Wednesday, October 20, 2021
What is the Sabbath? What connects it to You?
What is the Sabbath? What connects it to You?
Read this from Isaiah 58:13-14 NASB "If, because of the Sabbath, you restrain your foot From doing as you wish on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a pleasure, and the holy day of the Lord honorable, And honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure And speaking your own word, Then you will take delight in the Lord, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. For six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; on it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male slave or your female slave, or your cattle, or your resident who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day; for that reason the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11 NASB
This appears to tie in directly with this that Jesus has said...in Mark 2:23-28 "And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And He *said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?” Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even of the Sabbath.”"
We in the western world wonder about this day a lot and I am not here to say that I am presenting a definitive answer. I found the passage in Isaiah several days ago.
It's been a pretty much genenerally accepted practice to treat Sunday as the day of rest.
What do you see in these passages? In Isaiah we see the Lord's blessings that come from a right heart attitude towards it. A day described as a pleasure, not for seeking pleasure.
A day for restraining from doing as you wish, and rather to seek what God wishes.
Making it an honorable day. Desisting from doing what it describes as our own ways.
From seeking our own pleasure, and from speaking our own word. The interesting part is what it says next. "Then you will take delight in the Lord, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
Is it a blessing that as a nation we have rejected? Have we indeed been missing out on learning at the feet of Jesus for our own desires?
We want the blessings of God but we keep denying what God says is required of us.
To do this:
Luke 9:23-26: "And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, this is the one who will save it. For what good does it do a person if he gains the whole world, but loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and the holy angels."
The question should be asked that we like to avoid is: What efforts are we taking towards "being Holy as He is Holy"? Are the interests and plans of God the Father of greater interest to us than our desires in this life? The Plan and purpose of believers is to not be devoted to movies, sports or personalities of this world. We aren't to take our devotion and give it to another that belongs to God. The Bible tells us that too.
We want the peace of God but don't want to do what's necessary by God to obtain it.
We want many things but remember my Dear Reader, you take none of it with you when God calls you home. You will, in time, stand before Christ to give an account of the deeds done in the body.
So it begs the question: What deeds are you doing in your body?
Are you at all denying yourself to learn more about your Savior?
Look at the lives of the Disciples. Jesus said to go, make Disciples. So look at what a Disciples life consisted of. It was of learning from Jesus on how to live life. In our day today it's learning from the Helper, the Paraclete, the Spirit of God who is of another kind but like the Christ.
We see them denying themselves and their lives and learning to be obedient to Christ.
Is there a day of the week that you deny yourself to learn about Jesus? Most accept Sunday Mornings and Evening as a time for Praise, Worship and Learning from God. Satan's plans and scheme are in the takeover of that time. We even read of the audacity of this enemy of God to get the National Football League to proclaim that Sundays used to belong to the Church...see that? Look at how Satan's inflamed the population to desire and feed that plan. Turning their desires to learn more about Christ and taking that passion and excitement of praising God and giving it to another.
So aside from the deeds you do in the other 6 days, is there any desire to put the words of Isaiah into practice in your life?
For me it's eye opening. Do I do this? No I haven't been. Yes I dedicate extra early morning times to my Bible reading and my devotionals. But what do I do concerning a day of the week to be obedient to that section of Isaiah?
We wonder what happened to this unlimited power of the Church that the Bible speaks of and yet deny what the Spirit shows us is the problem.
You jump ahead to the Thousand Year reign of Jesus Christ. It's throughout the Scriptures in the description of what people will do who are alive during that time.
You read of how specific the things people will do are. Learning about Jesus is paramount. Those who refuse will face the consequences of that. You won't have a great many occupations that exist today. Hollywood likely will be shutdown. Coroner's offices, most if not all hospitals won't be needed. Highly likely Wall Street will be shut down. Must businesses won't be operating. So what is there for people to do? Exactly what the Bible says, to be begging to find someone to teach them about Jesus.
The theme of the time that Jesus Himself ruling the world is people dedicated to learning about Him. We are called to be doing that now in this life.
It's indeed challenging! We are living in a world of stuff that for whatever reason we attach emotions to that stuff. We attach emotions to things and people we likely have never met. We are easily manipulated by the god of this world because of how little we know and pursue knowing God.
As a believer in Christ, as one who claims salvation in Christ Jesus alone, as this is who we are...is it your aim in life to learn more about Him or are we embracing the desires of this world instead?
Was hearing this morning on the news of how we the people can resist in a certain hot topic in the news today. The professing Church needs to get back to resisting self and focusing on Christ as per His instructions.
We want the Church to be able to be as the Bible says, we need to look to doing better deeds in this body. In the book of Revelation it says that the gates of Hell wouldn't be able to withstand the onslaught of the Church. Do you see the professing Church today as being that powerful? That likely is a resounding no. Jesus, in a letter to a Church in Revelation told them that their problem was that they had left their first love. They came to Christ yet was living life apart from Him, feeding their own desires instead. Creating their own vision of the Church that wasn't God's vision of it because they weren't connected to God the way they were at first.
Is it that you don't think your view of a day set aside for God is wrong or are you thinking that the Bible isn't relevant to that point? Consider the words of Jesus. Not one jot or tittle of tge Word of God would ever pass away or in our terms, would ever not come true. It's always relevant. Day after day we see more of it coming true. Day after day we see the truths of it breaking the chains of sin. Day after day we see it transforming lives for those who DO dedicate themselves to what is in it. And sadly, we see it proved right when it tells of what happens to lives that don't take it seriously.
Is it possible we forget this passage at our own convenience?
1 John 2:15-17 NASB "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever."
You have the opportunity, the chance, to begin today in returning to your first love, which is Christ Jesus. In this day called today you can begin again with doing deeds in your body that will withstand the scrutiny of Jesus when He reviews our very thoughts and intentions.
To be truthful this post really hit home with me a decade or so ago. It just wasn't until this morning that God helped me organize it for you to read. I was ashamed not of Christ, but came to be ashamed of the things of this world that my passion was greater for than my passion was for Him. I was heavily devoted to various sports teams. Was heavily interested in various movies, science fiction, and other things. I was ashamed of how great my knowledge of all of that was, of all the passion and expertise I had in those useless things, and how little I knew of the one who died for me.
Life turned in that realization. Exactly as the Bible said is what happened. I returned to Him and He drew near to me, teaching me great and wonderful things that I didn't know.
In this last week, we took a leap of faith in going where we would be in God's will. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 NASB "For this is the will of God, your sanctification;"
God's blowing us away with moving mountains to get us to where sanctification happens in our lives.
I do read devotionals but always begin with my Bible reading. That's more important than the devotionals. I pray more than I ever have. Because He answers because He is near to me. I drew near to Him and He kept His word to draw near to me.
Are you wanting that? Then consider what the passage in Isaiah means to you.