Day 1:In Mark 2:28, Jesus again refers to Himself as the Son of Man. As stated in Sunday’s message, this term represents Jesus’ exaltation and authority. He is the heavenly one who will come again with great power and glory. As the exalted one, all of mankind will one day bow before Him as sovereign Lord. But we need to ask ourselves, “Is my life submitted to the authority of Jesus right now?” In what specific ways is God calling you to acknowledge His authority in your life? Is it trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior? Perhaps it’s turning away from some sinful habit. Or maybe it’s developing a new habit of Bible reading and prayer or some other spiritual discipline to grow in Christ likeness? Reflect on this; what would you need to search out or who would you need to help you take a step?
Day 2: Not only does Jesus have power and authority to reign over all, but He is the One who enables us to experience genuine rest and peace. For those who follow Jesus, the Sabbath is pointing us to the rest promised for those who follow Christ in Hebrews 4:1-10.
When you hear of or think of Sabbath and rest, what comes to mind? How do you hear or receive it? As another task or command from God to keep up or comply with, an old concept not relevant for today, or an invitation to a different rhythm and fullness of life? Read Mark 2: 27. Why would God give us the Sabbath? What might be His hopes for us in Sabbath? Have you practices Sabbath before or currently? What have you experienced in your practice? If not, what would it be like to begin a practice of setting aside a day to focus on and do that which brings life to you and to reflect on God as sustainer of life?
Day 3: There are important principles that the Sabbath teaches us. Like the nation of Israel, we need to recall that God is our source for everything. Sabbath not only allows us to have space and time away to rest, but to give our worlds space and time to rest from us! It is one of the disciplines that reminds us the world does not depend upon me, that I do not depend solely upon me, but upon God and ultimately God alone. Think of some ways you can set aside a regular time of rest and renewal as you look to God as your source for everything. What or who besides God have you been tempted to place your confidence in: your career or financial resources, a relationship, certain circumstances? Take some time this week to thank God for His continual provision. Then, begin to make it a practice each week take time to find rest in Him.
Day 4: Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath; He holds all authority. Do you believe, are you trusting that Jesus is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do? We must do the work of wrestling with this in our daily lives and with one another. We can’t expect to grow in our faith until we settle this. (Col. 2:6-7). Is your faith in the authority of Christ firm? Is submission to His authority something you are growing in, reflecting on at the end of your day or over the course of your day? Is it a matter of prayer for you? If not, meditate on the following scriptures and ask God to speak to you. John 3:35, John 17:2, Matthew 28:18 and Colossians 2:9-10.
Day 5:In Mark 2:27, Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” The Pharisees had become so focused on rules that they had forgotten about God’s care and concern for people. We too can sometimes miss the point of biblical teachings and what God is calling us to or and has given us. Jesus is Lord over all, and ultimately the commands He gives us in scripture remind us of His concern for us and of our dependence upon Him as we respond in faith and obedience. Much like the commands of a loving parent telling a child not to play in the street. If you were to see biblical commands this way, how would it change your response to what God tells you to do or not to do? Pray and ask God to help you see His heart and love for you within the commands He gives us.