But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”Exodus 14:13-14, New Living Translation
John Mark Comer is an American Church leader, who says the Sabbath rescued him from breakdown. This article from New Wine magazine is reposted here with their permission.
We planted our church a few years back and it just about killed me. The first year was really hard, but really fun. The second was really hard, but good. The third year was just really hard. By the fourth year, I was dying: on the edge of a nervous breakdown, stressed out, racked by anxiety and hugely unhappy. The main problem was that I loved my job and was a workaholic – one of the many sins our culture deems acceptable, if not a virtue.
In today’s culture, busy has become a moniker for important: I’m busy means I matter. We’re busy with play too. There’s so much to do, to watch, see, experience and buy. We overfill our lives with work and email and social media and friends and nights out and church and community work and shopping and travel. It’s a non-stop, frenetic lifestyle – and it’s soul destroying. It’s been said that if the devil can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy.
It was at the edge of burn-out that I caught wind of this ancient practice called the Sabbath – that thing for Jewish people or legalistic Christians. I started to read up on it, then started to practice it, and, honestly, it has changed my life.
We love singing this song at Explore.
How great the chasm that lay between usLiving Hope, written by Phil Wickham and Brian Johnson
How high the mountain I could not climb
In desperation, I turned to heaven
And spoke Your name into the night
Then through the darkness, Your loving-kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is ﬁnished, the end is written
Jesus Christ, my living hope
Image from UCB.co.uk
Love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them. For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly Father. He is kind to all by bringing the sunrise to warm and rainfall to refresh whether a person does what is good or evil.Matthew 5:44-45, The Passion Translation
Image from UCB.
Tomorrow is a fourth Sunday of the month, so no Explore but an Allsorts Service at 10.30am. Explore will be back next week.
But everyone my Father has given to me, they will come. And all who come to me, I will embrace and will never turn them away. And I have come out of heaven not for my own desires, but for the satisfaction of my Father who sent me. My Father who sent me has determined that I will not lose even one of those he has given to me, and I will raise them up in the last day.
John 6:37-39, The Passion Translation
“I learned that it is much easier to unite people around a Jesus who hates our enemies and blesses our wars than it is to unite people around a Jesus who calls us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.”Brian Zahnd, A Farewell to Mars: An Evangelical Pastor’s Journey Toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son
And now let the weak say, “I am strong”Give Thanks, written by Henry Smith.
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”
Image by UCB.
Against all odds, when it looked hopeless, Abraham believed the promise and expected God to fulfill it. He took God at his word, and as a result he became the father of many nations. God’s declaration over him came to pass: “Your descendants will be so many that they will be impossible to count!” In spite of being nearly one hundred years old when the promise of having a son was made, his faith was so strong that it could not be undermined by the fact that he and Sarah were incapable of conceiving a child. He never stopped believing God’s promise, for he was made strong in his faith to father a child. And because he was mighty in faith and convinced that God had all the power needed to fulfill his promises, Abraham glorified God!Romans 4:18-21, The Passion Translation
Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!Deuteronomy 6:5, The Message
Image from UCB.co.uk.