A Taste of Heaven

Posted onCategoriesTerri's Thoughts

Imagine the day of your death when you will cease laboring, striving, working here on earth.

At many funerals, one can hear, “He entered into his rest.” For those who believe in heaven, they believe heaven = rest.  Some even use the words interchangeably.

Although heaven isn’t currently a popular topic, rest is. If they are interchangeable, shouldn’t rest be a taboo word as well?

Why not?  Americans are known to burn their proverbial candles at both ends.  We refuse to listen to doctors who tell us to sleep at least 7-8 hours each night although 100% of Americans would say we all need more rest.  “I am tired” is far and away the number one response of THEO students when asked, “How are you today?”    A 1996 paper showed that college/university-aged students got an average of less than 6 hours of sleep each night; less than six hours a night is sleep deprivation.  Sleep deprivation is bad for your health.  Things have not improved over the last 20 years.

I’ve known many who claimed they were good with four hours of sleep a night, wearing it like a badge of success, honor, dare I say pride?

The habit of sleep deprivation applies to Christ followers and unbelievers alike.  When most of us confess feeling tired, why won’t we make a habit of resting more?  Why won’t Christians make a habit of weekly rest when the Bible commands it as one of the Ten Commandments?

Christ-followers and unbelievers both scoff at the idea of resting on Sundays.  Sundays are no longer kept as a day when stores and restaurants are closed.  Today, you can do just about anything on a Sunday that you can do any other day of the week.  Does that matter?

God’s Word tells us in Exodus 31:15    – Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; anyone who does work on the Sabbath day must surely be put to death.

Death over working on the Sabbath.  Is our Master really that harsh?  If it is true that He is harsh, then thank heavens we live in the age of the Church and not the OT Law.

Does the Lord command rest on the Sabbath to be a kill joy?  Is He saying, “I don’t want you to have any fun 1/7th of your life?”  Is His motive possibly higher?

Exodus 31:7 tells us, “Sabbath rest is a sign between me and the Israelites forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.”

I don’t think that verse even does service to His reasoning.

Christians: God is our creator.  We are made in His image.  Who is best at fixing a car? Someone who designs cars and knows engines like the back of their hand. (Pun intended for Isaiah 49:16 tells us that we are inscribed on the palm of His hand.)

Mark 2:27 Jesus said, “The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

He GIVES us Sabbath rest as a gift, not as an onerous burden.  This is a gift that most of us refuse to take, including me.

Although a day of rest will improve every human being’s health, I still don’t believe that is our Creators only motive when commanding us to rest on the seventh day.

God rests on the seventh day in Genesis 3, not because He was tired, nor because He needed to recharge.  He rested because the work was complete (and good) and He wanted to point us to a day when constant working will end.  There will be a day.

Holding the Sabbath as holy, set apart from the other six days, allows us to put on the cloak of future days when the race is complete.  Not just my race, but humanity’s race.  When Jesus was on the cross, He said, “It is done.”  Done is not a concept people frequent.  There is always the next thing to capture our attention; but one day, there will be no more next thing, only THE day.

I believe we believers are robbing ourselves of health when we refuse Sabbath rest; I believe we are refusing a good gift that the Lord is trying to give us.  But even more, I believe we are missing out on an opportunity to taste heaven, a place where we will cease laboring, toiling and striving.

Sabbath rest is good for our health.  Sabbath rest is allowing us to taste a future day of heaven.  Sabbath rest allows us to re-center our lives to remember that no amount of work can make us successful.  Remember Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.


God is offering you a taste of heaven when He gives us the gift of Sabbath rest.  Will you take it?