God Created the Sabbath for You
“Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.” (Exodus 34:21, NIV)
The Bible is filled with instructions about rest and recreation. In fact, rest and recreation are so important that God gives them a special name: Sabbath. He even put Sabbath in the Ten Commandments—right up there with “Don’t commit adultery” and “Don’t murder.” God says that on the seventh day of every week, you should take a day off. That’s how important a Sabbath is in your life.
Jesus said in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (NIV). In other words, it’s God’s idea that you take a day off every seven days for rest, recreation, worship, and restoration. He did this for your own benefit—so you don’t burn out.
But in our modern society, many people don’t take a Sabbath. Even on their days off, they’re working. Many people who attend a church service go home afterward and get right back to work, finishing all the things they didn’t get done during their workweek. That’s not a Sabbath!
This is what it means to have a Sabbath: “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest” (Exodus 34:21 NIV).
Even in your busiest season, God wants you to take a day of rest. You may be a tax accountant, but you still have to take a day off during tax season. You may work in retail, but you still have to take a day off during the Christmas season. Even a farmer must take a day off during the harvest or planting season.
What are you supposed to do on your Sabbath?
- Rest your body. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap.
- Refocus your spirit. Spend time in worship.
- Recharge your emotions. Do something that restores and reenergizes you, like a hobby or a sport.
It doesn’t really matter which day is your Sabbath. It does matter that you are obedient. You may not rest just because your spouse or your boss tells you to take a break. But you must rest when God commands it—and he always knows what’s best for you.
Talk It Over
What kind of difference does it make in your week when you take one day to rest, refocus, and recharge?
What activities or responsibilities keep you from taking a Sabbath?
How can you change the way you do your Sabbath so that you are honoring God when you rest?
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This devotional © 2022 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.