Well today's Sunday School class was on rest. The verse we were using today was Psalm 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. Did you know that there are 70 million Americans who suffer from Insomnia. It cost us around $70 billion worth of productivity and it is also faulted for 38,000 deaths each year. I think we all have some kind of sleeping problem. I myself have a problem with staying awake. I can get to sleep pretty easy and I could sleep almost anywhere. I guess I got that from the military, there you sleep when you can and wherever you can. Because we are not getting enough sleep our bodies are tired. Think about it, 70 million Americans are not sleeping enough. That means one third of our country is dozing off at work, napping through class, or sleeping at the wheel. Why are we not sleeping because when we go to sleep our minds do not shut off. We are constantly thinking about the next day or the day that has already passed. We are just too busyand it is time to slow down and start resting.
There is only one living creature that has as much trouble resting as we do. Not dogs, they doze. Not bears, they hibernate. Not cats, they invented the cat nap. Not sloths because they rest 20 hours a day. Most animals know how to rest. There is one exception. These creatures are woolly, simpleminded, and slow. No not husbands on Saturday, sheep, sheep can't sleep. For sheep to sleep everything has to be perfect, no predators, no bugs in the air, no hunger in the belly. Everything must be just so.
Unfortunately sheep cannot find safe pasture, nor can they spray insecticide, deal with frictions,or find food. They need help. They need a shepherd to "lead them" and help them "lie down in green pastures." Withot a shepherd they cannot rest. Without a shepherd, neither can we.
I want you to look at something, out of the ten commandments which one occupies the most space? Murder? Adultery?, Stealing?. All 3 of these are worth some ample coverage but God only used 5 words to condemn adultery and 4 words to condemn thievery and murder. But when he came to the topic of rest, one sentence would not explain it. “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.Exodus 20:8-11.
God's message is plain: " If creation didn't crash when I rested, it won't crash when you do. You know if God rested then you can too. We are all tired and maybe it is time we listen to God's words and REST. It must be important to rest because God did and when we do get rest we feel better about ourselves and we are revived and ready to go. So let's take God's advise and start resting. I hope you all have a good night sleep tonight and from here on out.
My class is from the book Traveling Light by Max Lucado.
I have been teaching an adult sunday school class for approximatey 10 years now at the Hendersonville First Assembly of God Church in Tennessee.
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