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Intimacy with God

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two roads

two roads

Two Rooms Analogy-Craig (5)
At some point all of us find ourselves at a fork in the road in our spiritual lives.
Pleasing God
Trusting God
You look at the trusting God sign you think it sounds good but doesn’t give me a lot to do. It’s too passive. If we’re going to do this Christian life we’re going to have to have something more than trust right?
So you look down the other road the pleasing God sign. Now that makes sense right. I mean the least we can do is please him.
So this path leads to the room of good intentions. Man it is happening. It is impressive. Impressive, passionate people. You are surprised to see that everyone in this room is wearing masks. But they are immaculate and beautiful, like the mask they hand to you. Everyone here is doing just fine, everyone is working on there sin and discipline and trying to keep God pleased with them. There is an unspoken message in this room. God loves you always, but he likes you a lot less when you mess up. Still you join this impressive group of people, in this impressive room. And really for the most part you actually are coming up to standard on must days.
Group Question:
You are doing OK. You remember to read your Bible, your praying for others, you’ve even read a few chapters in that book that everyone is raving about. God’s…God’s glad that your doing your to do list. He’s not happy about your thoughts though, he’s disappointed at that. If you were serious about your sin…you…you…would fix that. After awhile you realize nobody in this room really knows you. They know your mask, but they don’t really know what you look like behind your mask. ..They don’t know that your struggling, that despite all your sincerity, you don’t believe for a second that you can p lease God for a minute of your life. You are exhausted, bluffing a faking your way, like you have it together. So one night, when nobodies looking, you slip out the back. Bone tired, and dejected and disillusioned.
You walk out on to the path until you hit the fork in the road again.
You walk out on to the path until you hit the fork in the road again.
Trusting God. Hang head and sigh. Well…if there is no other option, and you find yourself on the path the leads to the room of grace. It is a lot less impressive room, but it is infinitely more inviting. You are welcomed into this loud conversation and there are sincere smiles, not a mask to be seen anywhere. These people are messy but honest. They tell each pother the truth about themselves and nobody is trying to pretend that they have it all together. There’s a silent message in this room too…It says, “God is delighted with you.” “Wild about you.” Regardless of how you behave. The people in this room seem to believe that God, loves them and likes them all the time. Even when they mess up.
After awhile in this room, you find yourself slowly starting to tell the truth about yourself and the things you struggle with. And you are shocked to discover, that God is right here in the midst of it, his arm tightly around you, enjoying you. He smiles at you and he says, “You know, I really am big enough to handle your stuff, all of it. It doesn’t surprise me, it doesn’t shock me, it never comes between you and me. I am crazy in love with you. On your very worst day. Now listen to me, I just want you to trust me, with who I say you are, and I want you to learn to let other people love you with all your stuff. It will free you, to love like crazy, because you will have experienced being loved.”
Group Question: (4)

Which room are you in? How did you end up there?

Which room are you in? How did you end up there?

Which room are you in? How did you end up there?

Lead in Group Question: (4)

What would it take for you to know ________________? What could get in the way of you knowing _____________?

What would it take for you to know ________________? What could get in the way of you knowing _____________?

Helps & Hindrances to Intimacy with God (15)

Time

Negative: Craig
The present day spirituality of most people in our churches is marked, I believe, by a number of sad realities. • We are busy, very busy. • We live our lives “on the run”, squeezing God in where we can. • We live off other people’s spirituality -- because we don’t have the time.
We’re overloaded and exhausted.
Words that describe our culture include: scattered, fragmented, un-centered, and distracted.
We multi-task, so much so that we are unaware we are doing three things at once.
We are always on the way to something or someplace else.
As a result, few people have the time to develop their own direct experience of God. We have a lot of head knowledge about God but we much of it has not penetrated our hearts. We sing and study about the love and goodness of God, but experientially, when things fall apart around us, we panic and act as like God doesn’t exist. In fact, most people don’t really pray that much on their own. Studies have shown that even the average pastor prays only about 7 minutes a day. What does that say for the rest of our people? Is it any wonder that most people are not very intentional about pursuing Jesus? We live off whatever books, sermons, CD’s, or spiritual crumbs that comes our way. We listen to sermons and read books about slowing down and creating margin in our lives. We attend seminars. We talk about spiritual disciplines. But it is not enough. We can’t stop.
This lack of time is killing our souls. Is killing our knowledge of and desire for God.
Positive: Lisa
personal testimony

