Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ten Commandments: Lord of the Sabbath

Chuckle: Proofreading is a lost art. Headline read: "Something went wrong in jet crash, experts say." Really? Ya think?
Quote: "My worth to God in public is what I am in private." --Oswald Chambers

"Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy" (Exodus 20:8 NLT). "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy" (KJV). "For the Son of Man (Jesus) is Lord of the Sabbath" (Matthew 12:8 NIV).
The principle behind this fourth command is that one day out of seven should be observed differently as Holy unto God. After Christ's resurrection on the first day of the week, most Christians have observed Sunday as the Lord's Day. All days belong to God, and are symbolically dedicated to him by a special consecration of a single Lord's Day. The primary goal should be to make it a day that honors God and is kept holy. If our Lord's Day activities do not do that, we should examine our lives. In Matthew 12:3-5, 9-11, Jesus named three things that should be done on the Sabbath: acts of necessity, acts of mercy, and acts of worship.
First, the Lord's Day should be a time when we rest our physical bodies -- as God rested from his work after the creation. Jesus said to His disciples: "Come with me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest" (Mark 6:31). Rest is essential in many aspects of God's creation. Even farmers rotate crops to give soil time to rest and rebuild itself with vital nutrients. Don't you think God knows something about you and me that we tend to forget?
Second, the Lord's Day should be a time of worship. God is saying, "Could we just have some time together." We know that: God wants time to fellowship with us in a love relationship. Today, we are selfish with our time - yet we waste so much of it. Sunday has become just another day to many of us -- a day to do what we want, and if we have time we might squeeze an hour or so in for God, but only if convenient. Time with God in prayer, Bible study, and praise, in both private and public worship, should be our priority. "Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our maker" (Psalm 95:6). "I rejoice with those who said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord" (Psalm 122:1). How important is private and collective worship to you?
Third, the Lord's Day should be a time of taking stock. When God created the world and all that was in it, Scripture says that He did it in six days, looked back over what He had done, and saw that "it was good" (Genesis 1:25). And after man was created, God saw that "it was very good" (vs. 31). If you can't reflect on your life, your home, your family, your labors, and say "it is very good," maybe the reason is because you have tried to do it yourself. It's been your work, not Gods; your agenda, not God's; your game plan, not his. But, if you've placed your ministry, work, investments, everything you are, in His care, you can have a totally different outlook. Because your life is shaped by God, you will be able to say, "It is very good."
As we rest, worship, learn of Him, and serve Him on the Lord's Day, it gives us a time of intimate fellowship with God. It can be a time for us to allow God to evaluate our lives -- to restore where our spiritual shoes may be wearing thin. Observing the Lord's Day is not so much the non-expenditure of energy but the focus of that energy on our Lord as we honor him by keeping the day holy. When we reverence God, he allows us a greater view into His heart and will for our lives.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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