We are exhausted as a society. God offers a solution, but how do we live in that reality? With Christ, we are given a way of rest.
Made for a New World | Isaiah 11:1-16
Made to Be Saved | Genesis 3:15, 21-24
Made to Work | Genesis 3:17-19
Made to Gospel Our Relationships | Genesis 3:12-13
Made for a World Without Shame | Genesis 3:7-11
Made for a Different World | Genesis 3:1-7
Made for Relationships: Marriage | Genesis 2:18-25
Made for Relationship | Genesis 2:18-20
Made to Rest | Genesis 2:1-3
Made to Flourish | Genesis 2:4-25
God’s Heart for The Nations | Revelation 7:9-17
Made in the Image of God | Genesis 1:26-27
Great Questions Q&A Panel + MADE: to Teach | Genesis 1-3, 2 Timothy 2:24-26
How to Hear From God | Genesis 1:1-31
The Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit | Genesis 1:1-5
To Know God is to Worship God | Genesis 1:3-25
Is Your God Too Small? | Genesis 1:1-2
Every other religion will tell you to work your way to God. Only Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ did all the work so you can rest. In this message, John Elmore explains that we are tired because we haven’t tried God’s order for life. Why are our souls tired, what is God’s solution, and how do we personally find rest in Jesus?
It is going to be a good morning, because I am going to change your life. Of course you're like, "That's heresy. Jesus changes lives." He will. He will change your eternal life. I will change your technological life. Just recently, I discovered this iPhone hack. If you have an iPhone, I have really, really, really good news for you. If you have an Android, you're a nonconformist. You probably can figure it out yourself.
For iPhone users, I recently saw this video, and I was like, "Oh! Has that always been there?" In every meeting, every conversation, every everything, I'm getting unwanted calls from robocalls, spam calls, and unknown numbers. I mean, it's all the time. So I Googled it, and what came up is the easiest thing in the world. I can take no credit for it, but you're welcome. There's going to be something on-screen. This alone made it worth coming today. The gospel is going to be good, but this one will move the dial.
Open your phone to the Settings. It's the gear. If you're over 60, it's the thing that looks like a metal gear. Click "Settings." Then you're going to scroll, probably just two swipes down, and you'll see "Phone." Super intuitive. After you click "Phone," then you're going to scroll almost all the way to the bottom, and there's going to be this…wait for it…feature that says, "Silence unknown callers," because that's what we're after.
You push that. There's a simple toggle. It's likely off. That's the default setting. You just turn it on. Boom! No more unwanted callers. Goodbye, robocallers. See you later, telemarketers. Except you have to know this. I'm looking at Shoni Tucker right there. She emailed me over the weekend. I had told all of re:generation leadership about this. She was like, "Hey, really neat trick, but now my doctor's office… I'm missing all of their calls. How do you turn it back on?"
So, note to self. If you've already done that, and you don't have your mom's cell phone number saved, it's going straight to voicemail. You might be like, "She goes to voicemail anyway." Well, that's a different message, and you need to repent. If you don't have a number saved… All of your contacts will get through. Anybody who's not in your contacts goes straight to voicemail. Now, you'll still get the spammer's voicemail. They'll still tell you that the IRS… You're overdue in your funds, and you should turn yourself in. All of those things are still going to happen, but at least you can just delete the voicemail, and it's not going to interrupt your day.
I share that because out of curiosity one time I looked at iPhone analytics. I swiped right, and I was horrified. I looked at it, and I was like, "Wait. What?" It shows hours spent on my iPhone. Then I scrolled down, and it said number of notifications I received, which was well over 100. Then I scrolled farther down. It was like watching a car wreck. I was like, "Wait. What? What else does my phone tell me about me?" I scrolled down. It has notifications. It also has something called pickups. It was over 100 also.
