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Summary: A key to longetivity and effectiveness in life and ministry is finding real relaxation. Here are 3 ways to find what you need.

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I. INTRODUCTION

A. READ The Devil’s Convention.

B. Stress-Free Holidays is just the cover for the season because the holidays are so hectic.

1. But these messages – last week, today, and thru December – are applicable to whatever season or depth of busy-ness is overwhelming you.

2. Real rest in the midst of your way too busy life is possible, at least according to Jesus!

C. It is possible, not just because I think it, but because Jesus Himself declares it without question, not however without calling our life focus and source of strength into some question.

“‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

1. There is apparently a place where we can find rest regardless of our circumstances or seasons.

2. A place to which Jesus calls us with only one requirement – come to Him.

3. To find this rest, we must come to Him, placing all our trust in Him to do what He’s promised to do.

4. And what He promises here has to do with rest among the chaotic lifestyles we live everyday.

D. Last week – The Truth About Rest. This week – Relax, Will Ya?

1. Regular and seasonal rest and relaxation are keys to longetivity and effectiveness in both life and ministry.

2. And I am convinced that our busy = important, workaholic American culture is hard-pressed to understand how to rest and particularly relax for longetivity and effectiveness.

3. Most of us think we’re resting and relaxing, yet don’t really know how to shut off and enjoy down time.

E. Many of us think that just because we’re doing something other than work, or participating in an active activity we really enjoy, we’re resting or relaxing.

1. Physically, activity is activity. For instance, most of us fill our vacations (IF we take them) with activity from start to end and come home or return to work more tired than we were before!

2. My goal for this series is to help you find some balance in life, but my goal today is twofold ...

a. that you will see a different view of relaxation and the need for it than you have before, both biblically and practically, and

b. that you will leave today more equipped to enter the kind of rest that Jesus promises in the midst of turbulent times and lifestyles.

3. Here are three keys to finding real relaxation:

II. FINDING REAL RELAXATION:

A. REALIZE REST AND RELAXATION ARE DIFFERENT.

1. Did you know that rest and relaxation are not the same thing?

a. You can get rest and not necessarily relax at the same time.

b. You can be sleeping, which is resting, but have your sleep full of tension.

c. Your body has been provided rest, but you have not experienced relaxation.

d. Those in the fields of stress/anxiety reduction tell us that we may think we’re resting when we’re out on the fairways chasing the little white ball or running errands around town, or shopping at the mall, but in reality, you’re transferring the stress from work, home or relationships from one place in your body to another.

2. Rest and relaxation are not the same thing, just as regular rest and seasonal rest are not the same thing.

a. READ Exodus 23:10-12

b. God outlines in His Word regular rest – 1 day off (no work) every 7 days.

c. He also actually calls for a seasonal rest – every 7 years.

d. Interesting to hear of more and more companies actually offering an extended period of time off for their employees every few years.

e. Jesus repeatedly models time for rest and relaxation daily (not just weekly) throughout the Gospels.

3. Rest and relaxation are intertwined, but not the same, and you need them both daily, weekly, monthly, annually.

a. Divert daily, withdraw weekly, abandon annually.

4. Basic ingredients of relaxation (doesn’t get any more practical than this!!):

a. Sit or lay down comfortably. Minimize discomfort. Loosen tight clothes. Remove your glasses.

b. Eliminate interruptions. Lock the door. Unplug phone. Tell others not to disturb you.

c. Set a timer. 30-45 minutes. Timer helps you to not have to look at clock.

d. Don’t fall asleep. If you need sleep, go ahead; don’t confuse it with relaxing. Falling asleep when relaxing means you probably need more sleep.

e. Remain inactive. Don’t move, fidget, get up. Relaxing lowers adrenaline. If you can’t stay still, you’ll know you’re under the effect of adrenaline withdrawal.

f. Clear your mind of turmoil. Set aside worries. Free yourself for those moments from the demands on you.

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