Desire

Desire:

Desire

Negative: Craig
James 1:13–15 NIV
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
SIN IS NOT NEUTRAL AND IT DEFINITELY IS NOT NICE.
Sin always destroys lives, both for time and eternity. It always dangles the promise of happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction before the victim, but it is only bait to lure him into the trap, which leads to eternal death. Burn Paul’s words into your brain, “If you are living according to the flesh, you will die”!
But Satan tries to get us to minimize the serious nature of our sin, so that we excuse it as no big deal, tolerate it as normal, or even re-package it as a good thing. I’ve heard Christians say things like, “I’ve lived with this angry, nagging wife for years. It’s impossible to please her. But now I’ve met a wonderful woman at work who treats me right. Don’t I deserve a little happiness after what I’ve had to endure?” And so he justifies his adultery and divorce.
Or, as I said, some Christians argue that as believers we’re never to view ourselves as sinners, but only as saints who occasionally sin. They camp on verses like , which says that our old man was crucified with Christ so that our body of sin might be done away with. They insist that they are dead to sin, so they don’t fight against it. But that is to minimize the deadly enemy.
Some years ago, the French aristocrat Baron Richard d’Arcy kept a two-year-old lion in his home as a pet. One night in June, 1977, the Baron tried to make his pet go into the bathroom, where it usually spent the night. But the lion refused to go, leaped on its master, and in minutes, had clawed him to death.
Indwelling sin is like that lion. It may be nice at first, but at some point it turns on you and the result is never pretty. Kill your sin or it will kill you! But, how do we do it?
Remember. In Christ Jesus does not condemn us, he comes alongside us. And says, do you trust me enough to work on this with me? Do you trust the people around you enough to let them work on it with you?
What have I been freed from…What have I been freed for.
Positive: Lisa
Anything we desire more than we desire God is an idol. It needs to be acknowledges as such and
We need to evaluate and ask ourselves, what are things that increase my passion for God? What decreases my passion for God?
What steps do I need to take from here?
Pray, diligently seek Him, Ask that God would be your first choice, your preferred one over everything else.

What are things that increase your passion? What decreases your passion?

Trust

Trust

Negative: Craig
Where it was destroyed: The garden of Eden. God didn’t stop being trustworthy. We stopped trusting.
Illustration: Craig in the bushes
That is our approach to God sometimes. He is this powerful man who we think does not have our best interests at hear so we stay hidden.
Do I trust who God says he is? Do I trust who God says I am?
Positive: Lisa
Relationship. Trusting who God says he is and who God says you are.
God wants relationship with us He walked in the garden to personally call Adam and Eve after they sinned, He covenanted with Abraham to build a nation who would be the people of God. He had the Israelites build a portable Tabernacle so He could live among them. His stated purpose was to with them. It was revolutionary. God wanted to be WITH them, to dwell among them!
Get to know God. Start reading the Bible with the question “What do I see of who God is in this passage of scripture? He is the main character of the Bible, who does it show you He is?
He is a God who desires to be with us so much so that he sent his only Son to die, to pay the price of sin so that in Him we could be made righteous and have relationship with God. He is so generous with His presence that he sealed those who are in him with the Holy Spirit. His Spirit IN US! We have his presence with us, in us available to us every minute of every day!
Stop doing things to please Him, remind yourself that he is wanting you to open the door of your heart so that he can come in and eat with you and you with Him.
Get to know God. Start reading the Bible with the question “What do I see of who God is in this passage of scripture? He is the main character of the Bible, who does it show you He is?
What is dinner with a friend like?
Stop doing things to please Him, remind yourself that he is wanting you to open the door of your heart so that he can come in and eat with you and you with Him.
What is dinner with a friend like? Wouldn’t sharing a meal with Jesus be even sweeter?!?
New International Version (NIV)
New International Version (NIV)
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
What do you think dinner with Jesus is like? Is he going to pelt you with questions? Did you read your bible, how come you didn’t talk to me more today? If so, you need to go back to scripture and ask Him to renew your understanding of Him with truth. He is going to ask you ”Hey, you know that joy when you made that shot? Tell me about that!
What do you think dinner with Jesus is like? Is he going to pelt you with questions? Did you read your bible, how come you didn’t talk to me more today? If so, you need to go back to scripture and ask Him to renew your understanding of Him with truth. He is going to ask you ”Hey, you know that joy when you made that shot? Tell me about that!
Group Question:
Revelation 3:20 NIV
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Lead in Group Question:

