"Rest is not a place I collapse into when I’ve finally done enough work — it’s the starting place, it’s the way into the well-fitting, easy yoke of Jesus (Matthew 11:25-30)."
-Alan Fadling, An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus' Rhythms of Work and Rest
Learning to Sabbath
Out of all the spiritual disciplines, this may be the most challenging for me personally. Throughout my life, I have believed the lie that busyness equals success. To rest is to be lazy and even weak. Wrapped around that belief are the sins of self-reliance and man-pleasing. Pride and a distrust of God have fueled them within me. They have been a stronghold which has kept me from seeing rest as a gift from God.
Thankfully, praise God, He has been bringing this to light and uprooting these sins within me. By His grace and through repentance I have been able to experience rest in greater ways. Learning to trust God and to commit my work to Him (Prov. 16:3). It is a process I am still in but one where I am redefining success by God's standard, through His word. Where I am striving to not be conformed to this world (Rom 12:2) any longer, but am being transformed by the renewing of my mind. Can you relate? How have you been challenged to find rest in Jesus (Matt. 11:29)? What would it look like for you to start your week from rest?
This week, as a group, you will have an opportunity to discuss this topic and examine what God's word says about rest. One of the great benefits of being in a group with other disciples is that we can help encourage and build one another up (1 Thes. 5:11; Heb. 3:13). We do this by pointing each other to Jesus, praying for one another and providing loving accountability that is fueled by grace.
I am praying your time together and that the Holy Spirit would guide you and give you discernment. Thank you for loving and leading Jesus' people. You are a blessing to the body and a testament of God's grace upon our church. I am sincerely grateful for each of you and am thankful to be serving in this ministry alongside you.
Here is a guideline for your gatherings:
• VISION CAST - Give the group a vision for why they are there. What is the purpose of being in a Discipleship Group? How does that tie to our mission and vision as a church?
• ACTIVITY - This week we will be doing a biblical study on God's intention for the Sabbath and seeking to apply His truth to our lives. Allow enough time to read through the sections of scripture and answer the questions listed in your workbooks.
• SENDING - Close the time in prayer and ask that each person practice this discipline this coming week. Encourage loving accountability for one another (men for men/ women for women/ married couples for each other). It would be great if each person had someone to connect with (call, text, email, etc.) and pray for this week.
Coming up next week: we will be serving others together as a group. This week discuss and choose a project you will do as a group so you can plan and prepare. See below for some ideas that you can do in your group.
Serving Others Activity
Some possible ways you can serve those in your community
• Write in and hand out greeting cards to hospital patients, those in a local retirement home or recovery/homeless shelter.
• Identify someone who you could do yard work for and everyone bring supplies and contributes to the effort.
• In your group, create care bags for the homeless (hygiene products, granola bars [no chocolate], water, etc). Then, each person takes a few bags to place in their car and hand out later that week as they meet those in need.
• Prepare sack lunches for the homeless and hand out together. Offer to pray for those you come in contact with.
Other suggestions: Visit the local nursing home and spend time playing games with the residents. Volunteer to read to elementary students or help tutor local school children.
Week 6 Workbook
Get an advanced PDF version of the next workbook now, then grab a printed copy on Sunday.