Rhythms of Rest banner3b

AUGUST: Celebrating Sabbath

This month we encourage you to set aside time to be still in the Lord’s presence. Find a place in your home where you can go and be quiet or come up to the church and participate in the prayer walk. Look for simple ways to be still and silent when you lie in bed, commute to work, take an evening walk or slip outside to look at the night sky.

RHYTHMS OF REST MONTHLY THEMES:

JUNE | Practicing Silence & Solitude

JULY | Resting in Stillness

AUGUST | Celebrating Sabbath

WEEKLY SUMMER GUIDE

PASSAGE
Repeatedly the gospel points to how Jesus withdraws to spend time with the Father. Luke points out in Luke 5:15-16, that Jesus was growing in popularity; crowds were hunting him out. He was legitimately moved by them. The pain He saw was real, the message He preached was needed, desperately needed. Yet, in the middle of all this, He retreats from the crowd, from popularity, from relieving suffering to spend time with His Father. He withdraws to quiet places. Look at Luke 5:15 -16 – “But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray”.

PRACTICE
We are inviting you to withdraw from the noise and the busy. We want to encourage you to take a walk this week in silence, no phones, or friends. Just you and God.

PRAYER
As you have time away this week you may want to include these daily prayers OR use the station prayer prompts if you choose to pray through the Prayer Walk (click the Prayer Walk button for a Prayer Walk map & station prayer prompts). These are suggestions to help guide you, but please feel free to use this quiet time with Lord in a way that best suites you.

  • Day 1: Ask the Lord to search your heart and reveal any relationships not pleasing to Him. Is there someone you have wronged or who has wronged you, where you need seek reconciliation? Use Psalm 139: 23-24 as you pray.

  • Day 2: Ask the Lord to search your heart and reveal any ways or actions that are not pleasing to Him. Is there anything you need to seek forgiveness for with someone else?

  • Day 3: Thank the Lord steadfastness. Read Psalm 139:7-12. What are the implications for you?

  • Day 4: Thank the Lord for His omniscience. Psalm 139:1-6. Reflect on these verses and thank God or who He is.

PASSAGE
Have you ever felt the odds were stacked against you, like there is almost a conspiracy to thwart your plans? Or that people are rooting against you, people who used to call themselves friends have betrayed you? David did. In Psalm 62:1-6, David’s solution wasn’t getting even, seeking personal revenge, or figuring out what he did wrong. No, he said he waits for God alone, and he waits in silence. Silence or solitude is hard to find these days, but David says that twice in verse 1 and 5. Read and meditate on Psalm 62:1-6.

PRACTICE
You are invited to seek solitude this week by turning off the TV, the phone, the radio in the car. Don’t use this time to be productive but relax in silence and pray. You might have to be creative to find that time alone.

PRAYER
As you have time away this week you may want to include these daily prayers OR use the station prayer prompts if you choose to pray through the Prayer Walk (click the Prayer Walk button for a Prayer Walk map & station prayer prompts). These are suggestions to help guide you, but please feel free to use this quiet time with Lord in a way that best suites you.
Ask the Lord to open the eyes of your heart, that You may know Christ, His hope, His riches, and His power for you in Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you more about His character. Read Ephesians 1, paying particular attention to Ephesians 1:18-19.

  • Day 1: Ask the Father to enlighten the eyes of your heart to know the hope to which He has called you. What does it mean for you to hope?
  • Day 2: Pray for help in knowing your rich inheritance from Him. Look back over chapter 1:3-14
  • Day 3: Pray to know the immeasurable power toward us who believe. What would it mean for you to believe you have the power of God?
  • Day 4: Pray and mediate on the number of times Paul writes “in Christ” in the first chapter. What does that mean for your relationship with Him?

PASSAGE
Oswald Chambers writes “it is when a crisis arises that we instantly reveal upon whom we rely”. It can be a painful reveal. This is the case for the tribe of Judah as they are seeking safety from the invading Assyrian Empire. Isaiah repeatedly warns them not to seek allegiances with Egypt or in the strength of their horses. But the pressure is too much, and their trust is revealed. They head off to Egypt. We cannot point fingers, our faith falters as well, but the solution offered by God in Isaiah 30:15 goes against our nature which usually tells us that “we have got to do something”. God says, “in returning and rest you shall be saved: in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Strength is found in quiet trusting; rest is found in dependence on God. Read Isaiah 30:15–18 and notice the Lord’s kindness in verse 18.