So, I just did simple addition. Now I'm about 300. Then I divided it by waking hours, and what it gave me was the equivalent of every two to three minutes, someone pinging me…my phone, the calendar reminders, a text message, a phone call, me picking up my phone and doing whatever. That's like going through your day, and every two minutes, Knock! Knock! "Hey, do you have a second?" You're like, "No, actually." Knock! Knock! "Hey, can we talk real quick?" Knock! Knock! "Did I ever tell you that…?" Knock! Knock! "You know you're late for your meeting." Every two minutes. It's maddening. It made me want to throw my phone through the wall.
There's this thing called deep work that, frankly, we know nothing of. Deep work means you're undistracted for, like, an hour of time. You give your sole devotion to a thing. Well, we can no longer do that because of this love/hate device we carry around in our purse and pocket. I share that because of that love/hate relationship. It's not just that I have meeting notifications. I'm reading my Bible one morning, because I'm super spiritual. I'm sitting there reading it. I think this was when we had one child, just to give you context. This was a long time ago.
I get a text. I'm like, "Who's this? Who would be texting me at 4:00 a.m. when I have my quiet time?" (Just kidding. I don't. It was 6:30 or 7:00.) As I look at the text, I feel like I hear God say to me, "I hate your phone." True story. I time-stamped that about nine years ago, because I don't know that I've done much about it. I think it has actually gotten worse, this phone. I've taken steps. I deleted some news apps and Google, because what would happen with me with Google…
If you're like, "Oh, because of the bad images?" I mean, that's not helping anybody, but it's not because of the bad images. It's because I would get on Google to look up anything, and then what I found was they have news there at the home page, so I'm like, "Well, that's interesting. I didn't know that. I wonder what else." I'm scrolling. Y'all, I would scroll until there was no more. I can tell you what tools Bronze Age kings used in the latest archaeological discovery in Turkey. I'm like, "I've gone down the rabbit hole."
It's not so much these inappropriate images that are there. It's that I'm spending an inappropriate amount of time on my phone. But it has my calendar. It has my finances. It has my photos. It has my music. It has my work with my email, my phone calls, my contacts. It has everything. Last I checked, I think God is supposed to have all that. Because it has all of those things, it has my heart and my mind, and God is the one… He's like, "No, no, no. I'm supposed to have your finances and your time and your relationships and contacts. That's my job. No wonder you're stressed."
It's not just my phone. Laura and I… Here's a microcosm of the last 72 hours. It was our daughter's birthday. She just rolled 7. We had a very full weekend. We had her birthday. Yesterday we had three soccer games alone. So, we have a shared iPhone note (I have an administratively gifted wife) that says, "Our Weekend." Otherwise, I'm not showing up to anything. I have no context for, like, "I don't even know where I am, what I'm supposed to do."
So it says, "Our Weekend." It's like a hard SAT question. It's like, "If Penny has a soccer game at Archgate in Plano at 11:00 a.m., but Hill's soccer game begins at 12:00 at High Point and Judd's soccer game at the YMCA in Richardson is at 1:30, then who has the soccer ball?" I'm like, "I don't know. I don't know. I don't know." We had to drive separately. She's like, "Okay. Now, take the birthday gift, and you give this. Then come home with his cleats and shin guards." I'm like, "Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. I'm teaching about rest tomorrow. I can't!"
Then on top of all that, we're like, "Penny, what do you want for your birthday? What would you like?" Do you know what she wanted? A hamster. As if I didn't have enough stress in my life. I thought, "How bad could a hamster be?" I'll tell you: horrible. It is a stub-tail rat. That's all it is. It stinks. We call exterminators to get rats out of buildings. Now we just bought one and plopped it into our house. It reeks. It runs on its wheel all night long.
So, we're looking for someone to adopt a hamster. Literally, last night I was like, "Hey, Penny, so, um, I know you already had your birthday. Would you like anything else besides a hamster? I don't know. Would you like a cat? Would you like pierced ears? Would you like a car? Anything!" She was literally holding her hamster Midnight, and she was like, "Midnight, do you want to go back to the pet store?" talking to this thing. I was like, "What kind of dad am I?" A wise dad.