What are things that increase your passion? What decreases your passion?

Lead in Group Question:

From what you know of God, what does he want from you?

From what you know of God, what does he want from you?

The Great Commandment

The Great Commandment

Bible:
When Jesus was with His disciples in the Upper Room, near the end of His ministry, He told them,
When Jesus was with His disciples in the Upper Room, near the end of His ministry, He told them,
“ As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain
in his love...My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” ,
Jesus is our model for both experiencing and expressing God’s love. So we look at His life as we seek to walk as He walked (). Following Jesus’ example, we can experience the fullness of joy God intended for us ().
Our Most Important Command
Imagine the scene. It’s near the end of Jesus’ ministry. The Pharisees just tried to trap Jesus, but He escaped their grasp (). The Sadducees also questioned Jesus, who silenced them with His response: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” ().
Next the Pharisees found an expert of the Law to test Jesus. The expert’s question surely provoked the curiosity of the crowd and the disciples: “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” ().
“ The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
This verse is taken from and is something that the Jewish people have practiced daily throughout their history.

Shema with Tefillim

;
Deuteronomy 6:4–9 NIV
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Mark 12:29–31 NIV
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:28–30 NIV
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
Jesus completes this verse with the command; “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
When we read this passage we often focus on the three or four elements, strength, heart, soul, mind. What is being said here is Everything that makes you, you is for God.
But here we see, Jesus always linked love for God with the second greatest commandment—love for people.
Love for God is incomplete— Dr. David Ferguson, The Great
Commandment Principle
God created us as relational beings, so true love is expressed and experienced in the context of relationships. Jesus referred to this when He told His disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love . . . love each other as I have loved you” (, ). Expressing love requires a relationship, so only through a relationship with God and with His people can love be truly expressed and experienced ()
“ Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

Two extremes to applying the great commandment:

When we apply the Great Commandment, we must avoid two extremes:

We deny or downplay our need for loving, caring relationships.

We deny or downplay our need for loving, caring relationships.

Just as God created us to need water to drink, air to breathe, and food to eat, so God also created us to need healthy relationships. Unfortunately, some believe the myth that the more mature we become in Christ, the fewer needs we have and the less we need each other.
What was the first human crisis?
Why was this a crisis?

We falsely conclude that all we need is God!