PRACTICE
You are invited to spend time alone with the Lord, preferably in the morning. During this time read and meditate on Psalm 103.

PRAYER
As you have time away this week you may want to include these daily prayers OR use the station prayer prompts if you choose to pray through the Prayer Walk (click the Prayer Walk button for a Prayer Walk map & station prayer prompts). These are suggestions to help guide you, but please feel free to use this quiet time with Lord in a way that best suites you.
Ask the Lord to reveal to you attributes (traits) about His character expressed in Psalm 103, that can help you trust in Him (i.e. His faithfulness, His mercy, and His righteousness).

  • Day 1: Pray and meditate on Psalm 103:1-5. What stands out to you? What trait encourages you the most, challenges you?
  • Day 2: Pray and meditate on Psalm 103:6-10. What stands out to you?
  • Day 3: Pray and meditate on Psalm 103:11-14.
  • Day 4: Pray and meditate on Psalm 103:15-22. What do you see in these verses that invites you to trust in God?

PASSAGE
Since hearing Timothy Keller’s sermon on Mark 3:13-20, verse 14 has come to mind often which says “And He (Jesus) appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with Him and might send them out to preach. Jesus separates Himself. Verse 13 says He goes up on a mountain, but not to be alone. Rather to appoint twelve so they can be with Him. Jesus wants to live life with them. This last week on solitude we are looking at the tension between being in solitude and community. Both are necessary. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in Life Together “Each (community and solitude) by itself has profound pitfalls and perils. One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation, and despair…” Jesus practiced both.

PRACTICE
This week we are encouraging you to meet with family, a friend, or friends, over a meal or for a walk. Talk about one thing you have picked up from your month practicing solitude.

PRAYER
As you have time away this week you may want to include these daily prayers OR use the station prayer prompts if you choose to pray through the Prayer Walk (click the Prayer Walk button for a Prayer Walk map & station prayer prompts). These are suggestions to help guide you, but please feel free to use this quiet time with Lord in a way that best suites you.

This week, read the passages for each day and pray through them, asking the Spirit of God to guide you to others with whom you can share their burden and they yours.

Day 1: Pray and meditate on Philippians 2:3-5.
Day 2: Pray and meditate on Colossians 3:13.
Day 3: Pray and meditate on John 15:12-13.
Day 4: Pray and meditate on Hebrews 10:24-25.

PASSAGE
This week we will practice resting in stillness and confidence in the Lord by reading and meditating on Psalm 46. “The opening line introduces its theme that God is the stable refuge for His people amid the chaos of nature and nations”. “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10). As the people of God, we can confidently rest even in difficult times because God is our refuge and strength and ever-present in all our trials. God calms the raging waters and turns the rivers into life giving streams. He dwells within the temple and as the new covenant people of God He dwells within us. “The song ends as it began: The God of armies is powerfully present for His people. He turns fear to faith by offering a compelling vision of His sovereignty in creation and history. This Psalm calls the nations to surrender their weapons, and it calls the faithful to surrender their worry”.

PRACTICE
Find a place where you can sit alone quietly and read Psalm 46 several times slowly and out loud to yourself. Take 5-15 minutes resting in stillness and silence contemplating the presence, power, and sovereignty of the Lord in creation and history.

PRAYER
As you have time away this week, include these daily prayers OR use these as prompts as you go through each Prayer Walk Station (see Prayer Walk section of this page).

Read Psalm 46 several times then speak it out loud to yourself (paraphrase).

Day 1: Read Psalm 46:1-3 and then pray. Ask the Lord to show Himself as your refuge and strength in the troubles you are currently facing. Discuss with the Lord any fears you are experiencing and ask Him to deepen your reliance on Him.
Day 2: Read Psalm 46:4-7 and then pray. Recognize that God is our fortress and that He is with us; ask Him to make His protective presence evident in your life today.
Day 3: Read Psalm 46:8-9 and then pray. Behold the works of the Lord. Consider ways in which you have recently seen Him work. Pray that He will make wars to cease, asking for peace to come to Ukraine. Ask Him to show you how to provide practical help to those in war torn parts of the world.
Day 4: Read Psalm 46:10-11 and then pray. Ask Him to help you know Him better. Ask that His kingdom would come and His will to be done and for Him to be exalted among the nations.