It's not just our phones. I'm sure you have your own version of that. It's not your hamster maybe. Maybe it's your boyfriend. Maybe he's the one who stinks, and he's in your space. I'm sorry. It's easier to get rid of hamsters. I think we, as a people in society, are exhausted. We are stressed out. We are chronically busy. We live, especially here in Dallas, at this frenetic pace. As a result…shocker…we're filled with anxiety. We're prone to depression. We live in this constant state of agitation and stress and have no margin, because whatever margin we used to have is swallowed up by all of the pings. It's such a problem.
I think the greater problem is, despite all of that, we don't even know how to rest. I think we have entirely forgotten what it is, biblically speaking, to rest. So, today, I want to offer a solution, the Bible's solution. Jesus said that in him we would find rest. In Jesus we would find rest. And not just any rest, but rest for our souls. If our souls aren't at rest… I would say, for this past week, mine was not. It says something about my heart and its relationship with Jesus.
So, today, my aim is to resolve that disparity between stressed and rest. We're continuing this series Made, and today is Made to Rest. You can already see where I'm going here. We have six days of creation, and the seventh day is missing. You have the first day with light, and then sky, and then land and plants, the sun, moon, and stars, birds and fish, animals and people. You're like, "Where's day seven?" Well, day seven is not there because God ceased from his work. On these days he worked. This was his creative work, and then on the seventh day, it says he rested.
So, let's get to the passage, because rested is an interesting word. Genesis 2:1-3: "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished…" There are the six days. "…and all the host of them. And on the seventh day…" Now not represented by one of these boxes. "…God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy [set apart, holy unto him], because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation."
So, here's your road map for today. I'm going to give you a biblical theology from the seventh day through the Bible on rest, on that seventh day Sabbath rest. Then we're going to talk about where we are as a society, what God offers as a solution, and finally, how personally to live in that reality.
First, God rested, but he didn't rest because he was tired. That doesn't make sense. He's an omnipotent, all-powerful God. It's not like he was like, "Man! That took a lot. I'd love to catch the game and maybe nap for a little bit." When it says he rested, the verb is shâbath. It's where we get the word sabbath, which doesn't actually mean rest; it means to cease from work.
So, he worked, worked, worked, worked, worked, and then he was like, "That's it. That's good," and he ceased from his work. Now, not entirely. He ceased from his creative work, but you know what happened after Adam and Eve sinned. Then he was like, "Okay, back to work," but it wasn't creative work then; it was redemptive work. He was like, "All right. I am after the souls of men and women to reconcile them back to me."
So, when he continued that redemptive work, he gave his people, the nation of Israel… From Sinai he gave to Moses the Ten Commandments, and the fourth of the Ten Commandments is the Sabbath. He said, "Keep the Sabbath. Keep it holy. Cease from your work." Then, when they got toward the Promised Land and were about to enter back into Israel, he gave them Deuteronomy, which just means second law. Deutero (second), nomos (law). He gave them the second law.
All of the others had dropped dead in the desert because of their unbelief, so he was like, "Oh, by the way, you're about to go into the land. I need to give you the law again." So he told them, "Hey, you're to keep the Sabbath holy. That's because I rested on the seventh day. I want you to rest also. I want you to cease from your work and remember that I'm the Lord. That day is devoted to me. Also, I want to remind you that the Sabbath should remind you of Passover," which occurred on a Saturday while they were in Egypt.
Why would he do that? Why would he say the seventh day should remind them not just of ceasing work but also the Passover? Because they were under the control of their enemies, the Egyptians, and they didn't effort or wrestle or strive or war to get out of Egypt. Instead, do you know what they did to get out of Egypt? They had a meal.
God was like, "Do you know how I'm going to get you out? You guys are going to have a big barbecue. Everybody is going to have lamb for dinner. That's how you go out." That they would remember that every Sabbath. They were to remember God ceased from his work and "Wait a second. Do you remember how he brought us out of Egypt? We literally just shared a meal together, and then we walked free."
