Summary: By accepting the truth about rest we can find the peace and joy that God intends to bring through the seasons of life.
STRESS-FREE HOLIDAYS: THE TRUTH ABOUT REST
Matthew 11:28-30 & various
A. Stress-Free Holidays — I believe they can happen!
1. The desire of my heart is that you receive everything the Lord has for you in this holiday season, for each individual and each family.
2. I believe the Lord has it in mind that our “Season Of Rest”, coincide with the holiday season so that you CAN receive all He has for you.
3. Sometimes, church life itself can add to the pressure of your family calendar of activity — I don’t believe that’s to be the case this season.
4. Busy-ness and activity often overtake our lives to the point of not knowing which way is up, no matter the time of year, and the church is often guilty of perpetuating that for you rather than showing you another way.
C. That has nothing to do with what any of us believe about the value of church life or activities that surround it.
1. It’s not saying that I believe there is little or no value to church life — if I believed that, I wouldn’t do what I do.
2. Especially in holiday seasons, when so many are so alone, what happens in church life has tremendous potential to reach people for Christ.
3. But this year, I believe God has purposed for us to experience rest like we’ve never know it in the holidays, SO THAT we don’t miss anything He has for any of us in the season.
D. You CAN miss it, even through the season of rest.
1. You can fill whatever void there may be in your holiday calendar by our church’s season of rest.
a. I want to encourage you to carefully evaluate each activity that fills your calendar before you commit yourself to it.
2. A season of rest is meant to be just that — restful.
a. If you’re not careful, whatever is open on your calendar just because the holiday activity you’re used to at church is not there will be filled with something else before you know it.
b. If you’re in a place on the edge of exhaustion, running for your life, or maybe you’re in burnout, a dark place trying to find your way out, rest is for you.
c. If you’re trying to catch up, feeling like you never will, that every day feels like one more day behind,
d. Maybe your life mirrors the saying, “God has given me a certain number of things to accomplish in my lifetime, and so far, it looks as if I will never die.”
e. This season of rest and these next teachings, are for you.
E. Stress-Free Holidays is just the cover for the season because the holidays are so hectic.
1. But these messages are applicable to whatever season or depth of drowning you feel you’re in.
2. I am here today to tell you that real rest in the midst of your way too busy life is possible, at least according to Jesus!
F. 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. Here we are again, in the place, on the cliff of, 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.
II. THE TRUTH ABOUT REST:
A. REST IS COMMANDED.
1. Some things are an option in the spiritual life — rest is not one of them!
a. When you’re talking about the fact that God rested after six days of doing the work of creation, rest suddenly becomes important.
b. Then, when you’re talking about one of the 10 Commandments having to do with not working one day a week, rest is not only important, but it’s no longer an option.
2. Toss in the fact that God establishes the annual holidays — feasts that his people celebrate each year in Leviticus 23 — and he starts them by again saying that a Sabbath rest is to take place once a week!
“There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the Lord.” Lev. 23:3