God desires for us rest.

Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you” (Deuteronomy 5:12).

I Like to Rest

During my sophomore year of college, I discovered my passion for sleeping. I think it may have had something to do with signing up for a 7:30 am First Year Greek class.

It was some kind of mental block in my head. Knowing that I should get up and go to class somehow got re-routed in my head to the place that put my body into sleep mode.

It also probably didn’t help that I would stay up late at night watching TV or hanging out with friends till 1 or 2 in the morning.

I eventually disciplined myself to get up for class when I had to – but it took several years (unfortunately).

Getting Up Early

The strange thing today is that I now wake up at 5am nearly automatically. This is hours earlier that I naturally woke up while in my 20’s!

And even when I have a day off or don’t have an early meeting or some other obligation, I still wake up that early.

I can’t seem to sleep much past this time – usually no later than 6:00 a.m. when I do “sleep in.”

I’ve written about this in the two parts of the Devotion “In the Dark.” Part 1 is here and part 2 is here.

Getting up early just may be a proclivity that is put into us because of our baptism into Jesus Christ.

Jesus “got up” Early!

After all, Jesus got up early! Jesus died at 3:00 in the afternoon on a Friday. After he secured the forgiveness of our sins through his passion and death on the cross, he was buried in the unused tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.

On the third day – what we call Easter Sunday – Jesus rose from the dead “before dawn.”

Getting up early is in our spiritual DNA, so to speak.

God Likes Us to Rest

Still, God likes us to rest. And if we’re going to be getting up early, God must have a way for us to “catch up” on our sleep.

While getting a good night’s sleep is beneficial, God gives us an additional day to also rest.

After the six days of Creation, God “rested” on the seventh day – the Sabbath Day. God was creatin for us the day of rest.

Because of our fall into sin, God needed to command us to rest – which he does in the Third Commandment (or Fourth Commandment, depending on how you number them).

He put it this way:

Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you” (Deuteronomy 5:12).

This “Sabbath Rest” is vital to our lives as Christians as well as humans.

Sabbath Rest

God did create us to work (see Genesis 2:15). It is only because of sin do we see the tendency for some to work themselves to death, something God did not create us for.

So, God gave humans a set time to refrain from working, in order to get some rest.

Sabbath Rest is a time to refrain from working, at least working for ourselves. Sometimes people have to work “on the Sabbath” in order to serve others – their day of rest may be different from the traditional Sabbath day.

In addition to physical rest, God set up the Sabbath Rest so that his people could focus on the Word of God and come into a closer relationship with God.

Martin Luther – the 16th Century Reformer – put it this way:

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.”

How Will You Sabbath?

So, how will you rest this weekend?

Here are three ways in no specific order.

Read God’s Word. Take one of the books of the Bible and read a chapter at a time. If you have a resource like the Lutheran Study Bible, the notes at the bottom of each page also have a devotional thought and prayer that can be used to strengthen your relationship with the Author.

Starting your day with devotions like the ones I write (In My Father’s Footsteps), or Portals of Prayer, or something else, can also be used to strengthen your relationship with God.

Don’t overlook the powerful resource of worship with others. Gathering together with others in the worship of God is a powerful experience that changes lives.

These are three ways that God has gifted us to rest on the Sabbath. I pray you will take advantage of them and find rest for your souls.


Heavenly Father, thank you for the times of refreshment and rest in the course of this busy life. I pray that I will use these times to rebuild my body and renew my mind that I may be opened to the goodness of your creation and my relationship with you is strengthened by the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

© 2018 True Men Ministries

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