God was telling them, "Hey, I've got you. I'm your provider. I'm your sustainer. I'm your deliverer. It's not by your effort. I'm God. You're not. I've got you. Every week, you're going to remember that." So, this Sabbath on Saturday was given for people. Even their animals weren't to work. Even the land was supposed to rest every seven years. They never followed that.
It was to be a reminder to the nation of Israel (that's who the Ten Commandments were given to) to set them apart from the rest of the nations, that they would be like, "You guys just don't work that day?" They're like, "Yeah, because God works for us." They're like, "Whoa." So, that Sabbath was given to Israel.
Now, you read in the New Testament, and you see nine out of the ten commandments transfer over. The theological and moral commandments are found. The Sermon on the Mount. He's like, "You've heard it said, 'Don't commit adultery.' I tell you whoever looks lustfully… You've heard it said, 'Don't commit murder.' I tell you whoever is angry in his heart…" There's a carryover. "Keep yourselves from idols," the last verse of 1 John. There's the carryover, but one is missing.
That's strange. It's the Sabbath. Where did the Sabbath go? We just got some kind of cosmic rip-off? The Jews, the nation of Israel, got to rest. We don't get to rest on a particular day? God is like, "No, no, no." In Christ, he is your Sabbath rest. Your rest is not found in a day. Your rest is now found in a way, a way of walking and following your Savior, because Jesus said, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden. I will give you rest."
Not like you're tired "take a nap" rest…rest for your soul, for your soul to find rest in Jesus. He's like, "I'm the Sabbath. I'm the Lord of the Sabbath." So, that Sabbath rest is found. It's found in Christ. Here it is from Colossians 2:16-17. Here's the tie-together from the old to the new. "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ."
That seventh day that is missing when we cease from rest… Do you know why it's missing now in the New Testament? Because that was just a shadow. That was all just a buildup to point you to the only one who could give you rest for your soul. The shadow finds its reality in Christ. We were truly made to rest, and we find that rest in Jesus. So, again, we do not get a day of rest; we get a way of rest.
The point I want to walk us through now (three ways) is…Are you tired? I've already shared it somewhat in the introduction, but here it is for us to look at and just be painfully reminded of the things… Are we tired? I think we are. Biblically speaking, I think we can even argue it, but from the cultural as well.
The Industrial Revolution brought everybody from an agrarian society into the city place. Because of electricity and the jobs, they could work later and longer. Not necessarily a great thing. Then came the technological revolution. An NYU sociologist named Dalton Conley coined the word weisure…work/leisure mash-up. That mash-up has not been a blessing. What it means is… We used to have leisure. You know, Saturday, Sunday, 5:00 cutoff.
My dad would come home with a briefcase. There was not a whole lot you could do with the contents of a briefcase. He just came home from work. There was leisure. Now work and leisure have intertwined, because you know what? You and I are reachable every hour of every day. Your boss can send you an email at 10:00 p.m. You walk in at 8:00 a.m. He's like, "Did you see my email?" You're like, "My goodness!" We can never be off because of the technological revolution.
Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 2… He tried it. He was the OG workaholic. He was like, "You know what? I didn't know what to do, so I made gardens. I made buildings. I made parks, and it was vanity." At the end of it… He made it all, and he was like, "Nope. Life is not found there. It was vanity. It was a chasing after the wind."
The second thing is pace. In Psalm 127:2, it says, "In vain you rise early and stay up late, eating the bread of anxious toil." God is like, "Hey, you think you're working harder and you're going to accomplish something. The only thing you're getting is anxious. It's not found there." But we have this burnout culture, this high-stress culture, this culture of busyness.
TA knew I was teaching on rest, so he sent me a quote. I emailed him back. I was like, "I'm teaching on rest, whatever that is." He sent me this quote from a book. Zigarelli of Messiah University studied 20,000 Christians. He polled them. He asked, "What is the number-one thing distracting you from God?" Answer: "Busyness." Just too busy. "God, I'm too busy for you." Eating the bread of anxious toil. Sixty percent of people said sometimes they are too busy to even enjoy life.
