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Redemption and The Work of our Hands (Vol 26) - A True Rest!

Sunday English Service - 13 MAY 18

Transcript

Please turn with me to Exodus chapter 20. If you turn to Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy chapter 5. I'm going to take a little while before I read these two passages, and then we'll go to two other passages in the New Testament also. Anyway, let me first begin with the introduction because we're coming to the close of this teaching on work. We've been teaching on work for some time, and we first talked about why work. We work because God has designed us in His image and likeness. He worked for six days and rested on the seventh day. He made us just like Him. We work because He’s given us some gifts and talents so that we may play a role in accomplishing His purposes. He has a purpose for this universe and we have been placed here to play a role, to accomplish something. And therefore He has given us talents and gifts and abilities.

So we use our gifts and abilities and talents that God has given us to play that role that God has given to us and for which God has called us. That is why we work. And when we work, we bring glory to God, we manifest God's greatness and goodness. Our work manifests it and it brings glory to God. And we saw all of these things. And then we looked at how work became difficult after man sinned and the fall happened. After the fall happened, the thing that made it difficult is that man's nature has been changed due to the fall. Man became selfish and when you have a world full of selfish people everyone just living for themselves, preferring themselves over the others, then it becomes a difficult place. If you’re wondering why your workplace is such a difficult place, the reason is our sin, our sinful nature makes us very selfish and we only care about ourselves and not others and that's why work becomes such a difficulty.

God never intended for it to be like that. It became like that as a result of sin. Now, 2000 years ago, Jesus came and died on the cross, to redeem us, to set us free from our sin, from the selfishness so that we may live for God and care about one another and love one another. And I showed you how when you get saved, love is the distinct distinctive quality of a Christian. Something that was not there before now enters into a Christian, that is called the divine love, agape love which has never been there before. Jesus is the first one to manifest it and show it. They didn't even have a Greek word to describe that love. So this love was unknown until that time. Jesus showed that love and they had to invent a word in the Greek language. They had three other words for love talking about family, love between family members, love between friends and love between husband and wife and so on. These different kinds of loves were described with different words but no word to describe the kind of love that Jesus manifested and showed during His lifetime and on the cross of Calvary as He prayed for those people that put Him on the cross and killed Him.

Finally, they came up with a word, it was agape. Agape means divine love. The word itself describes what it is, it is not human. It is not there in human beings because humans possess it by virtue of their birth in this earth, they have it because God has poured it into their hearts through the Holy Spirit. Through the new birth this love is poured in, otherwise you cannot get it. You cannot get it through birth. And this is the main distinctive that makes us distinctively different from others in the world. And this affects work also. I showed you how it affects work, how it affects the masters and servants and so on. We had studied from the passages in Ephesians and Peter and so on, how the boss has become a different kind of boss. And boss becomes a different kinds of kind of boss and servant becomes a different kind of servant. It changes the equation. It changes the whole atmosphere, because when you have this love of God, everything changes.

But last week, we began to we saw something that as saved people we have a passion for work. We talked about passion, talked about how some people have what looks like passion but that is not real passion, that is a wrong kind of motivation. They want to prove something, they want to show who they are. They want to make sure that everybody knows what they can do and so on. It's all about themselves. And so they're trying very hard. They're working very hard. And they're trying very hard to kind of do something so that they can prove they can have an identity. They are seeking for something in the work. They use work as a kind of salvation, a redemption. They feel lost, they don't have an identity, they don't feel good about themselves. So they hope that the work and the excellence of their work will bring that to them. So they're working towards that. That doesn't look like that's wrong but what's wrong with it is this, that when you are working with that kind of a goal in mind, it's all about you and you want to prove something, you want to get a status, you want to find an identity, you want to gain some significance and so on through work. God never intended work for that.

So when you do like that you work briskly and you work very hard. But it's like the light that is about to go out. You know, when the lifetime of the bulb reaches its end, the bulb glows better than ever. Now, you think the bulb is now only working properly. No, it's going to turn off in a few hours. Any time it will go off, you better get ready with another bulb. So people that you see working very briskly and working very hard and so on because of the wrong motivation they're working it means they're going to burn out. They're going to get sick and tired of their work and they're going to give up and it's going to do something to them, damage them instead of build them. That's what is wrong with it.

