July 4: How to Take a Day Off

Read Exodus 20:8-10

The Bible is filled with instructions about healthy living. One of those instructions is found in Exodus 20: 8-10. It’s the fourth commandment of the Ten Commandments.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.

The word “sabbath” means to keep, or to cease, or to stop. In verse 11 of Exodus 20, we learn that the when we honor the sabbath, we are honoring God by emulating his example.

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

God didn’t rest because He was tired after six days of creation. He rested (ceased, stopped) to model how we should rest.

Rest is so important to God that he put it in the Ten Commandments. He wants you to take a day off every week – every seven days. The actual day you rest is not important. What’s important is that you take a day every seven days to rest and refresh.

  1. Rest

God didn’t tire of all His creative activity, but we do get tired after a week of work. We need rest. We need to rest our bodies. When the temperature light on the dashboard of your car turns red, or the needle on your heat gauge pegs out on “H,” you stop the car so you don’t damage the engine. The same is true for us. Through this commandment, God is saying that if you don’t rest after a work, your body is going to break down. In other words, rest so you can give your best.

  1. Refresh

Refreshment focuses more on our spirit and our emotions. You need a day off to reconnect with people you love. Participate in recreation that rejuvenates you. For me, golf would not be refreshing. It’s stressful. You won’t find me on the golf course on my day off!

But you also need to refresh your spirit. Don’t miss that the commandment says, “… a sabbath to the Lord your God” (emphasis added). A sabbath isn’t just about naps and recreation. We are meant to worship God on our sabbath. You might be taking a day off work, but you don’t take a day off from God. If your day off is too busy for God, it’s not a sabbath. For me, when the weather is nice, I refresh my spirit on the back patio with my Bible, a cup of coffee, and focused attention on my Savior.

Make your sabbath count. Be intentional about rest and refreshment. Keep it set apart for God’s intended purpose and a healthier life.

-David Lawson

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