This is crazy. We have some friends who lived in Dallas a long time. They moved down to Waco. They came back from Waco, and they were like, "Oh my goodness!" I was like, "What? George's?" They were like, "No, the pressure and stress. We didn't even know. We didn't think we were in the rat race, but when we come up I-75 and hit I-20, I can feel it in my chest. It's just on me again." I was like, "Whatever. You're just trying to get us to move to Waco."
Then some other friends moved to Waco, and they came back, and they were like, "Dude, it's amazing. Like, truly. I feel at peace. I watch the sunset." I was like, "Whatever. This is a conspiracy. We're not moving to Waco." A third family said it. At this point I was like, "All right." I picked up my phone. I was like, "Is there something to living in an urban area?" Y'all, it's called urbanitis. It's a thing. Now, don't walk in to your doctor and be like, "Hey, Doc." "What brings you in today?" "Well, I've got this bad case of urbanitis." There's no pill for it. There is a person for it. Jesus can heal it, but it's a real thing.
You think about Dallas. Dude, I-75 alone will put you in a hospital, a mental hospital. The pace we live in, the materialism we live in, the status seeking we live in… John Cox, our executive pastor, said, "Dallas is a weird city." He's like, "LA kind of has the vanity thing. Boston has the education thing, the accomplishments. Dallas just mashes them together, and they seek after both." There's urbanitis that is affecting our souls. It's making us tired in life.
Lack of sleep. Thirty-five percent of Americans are sleep-deprived, one in three. Man! There is the tech, which I've already firmly established, through our phones, our laptops, just all day, every day. Then you have your current events…politics, economy, coming recession, COVID, long COVID, supply chain issues, the war that's over in Ukraine going on and the possibility of Russia and that mess. We're supplying arms and funds, so are we going to get further pulled into that? All of these things make us tired.
There's not just that war. There is the culture war. The culture war is upon Christian values, which, inherently, makes it upon Christians. So, just a few of those. Before I share this, as I was thinking about, "Why does culture make us tired…?" Well, Lot, the guy who lived in Sodom… Second Peter 2:7 gives a little more glimpse into Lot's life. It said that righteous man Lot was tormented day after day as he lived among the pagan people in that land. Just living in that pagan society with all they were known for was tormenting his soul. It was making him this. It was making him tired.
You think about, "What would make me tired about living where we live?" Drag Queen Story Hour would be one. This is happening in Texas. Children are getting taken to a public place to have a transgender person read a book to them. That used to be called transvestite pedophilia grooming. Now it's just called Drag Queen Story Hour.
A judge in New York said polyamorous relationships now count as marriage. Marriage used to be a man and a woman for life. Now it can be a threesome or more. In New York, according to this judge, they receive the same marital rights. FBI raids with assault weapons on pro-life activists. Socialistic leanings in our economy. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians, "If a man shall not work, he shall not eat."
Then the increase in mastectomies. In case you're like, "How is that in culture? That's just due to breast cancer, right? That's not a bad thing…" There's a 400 percent increase in mastectomies in the last three years by a particular age group. The age group is children, as young girls are going under the knife because of what they're being told is gender dysphoria. "If you will just change your body, then you can really be who you're supposed to be." That will wear on your soul. That will make you tired. The application for that point is early voting starts this week.
I want to say this, because some people got up out of the first service when I walked through some of those headlines. I am not against transgender people. I hope every transgender person in Dallas comes through these doors and finds Jesus, because they're tired. They're more tired than we are. We have a Savior; they don't. I hope every person in a same-sex relationship, polyamorous, whatever it is, would come through these doors and find Christ. I am not against the individual; I am against the movement and the normalization of sin, because the Bible is.
So, we are tired. No wonder we're tired. Do you know what else makes you tired, in case you're like, "Yeah, the transgender movement"? Sin. Your own sin makes you tired. Psalm 32 says, "My strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. My bones groaned because I had sin I didn't confess." So, let judgment begin with the house of the Lord, and may we repent before we throw any stones at anybody else.