The right kind of passion is something that you learn from Jesus, I showed you. The right kind of passion is the passion of Christ. Christ. Suffering on the cross is called a passion. Why? Because Jesus was given a body and sent into this world. The second person of the divinity was sent into this world as a human being in order to die. So His work was to die on the cross of Calvary. That's His work and He was so committed to it. Unbelievable the way He was committed to it on the Garden of Gethsemane, He says, In the moment of His agony, thinking about the sin of the whole world being placed upon Him. At one moment He cries out to God, wanting a relief from it, seeing if He can get out of it, if possible. Says, “Father, if it be possible, remove this cup from me,” but then He realizes it cannot be removed. He was sent for this purpose. He was born for this purpose. So He says, “Father, nevertheless, not my will but your will be done.” He commits himself to the Father, gets up from there with a resolve to go to the cross and goes to the soldiers that are searching for Him, presents Himself says, “I am Jesus take me,” and He gets arrested and goes and gets tried.

People persecute Him, torment Him, taunt Him, beat Him, spit on Him, do everything to Him, and then finally hang Him on the cross. And there He dies that horrible death. Never seeking relief totally committed to die. That's why it's called The Passion of Christ. The word passion is used there. And I don't know if you've ever thought about why it's called the passion. It's called The Passion of Christ because the suffering and death of Christ is done with a great level of commitment to God's purpose for His life. That's His work and He did it with passion. The work of Christ was finished with a passion that is unparalleled, unequaled by any passion that you see in this world.

Now Paul taking upon that and says in Romans chapter 12 verse 1, he says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice.” His mind is full of Christ's sacrifice. He doesn't want us to die on a cross. No, you don't need to die, thank God for that. You have to live as a sacrifice. You live just like Jesus died, he says, that's the meaning. You live just like He committed Himself to die because death was His purpose for life. He committed Himself to die now you live just like He committed Himself to die. That's how you live he says as a Christian with a passion you live.

Now today I want to talk about another thing as a Christian you have, very special. You have a very new kind of love that’s one thing very special, a new view of man, made in the image and likeness of God. That's something very special as a Christian. That's what makes a difference in work, and you have a new kind of passion. Our model is Christ. We have the same passion that Christ had to accomplish the work that God has given to us with the gifts that God has given to us. That is the passion. We don't have to prove anything to anybody. God has given us gifts, and we simply use it for the glory of God so that God is pleased with it. And also we have a true rest that goes with our work. That's what I want to talk about today. That's why I asked you to turn to Exodus chapter 20 and Deuteronomy chapter 5.

Now, work and rest are always related to one another. There's a mutually beneficial relationship between work and rest and you know that. If you work you have to rest. You have to sleep at night and while you're sleeping, it's like charging right? And you remember, when you go to bed, you remember, it's like putting your battery on charge, your cell phone on charge. You’re replenishing, it's empty. Now it's going to be full, you're going to charge it. So when you're sleeping, you're really recharging yourself with strength to get up and go next day. So every day you practice work can rest like a rhythm. And God has established that work and rest must work like a rhythm on a weekly basis also. Six days He worked on the seventh day He rested, the Bible says, right?

So we know that work must have a quality rest to go with it. Work without rest is harmful. And rest without work is also harmful. There is something called overworking and there is something called under working. Both directions are bad, both overworking and under working is bad. You got to work and rest, work and rest. It's a wonderful rhythm and harmony that God has set for human beings. You've got to work and you got to rest. That is the balance and harmony that God has created. We understand that. We understand that mutually beneficial relationship between work and rest.

But the relationship between work and rest operates at a deeper level than that. And that is what we want to see today. When I say deeper level, let me explain. I showed you how some people have the wrong kind of passion and they work and work and they burn out, right? Because they're searching for a sense of worth and identity through work. But the Gospel says, we have our worth already established. Jesus paid the price and purchased my salvation and He has made me His child. I already have a sense of my worth. I'm not looking for my identity. I have a sense of worth. I am a child of God, I am loved by God. I'm not looking to establish my sense of identity. I am not lost about that. I'm not a person who doesn't know where I stand and what I am. I know very well that God loves me, that God gave His Son for me. And that tells me how valuable I am in the sight of God, that God will do anything for me. We know that. That's the gospel.

And because we have that there is a kind of rest that accompanies our work. We are not like these people that are seeking for an identity through work, or seeking to establish their self-worth through work. No, we're a different kind of people. We can be free from that pursuit of trying to establish our identity and seek to establish our worth and we have a great sense of freedom inside of us. We are not working to prove anything, we're not trying to establish anything. We're simply working because God has placed us here, He has gifted us, He has called us and He has loved us and redeemed us. Therefore, we need to respond to this God and His love. We love Him also. And we work because we love Him. We work because He has given us the ability to work. We work because He has called us to do something. We work because He has commissioned us to do something, given us a gifting. That is why we work.

