“Crowds of people were coming and going so that Jesus and his followers did not even have time to eat. He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves, and we will go to a lonely place to get some rest’” (Mark 6:31 NCV).
That’s too bad because it’s one of the reasons Jesus was able to live stress-free despite all the demands upon his life.
Over the last few days, I’ve been sharing with you principles of how Jesus managed stress. The first six were:
- Identification: Know who you are
- Motivation: Know whose approval you are living for
- Vocation: Know your calling
- Concentration: Focus on what matters most
- Meditation: Listen to God
- Collaboration: Join a small group
The seventh and final one is the Principle of Recreation.
Even though Jesus had more important work to do than we do, he still took time to relax, go to parties, and just have fun.
The Bible says, “Crowds of people were coming and going so that Jesus and his followers did not even have time to eat. He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves, and we will go to a lonely place to get some rest’” (Mark 6:31 NCV).
In Mark 6, Jesus and the disciples didn’t even have time to eat because they were so busy. But Jesus looks at his small group and says, “Guys, you deserve a break today. So let’s get away.”
If Jesus can rest and relax, so can we.
In fact, God thought rest and relaxation was so important he put it in the Ten Commandments. Right along with commands to not murder, commit adultery, or steal, God tells us to take one out of every seven days to worship and rest.
If you’re too busy to take time off, you’re simply too busy—and likely too stressed.
BASK IN THE LUXURY of being fully understood and unconditionally loved. Dare to see yourself as I see you: radiant in My righteousness, cleansed by My blood. I view you as the one I created you to be, the one you will be in actuality when heaven becomes your home. It is My Life within you that is changing you from glory to glory. Rejoice in this mysterious miracle! Thank Me continually for the amazing gift of My Spirit within you. Try to depend on the help of the Spirit as you go through this day of life. Pause briefly from time to time so you can consult with this Holy One inside you. He will not force you to do His bidding, but He will guide you as you give Him space in your life. Walk along this wondrous way of collaboration with My Spirit.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
PSALM 34 : 5
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 CORINTHIANS 5 : 21
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from
glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 CORINTHIANS 3 : 18 (NKJV)
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
GALATIANS 5 : 25
God Wants to Forgive You
You don’t need to carry a load of guilt around. Instead, accept God’s forgiveness. Romans 3:23-24 tells us: “All of us have sinned and all fall short of God’s ideal. Yet now God declares us “not guilty’ if we trust in Jesus Christ who, in his kindness, freely takes away our sins.” (LB)
That’s the good news! That’s the gospel. God wants to forgive you. Imagine a giant blackboard with all of your sins written across it, and God comes along with a giant eraser and erases it all. Learn to accept God’s forgiveness.
If you are a Christian, you already know about God’s forgiveness intellectually. But to feel it is something different. That takes forgiving yourself. In Proverbs 4:25, The Bible says, “Look straight ahead with honest confidence and don’t hang your head in shame.” (GNT)
Have you ever committed a sin and asked God to forgive you, but you still feel lousy? What do you do in that situation? Do you go back and ask Him to forgive you again? No. You only have to confess a sin one time and it’s forgiven — and forgotten.
You’ve already dealt with it; it’s time to move on. Somebody asked Eleanor Roosevelt one time, “How did you accomplish so much with your life?” She said, “I never waste time with regrets.” Accept God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself.