Series: Rest

How To Keep the Sabbath Holy

Sermon Passages: Exodus 20:8; Exodus 28:31–43; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Psalm 63:3; 1 Timothy 6:17–19

Sermon Notes

The ceremonial garb detailed in Exodus 28 portrays God as set apart and holy.

Our priorities are what we designate as holy. This is the stuff that doesn't move or get sacrificed in our schedule.

When Sabbath rest is treated as holy, we aren't trying to fit our pursuit of God into everything else we do. Instead, Sabbath rest is trying to fit everything else into our pursuit of God.

Prioritizing God means delighting in him. You'll be looking for ways to enjoy him more. You will not have this delight until you have Sabbath rest.

Practical Tips

  1. Prayer: a declaration that we are dependant on God. We break the Sabbath through prayerlessness because this tells God, "I got this by myself." True liberty is found in the "Declaration of Dependance."
  2. Holy Moments & Objects: Make a practice of barricading moments in your schedule for quiet time. This time is holy, set aside to remember God. Set phone reminders. Let your lunch break at work or a certain time of day be a habitual reminder for momentary prayer and reflection on what you have been learning recently. Let your door handle be a holy object, cultivating the habit of resetting your emotions when you come home from a hard day's work so you that you enter your home having just prayed instead of venting your frustration on your children. Remind yourself to pray by setting aside certain moments, objects, or places as reminders to pray and remember your dependance on God.

Come to Me . . .

Sermon Passage: Matthew 11:25–30

Sermon Notes

Previous Generation: Found their identity in work.
New Generation: Finds their identity in fun. Work is an annoying thing we tolerate in order to get to what we want to do.

The world says better performance yields better reward. We're wrong to apply this to the spiritual realm, thinking that if we pray, read the Bible, or volunteer God will give us more blessing.

A life of trying to earn favor is a heavy burden. Jesus already earned God's favor. He tells us to take his yoke (burden) because the work has already been done. In the world, you still have to earn favor. With Jesus, the work is field has already been planted and harvested, and Jesus says come and eat.

We will never find rest without repentance.

If you think church is a burden of rules, remember that the demands you're putting on yourself are heavy. You're stressing yourself out and will never find rest so long as you are trying to find rest and happiness on your own. How is that working out for you? All Jesus asks requires of us is to seek more and more delight. 

The Sabbath Isn't Sunday

Sermon Passages: Exodus 20:8–11Deuteronomy 5:12–15; Hebrews 4:9–11; Romans 14:5

Sermon Notes

True or False?

  • Each day has to be as productive as possible.
  • Work just gets you to what actually satisfies.
  • Rest is the absence of work.
  • Is God interested in our being as productive as possible every day? We seem to feel guilty if we're not.

Is the Sabbath Saturday or Sunday? What's allowed and what's not? Such conversations distract from what the Sabbath is actually about.

The real principle of the Sabbath is what God wants us to focus on more than the letter of the Law, which is what distracted the Pharisees. Why did the Sabbath make it into the Top 10 Commandments? The fourth commandment in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 communicates that we are completely dependent upon God's provision and must trust him. We are worth more than our work. Though we are indeed created to work, more than that we are created to worship. The Sabbath reminds us that we are dependent upon God. The world keeps on spinning while we sleep and while we rest. The Sabbath teaches us to trust in God's provision.

You can go to church every Sunday of your life and never keep the Sabbath. It's always been an issue of the heart.

True Sabbath rest is the end of self-sufficiency and the beginning of sweet communion. It's the liberating sense of your own frailty.

The Sabbath is the discipline of remembering our salvation and trusting God's control of our life.

Stop for a second. God didn't ask you to take over for him. Don't pretend to be self-sufficient, dependent on nobody.

"I can rest because God's still working." That's why God invented sleep. It reminds us of our dependance on him.

Weekly remind yourself to stop, once per week, and rest. Focus your dependency on God. You are not self-sufficient. You cannot do it on your own. That liberates you from having to from having to work for the approval for either God or man. Christ won God's approval for you, and he lavishes his love upon you with by his grace.