully present to others or able to love them

Hebrews 4 discusses this rest in even greater detail. When you let go of work, you can let go and allow God to bathe you in His love.

Brad shared about a prayer time in the wilderness and how his time alone transitioned from thinking about his many projects and thoughts, and slowly fell away to the recognition of how big God is and how small he was.

The point for us is to set aside time and take God at His word, and try to build Sabbath into the rhythm of your life. Let go of your burdens and let Him give you rest.

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