RSS

Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Importance of Rest

As Val and I get ready to go out of town for a few days, here is a very brief excerpt from my Doctor of Ministry thesis.  This short section details the importance of physical rest:

Physical rest, as a primary emphasis of the Sabbath, allows leaders time for renewal.  Rest is implicit in the very name, since “Sabbath” means “to cease.”[1]   The nation of Israel was commanded to rest from work one day of the week (Ex 20:8-11, Deut 5:2-15), and breaking that command brought about severe repercussions (Ex 31:14).

However, rest is not confined to the Sabbath exclusively.  Rest is found in other feasts and festivals, such as the feast of Tabernacles when the Israelites rested for seven days (Deuteronomy 16:13-15).  The Sabbatical year was also a time of rest, as was the year of Jubilee:

The rest principle also found application in the practice of the sabbatical year, the one in seven when even the land was to lie fallow.  After the space of seven Sabbaths of years, or 49 years, there came on the fiftieth year a special celebration of jubilee.  Land and possessions were redeemed by the original owners, and special religious observances were provided.[2]

1 Kings 19 also demonstrates the need for physical rest and care.  After Elijah battled the prophets of Baal, he found himself physically and emotionally exhausted.  He prayed, slept, ate, slept, and ate again.  It is only then that he was able to continue on his journey.  Jesus also modeled the importance of physical rest.  He withdrew for periods of rest (Mark 1:35), and encouraged his disciples to do the same (Mark 6:31).  In fact, while many of the other rest periods of Israel can be thought of in theological terms, Jesus’ life calls us back to one of the important practical issues of the Sabbath command: mankind needs physical rest.


[1] Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Oxford, Enlgand: Clarendon, 1906), 991.

[2] Harold D. Lehman, In Praise of Leisure (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1974), 124.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Ministry, Theology

 

Additional information for Sunday’s Sermon

This Sunday I’ll be taking about Jesus words, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  This is actually a quote from Psalm 31:5, and these words have been used repeatedly throughout Christian history.  I’ll mention a few of the times during my sermon, but here is what reports to be a more complete list.  I got this information from a website so I can’t vouch for it’s accuracy, but Andrew Blackwood makes reference to some of the material, and Herbert Lockyer also talks about it in detail in his “Devotional Commentary on Psalms.”

The words of David (“Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth,” Ps. 31.5) were uttered by Christ on the cross (“And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost,” Luke 23.46). Stephen, the first Christian martyr, likewise, when he was dying, said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7.59). Others who emulated this example are listed below.

January 1, 379 — Basil the Great’s last words were “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”

January 28, 814 — Charlemagne’s last words were “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”

December 29, 1170 — Thomas Becket’s last words were “Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”

July 6, 1415 — John Hus died repeating the words “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”

May 30, 1416 — Jerome of Prague died uttering the words “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”

May 20, 1506 — Christopher Columbus’ last words were “Into Thy hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.”

May 4, 1535 — John Houghton died after reciting Psalm 31.

June 22, 1535 — John Fisher died reciting “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”

July 28, 1540 — Thomas Cromwell’s last words were “Lord into Thy hands I commend my Soul, Lord Jesus receive my spirit, Amen.”

February 18, 1546 — Martin Luther’s last words were “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, Lord God of truth.”

March 1, 1546 — George Wishart’s next-to-last words were “O Thou Saviour of the world, have mercy upon me! Father of Heaven, I commend my spirit into Thy holy hands.”

February 12, 1554 — Lady Jane Grey’s last words were “Lorde, into Thy hands I commende my spirite!”

February 23, 1554 — Henry Grey’s (father of Lady Jane Grey) last words were “In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum” (“Into Thy hands, Lord, I commend my spirit”).

February 9, 1555 — John Hooper’s last words were “Into Thy handes I commend my spirite; Thou haste redeemed me, O God of truthe.”

October 16, 1555 — Nicholas Ridley’s last words were “In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum; Lord, Lord, receive my spirit.”

July 11, 1556 — Julian Palmer recited Psalm 31 as he died.

September 21, 1558 — Charles V’s last words were “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit: for Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, Thou God of truth.”

April 19, 1560 — Philip Melancthon on his deathbed was attended by Veit Winsheim, who repeated the words “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit; O Lord, thou hast delivered me, thou righteous and faithful God!” He was asked if he heard those words. Melanchthon’s last word on earth was “Yes!”

