Teaching Goal:  Live a balanced life by including times of rest.

Scripture:

Matthew 14:23  …And after [Jesus] had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.  When evening came, He was alone.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 Better is one hand full of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

Psalm 46:10 Cease striving [Be still] and know that I am God.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Materials:          See lesson and discussion

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Lesson and discussion

Words written in bold are when the leader is speaking. Feel free to use your own words.

Life is a balance of work and rest. God worked and He rested.  God created us in His image, which includes working and resting.  In the Ten Commandments, He commands us to take a Sabbath — “rest.”

The concept of rest, spiritual rest, exists somewhere between sleep and work. Listed below are activities that people use to create an atmosphere of rest. Some skills that may be used to maximize times of rest include: thinking; listening; and worshipping.  Common elements to activities on the list include: being in God’s creation; being alone; using repetitive movements; and quiet or minimal sound.   Remember, rest is more an attitude of the heart than something you do.  So although the activities below may involve rest for some people, they can also be associated with work for others.  If you’re physically or mentally tired after the activity, then you may have been involved in work or leisure, but you probably haven’t rested. 

            Kite Flying                                          Prayer retreats

            Walks or hikes                                   Driving without the radio or other distractions

            Watching the clouds                          Lying quietly under the stars

            Journaling                                           Hunting

            Sitting in a candle lit room                Gardening

            with soft background music             Soaking in a hot tub

            Fasting                                                Meditating on a scripture passage

            Sitting by a campfire                         Rocking a baby

            Fishing                                                Sunbathing

ACTIVITY: Schedule Sabbath. In the same way we schedule jobs, chores, school, sports, favorite TV shows, sleep and church activities; we can schedule rest – a Sabbath minute, hour or day.  Tonight, we are going to have a time of rest or Sabbath, so that we are refreshed and ready for what God wants us to do the rest of the week.  Choose an activity from the list above, or you own idea, which will be restful for your family.  If you can’t do the Sabbath activity now, then schedule a time for later in the week for your Sabbath rest.  Model and teach your children to develop Sabbath habits.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.  At the beginning, when teaching children to view these activities as times of Sabbath, it is helpful to give them a thought or question to ponder.  Food for thought ideas might include:

Scriptures (Proverbs is a good source.) For example:

Proverbs 4:23

Proverbs 6:6-8

Proverbs 6:16-19

Bible Story Key Points.  For example:

How do you think David felt going out to fight Goliath?

How could Paul be content even when he was in prison?

What would you have said to Jesus if you were Lazarus?

Where do you think Jesus slept?

Topics for prayer time:

Praise

Forgiveness

Thanksgiving

Worship

Concerns

What’s on your Mind?

  •                         What are you happy about right now?
  •                         Are there friendships that concern you?
  •                         Where do you need help?

Memorize:

Give God your best,

 Balance work and rest

Close in Prayer

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