Remembering the Sabbath Rest

Do not neglect rest nor refreshment for your mind and soul with some wisdom from Proverbial Thought!

Today I resume classes at Phoenix Seminary.

Honestly, I feel a little intimidated looking at my reading schedule and assignments in each syllabus. It is enough to make anyone want to run for the hills!

Like anyone in ministry, though, I want to do a good job. I want to take on more than I can handle and do it all without complaining or asking for too much help.

That is why I post this today. This is a reminder to me and all of my compatriots in ministry and all those who are like us. Current and past Seminarians know what I am talking about here, so I dedicate this to all of us, in the name of the Lord!

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:8, ESV

19 As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21 But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. 22 Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.
Nehemiah 13:19-22, ESV

While I and we are doing good things – preparing our minds for fuller worship of God through better understanding, doing good works for the glory of the Father, serving others out of love and compassion – it becomes very easy to neglect proper rest and worship of God.

There must be time to simply read the Bible – not to study it and tear it apart to find good messages and lessons, but to simply soak up the Word of God.

There must be time to let the mind rest – to not stress about deadlines or making sure spell-check was thorough enough or meeting everyone else’s needs, but to be still and know that He is God.

There must be time to relax muscles and nerves – to not rush from place to place and lug around heavy, important looking books, but to “stop and smell the roses”, if you will, and enjoy the presence of the Lord … and family and friends.

These times must be well guarded and purified, because our Lord deserves nothing less than our best. Our best comes when we take time to rest and simply to be with Him.

May we all find rest in our Lord in this season.

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