Andy Hollifield 11-16-16
A small seemingly insignificant word but try going a couple of days without it and it will gradually become your top priority. Doctors have known for years that a major cause of a lot of illness is a lack of it. Entire industries such as tourism, vacation, hotel and motel, and cabin rentals have been built around it. Products have been produced such as beds, pillows, hammocks, Jacuzzies, and many others have been produced to enhance it and help us enjoy it even more. What we sometimes fail to realize is that it is also of vital importance in our spiritual life. Christ placed great importance on it. In Mark 6:31 “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” Isn’t that how we are a lot of times and especially this time of year? Constantly going and coming and not even taking time to eat. Rest should include just a few minutes at some point in our day just to get alone with God in his word. Often we get so wound up in “reading our chapters” or our “through the bible in a year” readings, that it becomes a chore and we completely miss what God would like to give us from his word. He has given us his word to be a help and a guide for our lives so we can walk pleasing to him and get to know him better and draw closer not to be a burden and a drudgery and just one more thing we have to get done today. If you notice in the Mark 6:31 Jesus did not send them away to rest, he went with them.
The word rest appears 275 times in 265 verses in the King James bible. If God put it in there that many times he probably wants us to pay attention to it. As a matter of fact, the first time it is used in past tense, God was the one doing it. We should do it like he did: after we have finished working. Gen 2:2″…and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” It is important enough that God even mentioned the lack of it in Gen 8:9 referring to Noah’s dove after the great flood, ” But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot,”. God even commanded the Israelites to let the land rest every seventh year Ex 23:11. The best scripture about rest is the one he put in Matthew 11:28-29 just for me. He also put it there for you but since salvation is personal I can claim the verses for myself and you can too. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” I am thankful that ” there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God” Hebrews 4:9, but I am also thankful that we can rest in him now.
As you enter the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, don’t forget the first four words he said in Mark 6: 31 “Come ye yourselves apart…”. Take some time alone with him each day and remember that without what he has done already for our country and for you, neither of these holidays would be necessary. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!