Rest a while…

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Scripture: Mark 5:6 Then Jesus went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits…12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them… (Some time later) 30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

Observation: Despite the fact that the ministry of the apostles was successful, and many people followed them as they’d followed Jesus, Jesus called them away from the crowds. There is a rhythm to life in the Kingdom of God. It involves work and rest (Genesis 2), abiding and fruitfulness (John 15). We’re not to work ALL the time. We can’t be fruitful ALL the time. Jesus gives us an excellent example this morning. He and the disciples were a hit! Why mess with a good thing? Yet, rather that continue to minister in their “success”, Jesus called a halt so they might recharge and renew.

Application: Beginning Sunday, June 5 the church I lead in suburban Dallas will enter into our summer abiding season when we will “rest a while” (v.31). We’ll significantly scale back activity for the summer, returning to normal schedule August 21. Some people get nervous when we do this, and I can understand why. Things are going great! We have momentum, so why mess with a good thing? Answer: because the rhythms of the Kingdom teach us how to be fruitful – not just now, but for the long haul.

Question: Do you take adequate time to abide/rest? If not, why not? What would it look like for you to trust God in this area of your life? 

Prayer: Lord God, give us grace to rest – even if things are going really well at the moment – for your ways lead to eternal life. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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