So throughout our work, there is a rest that accompanies us. That is what I want you to know. It's not once a week rest or once every day at night you rest. There is a rest constantly as you work but in order to understand that, you need to understand the idea of Sabbath and what the Bible teaches about Sabbath. So let me read to you Exodus, chapter 20, from verse 8 to 11, and then we'll go to Deuteronomy. Exodus chapter 20 verse 8 to 11. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it, you shall do no work, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who's within your gates. For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day, therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Now let me read you Deuteronomy also and then we'll come back and I’ll just give an explanation about Exodus and then Deuteronomy also. I just want to read Deuteronomy chapter 5, let me read to you from verse 12 to 15, chapter 5 verse 12 to 15. Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it, you shall do no work you, nor your son, nor your daughter, or your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor any stranger who's within your gates, that your male servant or your female servant may rest as well as you. And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm, therefore, the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. 

All right, I read these two passages because unless you understand what Sabbath is about, what it is pointing to and what it is a sign of, you will not understand what kind of rest God wants you to have in all areas of life and especially work. You got to understand what Sabbath is all about, what it points to and what it's a sign of. So let's look at chapter 20 the passage that we read and try to understand what it says. Chapter 20, the passage that we read comes from the passage where the Ten Commandments are given through Moses, as the people came out of the Egyptian bondage in the wilderness God gives them the Ten Commandments. And so the Ten Commandments is stated here and here is the Sabbath day commandment, to keep it holy.

Now, you may say, I read two passages purposely because it looks very much alike. Whatever it says here, it says there in Deuteronomy also. Deuteronomy is Moses’ teaching from the Ten Commandments, all right? Here is the giving of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy just before they entered the promised land Moses is teaching the meaning of the Ten Commandments but he's saying basically the same thing. First three verses he's saying the same thing. Moses says exactly the same as what is said here, that you must observe it. And six days you will do all your work. Seventh day you should not work. You or your children, your servants, even your cattle, your animals should not be put to work and so on. That's what the first three verses contain. The difference lies in the last verse. The last verse, and that is what is pointing to the significance. What Sabbath is all about.

Now, this is what the Israeli people also missed I think. You know, by the time Jesus came into the earth, and you read the Gospels, the four gospels, you see a constant fight between the Pharisees and Jesus mostly based on the Sabbath, and they claimed that Jesus had violated the Sabbath, because they had made such elaborate laws about Sabbath, because Sabbath said don't work, they had to specify every little thing. Don't work with means what don't work means don't read, at don't read things, don't even look at your mirror. So you pull out your hair…  like that they built and built hundreds of sub laws were written related to the Sabbath law. Ridiculous. Simply they grew it to such a such an extent, it's laughable. If you get a chance to read something like that you should read it because how far religion can take this, we can totally miss the point. What the Sabbath is all about, why the Sabbath was given they totally missed the point they built a big system based on Sabbath.

Now the difference as I said in both these passages is found in the last verse. Now here in chapter 20 of Exodus the last verse says, after saying that they should not work neither the children nor their cattle nor their servants, nobody should work on Sabbath day, they must observe it as a holy day and so on. Verse 11 gives the reason why. It says, For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them and rested the seventh day. It's referring to the creation in six days, the Lord made everything. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. Now turn with me, one minute to Genesis chapter 2. It is referring to this in Genesis chapter 2. You remember in first chapter, there is the creation in chapter 2 verse 1 begins like this, it says, Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them were finished. And on the seventh day, God ended His work which He had done, and rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done, then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because He rested from all His work which God had created and made. So this is exactly what is referred to there. That God worked six days and rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done, and blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. Sanctified means it's not like what we are thinking these days. Sanctified means to set it apart. That means there are seven days that one day is set apart as a separate, different, distinctly different day. Set apart and separated.

So this is what is referred to here. He says, don't work, keep it holy, observe this as a holy day, don't work. Why? Because the Lord God, He worked six days and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord God blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. So you observe it also. Now, when God did it in the beginning it was not established as a law for people. In the beginning He did it, that's all. But now, after the people came out of Egypt and Egyptian slavery, in the wilderness, God now establishes as a law. It becomes one of the 10 commandments. The observing of the Sabbath day becomes one of the Ten Commandments. It is established. And it is established saying, remember the creation, that's why you need to observe it. That's the way it is put here.

Now, what does it say about Sabbath? This means that God worked six days in order to create everything that man needed, and finally made man. If it is referring to creation so I'm talking about what creation means. God created everything, and finally created man. On the sixth day, God made man and on the sixth day as the last item of creation, God made man and after God made … see, even today the Israelites when they celebrate the Sabbath, their Sabbath does not begin on the seventh day. Their day is calculated not from morning till evening, morning six to evening six or something like that. No, we calculate our days like that, they calculated it like this. It began Friday evening at six and ended at Saturday evening at six. That's the way their Sabbath day is calculated. So sixth day God created man. He is the final creation.

As soon as man was created, everything was over, he’s the final one. As soon as man was created, you can imagine man would have asked God as soon as he appeared, he would have asked God, “God, what is the program. What are we going to do?” God says, “Rest.” The very first thing that God introduces man to is rest. That's very interesting. The very first thing in life he experiences is rest. But what is that rest all about? Is that rest about God working so hard, so many days, six days that He put up the heavens and the stars and I mean He got tired of hanging everything up and He was so tired that He had to just say, “I quit. You know I got to rest because I'm tired.” That's not the kind of rest. Isaiah says in chapter 40 our God never tires. He doesn't need any rest. Psalmist says, He never sleeps nor slumbers. So our God doesn't need rest. He doesn't even sleep. He's not a human being. So He doesn't need all of that. So He did not rest like we rested. So His rest means something else. What is that rest? His rest is this, that He has completely done everything and made everything and therefore the rest since He doesn't need any rest really like the rest that we have, His rest simply means to sit back and look at all that He made and enjoy and take in everything that is so beautiful and so wonderful that He had created and enjoy it.

That is what the rest is all about. It is not so that He can go to sleep. It is not so that He can get rid of some tiredness. It is a different kind of rest. It is the enjoyment of everything that is good that He has created. He has created now He sits back and enjoys it. What does that rest mean to man? Man has just come on the scene. On the sixth day as the final creation he has been created. He just now he was created, given life. He has not done any work but he enters into rest, without working he enters rest. I can understand if you worked a whole week and then entered rest, without working he enters into rest. Why does he need rest? So, therefore, his rest also is not because he's tired from working. Not that kind of rest. His rest also is another kind of rest. What kind of rest is that? His rest is about God saying to him, “Adam, don't worry about what you will eat, what you’ll drink, and what you will be clothed with and all these things. Don't worry about all those things. I have done everything. Don't worry about your needs. Don't worry about your problem. Don't worry about anything. Everything that you need, I've already made. So be at peace. Just enjoy everything that I have made. Just appreciate and enjoy and understand that I have created everything and kept it for you.”

That's the kind of rest that Adam entered into. That is the rest that it's talking about. It's not that he has worked and therefore entered into rest because he needed it. Without ever working,  as soon as he appeared he entered into rest, the very first thing he enjoys in life is rest. The very first thing that God wanted him to know in life for a human being is the fact that God has provided and taken care of everything for man that he must live with a sense of rest in his heart. He must not live with the tension, wondering where everything is going to come from, how he's going to make it, how he’s going to manage and so on. He must live with a sense of rest. That is what rest meant on that day.

So Sabbath is a celebration of the way God has designed everything for us. What is the design that God has given for human life? The design for human life is this, that God is the grand and great provider of everything. The perfect provider of everything, that man just lives by grace, man simply receives and enjoys everything that God has created for him. After man was created God never created anything. All creation is over. Every need is met. Perfectly met, abundantly met, there's more than what he needs. For one man there's too much. Four rivers, thousands of trees, fruit bearing trees, all kinds of vegetation and so on. Everything that he needs in such abundance.

Even today, if you don't believe in abundance, please listen. Even today, if you go to the forest, all kinds of birds and animals, everything is eating there. There is more fruit that is falling down on the ground and perishing than the fruit eaten by the birds and the animals and so on. There is more just going to waste than being used. I believe in abundance. God has not left the world in poverty. Even today that abundance is seen. A lot of people cannot see it because their eye is darkened. They have become so religious they can't see abundance. There is so much abundance that God has placed in this earth. But we somehow believe in poverty and sometimes even believe that poverty is virtuous. But God is a great believer of abundance, He has put everything in place.

And so the rest is about the celebration of that abundance, the design that God has given. The design of God is this, that man should not live with the heart beating fast about his needs. Man should not be worried so much, man should not live in constant tension about meeting his needs and meeting his necessities. Man should live in a state of rest. Rest is something that God has given in creation, has built in creation. That man is meant to live in that rest. So when Sabbath is celebrated it is a celebration of God's design for our life. That's one thing that it points to. That's God's design, that's the way God wants us to live.

So Sabbath or rest means a rest from worry, rest from fear, rest from apprehension, rest from all kinds of unnecessary concern about this and that. That God is the great supplier of our every need, that God sees to it, that God is our Jehovah Jireh and our El Shaddai. Now go to the second passage. The second passage, Deuteronomy also reveals something about Sabbath. Deuteronomy chapter 5. We read to you from verse 12, verse 12 to 14 is very similar to Exodus chapter 20 verse 8 to 10. Three verses exactly basically the same. 15th verse different. There in Exodus the reason He gives for observing the Sabbath as a holy day is that God created in six days and rested on the seventh day. So think about the creation therefore you observe Sabbath and keep it holy, He says.

Now here He says, listen to this. Verse 15, And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt. Now He gives the reason for why they must observe the Sabbath. After 14 verses, He says, Remember that you were slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm. Therefore, the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. The reason He gives here is not creation but deliverance from the Egyptian bondage and freedom. He says, Remember, you were a slave and God with a mighty outstretched arm brought you out. Therefore, keep the Sabbath.

What does it mean?  It means Sabbath is a declaration of our freedom. Why keep Sabbath? He says, because you were a slave and God delivered you. That's why you keep Sabbath. So what does Sabbath mean? Sabbath means that I was a slave and delivered, God does not want me to be a slave anytime. Remember the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites. They did not give them any break. Remember, Moses went to ask the Pharaoh for a few days to go and worship their God, in the beginning that's how he approached Pharaoh said, “We want to go and worship our God, want to take our people, our cattle and so on. Go worship our God.” He said, “No, if you want to go on a few days holiday, that means you got too much time.” So he told the people that gave them work the slave drivers he called them and said, “These fellows have too much free time. That's why they want to go on a vacation. Slaves don't have vacation, double their work. Let them produce more bricks.” So they were like machines producing bricks and more bricks for Pharaoh and his kingdom, no break is given to them, they’re slaves. No relief from their work, constantly working like a machine that's what they were. And God hated it. He heard their cry and came down with a mighty outstretched arm He brought them out because He did not make man to live as a slave to anything. He brought them out.

And now God says, “I brought you out now don’t enslave yourself to work.” Ah, now nobody is enslaving us, there is no Pharaoh now. Thank God for that. Hope we never get one. There is no Pharaoh tying us up and telling us to make brick we're not slaves in that phase. Slavery system is gone, it’s no more there. But do you know how many people are enslaved by so many things. One of the things that people are enslaved by is by their work. They feel like they cannot get out of it. They feel like they cannot rest. They feel like they cannot take a break. They feel like they have to work night and day and constantly work, work, work, and all they know is work and nothing else but work because in some cultures, it becomes like that.

I remember many years ago, about 35 years ago, when Japan was becoming a very rich country after all that happened there. The guys worked there so hard. They're very good workers. They go on time. They work very hard, they're machine-like workers. They just work sincerely, but never knew how to rest. They did not have the concept of rest at all. The Europeans and Americans grown up in Protestant background, they are very good with rest. Europeans rest more than anybody, five days of paid holiday in Europe, most of the countries. Five weeks of fully paid holidays every year. That's why you find all these Europeans are going around here because they get full salary five weeks free. You come to a country like this that costs very little money for them to go around. And with five weeks money, they can live 10 weeks here.

So you find all these people going around here. They're good vacationers, especially these Germans and others. In that part of Europe all these Protestant countries they're vacationing spirit comes from chapter one and two of Genesis. They're very good at that, the Protestant theology of work. That work must be accompanied with rest, that rest is very important to life and so on. They view things like that. They got in there among the Japanese and they taught them about how to rest. I remember they were literally going into companies and coaching them about how to rest, telling people to take a vacation. The Japanese by now had a lot of money. 35, 40 years ago, they were just coming in with a lot of money, but no idea of rest. They don't know how to rest. They don't know how to take a break. They were teaching them how they need to go on vacation, couple of times a year. “Take a week or two, go on vacation, stay in some mountain, go boating and fishing and whatever.” They taught them all these. And they're bringing them to Europe and buses, I remember, they'll bring them busloads of Japanese everybody with a camera and everything, coming in landing up in all the tourist spots, because these Europeans and Americans from the Protestant background arranging tourism for them. Teaching them how to rest.

You know a lot of people have to be taught to rest now. A lot of people cannot rest because they're good workers, but they get enslaved to their work. The culture, the materialism of the culture and so on. Prosperity is good, but materialism is bad. You see, materialism and prosperity are two different things. Materialism makes you lose everything for the sake of money. Materialism makes you lose even your peace and your family and everything for the sake of some more money. Prosperity is not like that, prosperity is something very divine, something very pure, something good, you achieve good things with prosperity. So the materialism of the culture of today demands that people go that route and work overtime and just work and work and work and never think about rest.