June 5, 1568 — Lamoral, Count of Egmont’s last words were “Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”

June 5, 1568 — Philip de Montmorency’s last words were “Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”

November 24, 1572 — John Knox on his deathbed said “Come, Lord Jesus; sweet Jesus, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”

February 8, 1587 — Among the last words of Mary, Queen of Scots’ was “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”

February 21, 1595 — Robert Southwell’s last words were “Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”

April 25, 1595 — Torquato Tasso’s last words were “Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”

March 1, 1633 — George Herbert’s last words were “Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”

December 22, 1666 — Hugh M’Kail sang from the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter at his execution, “Into thine hands I do commit / My spirit; for thou art he, / O thou, Jehovah, God of truth, / Who has hast redeemed me.”

July 27, 1681 — Donald Cargill’s last words were “Into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

February 26, 1686 — Francois Teissier’s (first martyr of the ‘Church of the Desert’) last words were “My God, to Thee I commend my spirit.”

February 17, 1688 — James Renwick’s last words were “Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit; for Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, Thou God of truth.”

July 22, 1794 — Among the last words written by Louise de Duras (née Noailles)’s was “Accept, O Lord, the sacrifice of my life, Into Thy hands I commend my spirit. My God, haste Tee to help me. Forsake me not when my strength faileth me.”

October 16, 1812 — Among the last written words of Henry Martyn was “So closes the easy part of my life; enriched by every earthly comfort, and caressed by friends, I may scarcely be said to have experienced trouble; but now, farewell ease, if I might presume to conjecture. ‘O Lord, into Thy hands I commit my spirit! Thou hast redeemed me, Thou God of truth!’ may I be saved by Thy grace, and be sanctified to do Thy will, and to all eternity; through Jesus Christ.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 16, 2011 in Inspirational

 

Text of Radio spots…

Over the next few weeks our church will be running radio spots on a few of the local radio stations.  Here is the text of those spots…

————————————————————————————-

Hello, my name is Mark Billington, and I’m the pastor of First Baptist Church in Sister Bay, WI.

Easter was an important part of our household when I was growing up, and my mom used to try to make it special for us.  We hard boiled eggs and colored them, and we ate lots of candy; but my favorite thing that we did was to make a bunny cake.

Now, when you make a bunny cake, you don’t just make a flat cake with a picture of a bunny on it!  You stand the cake up, and make it look like a rabbit!  We used jelly beans for the eyes and nose, and pipe cleaners for the whiskers.  We’d also dye coconut green to surround our bunny with grass, and then we’d put jelly beans in the grass.  It was a lot of fun.

My wife and I have carried on that tradition with our kids, except some years we make a lamb cake instead of a bunny cake, because it reminds us of Jesus Christ.  You see, when John the Baptist called Jesus “The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world,” he was drawing on some rich symbolism.  When the Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt, God performed a mighty miracle to set them free.  This miracle involved the blood of a lamb, and to commemorate this event the Jewish people would have a festival every year and they would eat lamb.  When did they celebrate you ask?  At the same time we celebrate Easter!

So when my family and I eat our “Easter Lamb” we’re reminded of the rich symbolism of Easter and the reason that Jesus came – It was to free us from our slavery to sin and to grant us eternal life!

If you’d like to learn more about this, please join us for worship on Easter Sunday morning at 10:30am!

———————————————————————————–

Hello, my name is Mark Billington, and I’m the pastor of First Baptist Church in Sister Bay, WI.

I’d like to share something with you from the Bible.  It’s found in 1 Corinthians 15:

3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all…I also saw him.

In this passage of Scripture we see 3 reasons to believe in the resurrection.  First of all, Paul says I saw the risen Lord!  Next he says that lots of other people saw him too, and you can actually go and talk to them if you don’t believe me!  Finally Paul says that we have the testimony of what we call the Old Testament, which predicted the death burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Now, you might be wondering why this is so important.  What’s the big deal about the resurrection?  Well, the resurrection proves that what Jesus says about Himself is true!  He is the Savior, and he died on the cross for our sins.  It is through Him that we can have a relationship with God.

If you want to learn more about what this means, please join us for worship on Easter Sunday morning at 10:30am!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 9, 2011 in Inspirational, Ministry