Theme of the Week: Vacation Without Guilt
Bible Verse: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12, ESV
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 2:9-10
The Sabbath gift was first given to our spiritual forbearers thirty-five hundred years ago. Historian Thomas Cahill tells us that until this point in history, no civilization had ever given ordinary, working people a regular day off.
The gift of Sabbath was truly a unique and unprecedented gift, reminding the ancient Hebrews that they were no longer slaves of Pharaoh. Nor were their lives any longer defined by making bricks. The gift of Sabbath forms a new identity within us as well, reminding us that we are not slaves either. Our lives are not defined by our ability to produce or succeed. Our value has already been established by the fact that we are beloved by our Maker. We have infinite worth not because of what we do but simply because we are God’s sons and daughters.
My friend Jeff told me, “For a long time, you have felt like you needed to be the guy.” As I resonated with the truth of his words, he added, “I sense God saying: ‘You don’t need to be the guy. You just need to be the son.’” I was caught off-guard by his words. I felt an enormous burden lift off my shoulders, and tears came to my eyes. Do you ever feel that you need to be the guy or the girl? God has a different word for you. He says, “You just need to be my son.” “You just need to be my daughter.”
When we remember that we are loved by our Maker before we do anything, simply because we exist, because we are breathing, we are liberated from our enslavement to the god of work.
As we embrace the gift of Sabbath, we remember that we are human beings, beloved sons and daughters, rather than human doings, slaves of a harsh taskmaster. As we live into our identity as beloved children of a liberating God, we will learn to accept our limitations, both our strengths and weaknesses.
Taken from Survival Guide for the Soul by Ken Shigematsu. Copyright ©2018 by Ken Shigematsu. Used by permission of Zondervan.
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