Sunday, September 11, 2011

Call the Sabbath a delight...

Today I thought I would take a break from sharing my usual Lord's day Psalm, and instead share some thoughts on the Sabbath day.....why we refer to it as the Lord's day......of how important it is to give this day to the Lord and His worship.....and what a blessing it is. Lately it has made me very sad to see so many people not keeping God's day holy which convicted me to blog on the subject.

If you're wondering what does keeping the Lord's day holy in real life look like for me - a lot of it comes down to preparation on Saturday. Making the food for church ahead of time (usually in the crock pot while we sleep Saturday night:-), ironing my clothes, and get organized the day before.......and lest you all think I have it easy because I don't have children to get ready - remember I grew up in a big family - I know what it's like. Plus just recently I had the experience of babysitting 6 children for a weekend and getting us all ready for church. I put food in the roaster to cook overnight, we tidied up the house Sat evening, I had all the children shower and lay out clothes and shoes before going to bed, we planned a simple breakfast and it went great. As for the rest of the day - our church has a morning and afternoon service with a lunch in between so most of the day gets spent either in worship or fellowship. I'll either spend my evenings with the Es where we'll visit, which will include discussing what we learned in church that day, or go home and read. One thing I like to do is to go read Matthew Henry on the passages we studied in church. It's a long story, but for years I wasn't able to attend to church so it's hard to explain how thankful and happy I am to have my church now - the Lord's day really is my favorite day of the week, I truly love it! It's a blessing and I hope you all will find that to be true too.

What I shared below was written by Matthew Henry and I just selected part of it to share. If you want to read more click here. I'm sorry about how long this post got, and I hope you all have a blessed Lord's day!


It is plain that a Sabbath was instituted from the beginning, it was a positive institution in paradise, as marriage was; the former necessary to the preserving of the church and sacred fellowship, as the latter to the support of families and human fellowship. Scripture says expressly there, “that God rested on the seventh day."
 
Now, inasmuch as it is the work of the Lord’s day to worship God, not only in public solemn assemblies, which we ought conscientiously to attend upon both the former and the latter part of the day, but in secret and in our families,those do certainly profane the day who do not spend the best part of it, in pious exercises; this shows a great contempt of the God they pretend to honor.

Something of this work ought to be done every day; no day must pass without some solemn acts of religious worship, both morning and evening; when we address ourselves to the work of the day, and when we compose ourselves to the rest of the night, we ought actually to acknowledge God, both by our prayers and praises, as our Protector, Guide, and Benefactor. “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work;” and  Is it not the most needful and excellent work we have to do?  

Those who live without daily worship live without God in the world. 

As God allows us time for works of necessity and mercy out of his day, so we ought to allow time for works of piety and devotion out of our days, else we are not only undutiful, but very ungrateful. It is a profanation of the Lord’s day, and a breach of the law of it, to neglect and omit the proper duty and business of that day, which is the immediate service and worship of our God.


It is a profanation of the Lord’s day to violate and break in upon the holy rest of that day....On that day we are to rest both from those worldly employments of our particular callings which on other days are our duty, and the work of the day, and from those sports and recreations which on other days are lawful....sport is as inconsistent with the Sabbath rest as labor is.

Those who go to their shops and exercise their trades openly or secretly on the Lord’s day, thereby show that they mind the world more than God, and that they are more solicitous for the meat that perishes, than for that which endures to eternal life.....If any pretend that they can perform the work of the Lord’s day well enough, though they do not observe the rest of the day, they suppose themselves wiser than God, who has instituted the Sabbath rest in order to the better and more solemn management of the Sabbath work, both public and private.

 You have your lives from God, your bodies, your souls, all your powers, and all your comforts, and therefore you ought to be his subjects, and to pay him tribute; you are his tenants, and must not withhold his rent: this is his tribute, this is his rent. Sabbath time is demanded as his part of your time; let this then that is his due be justly and faithfully paid him in full: for “will a man rob God?” Your receivings from him are rich and constant; grudge him not these poor returns in their season.

Let me therefore, with all earnestness, beseech you, if you have any regard to the sweet and blessed name of Jesus, into which you were baptized; that name which is above every name, that name which is your strong tower, and your best plea for the best blessings; have a conscientious regard to that day which bears his name.

Shall we think one day in seven too much, when eternity itself will be too little, to be spent in the joyful contemplations, and thankful praises, of the height and depth, the length and breadth, of the love of Christ which passes knowledge? Is our Lord Jesus continually appearing in heaven for us, always mindful of our concerns there, and shall we make thus light of his glory, and care so little to appear before him, and before the world for him? Might but the love of Christ command us, and that love constrain us, surely we should love the Lord’s day for his sake whose day it is, would bid it welcome, and call it a delight.

This is a day in which we are with all humility to make visits to God, and with all reverence and observance to receive visits from him; to hear what he speaks to us out of his word, and to speak to him by prayer. This is the proper conversation of that day.


 


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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1