How do we honor the Sabbath? What should we do and not do? What happens if someone has to work on the Sabbath? And what about childrens activities on the Sabbath, there are so many team sports we want our children to participate in and lessons that they take on the Sabbath?
Those are great questions. Im sure our listeners are wondering about that.
Well, the primary goal of the Sabbath is to cease from our manual, physical and intellectual labor and to consecrate these 24 hours to the Lord. The Sabbath starts at sunset on Friday evening and ends at sunset on Saturday evening. During those hours, God is making Himself available to His children. He wants us to come together and worship Him in unity, because as we congregate His Shekinah glory can more easily dwell in our midst. Its also a time of refreshing because Gods Word nourishes us as we come to church and listen to a good message. The fellowship among believers is another great Sabbath blessing. Personally Im incredibly grateful that the Lord directed me to a Sabbath-keeping church and for the wonderful friends Ive made there.
During the Sabbath hours we should avoid all work, and we also shouldnt make others to work. This means that we cook enough food on Friday afternoon before the Sabbath starts to carry us through Saturday evening. We dont go eat at a restaurant because that causes others to work. So you get the idea. We dont make any transactions on the Sabbath either, no buying or selling. The only transactions allowed on the Sabbath are with the Lord: paying our tithe and making our offerings.
Getting ready for the Sabbath requires a little bit of effort but the payback is huge! We honor the Lords will and we get to enjoy that rest and special fellowship with Him like Adam and Eve had in the garden. It really is holy time, as Neville says in his song.
People in different walks of life where their work normally requires for them to show up and work on the Sabbath have a special obedience challenge. But you have to be faithful to the Lord and He will come through for you. Stand up for your beliefs and God will reward you in a mighty way. Put Him to the test if you dont believe me. If you get offered a job where you have to work on Saturdays, come to the Lord and tell Him that you want to honor Him, and ask Him to find you a better job where you can worship Him on the Sabbath. Our church has had so many testimonies of how God honors our loyalty to Him and rewards those faithful souls with better jobs than the one they turned down. Those of you who are self-employed, be courageous and reorganize your work-week so that you can rest on the Sabbath. Your clients will understand, people are usually more relaxed on Sunday so if youre open on Sundays I guarantee that you will not lose any clients worth keeping. I can tell you that in Paris where I lived for so long we have a huge Jewish district, very prosperous. They are closed on the Saturday and reopen on Sundays and people just throng there, the streets are so crowded that you can hardly walk through! Pray to God fervently as you plan out those changes that honor God, and pray to Him fervently as you implement those changes. He is faithful!
Now, certain professions where people are caring for others, like the medical and nursing professions and fire-fighters for example, if theyre called in to work because of some emergency situation that is acceptable to the Lord. Jesus healed more than once on the Sabbath and He also taught that it was acceptable for a shepherd to rescue a sheep in distress on the Sabbath.
Regarding the children, its good for them to be in a peer group of other Sabbath-keeping children. That way their Saturday activities will be appropriate and they can play sports and do other team activities on Sundays. For all of these reasons it is good to find a Sabbath-keeping Christian Church that you can join.
Remember, the Fourth Commandment is Gods special obedience test for our generation. He will give you the wherewithal to be victorious as you honor His will. In our next program well talk a lot more about the mark of the beast and how those who refuse to take it will not be able to buy nor sell that means you wont be able to shop at Walmarts or your favorite supermarket unless you have the mark of the beast. But when that time comes the Lord will provide for His people. He has said so in His Word.