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Rest and Renewal

August 1st, 2017

Unrelenting activity and noise produce spiritual exhaustion.

 Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.Isaiah 40:31 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “Rest and Renewal.”

Have you noticed that so much activity seems rushed, and everyone more impatient, with all too many fatigued? Too often, the urgent displaces the important. The pace of life and the noise of your surroundings diminish things vital to your well-being. Unrelenting noise is exhausting to the human spirit. Unrelenting activity produces a confused identity. More tragically, somewhere in the noise and busyness you can lose something of yourself. When possible, slow the pace of your life and regularly withdraw to a quiet place. Jesus often withdrew from the crowds, and even the disciples, to be alone with the Father.

Why are people tired so much of the time? Physical exertion should enhance strength and endurance. But instead, misdirected busyness depletes your strength and energy. More time-saving and labor-sparing devices are readily available than previous generations enjoyed. With power tools, sophisticated equipment, and increasing automation to assist with every task, we should feel less weary at the end of the day. But people aren’t less weary.

Physical tiredness appears to be a symptom, not the problem. Jesus diagnosed both the problem and its remedy with His invitation, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest . . learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus’ solution was simple: come to Me, and learn from Me. A great part of our physical, mental, and emotional tiredness is due to varying measures of diminished spiritual well-being. Daniel prophesied about a time when spiritual adversity would, “wear out the saints.” Daniel 7:25 KJV.

“The Lord gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary.” Read Isaiah 40:28-31.

I suggest some Biblical disciplines that will strengthen your spiritual identity.  Practice Sabbath rest. “In quietness and trust is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15 NIV. The Sabbath principle incorporates the whole of one’s life before the Lord. All other spiritual disciplines begin and extend from a heart that practices the principle of Sabbath. More than a day set aside from usual and necessary activity, Sabbath is a deliberate time – without worry or hurry – to re-orient your body, soul, and spirit with the Biblical practices that celebrate your faith. In Jesus, true Sabbath is found.

Prioritize quiet and solitude. Psalm 131:1-2. Practice to be quiet and content in God’s presence.

Prioritize meditating on God’s Word. Psalm 1:1-3. Daily study of Scripture is vital.

Prioritize prayer and thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6-7. Practice gratitude toward God and others.

Prioritize praise and worship. Psalm 100. Regularly express your heart in joyful adoration.

Prioritize edifying Fellowship. Hebrews 10:24-25. Christian community is where you grow.

Spiritual practices develop a life that abides in Christ, trusts His finished work on the cross, and celebrates your identity in Christ. “Put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him Who created him.” Colossians 3:10 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to seek and experience personal and spiritual renewal daily.

Christian Communications 2017

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