24/7: THE RHYTHM OF LIFE (Episode 4)

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24/7: The Rhythm of Life (Part 4)

September 30, 2018 | Pastor Steve Pixler

MESSAGE NOTES 

Review: Life balance begins with soul balance. We cannot tame the crazy outside until we tame the crazy inside. Then, soul balance flows out into family balance. 

The next level of balance in life is work balance. How do we bring self, family and work into a rhythm that achieves balance in the busy? 

This is a huge topic with countless helpful resources available, but we shall narrow our focus down to two things that can help us tame the crazy:

  1. Work was created to be done in partnership with God. This is the dominion principle. 

  2. Work was created to flourish in a 24/7 pattern of work and rest, labor and renewal. This the Sabbath principle

THE DOMINION PRINCIPLE

Let’s start by looking at the origin of work. Strange as it may seem, work started in Paradise, in the Garden of Eden:

Genesis 1:26–28: 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 

 27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 

Work was intended to done in partnership with God. God planted the Garden of Eden and placed man in it so that he could bring the entire earth under cultivation and civilization. Eden was a prototype of the earth.

God created man for dominion. And dominion was intended to be a Spirit-filled partnership. 

Look again at how God created man:

Genesis 2:7–8 (ESV): Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 

God created man in his image and breathed his own breath of life into him. Then he put him to work. Spirit-filled work has been God’s ideal from the beginning. 

Exodus 31:1–6 (ESV): 31 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, 4 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, 5 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. 6 And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you.

Colossians 3:22–24 (ESV): Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

So consider two questions: 

  1. Do you see your work as dominion? As partnership with God to advance the rule of Christ and the creation blessing (released anew through Abraham in Genesis 12) throughout the generations into all nations

  2. Do you see the need for your work to be Spirit-filled? As Spirit-filled creativity and wisdom, fruitfulness and faithfulness

Ok, back to where we started: 

  1. Work was created to be done in partnership with God. This is the dominion principle. 

  2. Work was created to flourish in a 24/7 pattern of work and rest, labor and renewal. This the Sabbath principle.

THE SABBATH PRINCIPLE

Genesis 2:1-3 (ESV) 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Exodus 20:8–11 (ESV): 8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.  

(NOTE: While we do not observe the “Mosaic Sabbath,” we do honor the principle of one day in seven set aside as worship to God.) 

God created work to flourish within this “six-days-shall-you-labor-and-the-seventh-shall-you-rest,” 24/7 pattern. God made “heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them” to fit within this pattern. Trying to run the world without rest is like trying to run an engine without oil: it will burn up! 

BLESSED: God blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. This means that there is a blessing available to those who find the rhythm of life as God designed it. 

HOLY: What does it mean for a day to be holy? It simply means that God has set it apart unto himself. This means that a day of rest every week is more than a religious ritual. It is a day that God has called us to pause and reflect, to recalibrate our priorities, and to bring all of life before our Creator as an act of worship. 

REMEMBER: Quite possibly, the most important—urgently important!—word in the scripture passage above is “remember.” 

God knows very well that our busy work schedules will push us into overworking and never resting. So, he commanded us to remember the Sabbath. This means that we must plan to rest. We must schedule our Sabbath. We must be ruthless about rest. 

Psalm 127:1–2 (ESV): Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 2  It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. 

Matthew 11:28–30 (The Message):  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

One final thing: the last two weeks we have focused on one specific discipline that could help us find balance in the busy. Week 1 and Week 2 were both “conversation,” conversation with God and conversation in the family. Today, the one simple discipline that we can implement to find balance at work is the “Take 5” habit:

Take 5: Throughout the day, when things get stressed and tense, take five minutes in the presence of God to recover balance:

  1. Get still

  2. Breathe deep 

  3. Pray and decree the promises of God 

CONCLUSION 

What is our call-to-action today? Two things:

  1. To see your work as dominion

  2. To commit to “sabbath.” 

Life is a dance. Find your rhythm. 


small groups study guide (Session FOUR)

(NOTE: Be sure to review the message and notes above from last Sunday.)

READ Matthew 11:28–30 (The Message):  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

  1. What is the “dominion principle”? Talk about how we can work in partnership with God in our daily work.

  2. What is the “Sabbath principle”? Discuss the creation pattern of “six-days-shall-you-labor-and-the-seventh-shall-you-rest.” What is your day of rest?

  3. What is the “Take 5 habit”? (1. Be still. 2. Breathe deep. 3. Pray the promises of God.) Discuss how you can implement “Take 5” each day.