Fit for Time and Joy With God

In this lesson, youth will work together to create a weekly Sabbath-keeping plan.

Enhancer of Joy

Sabbath

Duration

60 minutes

Lesson Developed by

Dave Rahn and Ebonie Davis

Goal

Sabbath Rest to Enjoy WHO I Am and WHOSE I Am

Tips to Prepare

  • Print the excerpts from John on a single page for easy reading
  • Enlist people to pray for a particular young person
  • Be ready to share your personal Sabbath practices

Materials Checklist

  • Prep/print worksheets of scripture and the 5 Rest Questions below
  • Music that is reflective
  1. Did you protect an entire day for REST
  2. Were you able to Receive the past week gratefully, as a gift from God?
  3. Were you able to Enjoy who you are and Whose you are?
  4. Were you able to Stop doing what makes you restless?
  5. Were you able to Take hope with God into your next week?

Setting the Atmosphere

  • Welcome, subdued music as teens walk in
  • Readiness to pivot into small teams of 2-3
  • Send the signal: This is an important night with God

Scripture Focus

Isaiah 58:13-14: If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD… 

Purpose

Young people will collaborate to set aside a weekly Sabbath keeping strategy, learn best practices, and team up to encourage their joyful living with God.

Further Study

Rick Lawrence. Jesus Centered Youth Ministry. Loveland, CO: Group, 2014. (Sabbath rest is not the chief goal we’re pursuing. A joyful life with Jesus is our ultimate target. And that takes us into identity formation as the center of practical ministry strategies. Check out Chapter 13 in this practical book for the best on-point connection to this lesson.

James Bryan Smith. The Good and Beautiful Life: Putting on the Character of Christ. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009. (This resource unpacks attributes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, matching each with a ‘soul training’ exercise. In Chapter 4, the author suggests ‘keeping the Sabbath’ as a way to overcome anger; and the tips are very practical. The entire book represents an earnest journey into becoming into a new person in Christ, serving identity formation in general very well.)

Gather

Gather (5 minutes)

  • Greet Exercise: “Tell two other people what you like most about your name and what you would like to change about your name if you could.”
  • Each person silently prays to hear God’s deep whisper about their identity, how He sees them, who they are and what He loves most about them
  • Introduction to the session: “We want to spend our time together listening to the Lord and each other about how to practice Sabbath in a way that you enjoy and fits who you are.”

 

Engage

Engage (30 minutes)

  • Read aloud Matthew 11:28-30 and ask the group to describe ways the Lord personally tutors us in how to live restfully
  • “Let’s listen to Jesus by carefully ‘eavesdropping’ on some of what he said to his closest friends the night before he was killed. Close your eyes as we listen to his words.”
    READ ALOUD THESE EXCERPTS: 14:1-3, 15-21, 25-27; 15:7-17; 16:12-15, 20-24; 17:6-8, 13-26
  • “We are going to read the same scripture again. This time, listen carefully for what Jesus is saying about who you are & how he sees you.” READ ALOUD.
  • “We are going to read this one last time. This time, listen carefully for what Jesus is saying about the joy he wants you to experience with him.” READ ALOUD.
  • In groups of two or three, share briefly what impressions you heard from Jesus as we listened.

Reflect

Reflect (20 minutes)

IN SAME GROUPS look at the worksheet with select Bible passages (Is. 58:13-14; Hebrews 10:19-25; 12:1-2) and the five REST questions below. After reading the scripture, agree together on whether each of the questions represents a Sabbath practicing standard that is a) impossibly hard, b) tough, but doable, or c) effort that’s worth it.

  1. Did you protect an entire day for REST?
  2. Were you able to Receive the past week gratefully, as a gift from God?
  3. Were you able to Enjoy who you are and Whose you are?
  4. Were you able to Stop doing what makes you restless?
  5. Were you able to Take hope with God into your next week?
  • TALK TO GOD privately about what you’ve concluded and listen for a response.

Send Forth

  • READ Revelation 2:17 – Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To those who are victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give each of them a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” ASK what “manna” God provided anyone tonight. ASK if anyone has a “new name – identity” insight from God they could share with the group. REMIND everyone that Sabbath is God’s idea for “hearing from the Spirit” about our very life essence, including our core identity.
  • ASK who wants to form a small Sabbath alliance tonight to encourage each other in each of the five REST Take a few minutes to organize simple, small teams.
  • Pray: For the Lord to bring just the right encouragement to help each person take the next step in a journey of enjoying God together by practicing Sabbath rest

Related Videos

Lecture

Interview Clips

Additional Document

Rahn-and-Davis-Sabbath.pdf