Scripture:
Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 11:28-30
Tue, 5 July 2022

Finding Rest in Our Work

Observation:

How does Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 11:28-30 relate to the Sabbath commandment given in verses 8 to 11?

Deeper Reflection
WHEN I WAS GROWING UP AND LEARNING ABOUT THE 10 COMMANDMENTS, Commandment number four always struck me as a bit odd and out of place with the rest. I could understand the other commandments, but Sabbath observance did not seem as obviously important. It was only in my later years of running my own business and starting a family that I discovered how crucial it was to find regular rest in the midst of work.Thomas Cahill remarked that “no ancient society before had a day of rest… The Sabbath is surely one of the simplest and sanest recommendations that God has ever made”13. But it was more than a recommendation.14 God in His wisdom had ordained rest to be part of our work-life rhythm. It was designed for human flourishing.15 At the beginning of this year, I felt convicted by the Lord to set aside more time for rest every week, even as my work demands, family needs (we just welcomed our third child!) and ministry commitments started to grow. If we do not intentionally carve out time for rest, our work can so easily consume us.But our rest time can be squandered away. Jesus taught that He is the true source of rest for our souls (Matt 11:28-30). Real rest comes when we spend time with Jesus, who during His earthly ministry prioritised time alone to commune with the Father. In the midst of our work, let us make time to draw near to Him who bids us, “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28).
13 Thomas Cahill, The Gift of the Jews (New York: Doubleday, 1998). 14 It was a strict requirement under the Mosiac Law. Cf. Colossians 2:16-17. 15 Mark 2:27.
Application:

Why is it important to find rest in my work and how can I find true rest for my soul?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for pastors and staff: To be grateful to God for their calling, obedient and faithful in their service, and find their rest in the Lord always
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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Daily Devo
Daily Devotional Journal
Scripture:
Daniel 7:13-18, 25-27; 11:29-36
Sat, 2 December 2023

The Triumph

Observation:

What characterises the triumph of God’s people in tribulations under tyrants?

Deeper Reflection
God’s people living under tyrants and suffering tribulations under them can triumph – whether we are delivered from or destroyed in tribulation. The triumph rests on a threefold confidence.We know the conclusion of evil. It is repeated in manifold ways in Daniel that evil that comes through inhuman kings – no matter how great and how long – will definitely come to an end: “he will be broken” (Dan 8:25), “he will be found no more” (Dan 11:19), “yet he will come to his end” (Dan 11:45) and “all these events will be completed” (Dan 12:7).We know God’s calling for us: To be a suffering people – to be captured, plundered, burned or killed (Dan 11:33). But in our suffering, we can be strong as “people who know their God” (Dan 11:32), knowing that God is purging and purifying us to become a sanctified (Dan 11:35; 12:10) and shining people who “shine brightly” with heavenly brightness in the hostile world (Dan 12:3). And we will be a steadfast people who “keep waiting and attain to the 1,335 days” (Dan 12:12) – until we become a sovereign people who “receive and possess the kingdom forever” from “the Ancient of Days” (vv.13-14, 18, 27).We know who is in control. The tribulations under the tyrants in Daniel 7 to 12 are all subject to and subsumed under “that which is decreed will be done” (Dan 11:36; 9:26, 27) “at the appointed time” (Dan 11:27, 29, 35).We conclude Daniel with this theological-discipleship summary statement: We can triumph in tribulations under tyrants when we trust with tenacity in the One who is on the throne.
Application:

How can I triumph in tribulations?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for Church Board: To grow in the faith and perseverance of overcomers in Christ
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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