Matthew 23:4 ESV

[The scribes and Pharisees] tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

It’s amazing to see how complicated Sabbath rest was made out to be by the Pharisees in Jesus’s time.  Something as simple as picking grain to eat was labeled as “work” and therefore not allowed.  But as Jesus pointed out, the strict rules completely contradicted God’s purpose of bringing rest to man through the Sabbath.

Even if we have the best intentions, we need to be careful not to attach unnecessary rules and conditions to Sabbath rest as the Pharisees did.  Telling someone how, why or when they should rest is often counterproductive and can add an unwanted burden to what should be a time of renewal for them.  What looks like work to one person might bring peace to someone else.

God knows us better than we know ourselves — the physical, mental and spiritual recharge that rest provides allows us to do far more in the long run than we could ever accomplish by constantly working.  Take some time today to ask God to show you how to apply true Sabbath rest to your life.

Steve Rimikis
Executive Pastor


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