I know as you're applauding it's for biblical values, not because you're throwing any stones, but may we repent, because that will make us tired. Our own sin will make us much more tired than anybody else's sin. And even ministry. Ministry can make you tired. Mark 6:31. Jesus said, "Come away with me to a desolate place and find rest," because they didn't have any leisure to eat. They didn't even have time to eat because they were so consumed with ministry.
For all of those factors, we are tired. We're a tired people. But I don't think the problem is solely just those things external to us. I think the problem, actually, is me. I think I am the problem. I think I'm the problem because I don't know how to rest anymore. Even when I do, I choose not to, because I live according to my way of life rather than God's way of life. He has given us an order in his Word, saying, "If you live according to my way, you will have peace. You'll have rest," but I'm like, "No. No, I'm going my way."
I'm the problem, but if I would reorder myself to God's way… Have you tried God's way? He gives us an order to life that leads to rest and peace. We're tired because we have not tried God's way, but if we will try God's way, we'll find peace. Why? Here it is. God's Word, which is his will… It says in Psalm 19, "The law of the Lord is perfect…" You're like, "Okay, great. The law is perfect? Good. Neat theological fact." It goes on to say, "…reviving the soul…" Your soul is revived as you ingest his living and active Word.
God's ways. It says when we live according to the Holy Spirit, when we're like, "I'm following you. I'm not going to follow the world. I'm not going to follow culture. I'm not going to follow my flesh. I'm following you today," that results in life and peace. Have you tried God's way? God's authority. Some people are like, "Well, I attend this church, and I really like that pastor, so I go there sometimes, and I really like that podcast," and they're under no authority of God.
God has given elders of churches, it says, to keep watch over your souls. Even in becoming a member of a local church… It doesn't have to be this one. There are a great many of gospel-preaching, Bible-teaching churches in the area, but be a member of one so that your soul can be kept watch over. It's not just you and Jesus. He has given elders as under-shepherds to watch out for the flock of God. Don't be a sheep, roaming off by your own and thinking you're going to be okay. You are going to be stressed and fretful and, frankly, devoured.
Then prayer. It says in Philippians 4, "Do not be anxious…" So don't be tired, but have you tried God's way? "Don't be anxious about anything, but in everything, present your prayers and requests, your petitions, before God with thanksgiving and…" There's our command. That's our part. Go to God. "Hey, this is what I need today," with thanksgiving. Then it says his part is to give you peace. It says, "And the peace of God…" Have you tried God's way? The peace of God will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus, and it's peace that surpasses all understanding.
You think you have some circumstances? You're like, "What am I going to do about this? There's no way out of this. My work stress, my home life stress, my in-law stress, my financial stress…" He's like, "No, this is not a logic problem. It's a supernatural problem. You bring those problems to me. You give me your pressures. I exchange them for peace." It's what he does. Have you tried God's way?
And God's people. Galatians 6:2: we are to bear one another's burdens. Some of you are tired because you haven't tried God's way of letting somebody else carry that. You know, we go to our Community Group. We're like, "Hey, Laura is going through breast cancer," and somebody had a family member die, and whatever conflict is going on. This week we had to say, "And we got a hamster, and we need your help." You carry one another's burdens. It's not just those things about God that we haven't tried. In Psalm 23, it says God himself restores my soul. Soul restoration by God himself. Have you tried God's way?
We get all of that in the gospel. Sometimes we're like, "Okay. Forgiveness of sins and heaven when I die." God is like, "No, no! You're not reading. Have you tried my way? I give you peace. I give you rest. I did the work so you don't have to. I worked so that you can rest." When every other religion… Islam: "I hope your good deeds outweigh your bad." Hinduism: "You'd better live a good life, because when you die, maybe then you'll be reincarnated into a better one, and then again, and then again, and then again, until maybe you're good enough and you get absorbed into Brahman."
