The Gift of Rest

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Ex. 20:8-11)

This isn’t about what “day” the Sabbath is “supposed” to be on. It is not about the specifics of how you “keep it holy.”

This is about trust. Sabbath is trust. The Lord provided a day of rest regularly for a slave nation. They had worked all their lives in every way possible. He then built in other “sabbaths” for them: the land to rest, debts to be settled, etc.

It was all about trust. Could they rely on provision of Yahweh, or did they think the world would stop turning if they didn’t take a day off? Could they trust Yahweh with what they did NOT do as well as what they DID do?

Is there a TRUST in the Father in your life? Or, are you there to “help God out?”

 

The Lord’s Name in Vain

As we journey through Exodus 19-24 this week our MULTIPLY reading, I am walking a bit more slowly through the 10 commandments. It is impossible to unpack that passage in one sermon, so I am jotting some thoughts down along the way this week to spur on more thinking.

What does it mean to NOT “take the Lord’s name in vain?” The NIV says  “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

Through the time of deliverance God kept unfolding his name to Israel. As he “unpacked” the power of his name, it was important for Israel to keep recognizing Yahweh was the One who had delivered them. To not revere that fact was to “misuse” his name.

J.K. Bruckner in his commentary on Exodus said this:

This is a direct reference to remembering who had delivered them. God’s reputation was tied to God’s name in the exodus. Its “use” or “lifting up” in a positive way declared God’s works of grace and deliverance. To speak of the Lord after Sinai was also to declare that God’s laws were formative for the new community of faith. To speak of God without reference to the creating law and redeeming gospel could be a vain use of God’s name, that is, God’s reputation.

Remember who delivered you. Remember who redeemed you. Hold him holy. To use his name is to refer to HIM.

May my words truly reflect the holiness of my God!

Good bye cruel world!

Today’s reading for MULTIPLY discipleship is Galatians 6.

And what comes up AGAIN? The cross. (It seems to be all over the New Testament… and very hard to avoid.) 1 Corinthians 1 on Sunday… Galatians 6 today… and the cross.

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14)

Yesterday we read from Romans 12 and the idea there was transformed thinking. The pattern is too obvious. Therefore… let us ignore it.

Let us ignore the cross. Let us embrace the world. Let us not worry about the smile of our King and live only to be liked by our world.

It makes us feel better, anyway.

For a time.

But the only way of Kingdom life is through the cross. I need HIS way, not mine. HIS way is life. I somehow keep letting the enemy tell me otherwise. But today I must allow the work of the CROSS have its way in me.

The very heart of transformed thinking

No verse brings out the idea of “transformed thinking” (Rom. 12:1-2) better than Romans 12:9

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Those in the Kingdom know love. And they live transformed lives simply by loving in the way of the King.

The world celebrates evil and abhors good. Just by reversing that and insisting on it in our lives… we are transformed… and considered oddities in our culture.

Rom. 12:9 is crucial to transformed minds.

The astonishing power we have in mind and spirit… and ignore

This week in our Multiply Discipleship we are exploring the Local Church.

For this week’s general reading (and daily Scripture reading) GO HERE.

The Scripture for today is 1 Corinthians 1. I extended it for my own reading into chapter 2 since the thought process continues past the end of Chapter 1.

When I read these verses from Paul, I am always astonished at the power we have in the Spirit… and equally astonished at how I personally leave that power untapped. My challenge this week is not to talk about WHY we don’t use that power as the Church… but to simply start walking in that power.

No more excuses.

1 Cor. 2:10 is bold: The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. The invitation is simple and powerful… search the deep things of God. We have the Spirit. The Spirit searches all this out…

Go on an adventure!

Here is my challenge: move beyond the shallow questions. Those are the questions that deal with ME… I have to learn the universe doesn’t revolve around ME… so my challenge is to move into the mind of God himself. The deep things of God. Search out the deep things of God.

Paul leaves us with this incredible thought: “But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16)

We have this astonishing power, along with an astonishing invitation. The challenge this week is to refuse ignoring that invitation and just plunge in.

The Spirit teaches. Let’s listen.