Key Verse: Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10.
Key Focus: Abundant living is how we react to the life or challenges that are given to us right now. No matter the circumstance, we can live rich, radiant, full, joyful, abundant lives. We must be willing to leave the old way of life/thinking behind and go to the source – Jesus Christ and begin to THRIVE!
Resting – “ Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. “ Isaiah 40:28-31
Rest is so important if we want to THRIVE.
I have been diligently working at becoming a healthier me. Besides a proper diet, part of my health plan is exercise. As I read about burning fat I found that muscle burns fat; so it is extremely important to have a little strength building in one’s exercise program in order to build muscle so one can burn fat. When you begin to exercise it is very easy to overwork your muscles. I found that there are many factors that apply when it comes to building muscle, and the most over looked aspect is rest. Rest allows muscles to recover. Without proper recovery, your muscles and strength will never grow.
Our heavenly Father knows all too well that His creation needs rest for renewal and proper health. He established rest when He created the world. Genesis 2:3 says “ And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from His work of creation.” If God rested from His work, then His creatures should also need rest.
God has given us an example of rest. It is important to maintaining a balanced life. In Exodus 23:12 the Bible directs man to " Work for six days, and rest on the seventh. This will give your ox and your donkey a chance to rest. It will also allow the people of your household, including your slaves and visitors, to be refreshed.”
Even the land was to rest on the seventh year in Exodus 23:11 …”but let the land rest and lie uncultivated during the seventh year. Then let the poor among you harvest any volunteer crop that may come up. Leave the rest for the animals to eat. The same applies to your vineyards and olive groves.”
God has directed us not only to take rest for ourselves but to also provide rest for our household, guests and others key to our circle of influence.
Now I know I am dating myself here, but I can remember when I was a child nothing was open on Sundays. All businesses took a day of rest, which in this incident was Sundays. This gave an opportunity for families to worship together and have family dinners and relax and refresh for another busy work week. There was no jumping in the car to go shopping or even out to eat. Sundays were set aside as a day of rest and family time. Isn’t it interesting how now that so many businesses are open 24/7 we still do not find time for God or our families?
There are dozens of things constantly vying for our time and attention on a daily basis. The thought of even taking 15 minutes a day for quiet time let alone time to rest almost seems impossible for some people.
Managing time is a lot like managing any other resource God has entrusted us with. He has given us the priorities in His word …God, family, personal health and growth, community. The tough part is to apply the lessons in the Bible to our daily lives when there are so many competing requests. Whether we are managing money or time it is a fact of life that each of us are only given so much to spend…and the world will take everything you have and want more.
In Psalm 127:2 we are told: “It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. Numbers 10:33 reminds us that the Israelites “…marched for three days after leaving the mountain of the LORD, with the Ark of the LORD’s covenant moving ahead of them to show them where to stop and rest.” While doing God’s work, they were reminded to renew their minds and bodies by taking rest.
When jobs, family and financial responsibilities seem too much to bear, there is an answer! The answer is Jesus - Matthew 11:28-30, NIV. "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."
If we are to THRIVE, live life abundantly, we must take time throughout the day as well as longer periods of rest at other times (such as vacations). We cannot THRIVE if we are weary. Just as our muscles need rest periods to strengthen and grow, so does the rest of our body, mind and spirit need rest to strengthen, grow, refresh and renew.
Renewal can come from quiet time spent reading, praying, playing a game or taking a walk. The rewards of communing with God are everlasting. " Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God." (Luke 12:21) We cannot have a rich relationship with our Lord and live abundantly unless we spend time with Him. Our heavenly Father knows what we need and when we need it; the problem is that most of the time we ignore the subtle warnings He brings us each day and wait to come to Him when we are weary and overburdened. Isa 28:12 - to whom he said, " This is the resting place, let the weary rest"; and, "This is the place of repose"-- but they would not listen.
We need to follow our Creator’s example to rest so that we can live our lives more abundantly… THRIVE!
Jer 31:25 - I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."
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