Relaxing In God’s Goodness

“The Lord is my Shepherd so I have everything I need.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, and he leads me beside quiet water.”    Psalm 23:1-2

These images represent:   REST & RELAXATION


1.     Misplaced Identity: Basing my worth on my work

“Only someone too stupid to find his way home would wear himself out with work!”     Ecclesiastes 10:15 (TEV)

2.     Materialism: Always wanting more things

“Do not wear yourself out trying to get rich; Have the wisdom to show some restraint! Your money can be gone in a flash as if it had grown wings and flown away like an eagle!”               Proverbs 23:4-5 (NIV/TEV)

3.     Envy: Wanting to be like others

“I’ve learned why people work so hard to succeed; it is because they envy the things their neighbors have.”                   Ecclesiastes 4:4a (TEV)

4.     Valuing achievement over relationships

“Here’s another thing I’ve seen on earth that makes no sense: Some people don’t have any kids or family or even friends, yet they work obsessively, never taking a break. There’s no end to their toil and they’re never content with what they’ve done or earned. They never ask ‘Why am I always working to do more?’ And ‘Why don’t I let myself enjoy life?’ And ‘Who cares? Who will get what I leave behind?’ What a senseless and miserable way to live! You’re better off having someone to enjoy and share the rewards of your work.”      Ecclesiastes 4:7-9 (MSG/CEV)

5.     Insecurity: When I’m afraid I won’t have enough

“We work to feed our appetites, but meanwhile our souls go hungry.”      Ecclesiastes 6:7 (MSG)

“It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing and worrying that you won’t have enough, for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest.”  Psalm 127:2 (LB)


1.     Remember my value to God

“God decided to give us life through the word of truth so that we might be the most important of everything God has created”                James 1:18

God says, “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”       Isaiah 49:16a (GW)

2.     Enjoy what I already have

“A little food eaten in peace is better than having twice as much earned from overwork and chasing the wind.”                                          Ecclesiastes 4:6 (CEV)

“All of us should . . . enjoy what we have worked for. It is God’s gift.”    Ecclesiastes 3:13 (TEV)

3.     Limit my work to six days a week

“You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is to be a day of complete rest dedicated to Me.”                              Exodus 20:9-10a (TEV)

“Sabbath” means:  Day of Rest

“The Sabbath was made to benefit man . . .”        Mark 2:27 (LB)

4.      Adjust my values

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”  Mark 8:36 (NIV)

5.      Exchange my restlessness for God’s peace

Jesus said, “Look at the birds in the air. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. And you know that you are worth so much more than the birds.  You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it. And why do you worry about anything else?  Look at the beauty of the wildflowers in the field… They don’t worry or overwork… but God takes care of them, so you can be sure that will clothe you too!”                                                                  Matthew 6:26-30

Jesus: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? 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.”   Matthew 11:28-30 (Mes)

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