I want to share with you today how I found the Power of the Sabbath.
It was four years after I had started The Journey Church. I was having my regular phone calls with one of my mentors in Atlanta.
I was complaining. Frustrated. Tired. My waistline was expanding and so was my to-do list.
(And although I didn’t have the guts to tell him, my marriage wasn’t in a great place either).
He called me a sinner! I was looking for something a bit more compassionate.
He went on to explain that he wasn’t just talking about me being an “ordinary sinner” (as if there is such) but a major one! He told me I needed to repent. Said I was violating the 10 Commandments.
I pushed back: “All the commandments I have kept since my youth.” (Sounded biblical, right?)
“You aren’t keeping the 4th Commandment. You are violating the Sabbath. Every problem you are having right now is because of this. I bet your marriage isn’t doing that great either!”
I use these words cautiously but THAT WAS THE DAY MY LIFE CHANGED. I started what has now been a seven-year journey in learning to keep the Sabbath. Since that conversation with my caring mentor, everything has changed for me.
BTW, here’s the 4th Commandment:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God . . .”
In learning to honor this commandment, by the grace of God, here’s some of the results I have experienced:
- My to-do list is still large and growing (I lead a large and growing ministry) BUT its not overwhelming me – I have a ‘handle’ on what God is calling me to do.
- I’ve learned to prioritize and focus on the things that matter most
- I can’t remember the last time I missed a day off or had to cancel ‘family time’ because I just ‘couldn’t get away.’
- My waistline has shrunk (yep – seems there’s a correlation between high stress, low rest and big pants!).
- My cholesterol and blood pressure are normal (even ‘low normal’)
- I’ve accomplished more over the last seven years than any other seven years in my life (Book #10 comes out this fall, Journey Church is growing with record numbers, etc.)
…And on and on I could go.
I should’ve listed this first, but my relationship with God is at a better place than it’s ever been (I’m still an ‘ordinary sinner’ saved by grace but there’s a weekly vitality that I missed my first 13 years in ministry).
Quite frankly, I HAVE LEARNED THE POWER OF THE SABBATH!
I’ve taught it to my staff and the results have been incredible.
I’ve taught it to my 1000+ coaching alumni around the world – the response: Wow! (Or more often, “Why didn’t someone teach this to me years ago!”)
Listen, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Sabbath, had devotional writers challenge you to keep it, felt the nudge of God when you read Exodus or the words of Jesus on the Sabbath. Maybe you’ve always felt like there was more too it for you . . . there is!
You see I’m a nuts and bolts guy. I want to know:
- What is the Sabbath for today (we live in NT times, not under the Mosaic law)
- How do I really keep the Sabbath (especially with cell phones, twitter, etc.)
- What do I do on my Sabbath (its always sounded a little boring)
- How can I possibly take the Sabbath when I can’t get it all done anyway (you see, when you understand the Sabbath, you’ll get more done in the six days you work)
- How does Sabbath differ from a ‘day off.’ (Almost every pastor I know takes a ‘day off’ but they are missing the power of the Sabbath).
- How does Sabbath give me a deeper connection to God?
- What can I do (or ‘not do’) on my Sabbath?
And I could keep going.
As a fellow pastor – talking to you as a fellow pastor – I want to be VERY BOLD:
- You will never be the Pastor God has called you to be until you understand the POWER OF THE SABBATH
Write me back and call me a sinner if you want (it won’t be the first time!) but its true. I cannot, in a single blog, tell you all that you are missing out on by missing out on the Sabbath (Jesus even said the Sabbath was ‘made for you!).
This may be the KEY ISSUE affecting the moral, spiritual and even physical health of pastors in the USA and around the world. When I see the rates of pastoral burnout, family trails, pastor divorce, etc., I just shake my head and wonder: Do they not know the power of the Sabbath?
Because of this, I can’t keep secret what I have learned! I must share it with you.
I have taken all that I have learned about the Sabbath personally, cataloged that with intense bible study on the subject and systematized it by presenting it over and over to my coaching alumni . . . and finally put it together in NEW resource for you:
If you get this resource, listen to it asap and start practicing the biblical commandment of the Sabbath, I promise you that you’ll see results in days (not months or years…. days!).
I challenge you to get this resource, listen to it ASAP and take action,
PS – Here’s what you will learn in this three-hour seminar, I’ll help you understand what the Bible says about honoring God with the Sabbath, and how you can experience the blessing and peace of mind that comes with your obedience.
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