Unfortunately, some believe the myth that the more mature we become in Christ, the fewer needs we have and the less we need each other.
We falsely conclude that all we need is God!
While God is the source of all that we need, man has a genuine, God-given need to experience God’s love through human relationships. In 1 Corinthians we are told not to say “I have no
need of you” (vs. 12:21), and the Laodicean church was called cold-hearted for saying, “I . . . do not need a thing” (). It is biblically incorrect to conclude that all we need is God. The more accurate statement is that we all need God and one another. God has designed us to
be dependent on the body of Christ, not separating love for God and love for people.
In Top 10 Intimacy Needs, David Ferguson and Don McMinn describe this faulty teaching:
If taken to an extreme, [believing we don’t need each other] produces a self-reliant, self-sufficient, egotistical, obnoxious, spiritual “Maverick.” The truth is, God has created us with needs so that we might constantly look to Him, allowing Him to minister to us through others, and so we will devote ourselves to unselfishly meeting other people’s needs. This truth will produce a dependent, humble, unselfish, pleasant, spiritual “brother or sister,” whose heart is full of gratitude for the fact that God, often through others, is meeting his/her needs and whose focus is on lovingly meeting the needs of family and friends.
needs so that we might constantly look to Him, allowing Him to minister to us through others, and so we will devote ourselves to unselfishly meeting other people’s needs. This truth will produce a dependent, humble, unselfish, pleasant, spiritual “brother or sister,” whose heart is full of gratitude for the fact that God, often through others, is meeting his/her needs and whose
Everything that makes you, you!
Jesus continually demonstrated both the sharing of love for God and loving people by meeting their needs (). Early in the twentieth century, two very different views of God surfaced. Liberal theologians denied the authority of God’s Word and began to emphasize human goodness over the reality of man’s sinfulness. The needs of man were championed, resulting in a movement of social action. Other theologians held to the authority of Scripture, but they emphasized man’s fallenness so much that man’s relational needs were overlooked. Their message was perceived as, “You only need God” or “You need to love God,” rather than the more complete, “We all need God and one another.”
focus is on lovingly meeting the needs of family and friends.

When we apply the Great Commandment we must understand that:

God created us with needs that are only met through loving relationships based on Great Commandment love. We must acknowledge that having needs is not wrong!
Three cautions:

It’s dangerous to deny our neediness.

It’s dangerous to deny our neediness.

When we deny our needs or if we think we can meet our own needs, we become pridefully self-reliant and self-sufficient. We rob ourselves of the joy of receiving from other people and God. “ We are biblically incorrect when we assert that all we need is God.” —Dr. David Ferguson,
The Great Commandment Principle “ God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” —

It’s dangerous to exalt our neediness.

It’s dangerous to exalt our neediness.

Some people deny they have needs; others go to the opposite extreme and exalt their needs and become selfish and demanding. Unfortunately, when we become fixated on having our own needs met we often become very self-centered.

It’s dangerous to condemn our neediness.

It’s dangerous to condemn our neediness.

Self-condemnation is a subtle trap that says, “I know I have needs, but I feel guilty because I do.” Or, “What’s wrong with me? I’m lonely.” The truth is, if God created us with needs, then we’re not selfish just because we’re needy. In our fallen state, we may choose to behave selfishly as we try to “take” from others; but when we do, our sin is in the selfishness, not the neediness. Admitting we have needs is not a confession of wrong, it’s an acknowledgment of our humanity and our neediness before God ().
Even Jesus, the God/Man, had needs. Jesus, as portrayed in the Gospels, was not only a sinless Savior, but a person who expressed a need to relate intimately with His Father and with others.
(Adapted from Top 10 Intimacy Needs by Ferguson and McMinn)
God calls us to balance our response to mankind’s fallenness with mankind’s neediness.
fallenness with mankind’s neediness. Jesus continually demonstrated both the sharing of love for God and loving people by meeting their needs (). Early in the twentieth century, two very different views of God surfaced. Liberal theologians denied the authority of God’s Word and began to emphasize human goodness over the reality of man’s sinfulness. The needs of man were championed, resulting in a movement of social action. Other theologians held to the authority of Scripture, but they emphasized man’s fallenness so much that man’s relational needs were overlooked. Their message was perceived as, “You only need God” or “You need to love God,” rather than the more complete, “We all need God and one another.”
Jesus continually demonstrated both the sharing of love for God and loving people by meeting their needs (). Early in the twentieth century, two very different views of God surfaced. Liberal theologians denied the authority of God’s Word and began to emphasize human goodness over the reality of man’s sinfulness. The needs of man were championed, resulting in a movement of social action. Other theologians held to the authority of Scripture, but they emphasized man’s fallenness so much that man’s relational needs were overlooked. Their message was perceived as, “You only need God” or “You need to love God,” rather than the more complete, “We all need God and one another.”
“ This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need
but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

