Tuesday, May 10, 2016
“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. Exodus 20:8(NLT)
Applying Sabbath principles in Christian living requires at least four truths to be held in mind:
#1 Everything in life needs restoration.
There is a rhythm of life that displays rest in everything. There is no music in a rest between notes, but there's much making of music with the rest. Farm land must rest to produce its best crops. Seasons give way to rest. The tides change. Even your heart takes regular rests in-between beats. To everything there is a season... said the Preacher of Ecclesiastes. Without rest the birds couldn't migrate. Without rest a mind will go mad. Without rest there is ceaseless chatter, and there's enough of that in this world. Everything needs rest.
Reality #2 Too little work is not good
Satchel Page was a baseball legend. He was one of the first black men to play in the Major Leagues. One of his Six Surefire Remedies for a Worry-Free Life was: Avoid running at all times. With all due respect to Mr. Page, there are supposed to be six days of labor for every day of rest.
Man was made to enjoy the benefit of his labor. Paul said that if a man will not work, he should not eat. (2 Thess 3.10). Trust me, that will get the attention of most church members I know!
Reality #3 Too much work is not good
There is an old Greek motto that says: You will break the bow if you keep it always bent. Some folks have the mistaken idea that to work 24/7 is either smart, or spiritual. It is neither; it is just plain foolish and unproductive. In fact it is destructive!
John Wanamaker said: People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illnesses. I have a Pastor friend who calls the days of a stress-induced hospital stay, accumulated Sabbaths. I do believe if we are really stubborn against the need to keep the Sabbath, God will ...make [us] lie down in green hospital pastures at times just to get our attention.
Reality #4 Worship is necessary
I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? Psalms 42:2(NLT)
Everything the Bible tells us about God indicates we have an inner thirst for Him. Worship is the only drink for that need. There are physical needs that only physical rest can remedy; emotional needs that only quiet can speak to; and spiritual needs that worship alone will feed.
Everything needs rest, too little or too much work is not good, and worship is necessary.
Tomorrow we will look at applying the principles of Sabbath and the how to of rest.
Let me leave you today with this thought: The Psalmist tells us that it is ...the fool who says in his heart there is no God. That is certainly true, but even the Christian can play the fool when he forsakes assembling himself together with other believers to worship, and have his soul nourished!