Or maybe you follow that Eightfold Path of enlightenment so you can reach nirvana with Buddhism. Or maybe it's the cults, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormonism. It's like, "Oh, yeah, Jesus? He's fine and good, but you'd better work really hard. You'd better do some work." In Christianity alone, Jesus said, "I did the work."
He said, "It is finished. It's finished. There's nothing more to add. Rather, come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I'll give you rest for your souls." Jesus said, "Father, I brought you glory on this earth by doing everything you have given me to do." He did all the work so we can find our rest. We are tired because we have not tried God's way. We're going duty instead of devotion. But here it is. The answer is Jesus is our rest.
I was at the fair recently with our kids. I took out a loan and went there. We get done. We do the rides and all the treats and the corn dog, and we're leaving. This is so messed up…so messed up. They know what time it is. It's bedtime. We're going. I'm pushing a stroller, by the way. There are no kids in it. It's just all our junk we had to buy.
All of a sudden, fireworks. I was like, "No!" And the kids were like, "Oh, fireworks!" I was like, "There are not fireworks in October. What are they doing?" The kids stop. They're looking at the fireworks. Then all of a sudden, ballet starts. Because why not? It's the fair. So, there's a stage and ballerinas. Penny is in ballet, so she's like… I'm like, "Oh, we have to stay." This is, like, tangible clickbait for my kids.
I don't even walk over. Laura and the kids walk over. They're peeking over the fence. I'm just standing there with the stroller. I'm just angry about fireworks and ballet, like, "Those dirty, rotten… As if the fair wasn't enough." Then I was like, "Oh." The Lord was like, "Repent. Repent. It's okay." So, I leave the stroller, and I walk over to the family. I just come up behind Laura and start, like, just a little… "Hey, I'm here. I love you. I'm with you," as I'm watching the fireworks.
You know that feeling when someone is looking at you? I was like, "What?" and then I was like, "Oh!" There was a man, a huge man, like, a truck of a man, a fair man. He just looks at me like, "Why are you touching me?" I had been stroking this man's arm. I was like, "Aah! I'm so sorry." I'm just backing away. "I'm so sorry." He's like… I was like, "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry." It looked like it disarmed the situation, and then I said something worse. I go, "I thought you were my wife." He's like, "You thought I looked like a woman!" Then Laura was like, "You think I look like him?" I was like, "Forget it! Load up!"
I am telling you that because you can do the right thing to the wrong person. Let's talk about Jesus. Oh my goodness! Y'all, we can go through all of the motions. You can do all of the right things, but if it is with the wrong person… Just like the Jews got legalistic about the Sabbath… They were like, "Well, that's the Sabbath, and we don't want to offend God, so let's make rules around the rules, because we don't want to do anything bad." They got legalistic about it.
We can get legalistic about this spiritual life. We can try God's way and get legalistic about it, like, "Well, I have to do Bible memory, and I have to do reading, and I have to go to community, and I have to be a member of the local church," and all the "have tos." It's like, "No, no, no! Wait, wait, wait!" That's like the guy at the fair. You're in a relationship with a person. This is Jesus. Jesus gives you his rest.
Now, he will give you through those means of grace that we have discussed, but we are talking about a person. He said, "Come to me," not "Come to a bunch of things to do." He did the work so we can rest. He said, "Come to me, as a person. I'll give you rest." We just go to him, and he says, "I've got you. I'll give you rest."
Do you know why you can rest in Jesus? You can rest in Jesus because he never does. He never rests, because he is for you. Because Jesus works, you can rest. Here it is from the Scripture: he never sleeps. You're going to have to put on a Trinitarian hat for this, but Psalm 121: he who keeps Israel neither sleeps nor slumbers. God, triune God, never sleeps.
He ceased from work one day and then has been working to redeem mankind every single day since. He doesn't sleep. In case you're like, "Well, if he's not sleeping, then what's he doing?" he's working. He's working on behalf of mankind, which is John 5:17. When on that Sabbath day, this seventh day… Jesus always, always… He's just drawing the Pharisees offsides.