Rhythms that contribute to intimacy

Rhythms that contribute to intimacy

Lisa
Sabbath: Lisa

Sabbath: Lisa

Sabbath

Is Sabbath relevant anymore?
Exodus 31:12–18 NIV
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy. “ ‘Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people. For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death. The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’ ” When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.
Mark 2:23–27 NIV
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
,
,
New King James Version (NKJV)
The Sabbath Law
Jesus challenged the hypocrisy and legalism that surrounded the Sabbath, but he did not change the command of Sabbath.
12 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does anywork on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”
New King James Version (NKJV)
Sabbath
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
23 Now it happened that He went through the grain fields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
Addresses Freedom and Trust
25 But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?”
27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
Jesus challenged the hypocrisy and legalism that surrounded the Sabbath, but he did not change the command of Sabbath.
Sabbath
Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

Freedom

Deuteronomy 5:15 NIV
Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
In Egypt they had had no rest. As free people, they receive rest.
Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
In Egypt they had had no rest. As free people, they receive rest.
If we are not able or willing to take rest, what are we a slave to?
If we are not able or willing to take rest, what are we a slave to?
What is so important that we cannot rest from it?
New International Version (NIV)
Are we so important and essential that things will cease to happen if we rest?
Luke 4:18 NIV
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
New International Version (NIV)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
God liberated the Israelite's and instructed them as free people to imitate Him and rest one day out of 7 days.
Judith Shulevitz says The Israelite Sabbath institutionalized an astonishing, hitherto undreamed of notion. That every single creature has the right to rest, not just the rich and the privileged.

Trust

Sabbath Rest requires trust. God provides. Everything is in his control and He is capable. He takes his job seriously and will provide for you, He knows his responsibility to care for you. He knows your needs and will meet Him. Sabbath is an invitation to enter into that trust and believe Him.
Personal testimony taking Wednesdays off
Trust: God provides, everything is in his control and He is capable. He provides for you, cares for you, knows your needs and will take care of you.

In observing Sabbath we imitate God. In other words we rest in order to honor that we are made in God’s image, to remind ourselves that there is more to us than just what we do during the week, we are image bearers of the King and as obedient children we will enter into the rest he modeled for us in the creation account.

Delight

Personal testimony taking Wednesdays off
THE MOST IMPORTANT thing!! A biblical Sabbath is delighting in the gifts we have been given to enjoy but it is so much more than that. It is learning to use that enjoyment to carry you into enjoyment of God. The whole point of the book of Job is Satan proposing that Job only loves God because he has all these wonderful things in life. Once all of that is stripped away we find that Job is truly committed to God and loves him. God is to be enjoyed more than his gifts:
Ps33:1,21
Rest: I observing Sabbath we imitate God. In other words we rest in order to honor that we are made in God’s image, to remind ourselves that there is more to us than just what we do during the week.

Rest

In observing Sabbath we imitate God. In other words, we rest in order to honor that we are made in God’s image, to remind ourselves that there is more to us than just what we do during the week. We are image bearers of the King and as obedient children we will enter into the rest he modeled for us in the creation account. Rest can mean different things to different people. Rest here means stopping. God took a break from creating, the work that he was engaged in. The intent is for us to take a break from our regular tasks. It is a reminder that the work of our hands does not define us. We are God’s children and that is what defines us.

