VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

PURPOSEFUL WORDS

5/1/2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 1.51.12 PMMay Day—so cold and windy—I drug out my ear muffs for the flower planting. It was another Sunday—another 24-hour LORD’s Day—another day I was not too pleased with what I recapped in my mind at the end of it.

5:45AM up, and early to church, then more than four hours working to do my part in the service, then in the afternoon not even time to fall asleep reading, instead napped directly. Afterward grandchildren came to weed and plant flowers and that about finished the day.

It didn’t seem very spiritual. I had so much to do in the morning I was available to talk very little. I prepared lunch and went shopping for flowers—things I could have avoided with better planning the day before. And I finished the day off with spending a lot of time enjoying my grandchildren.

I could get discouraged just thinking about the spiritual activities I didn’t have. And then there was my yesterday’s post…

Personally, I find reading yesterday’s list of subjects in which to engage my Christian friends in conversation on Sunday morning did nothing but discourage me. They were “law” to me—something I was supposed to do but had no interest in doing. However, I know others when they read that list will be very happy if they find a bullet point they can apply.

Instead of speaking, I pay attention to all the “jot and tittles” that need to be implemented during the morning service. As far as words go, allowing my thoughts to spill out extemporaneously frightens me, however writing out my thoughts brings joy.

And, quite frankly, I don’t know how GOD is honored in my life. One thing I do know is that I love Him and that cancels out all the “oughts” that people suggest should be done on the LORD’s Day. It is enough that He ordained it and calls His chosen to Himself on that day.

I will not bemoan my May Day activities. If the SPIRIT confronts me with Sabbath Day sin then I will own it and thank CHRIST for removing it. But, FATHER, I find it detrimental to judge myself. You have put the joy of that precious day in my heart, and I know that joy will spill out and glorify You abundantly.

“Sometimes…the only thing to do is to maintain a vital connection with Jesus Christ…not obedience but the maintenance of…relationship” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, March 25th).

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SABBATH

THE SABBATH – TO REVIVE US PHYSICALLY

“The Sabbath is given as a gift to man (for physical…refreshment)” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1897, [Mark 2:27-28]).

“…this day…has been instituted in order that we might withdraw from all earthly anxieties, from all business affairs, to the end that we might surrender everything to God” John Calvin (ref#168).

“This day is a gift from God to be experienced as a delight and a joy—a day that shapes and frames your life, creates purpose, and structure and order and cohesion and a day that goes a long way to relieving panic ad stress” Alistair Begg (ref#165, Series: The Sabbath, Sermon #2097, “The Delight of the Sabbath,” July 18, 1999).

“The Sabbath is good for man’s mind….The testimony of the famous philanthropist, Wilberforce, on this point is very striking. He declared that he could only attribute his own power of endurance to his regular observance of the Sabbath Day…he was satisfied that in every such case of mental shipwreck the true cause was neglect of the Fourth Commandment” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“The Sabbath is good for man’s body. We all need a day of rest. On this point…all medical men are agreed. Curiously and wonderfully made as the human frame is, it will not stand incessant work without regular intervals of repose” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

SABBATH

IS THE SEVENTH DAY SATURDAY, SUNDAY, OR ANY DAY?

“…Genesis 2 contains nothing whatever that enables us to determine which day of our week this primal “seventh day” was….All we do know—and it is all that is necessary for us to know—is that the seventh day was the day that followed six days of manual work…” Arthur W. Pink (ref#177).

“…the holy rest day should be one out of every seven….The command is simply work six, rest one. Every seventh day should be a Sabbath” John Piper (ref#169). So to keep the Sabbath means that one day a week we do not do our normal work. Since some people have jobs that include working on Sunday, they are free to choose another day, however every effort should be made to make their Sabbath the day their local Christian fellowship meets to gain the benefit of corporate worship.

“The Lord Jesus kept the Sabbath day. The change from the seventh to the first day of the week rather confirms than abolishes this divine institution. Call it the Lord’s day in preference to the Sabbath, if you so desire. The term “Lord’s day” rather enforces than diminishes our obligation to its proper observance” C. E. Hunter (ref#171).

“…the apostles were divinely inspired to make that change, and at the same time wisely directed to make no public decree about it. The decree would only have raised a ferment in the Jewish mind and caused needless offence; the change was one that it was better to effect gradually, and not to force on the consciences of weak brethren. The change did not interfere with the spirit of the Fourth Commandment in the smallest degree: the Lord’s Day, on the first day of the week, was just as much a day of rest after six days’ labor, as the seventh-day Sabbath had been” J. C. Ryle (ref#178).

The Old Testament saints looked forward to CHRIST, while we look back to CHRIST. GOD rested after completing creation. (It is the Jewish Sabbath.) CHRIST rested after completing redemption. (It is the Christian LORD’s Day.) And CHRIST’s return (second coming) is heaven—our final rest (ref#169)!

 

SABBATH

THE SABBATH – AN EVERLASTING ORDINANCE

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.52.10 PM“…the observance of a Sabbath Day is part of the eternal Law of God. It is not a mere temporary Jewish ordinance. It is not a man-made institution of priestcraft. It is not an unauthorized imposition of the Church. It is one of the everlasting rules that God has revealed for the guidance of all mankind” J. C. Ryle (ref#178).

Before a single page of human history is chronicled, before a single act of Adam is described, the Holy Spirit places before us the institution of the Sabbath! Does not this signify, plainly, that the observance of the Sabbath—the sanctifying of a seventh day—is a primary duty” Arthur W. Pink (ref#177)!

“…the holy day should be one out of every seven….work six, rest one. Every seventh day should be a sabbath” John Piper (ref#169). “For six days He had put forth His might in creation, on this day He releases, as it were, into His own blessed fellowship the work of His hands and is pleased thus to lift man into His communion and the contemplation of His works. While we know that sin marred God’s work, and soiled the creature He had made in His image, we also know that God undertook another creative work, that of redemption, regeneration and restoration. And the completion of that work, too, is marked by a rest day in which man can once again enter into the rest of God, the Christian Sunday. That is appropriately now the Lord’s Day, the Day on which the Redeeming Lord entered into His rest,…” R. A. Finlayson (ref#188).

And, “…the Sabbath of the Old Testament and the Christian Sabbath of the New have a typical significance as pointing to the day when the Sabbath of grace is transformed to the Sabbath of glory, and the Lord’s Day of earth becomes the Day of the Lord in all its fullness of light and life and blessedness” R. A. Finlayson (ref#188).