Rest a while: Mark 6.31 VOTD

“He said to them, ‘Come with me privately to an isolated place and rest a while’ (for many were coming and going, and there was no time to eat).”

Mark 6. 31

After the Twelve returned from preaching in Israel, Jesus wanted them to rest, far from the crowds. He knew the value of resting from one’s labors.

Jesus had the habit of getting away from the crowds to rest and pray, Mk 1.35. He created moments for the Twelve as well and shows us the importance of respecting this need in ourselves.

#rest #life-cycles #VOTD

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9-8-2015 Labor Day

The Central Labor Union desired a rest day for workers in 1882, which became a Federal Holiday in 1884. Under Moses’ Law, God told Israelites: “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work” (Deuteronomy 5:13-14 NKJV). Men originated a yearly rest day, God had a weekly rest day. Solomon said: “Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God” (Ecclesiastes 2:24 NKJV). A “Labor Day” that doesn’t remember God is wasted. Jesus said: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#god, #labor-day, #rest

Guest Article: Where’s Jesus? by Joshua Gulley

Here’s a good article that reminds us about the importance of feeding our faith over our ego and allowing God’s grace to accomplish what we could never earn.

Where’s Jesus? by Joshua Gulley

Luke 5:15-16 – “The news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would slip away to the wilderness and pray.”

Hold on a minute! I thought this was what Jesus’s job was—to spread the gospel of the kingdom of God, to heal people, to cast out demons, to raise people from the dead, to encourage, to do miracles, to teach, to exhort, to rebuke! You’re telling me that Jesus turned down opportunities to do the Lord’s work?! You mean they had a door-knocking event and He didn’t show up? You mean to tell me that there was a work camp going on and He skipped it? Are you trying to say that there was a revival meeting that night and He didn’t attend?

I’m being overly dramatic, of course. But the fact remains that there was good work available for the doing, and Jesus chose not to be there. How can this be so? I think Jesus had already learned a couple of things that take some experience to figure out—a couple of things that I understand in theory at this point of my life, but have not quite perfected in practice just yet.

First is that your own relationship with God has to be in proper order before anything else can be acceptable. There are always good things to be doing, but if we are always doing good things, we are not taking time to stay close to God ourselves.

Second is that overworking yourself is not good. There are several reasons for this, but the important one here is that when we are working all the time, we may be accomplishing a lot, but we may also be tempted to develop an unhealthy pride in the things we accomplish. I may knock on 500 doors and conduct 30 Bible studies and grade a thousand correspondence courses and mow a dozen yards and clean five gutters and visit 20 widows and carry 40 meals to the sick before I realize that by keeping up with my stats, I’m developing a “salvation by credit” kind of attitude. To twist Paul’s words a bit, I may give all my possessions to feed the poor and surrender my body to be burned, but without the blood of Jesus, none of that will get me to heaven. God is pleased with the good we accomplish as long as we keep in mind that He doesn’t need us to do it. He deserves every bit of our devotion, but ironically, that devotion can be misplaced and actually cause us to move away from God. “Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Paul perhaps captures it best in Ephesians 2:8-10. “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” We can’t let Satan guilt us into thinking we’ve got to do more, more, more. When you find yourself patting yourself on the back for something good you just did (boasting), then it’s time to go back to the other side of the semicolon to remember that salvation is a gift—not wages. Lord, help us know when it is time to slip away into the wilderness and pray. – Joshua Gulley

Josh is a member at the Smithville Church of Christ and a teacher of music at the High School level

#ego, #faith, #grace, #jesus, #rest, #salvation, #works

Rest is for those who Work

All sales and cookouts aside, Labor Day was meant to be a day off for those who actually labor. And it was designed to be a celebration and a guaranteed day of rest for workers during a time in the American culture when a workweek’s amount of vacation was an extremely rare, if not non-existent, perk enjoyed by the few!

Just as in the past, labor today can be done in different ways and in various amounts, but just as in the past, without the actual labor what’s the rest for?

Perhaps this is a point with a spiritual application? Undoubtedly it is!

To God’s people there is a time coming when we will inherit, not just a “day” of rest, but an entire “land” of rest in Heaven; but what would this rest be without the labor that works toward it?

While spiritual labor can surely be done in different ways and in various amounts, there is no point to rest if there’s no labor to begin with! This is a point, among several others, to keep in mind when we read verses such as:

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Hebrews 4:9-11 – KJV)

Rest is meant to be for those who work, and in the midst of a section of God’s word that says we are saved by grace we find that God’s people are meant to look for the work that he has given us to do (Ephesians 2:10). For the heavenly land of rest will only be entered by a living, a trusting, and yes, a laboring faith that seeks a rest in Canaan that can be counted on.

There is indeed rest for the weary, God will keep his word, but we must be weary of those who promise rest without the labor – for they existed among God’s people in the past and they continue to do so today.

For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.” (Matthew 20:1 – NKJV)

#faith, #labor, #labor-day, #land-of-rest, #rest, #spiritual-application, #spiritual-canaan

Hugh Fulford: Play Ball!

The game of baseballA few days ago, a cry went up in ballparks all across America—”Play Ball!”

I fell in love with the game of baseball when I was just a little boy. I still remember my mother ordering me a baseball uniform and glove from Sears & Roebuck when I was about eight or nine years old, how anxiously I anticipated the arrival of the package, and how excited I was when it finally came.

Other than junior high school and high school football, basketball, and baseball, the little town in which I grew up did not have formally organized sports teams such as dominate the scene of towns and cities in America today. The school “Vocational Shop” teacher nevertheless loved sports of all kinds and took an interest in the boys of our community by working with us in the summertime, coaching us in baseball, and occasionally arranging games between us and similar rag-tag teams in nearby towns. Continue reading

#baseball, #leisure, #relax, #rest

Vacation Time

We go every December to visit family but that is almost constant activity and over 1,000 miles of driving. It is a great joy to see our families and we cherish the moments, but you don’t get to rest the way your body needs.

Deirdre and I wait until the girls are at camp and go stay in a cabin in Georgia and rest and fish all week. It is extraordinary and we whine about having to go back home, it is so wonderful. By the way, the cabin has wifi — I don’t know why I can’t be online during vacation. 🙂

Someday, when we have an empty nest, we want to do some traveling. I want to go back and do a more thorough job of visiting St.  Augustine and we dream of a Civil War battlefield trip up the eastern seaboard. And then there is the Grand Canyon and New England….

Maybe, maybe.

Of course, if we had several large stacks of cash, we would like to go to Ireland and Italy. Deirdre also wants me to take her to New Zealand, since she has heard me talk about it so much.

BTW, why do spell checkers always tell you that Zealand is misspelled? Haven’t they established themselves as a country, yet???

#new-zealand, #rest, #travel, #vacation

Nice Day

Taking a day off on the longest day of the year is nice. More rest for your buck.

Spending the day, resting, writing an article, reading, napping and watching TV with my lovely bride.

Hope you are having a blessed day where you are.

#rest, #summer-solstice