Have you ever felt brain dead, burned out, stressed out, or just plain worn out? If not, stop reading, this article is not for you. But if you have experienced any of the aforementioned symptoms – you deserve a break today. A fast food restaurant tells you that “You deserve a break today!” But you need more than a quick and easy break. You need a regular, deep, quality break. You need a time of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

In the Old Testament God commanded His people to honor the Sabbath. The seventh day of the week was to be set aside for rest and spiritual rejuvenation. Perhaps one of the reasons that so many people are plagued with so many illnesses in this “modern” age is that so few people honor the Sabbath, or a day of rest with spiritual rejuvenation. (See Exodus 16:23; 20:10, Isaiah 56:2; 58:13, Hebrews 4:9, Acts 20:7, I Corinthians 16:2, and Hebrews 10:25.) Under the Old Covenant even the land was commanded by God to be left fallow every seventh year.

I personally like the idea of a sabbatical. Some universities and denominations give a period of paid leave for teachers, priests, or ministers to study or travel every seventh year. Where do I sign up?

You deserve a break today. Even Jesus took time out to get away for rest. It was said of Jesus, “Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight” (Matthew 21:17 NLT).

The Life Application Bible Commentary gives this note on Matthew 21:17: “Jesus knew and practiced the discipline of rest and he honored his friends by allowing them to host him throughout this final week. Between days of intense public pressure in Jerusalem, Jesus found fellowship in Bethany. Jesus balanced stress with friendship and quietness. His example reminds us to make time for rest.

“A life intent on serving God will meet resistance. Others may reject or misunderstand our efforts. Evil doesn’t give ground without a fight. Even God’s work leads to tired workers. The fourth commandment has not been canceled. Jesus put it in it’s proper context in Mark 2:27 by reminding us that God ordered us to rest for our benefit, not just to obey a command. Like Jesus, we may have to leave the place of conflict and stress in order to rest. Bethany was no escape or retreat – it was refreshment. How often do you rest? Do you plan times of withdrawal for reflection and renewal? Discipleship will be weary work without the component of rest. We are under orders to include it.”

One of Jesus’ most outstanding miracles happened after he took a break – a prayer break. “And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on a mountain by himself to pray” (Matthew 14:23). Jesus perceived that his disciples were in danger. They were crossing the Sea of Galilee in a little boat in the middle of a storm. In the darkest hour of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the water. We need prayer breaks to rejuvenate and redirect our steps and stamina. On the word of the Lord, Peter was allowed to walk on the water to Jesus. Yes, Peter sank when he took his eyes off of Jesus and put them on the waves that rolled. But Jesus pulled him out of the water and together they walked to the boat. Regular prayer breaks will strengthen your faith and refocus your eyes on the Master of the winds and waves. When they got into the boat, the wind ceased to blow. Those in the boat worshipped Jesus. Do you break for worship? (See Matthew 14:22-33.) Isaiah prophesied that, “They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31). When Jesus stilled the waters not only did the disciples worship Him, but they confessed, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Confessing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life brings release from the weariness of guilt, sin, and self. (See Romans 10:9-10.)

You deserve a break. Jesus invites you to the ultimate rest. A rest for your soul, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-29 NKJV).

When you receive the rest of Christ and the yoke of the Redeemer, the indwelling Christ keeps you alive and excited about life. Eternal values become more important. Although we still hold jobs, earn a living, and pay bills, these things no longer are the focus of our lives. We are not engrossed in the things of this world. When your primary focus, purpose, and source is Jesus and doing God’s will, you will be renewed day by day.

You deserve a break today. Drink from the Lord’s cup. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man hears my voice and opens unto me, I will come into him and sup with him and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

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