Faith-Full Friday, rest, Vanessa

Faith – Full Friday Resources For Rest

Well friend, you’ve made it back.  I hope you’ve had a week full of joy and grace.  I pray you’ve seen God’s hand moving in your life. Maybe though, you’ve faced some challenges, some loss, or some pain.  Wherever you’re coming from, I’m so happy you’ve made your way to Share His Peace.  Can I invite you to pray with me today?

Holy Spirit,

We invite you into our space this very moment.  We invite you to speak.  We invite you to move.  We invite you to tear away the troubles of our mind in order to clear space for us to focus on you.  We invite your word to dwell richly in our hearts and to change us from the inside out. We invite you to create in us a thirst for righteousness. Amen. 

Whew!  I don’t know about you, but I’m already feeling refreshed.  There is something about meeting with God that fills my soul and leaves me feeling satisfied.

I mentioned on Monday that I’ve been reading a book called 24/6 by Matthew Sleeth, MD. I began this book with my children as part of an initiative to help my teens develop their own convictions surrounding electronic usage.  We’re just entering the parenting space of… dun, dun, dun…. CELL PHONES.

I really want to be one of those parents who says no to cell phones, but the ”joys” of being a blended family have created a different reality in our home. So as I’ve sought to make personal peace with the idea of giving my children a cell phone, I realized I had to capitalize on the opportunity to train my children.

So I sat down my oldest 3 with a plan to read one chapter each day followed by lively discussion.  If you’re wondering if I’m really that naive, sadly yes!  The lively discussion I’d envisioned sounded much more like the moans and groans of a mid-century torture chamber.  Here’s a legit parenting tip: read a book first before you read it with your kids!

What can I say?  I misread the back of the book.  I thought 24/6 was a book about technology, but I quickly found out it was really a book about remembering the Sabbath.

I released my children from their torture chamber on chapter 5, but I continued the read.  It’s a great book, just not for tween, video game addicted boys.  Sleeth’s vocabulary is slightly more complex than my young readers could absorb.  I was doing a lot of post-reading summarizing for them.

I share how I got to this book because it’s comical.  Really, I’m laughing at myself, but I hope that won’t have any influence on whether or not you choose to read it. Let me give you some more details to help determine if this is a useful read for you or not.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about this book, is the number of personal stories Sleeth has included.  I feel as if we’ve become good friends while I’ve read and learned about his childhood, his patients while working in the ER, job changes, and moves. Sleeth shares a story with each point he makes, and it’s made this book a very entertaining read for me.

Another thing I appreciate about 24/6 is the amount of scripture. We’ve traveled the Bible together, from creation to Jesus’s Ministry and many places in between. I’ve read books before that mis used scripture, but Sleeth has displayed a depth of knowledge about the word of God through his usage of scripture in the book.

The last thing I’ll highlight for you regarding Sleeth’s writing style is that it’s systemic.  The table of contents breaks the book into four parts: Our 24/7 World, Why We Need 24/6, How We Do 24/6, and Your 24/6 Life. If Rest or Sabbath is a topic you’re seeking to know more about, Sleeth’s book does a great job at making a very logical argument that is easy to follow.

So why should you read it?

If you’re passionate about rest or Sabbath and you’ve already studied the scriptures, you may not find a lot of new information in this book.  This book may be more of a confirmation to you of things you’ve already learned.  Still it’s got some great stories and I think 24/6 would be a great tool for sharing with others who are discovering the meaning of these topics in their own life.

If you’re beginning to learn about rest or Sabbath, 24/6 is a great read for you because it contains a vast amount of information in a practical and relatable format.  You’ll get scripture with application!  It’s also a fairly short read, just 172 pages for the main text followed by an additional 30 pages of “helps” titled Scripture, Quotes, Blessings, and About the Author.

I told you on Monday, I’d review two books.  As much as I’ve enjoyed reading 24/6, I cannot write a post on Resources for Rest without pointing you to Scripture.  Jesus said, Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Mt 11:28 NIV)

Here’s how Matthew Sleeth put it, “What Jesus says in his very first sermon is that he is the Sabbath.”

He also says, “Jesus doesn’t throw out the law- he fulfills it.  He is a compass pointing to the intent behind the law.  So, if ‘don’t kill’ really means ‘don’t get angry,’ then what is the intent behind ‘remember the Sabbath and keep it holy’?  What would it look like if we upped the ante on the Sabbath?”

For me, it’d look like more time spent in Bible Study.  Did you know that Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”?

Sleeth’s words upped the ante bring to mind the image of a poker table.  When I was a teen, I would often play Texas Hold ‘Em with my boyfriend and his brother and friends.  Although we only played for fun, we still used the chips and made our ‘wagers’ against one another.  I remember the thrill of the moment when I had a good hand and decided to go all in.

What kind of thrill could I experience in my life if I decided to go all in to my study of the scripture?  What if I let Jesus Christ, who IS the living word according to John 1:1 invade my soul and spirit and pierce my joints and marrow?

Friends the truth is I still struggle with rest because I am still inconsistent in my study of the word.  I treat my Bible like a 24 hour buffet, coming only when I’m starving and taking for granted that it will be there when I need it.  Oh, I glance at it daily, but I don’t always take the time to study God’s word.  When I find myself running on empty and feeling overwhelmed it is almost always because I’ve gotten out of the habit of spending regular, concentrated time in God’s Holy Word.

So why should you read your Bible?

Friend, the Bible is where you will find the rest your soul requires to live in this busy, performance driven life.

Next week, Stephanie will start a new series that is all about the power of the word of God.  We’ll be sharing our life verses with you!  I hope you’ll join us again on Monday to hear how the scripture has impacted Stephanie personally!

Would you join me in a bit of worship before you leave?

Share His Peace

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