Rest and Focus

Dear Friends,                                                                                                             March 29, 2020
Good morning, this third Sunday of the temporary new normal.

Perhaps God is trying to get our attention by saying to the world, SLOW DOWN, REST, Listen to Me, Look at Me! Turn your eyes to Jesus.

God created us for work and rest. He placed Adam and Eve as overseers of the animals and the land in the Garden of Eden and He commanded them to rest every 7th day, just as He rested the 7th day after creating the previous six. God was, and continues to be serious about our need to rest every seven days! Over and over throughout His Word people are admonished and commanded to rest.

God is so serious about our setting the 7th day aside that it’s the 4th Commandment:

Ex 20:8 – 10 “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God. 9 You have six days to labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property. Complete Jewish Study Bible

The commandment to observe the Sabbath rest has 2 purposes:
1) Remember the Creator
2) Set the day aside to rest in Him

We’re not very good at resting, are we? The world is full of demands and distractions. We people are full of selfish desires as well as obligations that seem to take priority over our relationship with our Creator.

Be calm.
This is a time to cherish
Lean into the enforced stay at home regulations|
To fix your eyes on Jesus.

John 8:1 – 11 tells the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery.
Jesus had entered the temple early that morning where the people crowded around Him. He was teaching the crowds when suddenly the religious leaders pushed their way through the crowd, dragging a woman. In the middles of all the people they demanded that Jesus answer what the lawful course of action should be. Of course they knew but they wanted to trap Him so they could have grounds of accusing and condemning Jesus.
Instead of directly answering the question, Jesus calmly wrote on the ground.

When they kept questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “The one of you who is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he bent down and wrote in the dust again. On hearing this, they began to leave, one by one, the older ones first, until he was left alone, with the woman still there. 10 Standing up, Yeshua said to her, “Where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, sir.” Yeshua said, “Neither do I condemn you. Now go, and don’t sin any more.”

The thing is – the two of them were still standing in the middle of the crowd of people vs 10. He was left alone, and the woman, where she had been, in the midst.
For the two of them it’s as though no one else is there. The woman who’d been cowering in fear of her life has no eyes for anyone but Jesus. Their focus is so intent on each other, everything else becomes peripheral.

This week focus on Jesus, the judge and savior of our souls, so intently that all fear and anxiety melts away. Have eyes only for Him.

O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

John 17:33 These things I have spoken unto you that in Me you might have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Scotts Mills Friends YouTube website

Bible Project “What is the Sabbath?”

 

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