Some people are even proud that they've never taken a holiday in their life. That with their sweat and blood they built a house, with their sweat and blood, they feed the family, with their sweat they've earned every penny they've got and so on. But that is very sad. These people have not understood what it means to be freed from slavery. We are not slaves. We are free. So Sabbath says, I'm free. I'm a free person. When I go to work Monday morning, I go as a free person. Nobody's taking me by the neck and saying, “Do this. So many bricks today.” No, I go because God has gifted me, enabled me, called me to do a work, I enjoy my work. I go and do whatever I have to do with joy in my heart to please my God who has given me these gifts and called me with a calling and anointed me to do the work. I do it because I love it. I do it because God loves it.

These things have to be taught in the Christian church. You can understand how the people of Israel would have felt when the law was given, the legislation about Sabbath day was given. There was no other country in the world at the time that had one day holiday. And God introduces this totally new unique concept among the people of Israel. He says, “out of seven days, one day holiday.” No union there, God came before all these unions and gave one day holiday. Otherwise, we'd be working seven days even today. God set the pattern,

so thank God. Unions learned from them and started demanding. Just imagine what people would have felt like, they have never heard of it. The world has never heard of it. God says, “One day rest.”

And in those days it was agricultural society. The concept was in order to eat seven days, you work seven days. How can you eat seven days if you work six days? That's the way they thought about it. You need to work in order to eat that day. That's the way the curse and the fall of Adam has brought humankind to think about work as. You got to work today to eat, otherwise, you cannot make it. That's the way they thought about it. And God is trying to reverse that trend and He's trying to show them, “No, I did not make you like that. I did not make you like a slave. I did not make you in that way. I made you live a totally different life. So I want you to trust in me that it's not because of your work you're eating, it is because of my goodness you're eating.” Before Adam did one day's work he had everything prepared for him. That's what creation is all about.

So God said, “One day holiday.” Now that itself would have been very difficult for them. Just imagine sometime later, because these fellows never got the idea. Never got the truth about the Sabbath sometime later God said, “Wait a minute, every seventh day, I mean every seventh year will be a Sabbath year.” Now just imagine if I told you today, “Take every seventh year off.” I don't think anybody will come to church. You’d say, “What kind of church is this? How can I take the seventh year off? Who will pay 12 months’ rent and 12 months’ food. I'll be lagging behind in everything, 12 months, who's going to pay my bills?”

I'm sure the Israelitesasked it because God says, “Don't worry. In the sixth year...” it was an agricultural society, He said, “...in the sixth year your harvest will be doubled. I'll give you in the sixth year double harvest payment in advance next 12 months’ salary in advance so that the seventh year you don't have to work.” Now let me ask you if somebody gave you 12 months’ advance and said, “Take 12 months off,” will you take it off?

God is trying to show them don't believe the world's philosophy that it's by your sweat and your blood that you have to sweat it out in order to make the money to live your life. Don't believe that. God never made man like that... God gave work to man. It is wrong to not work. I believe in work and God believes in work. God has made us to work. But it is wrong to believe that it is work that provides all our needs. God is trying to show them that, “I can give you two years’ income in one year,” He says. Some people say, “How can that be possible brother?” Well, that's not possible for you, then. I believe it. I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I believe that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He can do it even today. But understand the idea of Sabbath. God is trying to show them something. The idea is, not just the one year holiday or once a week holiday or not even in one night rest. The idea is this, He says, “Rest. Don't worry. I'm going to take care of your needs. I'm going to watch over you. I'm going to provide every need.”

Sabbath is first of all a celebration about design. Sabbath secondly is a declaration of our freedom. The third thing is this, we must also think of Sabbath as an act of trust. Just imagine people would have found it very difficult to believe that they can exist without working the seventh day. They would have believed at that time seven days you are to work, but God says, “Rest one day.” It takes an act of faith. You got to trust in God for God to provide especially the one year holiday. One year, seventh year, holiday is very difficult to believe. How Will God provide? God says, “I will provide. Don't worry.” It's an act of trust.

Now turn with me to Matthew's Gospel chapter 6 for just a minute there. Very well-known passage. But I think no one would have thought of it as having anything to do with work. Matthew chapter 6 verse 25 onwards, listen to this. Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or what you'll drink, nor about your body what you’ll put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Now look at this. Look at the birds of the air for they neither sow nor reap. See work is coming into picture. This is a very famous passage from the Sermon on the Mount, and it's in reference to work. He's talking to people who are worrying all the time what to eat and what to drink, and what to be clothed with. How to meet their basic necessities and their needs, and they think it happens only by work and work, work, work, and work, more work. And He says, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Hello? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to stature? So why worry about clothing? Now listen to this. Why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow they neither toil nor spin, again work.

