Summary: The first peacemaker was our quiet time with God. Now let’s consider the second peacemaker – our quiet time of rest and relaxation.
Peacemakers of the Heart
“Our Quiet Time of Rest and Relaxation”
1. A life of inner peace must be pursued. It does not happen by accident. It happens at the root level of your inner spirit. Philippians 4:6-7 (“hearts and minds”)
2. Why does the mighty oak tree stand when other material objects are being swept away during a flood? It possesses a deep root system that sustains it.
3. Without a solid root system in our lives, we don’t stand a chance of inner peace. Mark 4:5-6, 16-17
4. When the Bible talks about having a heart of peace, it is speaking of our inner and emotional state. We are learning about peacemakers of the heart that will provide us with a solid root system to stabilize us during the storms of life.
5. The first peacemaker was our quiet time with God. Now let’s consider the second peacemaker – our quiet time of rest and relaxation.
Why is a time of rest so important?
1. Because the need was built into us at creation – Genesis 2:3
• We were created in God’s image, and we were made to rest after we work.
• God commanded Israel to rest after their work, even during harvest time. Exodus 34:21
• God anticipated the excuse, “I’ll rest after the busy season.” He commanded them to protect their time-outs even at the peak of the season!
2. Because our bodies demand proper rest
• “Stress” used to be an engineer’s word. It described how much weight or pressure a structure could take before it collapsed. Now people are collapsing!
• The toll of unrest and stress on our bodies has been well documented.
• Two-thirds of office visits to family doctors are prompted by stress-related symptoms. Stress is a major contributor to heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidental injuries, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide – six of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
• Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19-20). A temple is to be treated special. Too many people are pushing their bodies to the breaking point and beyond.
4. Because it will enhance our relationships
• You can get to the point where whenever you smell flowers you look for a coffin.
• Frankly, tired people are not much fun to be around. They’re like robots - running mechanically, joylessly, from one task to the next, getting it all done, but stepping on people as they go. It’s not easy to be sensitive to others when you’re all used up.
• God’s Word teaches that the whole basis of healthy relationships is giving. Ephesians 5:33, 6:4
• Tired people don’t feel like giving. Tired people blast their friends and family for insignificant irritations. They have little or no patience. Through tired eyes, small problems look much bigger. Fatigue will bring out a hidden mean streak.
• Proper rest brings our lives and bodies back into balance, and is sure to enhance our relationships.
What are the myths that keep us from a regular time of rest?
• There are some myths that keep us running, and eventually run us ragged. They cause us to say, “I need to stop, but I just can’t.”
The indispensability myth – Romans 12:3
• It says, “They just can’t get along without me.”
• Indispensable people get sick or die every day! Somehow life continues without them.
• If our work has taken control of our life, it may be because we think we are more important than we actually are. It is better for jobs to be undone than for us to be undone.
• Pursuing peace means drawing limits around your life and living within them.
The “you are what you do” myth
• Illustration of a little boy: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We don’t look for answers like, “I want to be godly, Christ-like, friendly, helpful, sensitive, caring, etc.” He is supposed to say, “I want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman, movie-star, sports star, etc.” At a young age, many children are taught to believe that what you do is what you are.
• 1 Samuel 16:7 – The principle here is that when God judges you, it is always based on what you are in your heart, not what you do or accomplish outwardly. Are you godly, faithful, righteous, holy, sincere, loving, unselfish, humble, etc?
• Luke 12:15-21 – This man thought he was a success based on what he did, but God thought he was a fool because of what he was.
The dedication myth
• This myth equates nights out with commitment.
• People must learn to rest, not just to serve. If they can learn balance, they will be serving for many years. If they don’t take regular time-outs, they will play a glorious first quarter, collapse, and hate the game the rest of their lives.