Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor

Boy, it sure felt good to sleep in this morning! It's an official holiday here in America! And, more importantly, it's a paid day off!! Woo Hoo!! I get paid for doing absolutely nothing!!

[I will pause here and reflect upon the temptation to discuss our government and it's seeming obsession to make us ALL dependent upon itself so we all can be useless . . . full time!]

No, instead I think I will write about The Sabbath Day, another day of rest, and how we are, or aren't, keeping it holy.

"2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation." - Genesis 2:2-3

There's a bunch of different religions (Puritans, Roman Catholics, Orthodox faiths, etc.) that observe the sabbath on Sunday, the first day of the week, to coincide with the resurrection of Christ. Others (like the Seventh Day Baptists and Seventh Day Adventists) observe it on Saturday.

When I read the verse from Genesis 2 it clearly stated that God rested on the seventh day. When I look at my calendar, the seventh day of the week is Saturday. Sunday is the first day of the week. So should we be resting on Saturday instead of Sunday? But then, when I remember that our calendar was created by the Romans, I become even more confused. So which is correct?

You know, let's just say we should observe one day, one entire day, be it first or seventh, and keep it holy. So, how are we doing with that? Not very good I'm afraid. For example, on a typical Sunday, most of us start out well. We go to church. After that? Mmmmm . . . not so good.

For us here in Wisconsin we have our Green Bay Packers. We tend to worship our team instead of  our God. Fail. Well, that's two of the Ten Commandments . . . broken. Most of us in this country, and around the world for that matter, would be condemned to eternity in hell if we were to be judged by the law (the ten commandments) alone. News flash. We ARE judged by the law alone! We are all deserving of death. But there is good news - the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Even Jesus got into trouble with the Pharisees when he did things on the Sabbath. He healed people on the Sabbath. He made the lame walk and the blind see. Jesus and His disciples even got into trouble for picking and eating grain as they walked through a field! Wow!

What I understand about The Sabbath and "taking a day off," is the last part of the commandment. Most of us don't have a problem resting. Where we tend to fall down is in the "keep it holy" part.

How do we keep the Sabbath "holy"? Going to church is a good start but what do we do after that? Here are some suggestions.
  • Read God's Word. The Bible is how God communicates with us. As we read, the Holy Spirit nudges us and makes certain verses pop out at us. Listen to God speak through His written Word.
  • Pray. That's the biggest way we communicate with God. Talk to Him! You'll be glad you did.
  • Use your gifts. God created you with gifts and talents. Use them to bring glory to God. What better way to honor Him by using the very gifts He gave you!
  • Serve Him. Volunteer some place. Take someone out to dinner who could use a break or who could use the company.
  • Sing. Put on some worship music and fill your house with words of praise.
  • Remember. Think of all the things that God has done for you, all the things He has provided in your life, and give Him thanks and praise.
  • Repent. Tell God you're sorry for the things you have done or left undone and begin anew. Make a fresh start living for Christ and in Christ.
There are plenty of things we can do on a day off. Our highest priority should be doing them for God, not in spite of God. Remember the Sabbath Day, or any other day for that matter, and keep it holy.

"23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” - Mark 2:23-28

Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, always doing what is right in the eyes, not of man, but of the Lord.

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