He’s saying you people that believe that your work is the thing that's feeding you listen, He says, and you are working based on that your whole motivation for work comes from that, that work is the thing that feeds me and so on. “No,” He says. Consider the lilies of the field. They neither toil nor spin. And yet I say to you that even Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Solomon was the most luxurious king. He lived a life luxurious life. And his luxury and riches were so great that people, kings and queens from around the world came to just see the plate in which he ate, the cup in which he drank, the house in which he lived, and so on. It was put on display. Everybody came to see just the way he lived because he was living a such flamboyant life.

And Jesus says here even Solomon in all his glory, at his peak, Solomon never dressed like that, He says. Consider the lilies of the field, how they are dressed clothed by God, the lilies come today morning and by night, it's over. It perishes and how God clothes them even Solomon in his peak never dressed like this. Hello? He’s talking to people who are worried, the reason for going to work is their worry. How am I going to meet my needs? Oh I'm going to pay How am I gonna pay the bills? I'm going to do this that night and day without sleeping. I'm going to work. I'm not going to take a break because my work is the thing that feeds me. My work is the thing that keeps it going.

Jesus says, Don't worry about what you'll eat, drink and be clothed with. He's not saying don't work. He’s saying, “What are you thinking? You're thinking that your work provides all the needs.” He says, “No, consider your heavenly Father. He provides all the needs of every bird, every animal.” That's why I told you in the forest, there's more fruit that falls to the ground than is eaten by the birds. There's more that goes to the ground than eaten by the birds. God provides abundantly for them. Listen to this. Yet I say to you that even Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now, if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, oh, you of little faith. In other words, it's a matter of faith. When you cannot rest, when you cannot even take a holiday, when you cannot even rest, when you cannot even take a break, you depend on your work and you made it your slave master that you depend on your work so much in order to provide your need and look to it so much, then it's wrong because now you lack the faith to go and rest.

Oh, you of little faith. He says. You can't believe that I am able to feed you, right, He says. “Therefore, don't worry saying what we shall eat what we shall drink, or what shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek...” even only the people that don't know God should be like that because they don't know God. They don't know the goodness of God. They don't know the truth about creation how God made man, how God provided man, they don't know the truth about the Sabbath and all of these things. Only the Gentiles seek after these things for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. He says, You have a heavenly Father. Do you know you have a heavenly Father? Do you know that you have a heavenly Father who can do more for you than your earthly father? Your earthly father may be good, but sometimes he's not able to do everything for you because he's limited but your heavenly Father is an unlimited God. He is an all-powerful, all-able God.

So He says, But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. The whole preaching is given in the context of work. In the context of people who trust in their work to provide their needs. Don't trust in your work because God has given you the gift, work because God wants you to express these gifts and be a blessing to others, work because it delights God when you work because you're using His gifts, work to show forth the glory of God. Work is meant to do that, but the needs are supplied by God and He is a wonderful supplier. Amen?

Now go to Matthew chapter 11 for a minute. 11:28. Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Here is a passage about rest and probably you never thought about work here. He says, Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden. Burdened and laboring people He's talking about. All ye that labor and are heavy laden, all ye that are trying so hard, all ye that are working so hard, trying so hard to make it. He says, Come unto me, I will give you rest. What kind of rest, how does He give it? He says, Take my yoke upon you. See, when He says, Take my yoke upon you, that doesn't sound like rest because taking a yoke is getting hooked up with someone, coming under the control of someone who’ll be dragging you here and there and making you do things. That's what a yoke is all about. You come under a yoke, under the control of someone. He says, Take my yoke upon you.

Yeah, in the world we work under so many people. Sometimes they're tough, very difficult. Jesus says, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart. He says, “Think of me as your boss, think of your work as something that you do unto me, take me as your master, take me as your Lord. Take my yoke upon you because I am gentle

and lowly in heart.” You know, Jesus is so wonderful. He's not like your mean boss. He’s a gentle and lowly in heart boss. He understands you. He understands your needs. He’s able to help you gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. “Think of me as your Lord. Think of me as your master. Think of me as your boss. Do your work as unto me then you will find that I am not as mean and as demanding as the others. I'm very understanding and lowly in heart and I’m gentle,” He says.

So you can understand how rest comes every day as we were work. Rest is supposed to come every day and be there every day in our life. When you understand why you're here, why you work,  and that God is your master that your life is committed to God, that you are working with a passion for Him, that you're living as a living sacrifice to Him then life becomes different. I'm sure most of you have seen Chariots of Fire a movie about a Christian believer who was a Olympic medalist. Chariots of Fire is a very famous movie. In this movie,  Eric Liddell is portrayed there along with some other runners and you see there one man running the Olympics literally he says, to justify my existence, that's what he says. He says, “I run to justify my existence.” In other words, “My life has no meaning without running,” He says. In order to justify my existence I run, that's the way one runner speaks about it. But Eric Liddell, this believer he had such a deep rest in Christ that he chose to miss the best event that he's good at, the 100 meters race, because it was held on a Sunday.

