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Sabbath Rest

Dr. Tim Mackie
How can we rest in the midst of restlessness? This week, we look at Sabbath rest in the Bible and explore Jesus as the Lord of the Sabbath.

For most of the week, we run around providing security and basic needs for ourselves. But Sabbath rest is about stopping to recognize that our lives and provisions ultimately come from God. And while he might be leading us through a wilderness at the moment, our ultimate future hope is in God’s plan to rescue and renew our world.

This week’s Bible Study focuses on the theme of Sabbath rest in the Bible. The Sabbath is a weekly reminder of God’s provision in the past, and it’s meant to foster hope in God’s plan to restore creation. Tracing this biblical theme can give us a new perspective on the instability of our current moment.


Join Tim in a short meditation on the theme of Sabbath. You can listen to this on your own or with a group. If you are leading a small group or family, feel free to listen to the message and contextualize it for your needs.
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Tim's Message on Sabbath
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Read and Discuss

Reflection 1:

How do you find yourself responding to this unwelcome slowdown of life? What thoughts and emotions do you experience? What fears are you aware of?

Reflection 2:

God's rest in Genesis 2 is all about filling a sacred space with his divine presence and celebrating the beauty and abundance of creation. The Sabbath practice is a way for humans to remember God’s presence and his ideal purpose for creation. What are some of the simple things you can celebrate or are grateful for? Who can you share that with this week?

Reflection 1:

To observe Sabbath is to rest from one’s work. But work is a good and productive thing throughout Scripture. For example, it is one of the reasons God places the human in the garden of Eden, “to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). So why would God command a Sabbath rest from work?

Reflection 2:

The first Sabbath observance takes place in the wilderness in a time of scarcity. God wants Israel to trust that he is their true source of provision and life instead of hoarding or trying to control. In what ways do you try to control things in your life or environment that are not in your control? Take a moment to let go of these things and commit to trusting God to provide instead.

Reflection 1:

Jesus says that rest is found in him, specifically in following him or learning from him. What could this rest look like in your own life practically? What brings you life, makes you thrive, and/or allows you to trust and rest in God?

Reflection 2:

Jesus was not doing away with the concept of Sabbath; rather, he was defining what it truly meant. The purpose of the Sabbath was mercy and harmony or wholeness, not legalism. Does this change how you think about resting in the current situation in any way?

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