Anytime he heals somebody, generally, it's on the Sabbath. They're like, "You have six days to heal people. Don't do it on the seventh day." He's like, "I'm Lord of the Sabbath. I'm doing it there. You're missing it. I'm your rest." They tell him, "You can do this anytime," and he says, "My Father is always at work, and so am I." You can rest because Jesus is always at work.
If he's working, then, can we trust his work? Well, his work is always unto good. It says in Romans 8:28 he works all things for good for those who love him. So, he is working, and he is working for good. If you're like, "Not in my life. You don't know the details. He is not working anything good in my life…" If it's not good, it has been said, then he is not done. He's not going to stop working, nor will he ever sleep. He always provides.
Psalm 127 says, "In vain you rise early and stay up late, eating the bread of anxious toil." The balance of that verse says, "For he gives to his beloved even while they sleep." He's like, "No. You think you're the one working and making all this happen?" Deuteronomy 8 says God gives the ability to produce wealth. He's like, "That's not going to accomplish it. I'm the one who gives to you. So, you put in a faithful day of work, lay your head down, and sleep well, because I've got you. I'm the one who's going to do it. I give to my beloved even while they sleep."
Then, finally, it says he always prays. Hebrews 7:25: "Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him [Jesus], since he [Jesus] always lives to make intercession for them." If you're in Christ, Jesus is praying for you all day, every day. Can you even imagine? The Lord himself is praying for you. So, we find our rest in Jesus.
My phone… If I asked, "Hey, what does this run on?" you'd be like, "The operating system, iOS. Maybe you haven't downloaded the new version that takes an hour and crashes your phone, but nonetheless, it runs on iOS." It doesn't. It runs on electricity. My phone gets tired. It'll lose the charge. Me just setting it down for a while will not recharge it.
That's the equivalent of being like, "Man, I'm tired, so I'm going to have a meal. I'm tired, so I'm going to take a nap. I'm tired, so I'm going to chill and watch a movie." Those things are fine. There's nothing wrong with them. Or "I'm not going to work on Sunday." You probably shouldn't. You should rest on Sunday. But that's going to give you physical rest or mental rest. Not a single one of those is going to touch your soul and give you soul rest. The only way my phone is ever going to get recharged is if I plug it into the source. The source is Jesus.
So, here's my application for you right now. I want you to think of one way right now that you can find some rest this week in Jesus. For all of you, it's going to look different. God has made us all different. Do you know what it is for me? My firepit in my backyard. That is where I find rest for my soul, where I can just meet with God and be still. I go out there. I'm outside. I'm stirred by creation, and I can just be still and shake off a little of that urbanitis by time with Jesus.
Nate Graybill, the guy who wrote the re:gen curriculum, is a contemplative, so he rests by reading theology. Robin Dutton, who works on our External Focus Team, rests through artwork. Just think about, "Lord, how can I rest and recharge in you? I'm tired, and I want to try your way. I want to find my rest in Jesus."
Here it is finally: Jesus is our Sabbath rest. In Hebrews 4, it uses the word rest 10 times in 10 verses. The verb is katapauo, which means to cause to rest. It's like Psalm 23, "He makes me lie down." He causes us to rest because he is our Sabbath rest. It says this: "For we [church] who have believed enter that rest… So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his." "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest for your souls."
I began today by telling you about the phone hack, how to silence the unwanted calls. It's a feature there within the phone. The designer of the phone, Tim Cook or whoever who works at Apple, was like, "Hey, we ought to do something for them, because they're getting blown up by all those unwanted… It's just incessant noise. We should do something. Let's put a toggle in there, a feature that can silence all that."
In the same way, your designer has not given you a feature; he has given you himself. How amazing that God is like, "I'm not going to give you a tip or trick. You get me. I will give you rest." So, brothers and sisters, let's stand now, and let's sing to the only risen Savior and the one who gives rest for your soul.