Building Margin for Sabbath – Week 4, Day 1

Daily Scripture Reading:

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.”                                                                 – Genesis 2:1-3

“Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall do no work . . .” – Exodus 20:8-10a

I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that most of us have heard or said these words: “because I said so.” Since the beginning of time, children have heard parents give this reasoning for expected actions. Or at least I have.  My parents said it and their parents before them.

The practice of Sabbath is grounded in this reasoning: because God said so. He practiced it in the creation of the world. He made it one of the Ten Commandments. He talked about it in the Old Testament. Jesus talked about it in the New Testament.

Think about it: If the God who created the universe in 6 days needed to rest on the 7th day, don’t you think us puny humans might need to do the same – rest from our labors?

The fundamental reasoning for Sabbath may be God’s commandment but it is also a matter of trust. We are called to trust that we are not in control. The world will continue if we rest. It is in our practice of Sabbath that we acknowledge our trust in God who rules and reigns over this world and even more importantly, our own personal world.

Prayer: Gracious God, You tell us to rest, to stop, to cease but too often, we just keep working. We don’t take time to truly worship You. Forgive us, Lord, when we think it’s all up to us. Teach us to trust You in all things but especially in the practice of Sabbath.

Reflection Question and/or Application for the Day:

When do you take Sabbath? Do you truly stop from your labors?

If so, what are you learning as you practice Sabbath?

If not, why? Why do you continue to work? What can you do to move toward the regular practice of Sabbath?


Devotion from Building Margin for a Balanced Life, devotional book, small group study and sermon series

©Tim Reaves and Trish Archer

All rights reserved

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