Beyond the Gospels: Acts

Today’s Scripture: Acts 27:39-28:10
(Click on the link to read the scriptures.)

We spent a wonderful three months on Malta. They treated us royally, took care of all our needs and outfitted us for the rest of the journey.

Each week at our Bible study we have had the challenge of practicing a spiritual discipline. Things like memorizing scripture, being aware of God’s presence, and lectio divina or holy reading are among those we are making a part of our spiritual lives. A couple of weeks ago I challenged the group to practice having a Sabbath. I decided Saturday would be my day. The family was off hunting and it would be a great time to set aside for rest. I awoke a little later than usual on that day, thinking an entire day with no work as a bit of luxury.

Yes, there was laundry to be done, devotionals to write, flower beds to clean and weed. The hen house needed cleaning and several cabinets needed organizing. My list of things to get done on Saturday could last a year of Saturdays. But this Saturday I set apart and I was determined to follow through. A spiritual discipline takes discipline. Several times during the day I walked into the laundry room out of habit and turned back around. A few times I even felt guilty. Somewhere along the way I decided that if it doesn’t take work then it has no value.

This is not what the scriptures teach. God set aside a day for rest and commanded us to do the same… remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. By this point Paul must have been worn and weary. Months in prison, a long journey at sea, shipwrecked with nothing and even snake bit, Paul needed a period of rest. He received that rest in Malta.

When is the last time you spent an entire day resting? I’m not talking about laying in the bed all day, but just deciding not to work in thought or activity. Now might just be the time for you to give it a try.

Lord, the call to rest and trust You to fill gaps, increase time,
and make sure everything gets done can be challenging.
Help me to let go of work one day this week and make it holy unto You;
spending time with You in prayer, in the Word, and resting in You for what’s needed.
Thank You for the call to rest.

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