Here’s the study sheet for Stress. Enjoy.
OVERVIEW: We live in a production oriented world full of personal striving, competitiveness and countless opportunities to accomplish the impossible. God’s invitation to “Sabbath or rest” is not a spiritual task or obligation for Christians, it is a gift and a vital part of God’s created order. By intentionally entering into a Sabbath rest we are acknowledging that we are not the center of the universe and that everything really doesn’t depend on us or our accomplishments. In the early church, people (including Jesus) made time for “sacred pauses” during the day and had a day of rest. These were not activities that “had to be done” but rather they were part of everyday life.
MISSIONAL OPPORTUNITY: Pause several times during each day and intentionally listen to God’s voice and guidance. Ask God to show you, who needs your help each day this week.
Take a look at your schedule. Are there any “white spaces” on your calendar or do you generally fill your calendar to capacity. How much sleep do you get? How often is the quality of your sleep interrupted by your mind reviewing all that you did or didn’t do on the previous day or all that you can do in the upcoming week?
POSSIBLE CHALLENGE: (Choose one or create your own)
- Morning and Evening Devotional Moments
- 4 Pauses
- Plan a real “Sabbath” day. (Rest & worship)
What challenge will you take?
Why did you choose this particular one?
Thursday: Hebrews 4:9-11(NIV) In Context: Hebrews 4:1-11
“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.”
- Do you think Christians in today’s world, especially Americans, take seriously a day of rest? Why not?
Friday: Mark 2:27 (In Context: Mark 2:23-27)
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man [Jesus] is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
- What do you think this means?
Saturday: Psalm 139:23 (Read the entire Psalm if you are able)
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” (NIV)
- What is it that keeps me from pausing during the day or slowing down?
Sunday: WORSHIP & REST
Monday: Psalm 63:1,
“O, God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You. “
Do you long for God? Do you thirst for God? Tell God right now 10 reasons that you love Him.
Tuesday: Genesis 2:2-3(To read in context read Genesis Chapter 1-2:3)
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (NIV)
- What difference did it make in my life as I made time for prayer and rest?
- Will I make any changes in my life because of this week’s study? What are they?
“. . . we keep filling the calendars. Yes, I’m in; we’ll sign up; I’ll do it. We race from one activity to another, teaching our children to max out and stress out. Nice legacy.” (Jan Hatmaker)
FOUR DAILY PAUSES
1) Morning Prayers: Thank God for the new day and ask God to bless you and your family as you begin the day. This could be at a breakfast table, when you wake up or just before you get out of bed.
2) Noonday Prayers: At lunch time, ask God to use you as “a light” at school, work, etc. . .
3) Dinnertime Prayers: As the sun is setting or at dinner. Discuss what you are thankful for. Prayers are not just heads bowed, when we say we are thankful to God for. . . . . . . we are praying.
4) Good Night Prayers: As you get into bed or as you tuck a small child into bed talk about the worst moment of the day and the best moment of the day. Then ask for God’s help and welcome God’s nearness as you go to sleep.