PASSAGE
In the midst of a storm, Jesus sleeps demonstrating a lack of fear and a confident trust in His Father’s sovereign plan and His divine purpose. No temporary storm would thwart their mission. The disciples cry out, panicking because of their fear of death and wondering whether Jesus even cared that they were about to perish. Jesus awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” and the wind ceased, and there was a great calm (Mark 4:39). Displaying His divine power over nature, He calmed the waves and the storm causing the disciples to be terrified over who this could be that even the wind and waves obey Him.

PRACTICE
Find a place where you can sit alone quietly and read Mark 4:35-41 several times slowly and out loud to yourself. Take 5-15 minutes resting in stillness and silence, contemplating that stormy scene and how you would have responded when the storm was raging and how you would have responded after the Lord Jesus had calmed the sea.

PRAYER
As you have time away this week, include these daily prayers OR use these as prompts as you go through each Prayer Walk Station (see Prayer Walk section of this page).

Read Mark 4:35-41 several times, then tell the story to yourself.

Day 1: Contemplate a great windstorm arising and the waves breaking over and filling your boat. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to remain calm in times of intense trouble.
Day 2: Contemplate Jesus’ actions throughout this incident. Consider His authority over all of creation. Consider that all things were created through Him and for Him and in Him, all things are held together. Thank Him for who He is and what He has done.
Day 3: Ask the Lord to help you with any areas of fear. Ask Him to help you overcome any spirit of timidity (fear), and give you a spirit of power, love, and self-control.
Day 4: Ask the Lord to increase your faith, your trust in Jesus, and your growth in resting even during the storms of life. We can rest not because we can control the situation, but because the One who does, lives in us and loves us.

PASSAGE
“Without silence there is no solitude…Simply to refrain from talking, without a heart listening to God, is not silence. The purpose of silence and solitude is to be able to see and hear. Control, rather than no noise, is the key to silence. As we practice silence and solitude we learn when to speak and when to refrain from speaking”. Thomas Kempis writes, “It is easier to be silent altogether than to speak with moderation”. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “much that is unnecessary remains unsaid. But, the essential and the helpful thing can be said in a few words.” “Control of the tongue can mean everything. Have we been set free so that we can hold our tongue”? Bonhoeffer writes, “Real silence, real stillness, really holding one’s tongue comes only as the sober consequence of spiritual stillness”.

The wise preacher of Ecclesiastes says, there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (3:7) and “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore, let your words be few” (5:1-2).

“If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well… So also, the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by help… but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing... Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. (James 3:3-12)

PRACTICE
Find a place where you can sit alone quietly and read Ecclesiastes 3:7; 5:1-2 and James 3:3-12. Read several times out loud. Take 5-15 minutes resting in stillness and in silence listen to the Lord.

PRAYER
As you have time away this week, include these daily prayers OR use these as prompts as you go through each Prayer Walk Station (see Prayer Walk section of this page).

Day 1: Pray and meditate on Ecclesiastes 3:7. Ask God where in your life you need to be silent and where do you need to speak?

Day 2: Pray and meditate on Ecclesiastes 5:1-2. Be silent before the Lord and listening carefully to what He is saying to you?

Day 3: Pray and meditate on James 3:3-12. Ask the Lord if you have set any fires with your tongue? If so, repent & confess them to Him and go to the one you have offended and apologize and ask for their forgiveness.

Day 4: Pray and meditate on James 3:3-12. Ask the Lord what needs to change to help you learn to control the tongue.

PASSAGE | Matthew 11:25-30
““In the one place in the Bible where the Son of God pulls back the veil and lets us peer way down into the core of who He is, we are not told that He is “austere and demanding in heart.” We are not told that He is “exalted and dignified in heart.” We are not even told that He is “joyful and generous in heart.” Letting Jesus set the terms, His surprising claim is that He is “gentle and lowly in heart.””

“At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

PRACTICE
Find a place where you can sit alone quietly and read Matthew 11:25-30 several times out loud. Take 5-15 minutes rest in stillness and silence, contemplating the heart of the Lord Jesus and how He desires for us to come to Him.

Afterwards, we encourage you to meet with family, a friend, or friends, over a meal or for a walk. Talk about one thing that has blessed you from your month practicing silence and resting in stillness.

