Rest for the Restless
The flight had been uneventful until the moment the captain announced from the flight deck that the plane would have to cross a major storm. “Please tighten your seat belts. We will be in for quite a ride,” the voice from the cockpit said in ending the announcement.
Soon after, the plane began to shake violently as it fought its way through the storm. Overhead bins opened; people sat tense in their seats. After a particularly violent shudder of the plane, someone shrieked in the back. Images of a wing breaking off and the plane careening to the earth flashed through a few minds. All passengers looked tense and fearful—all except a little girl seated in the front row of economy.
She was busy drawing a picture on the open tray table before her. Now and again she would look out the small window at a particularly impressive lightning strike, but then she would calmly resume her drawing.
After what seemed half an eternity, the plane finally landed at its destination. Passengers cheered and clapped, so grateful and relieved to be back on the ground. The little girl had packed her bag and was waiting for people to leave the plane when one of the travelers asked her if she hadn’t been afraid. How could she be that calm during such a major storm and with the plane shaking so much?
“I wasn’t scared,” the little girl said to the surprised man. “My dad is the pilot, and I knew he was taking me home.”
Restlessness and fear often go hand in hand. Living in a world that keeps most people busy almost 24-7 can result in restlessness and fear in our lives. Who doesn’t, at times, struggle with fear, with worry, and with dread of what the future holds?
The past is done, the present is now; but the future is full of questions, and in this unstable world the answers might not be what we want to hear. We wonder if we will be able to make a looming deadline, to cover the next rent or school payment, or to make our struggling marriages survive another storm. We wonder if God can continue to love us, even though we “disappoint” Him again and again.
In this quarter, we will tackle some of those fears head-on. Rest in Christ is not just a title for a study guide or the captivating logo of an evangelistic campaign or camp meeting. Resting in Christ is the key to the type of life that Jesus promises to His followers: “ ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly’ ” (John 10:10, NKJV).
As the authors worked on this study guide, they suddenly realized the all-pervasiveness of the concept of rest in the texture of biblical theology. Rest connects to salvation, to grace, to Creation, to the Sabbath, to our understanding of the state of the dead, to the soon coming of Jesus—and to so much more.
When Jesus invited us to come and find rest in Him (Matt. 11:28), He not only addressed His disciples or the early Christian church, but He also saw future generations of sin-sick, weary, worn-out, struggling human beings who needed access to the Source of rest. As you study the weekly lessons during this quarter, remember to come and rest in Him. After all, our heavenly Father is in control and is ready to bring us home safely.
Chantal and Gerald Klingbeil enjoy a cross-cultural marriage and working as a team. Chantal, an associate director of the Ellen G. White Estate, hails from South Africa, while Gerald, an associate editor of Adventist Review Ministries and research professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Andrews University, was born and raised in Germany.
1 Living in a 24-7 Society—June 26–July 2 5
2 Restless and Rebellious—July 3–9 18
3 The Roots of Restlessness—July 10–16 31
4 The Cost of Rest—July 17–23 44
5 “ ‘Come to Me . . .’ ”—July 24–30 57
6 Finding Rest in Family Ties—July 31–August 6 72
7 Rest, Relationships, and Healing—August 7–13 85
8 Free to Rest—August 14–20 98
9 The Rhythms of Rest—August 21–27 111
10 Sabbath Rest—August 28–September 3 124
11 Longing for More—September 4–10 137
12 The Restless Prophet—September 11–17 150
13 The Ultimate Rest—September 18–24 163
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The teachers edition components were written by the following:
The Overview, Commentary, and Life Application, Lessons 1—13: Mark Finley, assistant to the president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Md., USA.
© 2021 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists®. All rights reserved. No part of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide (Teachers Edition) may be edited, altered, modified, adapted, translated, reproduced, or published by any person or entity without prior written authorization from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists®. The division offices of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists® are authorized to arrange for translation of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide (Teachers Edition), under specific guidelines. Copyright of such translations and their publication shall remain with the General Conference. “Seventh-day Adventist,” “Adventist,” and the flame logo are registered trademarks of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists® and may not be used without prior authorization from the General Conference.
“The true teacher is not content with dull thoughts, an indolent mind, or a loose memory. He constantly seeks higher attainments and better methods.
His life is one of continual growth. In the work of such a teacher there is a freshness, a quickening power, that awakens and inspires his [class].” —Ellen G. White, Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 103.
To be a Sabbath School teacher is both a privilege and a responsibility. A privilege because it offers the teacher the unique opportunity to lead and guide in the study and discussion of the week’s lesson so as to enable the class to have both a personal appreciation for God’s Word and a collective experience of spiritual fellowship with class members. When the class concludes, members should leave with a sense of having tasted the goodness of God’s Word and having been strengthened by its enduring power. The responsibility of teaching demands that the teacher is fully aware of the Scripture to be studied, the flow of the lesson through the week, the interlinking of the lessons to the theme of the quarter, and the lesson’s application to life and witness.
This guide is to help teachers to fulfill their responsibility adequately. It has three segments: 1. Overview introduces the lesson topic, key texts, links with the previous lesson, and the lesson’s theme. This segment deals with such questions as Why is this lesson important? What does the Bible say about this subject? What are some major themes covered in the lesson? How does this subject affect my personal life?
2. Commentary is the chief segment in the Teachers Edition. It may have two or more sections, each one dealing with the theme introduced in the Overview segment.
The Commentary may include several in-depth discussions that enlarge the themes outlined in the Overview. The Commentary provides an in-depth study of the themes and offers scriptural, exegetic, illustrative discussion material that leads to a better understanding of the themes. The Commentary also may have scriptural word study or exegesis appropriate to the lesson. On a participatory mode, the Commentary segment may have discussion leads, illustrations appropriate to the study, and thought questions.
3. Life Application is the final segment of the Teachers Edition for each lesson.
This section leads the class to discuss what was presented in the Commentary segment as it impacts Christian life. The application may involve discussion, further probing of what the lesson under study is all about, or perhaps personal testimony on how one may feel the impact of the lesson on one’s life.
Final thought: What is mentioned above is only suggestive of the many possibilities available for presenting the lesson and is not intended to be exhaustive or prescriptive in its scope.
Teaching should not become monotonous, repetitious, or speculative. Good Sabbath School teaching should be Bible-based, Christ-centered, faith-strengthening, and fellowship-building.