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A Little Bitty Minnow in a Big Flash Flood

• Greg Boyd

Americans are busier than ever — many would say their lives are out of control. Is this how God intended us to live? Greg introduces this topic through numerous real-life examples, including the perfect example: Jesus’ life. And guess what…he rested!

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This week Greg preached on a common American problem: we often ignore the command of God to rest and simply BE human beings. To get us into this topic Greg started with some experiences that he has had in his life were things got out of control: manic work on projects, disregard for his own health and well-being, too caught up in what he is focused on at the moment. Fortunately, Greg has friends who call his attention to this. People who say, “Stop! You are acting crazy!” It often takes this to get the light to go on in our heads that indicates that we are not taking proper care of ourselves. We are ignoring our limits as a human being. Sometimes we have the audacity to develop more of a “savior complex” than Jesus had! After all, Jesus did know his own limits and respected them. To fail to do so is sin.

Many examples were given of how American lives are far more stressful than they have ever been. We are running on overload, we have too many decisions to make and we cannot deal with them all adequately. Just the junk mail we have to sort will consume one year of our lives at this rate by the time we die! The rate of change (job changes, technological “advances,” etc.) in our lives today is very high and all of this contributes to the stress we experience. People experience chronic fatigue, less intimacy in relationships and see more therapists because we are living in hyper-drive.

Recall that we are to “seek first the Kingdom of God.” Are we doing this? If we are not sure, then the answer is probably “no.” For an example of what this looks like, we look to Christ as the perfect human being. Greg pointed out how Christ worked hard, played hard and slept hard. Christ knew his limits and respected them. The example from Matt. 8 (vs. 14-18 & 23-24) illustrated a time where Jesus had to make a very hard decision to leave the crowds of needy people a clear conscience in order to be obedient to the Father. Recognizing his human limitations, Jesus effectively said, “enough” and then slept soundly through the storm. He slept hard because he ministered hard, and he slept knowing he was doing the right thing.

Greg outlined three biblical principles that we need to keep in mind:

  1. We are finite. Just as in the garden the tree at the center marked a boundary, so also, other OT laws marked boundaries as well. God is God and we are not, we are limited and finite human beings. Even though “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” this only applies to those things that Christ is doing through me. Not all things that I prioritize fit this category. When I am being obedient to God, Christ will indeed strengthen me, but I risk physical and spiritual exhaustion if I am not seeking first the Kingdom of God.
  2. The Sabbath rest is a command of God. This is not a suggestion. God rested “on the seventh day” in Gen. 1 as an example to us of the good order of rest in a healthy life. God knows our propensity to sin in this regard and so gives this boundary. Rest, it is necessary for us as human beings.
  3. Rest must be forced into our schedules. The world will resist our desire to be healthy and obedient to God in this way. We must be intentional about our boundaries because they will always be pushed and challenged. Where we place your boundaries will depend upon our mission and vision for our life.
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Topics: Simplicity

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Focus Scripture:

  • Matthew 8: 14-18; 23-24

    14 When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

    16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
    “He took up our infirmities
    and bore our diseases.”

    18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake
    14 When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
    18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.

    23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.

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