Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - Apr. 28, 2009

Avoid a Dead Heart: Rest
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you.—Deuteronomy 5:12

Chinese characters are probably the most beautiful and difficult written language to understand and learn. Each character written corresponds to a spoken syllable with a basic meaning. However, many words use two or more combined characters to create a meaning that is different from the original words used to create it. For example, the Chinese character for the word “busy” is written by combining the two words “heart” and “dead.” How appropriate. For when we are overly busy, we lay the foundation for a lifeless heart.

I think it would be a challenge today to find someone who is not busy. It is a part of our culture. It almost seems the busier you are, the more applauded and affirmed you get. But a lot can be learned from this ancient Chinese word. There is a reason God created a Sabbath day to be set aside for His people to rest. He commanded his people to work six days and on the seventh day to rest.

Work and projects and commitments in themselves are not bad. But when we let ourselves get overly busy – even with good things – we tend to neglect the important things. In some ways, we are showing that we don’t trust that God will provide for us. I believe what God is calling His people to is balance. When we get too busy, we are living a life on the verge of disaster…whether that comes to you, your spouse or your kids.

Make an effort in your life to rest and observe the Sabbath. Turn off your cell phone, the television, your computer and the video games. Take some time by yourself or your family to take a walk or spend some time at a park or the beach. Relax, refresh and renew your soul. Don’t create in yourself a “dead-heart,” create a heart that is filled with life. And one way to do that is to make sure you are not getting overly busy, but taking the time to rest.


  1. In what ways have you made yourself too busy? How do you see that that busyness is affecting your relationships?
  2. What can you do to have dedicated time each week to rest?

Genesis 2:2; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Psalm 127

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