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Ultimate Rest – Daily Devotional by Pastor Josh

“One man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had. ‘I don’t get it,’ he said. ‘Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did.’ ‘But you didn’t notice,’ said the winning woodsman, ‘that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest.”     
– Lewis Sperry Chafer
Rest isn’t only acceptable when all is at peace and all our tasks are completed. Rest is actually an effective way to fight a world of chaos. I can strive with little rest only to become less effective or experience burn out. Resting God’s way is like sharpening my spiritual axe. 
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. 
– Hebrews 4:9-11
In the wilderness, the Israelites were not yet in their “land of rest” but were invited by God to live as though they were in making every seventh day a day of rest (Exodus 34:21). Just as when God ceased from His labors of creation (Genesis 2:2), this was a foreshadowing and a brief taste of the ultimate rest to come in Jesus. Sabbath rest was not implemented for God’s benefit but for mankind in order to find relief from the labor of our own works.
One Sabbath, Jesus was going through the grain fields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?  In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
– Mark 2:27-28
Jesus proclaims that He is the Lord of the Sabbath, meaning that He exercises all authority over the rules and regulations that govern the Sabbath day. His rest is not relegated to prescribed moments but He becomes our present rest and the promise of all future rest. Jesus is the “ultimate rest”.
“Sabbath ceasing means to cease not only from work itself, but also from the need to accomplish and be productive, from the worry and tension that accompany our modern criterion of efficiency, from our efforts to be in control of our lives as if we were God, from our possessiveness and our enculturation, and, finally, from the humdrum and meaninglessness that result when life is pursued without the Lord at the center of it all”.
– Marva J. Dawn
Pray about how you are receiving Jesus as your “ultimate rest” each and to how you can live out the Sabbath. 
– Pastor Josh Ryan

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