PRAYER
As you have time away this week, include these daily prayers OR use these as prompts as you go through each Prayer Walk Station (see Prayer Walk section of this page).

Day 1: Pray and meditate on Matthew 11:25-27. Contemplate the relationship between God the Father and Jesus the Son. Ask the triune God to help you better recognize the love of the Father and the love of the Son towards each other and towards you.

Day 2: Pray and meditate on Matthew 11:28. Be silent before the Lord and listen carefully to what He is saying to you. Take your burdens and cares to Him and ask Him to help you rest in Him.

Day 3: Pray and meditate on Matthew 11:29. Ask the Lord to help you grasp what it means that Jesus’ heart is gentle and lowly. Ask Him to give you a heart like His.

Day 4: Pray and meditate on Matthew 11:30. Talk to the Lord about what it means to take His yoke that is easy and light.

PASSAGE | Genesis 1:1-2:3
“[Jesus] gives rest. Jesus is that of which the sabbath is a shadow; Jesus is the shadow-caster. He doesn’t just forgive our sins; he lets the frenetic RPMs of the heart slow down into calm sanity. And no external circumstance can threaten that rest, as we look to him.” – Dane Ortlund, in his “60 Reasons Jesus is Better Than I Think”. This reality, that the sabbath is a shadow whose full reality is Jesus, is the foundation of our focus this month. We experience the deep, non-superficial rest intended in the sabbath as we trust in the person and work of Jesus, resting by faith in his completed work. To begin the journey, we will go to the beginning. In the first lines of scripture, we are introduced to a God who begins a work and brings it to completion. In six days, all that exists was created by Him. He took what was formless and void and made it orderly, fruitful, filling, and in His eyes, very good. On the seventh day, God settled in and “rested from all the work that he had done.” He stopped working (in Hebrew, shabbat) and rested. It was this resting in his completed, very good work that “blessed” and set apart the seventh day as “holy”. Even before mankind turned away from God, and before God made a covenant with the nation of Israel, this pattern of resting on the seventh day was established by God as a part of His good creation. It is in appeal to this pattern that the 4th Commandment called the nation of Israel to remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. We will look there next week, but for this week, let’s consider how Genesis 1:1-2:3 gives us wisdom in celebrating the sabbath.

PRACTICE
Consider setting apart a block of time this week to notice and enjoy God’s creation, resting in the one who created and sustains it.

PRAYER
As you have time away this week, include these daily prayers OR use these as prompts as you go through each Prayer Walk Station (see Prayer Walk section of this page).

Day 1: Read and pray through Genesis 1:1-31. Consider the orderliness of creation, how it is full of healthy separation and repeated, predictable cycles of renewal and growth. Spend time thanking the Lord for this order and the structure it gives our lives.

Day 2: Read Genesis 1:1-31. Consider the quality of creation, how in God’s eyes it is very good. What He began, He completed to His perfect satisfaction. Thank the Lord for specific elements of goodness we experience in His creation.

Day 3: Read Genesis 2:1-3. Consider the blessing of the 7th day, how the blessing itself is God’s ceasing from work, setting that day apart from the rest. Work was not the climax of creation, but rest for himself and creation. Thank the Lord for the gift of resting in his sustaining power as his creatures.

Day 4: Read Genesis 2:1-3. Consider the timelessness of the 7th day, how days 1-6 are defined with the words “and there was evening and morning”, but day 7 is left undefined, as a day without end. While this world is still broken by sin, we hope in God to redeem creation through the work of Christ (Romans 8:22-24). Renew your hope-filled prayers to the Lord to redeem creation and bring about a sabbath without end!

PASSAGE | Exodus 20:8-11
This week, we’re looking at Exodus 20:8-11, where the command to remember the Sabbath day stands prominently in this first list of the 10 Commandments. Setting apart the 7th day as a Sabbath to God was to be a defining habit of the people with whom God was making a covenant. If obeyed by faith, there would be great care taken in the whole land to accept the gift of rest from God and cease from work for the day.

In this passage, the command is rooted in what we walked through last week: God’s creation pattern of work and rest. As Israelites would obey this command by faith, they were invited to imitate God and remember whose world they were living in. It was God who created and sustained all things, including them and their livelihoods. The work of their families, servants, animals, or sojourners in their gates was not their ultimate provision, but the generous Creator who was promising to sustain them. So, resting one day of the week was an inward act of trust that God would provide for them, and an outward act of embracing the good gift of rest from the God who wanted to give it.

