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Silent Alarms


·        Come up to take off all the modern equipment that was supposed to save us time.

·        We are wrapping up this series today called “Silent Alarms.”  A Silent Alarm is when something in your life is trying to tell you to change, but you are just not listening.

1.  The alarm of TIME is ringing when:

  • You have this nagging feeling that you will never get everything done.
  • Friends and family want more of you, but you do not know where you will find the time.
  • You are always in a hurry.
  • You consistently work on your day off.
  • You are not able to relax.
  • You cannot do something just for fun’s sake.
  • You answer the phone while you are in the bathroom.

2.      The answer to the alarm of time is the Sabbath.

  • Work to rest –
    • Aristotle said that most people “We work in order to have leisure.”
    • Isn’t it true for many of us that the way we approach life is to work so we can rest.  We have a work to rest mindset.
      • It’s like the old beer commercials:  “It’s miller time.”  Or the Corona ones where the guy is relaxing on the beach and he uses his pda as a coaster for his beer.
    • The idea for this person is that work is only a means to an end.  It isn’t fulfilling in and of itself.  If you are a work to rest person, you work so you can have money and time to rest. 
    • You put in M-F so you can have Saturday and Sunday.  Or you put in 4 hard days so you can have 3 days.
    • You put in 50 weeks a year just so you can have 2 on vacation.
  • Rest to work
    • Others of us are “rest to work” people.  This group is very driven.  If you are this type you could work everyday without taking a break, but you have realized that if you indeed do sleep you can get more work done so you do rest a little.  But you are restless.
    • You rest in order to aid your work.
  • Tell your neighbor
  • Now raise your hand if you are a work to rest.  If you are a rest to work.  Raise your hand if you hate when I ask you to raise your hand?  Gotcha.

  • My point today is that neither approach is healthy. 
    • Because work to rest people end up worshipping their leisure time.  It’s all about getting to 65 so you retire.
    • And rest to work people end up worshipping their work and neglecting the very things that we say are most important in our life.

  • Well, there is an answer.  I should say there is a Biblical answer to this problem.  And it is really is by adopting a third posture towards time. 
  • The Bible calls this a Sabbath’s rest.  And this third way of relating to time makes work and rest more fulfilling.

·        The Principle of Sabbath:  Viennefesh

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 20:8-11

  • Ill.  So what you are telling me Doug is that I need to take more time off. 
  • Well, yes but the Sabbath time is not typical time off that we are used to.  It was designed to be something quite different.
  • To get a good picture of this we have to all the way back to the beginning and look at the beginning of the Sabbath.  The 4th commandment there isn’t there because God just wanted to pick a day and call it holy.  It’s there for a reason.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he restedc from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Genesis 2:2-3

  • Now why did God do this, because he was tired?  NO.
  • He did it because he was establishing for his created ones, that’s you and I, that an important part of life, no, an integral part of having a fulfilling life is taking time to STOP and reflect and enjoy life.

  • The word used there for “rest” in Hebrew is pronounced “Viennefesh.”
    • Say it with me.
    • It’s a word that is rich in imagery:
      • God stopping to reflect upon and enjoy His work.
      • If any of you are an artist and you paint.  Viennefesh is that thing you do after you finish a painting and you step back to reflect upon what you have created.
      • Guys, it’s when you finish fixing a toilet and you step back and think, “hey, it actually worked,”
      • After cutting grass.
      • It’s something I do occasionally on my day.  Get up late..
      • It’s what I do when I go to Starbucks.
      • Starbucks has actually created a whole marketing for Viennefesh.  They don’t know it, but their summer slogan is “Life is better on the porch.”  That image of drinking coffee on the porch with friends, your community, time enjoying life, reflecting on life.  That’s viennefesh.
    • If we dug around in this word viennefesh a little we would see that the root word of this word is “naphesh.”  And naphesh means “soul.” 
    • And so I hope you see that the point of viennefesh, the point of a Sabbath’s rest is rest for your soul.
  • Ill.  Anybody here not interested in experiencing rest that is complete.  I mean a rest penetrates your soul. 
    • Ever wake up in the morning and feel like you didn’t eve sleep?  Yeah, me too.  That’s an awful feeling.  Viennefish is the opposite.  Not only physical, but mental and spiritual as well.

  • Ill.  – no commandment we are encouraged to break more than this one
    • It’s applauded
    • Try that with the other commandments:  stealing, adultery
  • And yet, this may be one of the most important principles for our lives.
    • If we don’t, we live to work.  Work becomes god.
    • If we don’t, we live to rest.  Leisure becomes our god.
  • How this helps us with the silent alarms is by reorienting our lives to what is most important.  It reminds us of our priorities.  It forces us to be honest with ourselves and with God.  It forces us to realize that we simply cannot do everything.  There really isn’t enough time for everything, so you have to prioritize.

The Practice of Sabbath

  • Jesus in Mark 1:29-37; 6:30-46
  • Mk. 1:35

·        He was in tune with the rhythm of God.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Mark 1:35

·        It wasn’t just about relaxing, it was about God restoring his soul.  Connecting with God in a soul to soul encounter.

·        He created space to connect with God.  He viennefeshed.

·        Mark 6 – retell story

·        So how do we do it?  I know what you are thinking.  It would be easy to do this in a culture that doesn’t have pagers, cell phones and email.  When it is a culture that moves at a much slower pace.

·        That really misses the point.  The point is that we need a Sabbath rest that much more in a fast paced culture.

·        We don’t need this as some legalistic rule in our life.  There are enough rules in our life.  We need it as a form of Grace and a gift from God.

o       When we Sabbath we say, I can’t get everything done, God help me.

o       I want to do the most important things.

·        Mt. 6:7-8 – We need to STOP and pay attention to God.

·        Retreat

o       Not pray on the go

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 6:7-8

o       Like with a spouse or child.  “Does that ever allow us to really hear what they are saying?”

o       Devote daily; withdraw weekly

·        Reflect

·        Re-create

Matt. 11:28-29  Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.


c Or ceased; also in verse 3

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