Rebuild, Restore, Renew

 

Isaiah 61:1-4 NIV

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

   because the Lord has anointed me

   to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

   to proclaim freedom for the captives

   and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

   and the day of vengeance of our God,

to comfort all who mourn,

    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty

   instead of ashes,

the oil of joy

   instead of mourning,

and a garment of praise

   instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,

   a planting of the Lord

   for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins

   and restore the places long devastated;

they will renew the ruined cities

   that have been devastated for generations.”

 

Sabbath is a twenty four hour period where you cease from your vocation and dedicate the time to God.

 

Hebrew word – to stop, to cease, to keep

 

Genesis. 2:1-3  “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

 

The sabbath teaches us that we do not work to please God.

Rather, we rest because God is already pleased with the work he has accomplished in us.

 

Genesis 3:16-20  “To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;

   with painful labor you will give birth to children.

Your desire will be for your husband,

   and he will rule over you.”

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;

   through painful toil you will eat food from it

   all the days of your life.

It will produce thorns and thistles for you,

   and you will eat the plants of the field.

By the sweat of your brow

   you will eat your food

until you return to the ground,

   since from it you were taken;

for dust you are

   and to dust you will return.”

Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.”

 

Romans 1:25  “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator.”

 

Part of being made in the image of God is to work and rest as God worked and rested.

 

Jesus was called both Lord of the Harvest and Lord of the Sabbath.

 

(Helpful resources: Subversive Sabbath,  A.J. Swoboda; 24/6 Matthew Sleeth, MD; Sabbath, Wayne Muller; The Sabbath, Abraham Joshua Heschel)


Questions for Fusion Groups:

1. What did the Holy Spirit speak to you through this sermon?

2. How do you need to obey him?

3. Why do you think God designed Adam and Eve’s first day to be one of rest?

4. Why do we not rest? What might this tendency reveal about our trust, or lack thereof, in God?

5. Can you identify areas of your own life where work or achievement have served either as a numbing agent or as what provided your identity?