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Category: Rest

The Missing Piece

Topic: Salvation                                                                                 Printer Friendly

Author: Illustration Exchange

ILLUSTRATION

Nothing is complete without Jesus. He is the “Author” and the “Completer,” the “Beginning” and the “End” (Hebrews 12:2, Revelation 22:13). Everything exists because of Him, and everything is missing something without Him; and not just missing something, but the central thing; the thing that supplies true meaning and purpose to all things.

That’s what the Bible means when it says of Jesus, “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen (Romans 11:36).

This applies to everything, the animate and the inanimate alike. Take for example the Old Testament Law. Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). In other words, the OT Law is incomplete, it’s missing something without Jesus.

Sometimes when Jesus is missing it’s more evident than at other times. Take for example Exodus 31:15, where we read, “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the LORD. Anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.”

“Relax or die!” Isn’t that what God is saying here? We tend to focus on the long list of things the Law commands us to do, but what about the command to rest from all of our doing? It’s hard to say which of the two we fail at most miserably, our doing or our resting.

Nevertheless, “Anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death,” seems like a gross and bizarre overreaction on God’s part. In what universe does this punishment fit this crime? It makes sense that doing the wrong things should be a crime, but should failing to do nothing be a punishable offense? And so severly punished?

Clearly, there’s something missing.

missingpieceAPPLICATION

“Relax or die!” makes no sense without Jesus; with Jesus, it makes perfect sense.

That’s because Jesus IS the Sabbath rest we all so desperately need!  By fulfilling all of the commands of the Law and by offering His perfect life as a sacrifice for our sins, Jesus became our Sabbath rest.

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Relax or Die

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Topic: Sabbath
Scripture: Mark 2:27; Hebrews 12:29; Romans 2:12; Matthew 11:28-29; 1 Corinthians 3:12-13; Galatians 3:24
Source: “‘They Were So Pure,’ Father Says of 7 Kids Killed in Fire” by Michael Balsamo ASSOCIATED PRESS, posted On ABCNews.go.com, March 22, 2015
Author: Illustration Exchange

A Brooklyn father came home to his worst nightmare to find that a house fire had killed seven of his eight children and critically burned his wife and surviving child. The house, itself, was a total loss.

The cause of the fire was determined to be the use of a malfunctioning hot plate. It sparked a fire which rapidly spread up the stairs, trapping the children in their bedrooms.

The Sassoon family, members of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, moved to Brooklyn less than two years prior. The father escorted the remains of his children back to Israel for burial.

Why, you might ask, was the hotplate left on while the family was sleeping?

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The Vine

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Topic: Fruit of the Spirit
Scripture: John 15:5
Author: Thomas Bevers

Have you ever walked into a factory? The noise is usually deafening. You have to wear ear plugs just to avoid bodily harm.

Can you imagine taking a nap near an assembly line? The sounds of air compressors, pistons and other loud machines would make it nearly impossible. It takes a lot of noise to produce a car.

On the contrary, have you ever walked into an orchard? The still, the calm, the birds singing all evoke a great sense of peace and tranquility.

Can you imagine stretching out under the shade of the vines and just resting? It doesn’t take much noise to produce fruit.

Application:

When man produces what he produces, it is accompanied by an over abundance of noise, commotion and little rest. But not so with what God produces.

When Jesus told us He is the vine and we are the branches, He intended us to remember that He is the one doing all the work; He is the one producing the fruit through us.

What does the branch do besides act as a go between? It’s the vine that does all the work! The branch bears fruit by remaining at rest in the vine. Likewise, you and I bear fruit by remaining at rest in Christ.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

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Man Burns House Down Killing Spider

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Topic: Peace
Scripture: John 14:27
Source: “Man Tries to Kill a Spider and Ends Up Burning His House Down” by Samantha Grossman, TIME Online, July 16, 2014
Author: Scott Maclean / Illustration Exchange

Visit the source

A Seattle man accidentally burnt his house to the ground recently after trying to kill a spider with a cigarette lighter and a can of spray paint. The man later told police that the spider had been lurking in the laundry, and he had accidentally lit the wall on fire with his makeshift flame thrower.

Surprisingly, this happens more often than you might think! Just a few weeks earlier, Ginny Griffith of Hutchinson, Kansas, lit her laundry on fire after seeing a spider crawl into a pile of towels. The fire quickly got out of hand, and her home went up in flames. She’s been charged with aggravated arson.

Application:

Too often, we tend to overreact to problems. As believers, we need to remember that even in the midst of trouble, it’s possible to have a trouble-free heart. Jesus didn’t say we wouldn’t have problems, but He did say: Let not your heart be troubled.

Don’t take a flame thrower to the spiders that lurk in your life. Remember that it is more important to experience God’s peace than it is to rid yourself of life’s annoyances.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

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Put The Glass Down!

Printer Friendly Topic: Stress
Author: Unknown
Scripture: Matthew 11:28-29
Source: Illustration Exchange

How heavy does something have to be, to be too heavy? Consider the following story:

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

Application:

She continued:

“The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early … as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29, ESV).

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