PRACTICE
Pastor Gunner has often said, “When work is my god, resting will feel like sin.” Consider setting apart a block of time this week to the Lord, away from distractions, to ponder this question: why do I have a hard time resting?

PRAYER
As you have time away this week, include these daily prayers OR use these as prompts as you go through each Prayer Walk Station (see Prayer Walk section of this page).

Day 1: Read Exodus 20:8-11. Consider the heart focus of this command, how it would require a deep humility to rest, trusting in God to provide. Take time in prayer confessing any unbelief and sin and devoting yourself to rely on him.

Day 2: Read Exodus 20:8-11. Consider the invitation of this command, how it expresses a significant claim on the lifestyle of those in covenant with God. Spend time in prayer, joyfully embracing the invitation to imitate God in how we live in his world.

Day 3: Read Exodus 20:8-11. Consider the overflow of this command, how it fills all of life with deeper meaning. As we express trust in God to provide by resting, our work outside of that rest becomes filled with thanksgiving to the God who provides through our work. While you work, thank God for his provision.

Day 4: Read Exodus 20:8-11. Consider the missional heart of God in this command, how it is meant to be a blessing for all the nations. Even the “sojourner who is within your gates” was to be blessed as Israel obeyed this command by faith. Thank the Lord that good news of eternal rest in Jesus Christ has come to you, and consider who in your life still needs to hear that good news today.

PRAYER WALK

The BridgePoint Prayer Walk: Quality Time with the Lord

The BPBC Prayer Walk offers a new take on your daily quiet time: leafy shade trees, birds, squirrels, butterflies, and a Big Easy Adirondack chair. Bring your Bible, journal, coffee, or cool beverage for a 30- minute (or more) walk ‘n talk with the Lord.

The Prayer walk follows a path from the south side of the church over to the east side and concludes at the northern end of the building near the shaded playground, stopping at 4 private stations along the way. Each station has an Adirondack chair, a tree-stump table, a bird feeder, potted botanicals . . . and mosquito spray!

The Prayer Walk Map and Guide are posted on the new BridgePoint Bible Church app which is easily downloadable. New devotionals, scripture, and music focusing on our summer theme of Rest will be posted each Sunday on the app. So be sure to bring your cell phone and earphones in order to fully experience all the Prayer Walk has to offer.

The weekly guides are flexible, inviting you to easily customize your experience. You can read the daily scripture passages in your Bible or click on links in the guide to listen to them. The music selections are chosen to complement the theme of the week in an optimum order. You can listen to the music as you sit or walk. Just click on the music links in the guide whenever you are ready.

Although the guides are written with the BridgePoint Prayer Walk in mind, you can use them in any quiet outdoor setting.

We recommend that you enjoy the Prayer Walk at BridgePoint either early in the morning before 9 am or 6-7:30 pm when the campus is cooler and quieter. You can access the Prayer Walk whether the church is open or not.

Our campus is uniquely blessed with acres of natural beauty right in the middle of the city! Come see what comfort and rest the Lord has for you in the midst of that peaceful and beautiful environment.

Read Exodus 20:8-11. Consider the heart focus of this command, how it would require a deep humility to rest, trusting in God to provide. Take time in prayer confessing any unbelief and sin and devoting yourself to rely on him.

 

Read Exodus 20:8-11. Consider the invitation of this command, how it expresses a significant claim on the lifestyle of those in covenant with God. Spend time in prayer, joyfully embracing the invitation to imitate God in how we live in his world.

Read Exodus 20:8-11. Consider the invitation of this command, how it expresses a significant claim on the lifestyle of those in covenant with God. Spend time in prayer, joyfully embracing the invitation to imitate God in how we live in his world.

Read Exodus 20:8-11. Consider the missional heart of God in this command, how it is meant to be a blessing for all the nations. Even the “sojourner who is within your gates” was to be blessed as Israel obeyed this command by faith. Thank the Lord that good news of eternal rest in Jesus Christ has come to you, and consider who in your life still needs to hear that good news today.

SUMMER BOOK LIST

  • Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners, by Dane Ortland (Summer Equipping Class)

  • Abiding in Christ, by Andrew Murray

  • Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster

  • Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • When Strivings Cease, by Ruth Chou Simons

> CLICK TO ORDER BOOKS