SABBATH

THE TIME REQUIREMENT FOR SABBATH KEEPING

What motivates me to action is remembering a previous joy of similar activities. I have never moved myself into the LORD’s presence and been sorry I did. So each remembrance is sweeter. But time is required to get into His presence.

Preparing to take mushroom pictures is easy, however sometimes it is not pleasant doing it. While getting into GOD’s presence is difficult, once there it becomes the greatest joy. The hard part is moving myself into His presence.

“We must rest entirely, in order that God may work in us; we must resign our own will, yield up our heart, and abandon all the lusts of the flesh. In short, we must desist from all the acts of our own mind, that God working in us, we may rest in him…” John Calvin (ref#187).

“God’s rest is the rest of contemplation on the work that He has made, with all the penetrating influence, and sustaining power, and blessed oversight, that the divine contemplation must involve” R. A. Finlayson (ref#188).

“The worship due to the great Creator requires time for the contemplation of his attributes, as revealed in his glorious works. It requires time, also, to recollect all the manifestations of his wisdom and goodness in the dispensations of his Providence, and to give vocal expression to feelings of gratitude for the benefits received, and the happiness bestowed” Archibald Alexander (ref#175).

“If you are…in need of a spiritual tonic, go to the book of Acts, and there you will find this irrepressible joy that these people had in confirmation of the Lord’s promise” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Sept 16th).

SABBATH

THE SIX DAYS BEFORE AND AFTER THE SABBATH

“In creation GOD rested from His work not because He was tired but because He was establishing a cycle of life—six days work, one day rest” Alistair Begg (ref#165, Series: The Sabbath Sermon#:2096, “Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath,” July 11, 1999).

“He hath mercifully considered our state and our necessities here; and, as He hath consulted the good of our souls in appointing a seventh day for the immediate duties of religion, so He hath considered our outward necessities and hath allowed us six days for attendance on our outward affairs. What unworthy treatment therefore will it be of God, if we refuse to allow Him even the seventh day” Jonathan Edwards (ref#186)!

“The Sabbath is a covenant sign that represents a lifestyle of devotion to the Lord, for it requires the practical reorganization of every week around him (cf. Ex 31:12-17; Ezek 20:18-20)” The ESV Study Bible, (ref#125, p1342, [Isa 56:2]).

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

BLOGGING ON THE SABBATH

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 11.55.30 AMWas reading about the Sabbath on the Sabbath—particularly GOD speaking to the Israelites about manna:

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day…On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily’” (Ex 16:4-5 ESV).

“…The LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days…” (Ex 16:29 ESV).

“This pattern embodies trust in the Lord’s provision for something Israel has no part in producing; later, when Israel has settled in the land and is depending more on its own labor, the regular Sabbath rest will be seen as an expression of divine mercy” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p171, [Ex 16:22-30]).

“… the manna’s condition is controlled, as their lives should be, by the word of the Lord (see v.28)” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p171, [Ex 16:24]).

The whole manna thing was to test them to see if they would trust GOD. It corresponds to the words we have in the Lord’s Prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread.” GOD wants no storing up and forgetting who provides daily for us.

All this reminds me again that the LORD creates my circumstances and is able and willing to walk me through every one of them. Everything everyday I need He provides and all I have to do is trust Him.

So, like the Israelites, the LORD provides for my Sabbath! He has plans for me. Therefore, honoring the Sabbath is not so much about what I do on the day but who I trust and follow as each hour goes by.

Part of my weekday work is writing a blog. But, here I am sitting at my desk writing this on Sunday. Am I keeping the Sabbath holy? Well, I feel that the SPIRIT of GOD is putting words in my head and that always prompts me to come to the computer and write them down. I feel I’m following the LORD and trusting Him in this situation. But, am I? Maybe if I would resist getting His words in print today He would bring them to my memory on a weekday. Maybe I’m writing so I can have something good to post. Yes, maybe I’m taking GOD’s goodness and giving glory to myself and not Him. I could easily persuade myself to close this computer. The logic of law tells me that I should not do weekday work on Sunday. So, do I have a catch in my spirit about what I’m doing right now?

Actually, no. First, one thing I’ve learned is that when the SPIRIT is speaking I need to write it down immediately. His thoughts are foreign to my thoughts therefore I have no affinity to remember them therefore I must write them down. And, I have never had Him repeat Himself. Obviously, for me at least, if I take His words lightly by not writing them I grieve Him. And, secondly, if I don’t act immediately on His prompts He immediately leaves.

Today He has illuminated the passage of Scripture about manna and I must follow Him as He teaches me. I have no self-gratifying motives. I simply delight to do the will of my FATHER (Ps 40:8). For me this activity is perfect. For me today this work like my weekday work is a Sabbath rest.

NOTE: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day…” (Rev 1:10 ESV). I am glad the Apostle John allowed himself to write on the Sabbath otherwise he would not have penned the book of Revelation.