Contemplation

Delight: THE MOST IMPORTANT thing!! A biblical Sabbath is delighting in the gifts we have been given to enjoy but it is so much more than that. It is learning to use that enjoyment to carry you into enjoyment of God. The whole point of the book of Job is Satan proposing that Job only loves God because he has all these wonderful things in life. Once all of that is stripped away we find that Job is truly committed to God and loves him. God is to be enjoyed more than his gifts:
Pondering the love of God becomes the focus of our Sabbaths. Learning to quiet the eternal inner murmur JUDITH SHULEVITZ (in the voice that compares you to others, the voice that says you are not good enough, you need to work harder, that you are lacking and found wanting. The voice that whispers incessantly and keeps you from experiencing true rest and peace.)
Sabbath is remembering that God looks on you through Jesus the way he looked at Creation when he was finished.
The day God rested he proclaimed over creation that it is very good. He was fully satisfied the 7th day. Part of contemplation is resting in the truth that when we are in Jesus, God is fully satisfied, we have been declared very good, the work is finished. This truth, when fully recognized and accepted by a child of God, finally snuffs out the eternal inner murmur. Jesus’ act was enough, it does not need to be added to by our striving and perfection. In His words, it is finished!
Ps33:1,21
When we believe this, we can truly rest and fully enjoy God. When our striving ceases and our minds are quieted, we can focus on the wonder of who God is and the love he lavishes on us.
Practicing Sabbath
Ps33:1,21
The focus of Sabbath is relationship, if it is a chore, a task to be completed it is a religious act and loses its purpose and ability to revive our souls.
Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever. The ideal set before us is a 24 hour period of rest, Jesus upheld this law
Contemplation: Pondering the love of God becomes the focus of our Sabbaths. Learning to quiet the eternal inner murmur (in the voice that compares you to others, the voice that says you are not good enough, you need to work harder, that you are lacking and wanting.) It is remembering that God looks on you through Jesus the way he looked at Creation when he was finished. The day God rested he proclaimed over creation that it is very good. He was fully satisfied the 7th day. Part of contemplation is resting in the truth that when we are in Jesus, God is fully satisfied, We are very good and the work is finished.
The ideal set before us is a 24 hour period of rest, Jesus upheld this law
Rule of thumb: if you work with your mind, Sabbath with your hands, if you work with your hands Sabbath with your mind.
It is only then that we can truly rest and fully enjoy God. When our striving ceases and our minds are quieted, we can focus on the wonder of who God is and the love he lavishes on us.
Whatever you do, it is a matter of conscience between God and you. It is not to become tainted by legalism as we see happen in scripture. Sabbath needs to be determined by you and God. God intended it as a means to encourage your health and thriving,

Daily Office

Daily Office

Most of us were taught to have quiet times or devotions.
I would spend time with God in the morning, for example, reading the Bible and praying. I did it to get charged up for the day and hopefully remain attentive to God throughout the day.
The problem, however, is that it was not enough. By midday was so wrapped up in the demands of the day that I wasn’t even thinking about God, let alone having a conversation with Him or listening to Him. . It underestimated how many distractions that come our way, as well as the power of evil in the world, and my own stubborn self-will. We know that Jesus prayed early in the mornings, sometimes all night – yet most scholars believe that Jesus followed the Jewish custom of his day of praying at set times during the day. So why pause not 1x a day to be with God, but two or three. times? The answer - So that when I am active the other parts of the day, I am attentive to God and His voice. This pausing to be with God can last anywhere from two minutes to twenty minutes to forty-five minutes. It is up to you. But the actual stopping is what makes the “practice of the presence of God,” to use Brother Lawrence’s phrase, a real possibility. For me it has been life changing.

Stopping

Stopping
This is the essence of a Daily Office. We stop our activity and pause to be with the Living God.
Centering

Centering

Scripture commands us: “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” () and “Be still and know that I am God” (). We move into God’s presence and rest there.
Silence

Silence

Dallas Willard has called silence and solitude the two most radical disciplines of the Christian life. Henri Nouwen said that “without solitude it is almost impossible to live a spiritual life.”
Scripture

Scripture

A good rule to follow when dealing with tools and techniques is this: If it helps, do it. If it does not help you, do not do it—including the Daily Office.
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