He had such deep conviction that if it's on Sunday he’s not going to attend to it. He's not going to do it. He missed it, missed the Olympic gold, doesn't matter to him. What kind of thinking is this? You may think, but this guy literally living as a living sacrifice, born to Chinese missionaries. His parents were English people living in China as missionaries. He was educated in England and became very fast runner and totally committed to God preaching everywhere and so on. And went to Olympics because they thought he could win the medal against the Americans who were the favorites at that time. But he gave up running the 100 meters. So he found that a 400 meters was happening that week. During the week he ran the 400 meters and won it with world record and that's not his best event.

100 meters he missed. And after that, he went to China as a missionary. He worked there for more than 20 years, and then put in a labor camp or something of that sort. And Japanese people took over and so on and died there as a missionary and done wonderful work. The first man that I talked about who said, “It's my existence. I need to justify my existence. Running justifies my existence.” That man had to get a medal because he was seeking worth by his running. He was seeking significance and meaning for his life. That's the pursuit that he had. But Eric Liddell did not care about it, whether he won the Olympic medal or not he was at rest. His heart was at rest. He is in the hands of God that God has called him and gifted him. And to his sister he said, it seems the reason for his running, he said it like this. He said, “God has simply made me fast and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” He says, “God has created me like this. That's why I'm running.” What an attitude.

He is not justifying his existence by running. He says, “God has made me like this. I'm just fast. I can beat anybody. I'm just fast. God has made me like this. Why? Because God only knows, God has given me this gift, and I run, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” In other words, God is pleased at his running and that's what gives him great pleasure. That God sees that he is using the gift that He has given to him in this way, and God enjoys seeing that, seeing him run. His whole purpose of running was that it gives God great pleasure. Hello?

If you and I can work knowing that it gives God great pleasure, our work gives God great pleasure, I'll tell you, that's the best way to work. No tension, just what kind of rest you will have as you go to work. Finally, let me give one more example. The example of John Coltrane, a jazz musician. He says during the year 1957, he says, “I experienced by the grace of God a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time and gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and the privilege to make others happy through music, to inspire them to realize more and more of their capacities for living meaningful lives. Because there certainly is meaning to life. I feel this has been granted through His grace. All praise to God.”

So he's had a real experience with God. And Coltrane was earlier was like, just like anyone else at that time. He had said in His heart, “If I get really good, if I'm successful, if people applaud and appreciate me, then I'll know I'm significant. I'll know my life is worth something,” but this kind of inner dynamic does not usually produce the best work or the deepest rest. It doesn't even produce the best work because you're constantly under the tension to produce the best work so that you can establish your worth. That itself spoils the show. You cannot come up with the best when you are working under that kind of burden of trying to prove something.

C. S. Lewis this great writer, he says, “You'll never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you're making.” Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will be original. C. S. Lewis is a great writer. He says, “If you bother about originality you will never be original. Whereas if you simply tried to tell the truth without caring two pence how it has been told before, not worrying about how it has been told before, you simply tell the truth,” he says, “and you will nine times out of ten become original without ever having noticed it.” “Give up yourself,” C. S. Lewis says, “and you will find your real self.”

Something happened to Coltrane to reveal his self. One night after he played and did an exceptionally brilliant performance of his piece called A Love Supreme. A 30 minute outpouring of praise to God, 30 minutes straight outpouring of praise to God. He stepped on from the stage and he was heard saying, “Nunc Dimittis.” Nunc Dimittis is a phrase that comes from Simeon’s words from Luke chapter 2. Remember Simeon picks up the child Jesus as He was brought to the temple. This man who was told there until he sees the Messiah, he will not die. He picks up the child in his arms and praises God and says, “Now I can depart in peace,” and John Coltrane played this piece Love Supreme and felt such inspiration through the playing and then he got through he says, “Nunc Dimittis.” That means, now I can even die, because I've done what I'm supposed to do. I've done what I was born to do. I've done what I've been created to do. I've done my work.

In other words, he's saying, “God blessed me with this gift. God gave me this ability. And I've given all of it. I've poured it out to God as praise to God and made people's hearts glad by it, manifested God's glory and God's presence. And that's it. That does it. I can now die even He says, I've done my work.” Amen. Shall we all stand together?

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