Day 4

true sabbath rest

from the reading plan

Hebrews 4:1-13

BY Guest Writer

Text: Hebrews 4:1-13

“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.”
– Hebrews 4:9

A few weeks ago our family moved out of a rental home and into our very own 1960’s fixer upper. AND we’re re-planting a church, from scratch. AND I’m pregnant with our third baby, only this time in my thirties with swollen legs and maternity compression hose. AND it’s summer, which means my older two need a lot of play and activities that are never EVER broken up by the utter bliss of mornings at preschool.

Needless to say, life is a mess of boxes, both from moving and from countless nights of pizza and Chinese takeout. Our marriage is both literally and figuratively asleep on the couch and our best parenting tool right now sounds like: “Just, NO! Stop. Okay, let’s watch some TV!”

None of it feels right, none of it feels holy or lines up with how we are called to live. It’s a crisis season, with all the mess and none of the adrenaline.

And God is using it to ask me this question: Where does your defining worth come from? What in your life truly makes you “good enough”?

What do you rest in?

I’m learning that all too often I put my value in the work of my hands or the imaginary commandments I keep.

This is exactly what the author of Hebrews is begging us to walk away from.

The recipients of Hebrews were experiencing a similar struggle. They were Jewish, bathed in the law and steeped in the legalistic practices of the Judaism of their day. And at the top of these religious rhythms was the practice of Sabbath, one of the oldest commandments given to us in Garden before the law (Genesis 2:2).

But God’s people took it too far and, by the time Jesus arrived, they defined their worth by their ability to follow a list of man-made rules and regulations. Sound familiar?

Our work is good, a gift from God. Routine is needed and helpful. But without a strong faith in the work of Christ, we will never be able to truly enjoy the rest that God has for us. Deep, soul rest that speaks not only to the way we spend our seventh days, but the how we view ourselves every moment of every day.

The rest God calls us into is restorative and real. Even when work is left undone and we throw our hands up in another ballad of surrender, He invites us to claim His redeeming love over any anxiety about our mess and feelings of failure.

The work of your hands is not what defines you. You live by HIS grace, HIS story and HIS redeeming love. This truth is all you need to claim when the voices of the Enemy drift in with “one more thing” you need to have or do to be enough.

He has already assigned you more worth than you could ever create or accumulate. This is good news today, on Sunday morning and for the rest of forever.



Guest writer Leanne Penny is a mother, wife, writer and wavering hope ambassador. She lives with her pastor-husband and two preschool-age children in West Michigan and loves yarn, wine and watching British telly.

Post Comments (101)

101 thoughts on "true sabbath rest"

  1. Lulu Fosah says:

    What a powerful reminder , I struggle with rest , rest from day to day work, rest with my own body physically , emotionally . Father thank You for providing me rest and I pray to enter this rest

  2. Kim Love says:

    As I read this on the first morning of a much needed vacation, this message of resting in Him really hits me. I have been tied in knots with stress, anxiety and worry over so many things. I need to let go and just focus on His Truth.

  3. C C says:

    I recently finished reading “Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequest and then when deciding what devotional to embark on next, I chose this one. I am so glad I did. Many of the truths enlightened so far in this study of Hebrews goes hand in hand with some important lessons gleaned from Shauna Niequest’s book. All I could think while reading this excerpt from Hebrews was: Thank you, Lord, that the work of my hands does not define me; Thank you, Lord that I live by Your grace, by Your story, by Your redeeming love. And then I was overcome with emotion at the relief of finally being able to give this to God – my worries, my anxieties, my perception of not being good enough, of never being able to be good enough. How reassuring these words are!

  4. eah08i says:

    Thank you Jesus for reminding me that my worth is found in you and you alone. I needed this today.

  5. Your story is such an echo of our lives the last few months and this devotional today was exactly what I needed. Thank God for his perfect timing.

  6. Roxanne says:

    Thank you for this…this is such a good that is what I have been doing,,,
    Nbbeenbeen doing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *