by Dr Jack Auten
Gospel: St. Mark 2: 23 - 28
In the days of Jesus there were very strict laws concerning how to keep the Sabbath.
Through the years the religious "leaders" had sought to clarify what was meant by "keeping the Sabbath" and therefore law upon law was laid down through the years until there were so many laws governing the Sabbath that nobody could keep them all.
Upon the resurrection of Jesus on the first day of the week which is called "Sunday" His Church has been celebrating that day ever since as it's "day of worship." Thus it is the Gentile's day of worship with no change in the basic meaning of keeping the Sabbath.
I. GOD INSTITUTED THE SABBATH FOR MANKIND
1. Individuals are benefited.
- God appointed a day of rest from the cares and labors of the world so that he/she could tend to spiritual matters - worship of God.
- The world occupies the mind and thus pushes out time for heavenly thoughts.
- If God had not appointed a separate, special day for Himself, then He would never would have been thought of and mankind would be in deeper darkness.
- The special day is to remind everyone that there is a God and on His day one is to review the past week to see what has been done to the soul.
- Six (6) days God gave for man to take care of everyday interests but the seventh (7) is to take care of the soul.
- Everyone ought to be thankful that God wants only six days of work and one day for people to get with Him.
2. The entire community is benefited.
- If God had not appointed a specific time to meet Him, none would have ever been agreed upon by everybody.
- No same day would have been convenient for everybody but God didn't ask man's opinion, God declared that one day in seven, the Sabbath, now Sunday would be set aside as His day and there would be no work, just worship.
- Everybody, rich, poor, etc., all of God's people are to keep God's day holy.
- What if every child of God, all over the world, would honor the Lord's Sabbath (Day) as God commanded?
- What if every child of God met together in public, united in praise, prayer and worship, then going to their homes to be with their families, talking about what God has done for them?
- Who could possibly know all the good that would be done if God's people would honor His Day as He commanded?
II. HOW SHOULD GOD'S DAY BE KEPT?
1. A grateful sense of privilege should be sensed and appreciated.
- Out of the love and mercy of God the special day was set aside just for His children.
- A day for His children to take time to just think about their relationship with God.
- One's first thoughts on God's Day should be that of "Thank You" for the day itself.
- Then one should close out all thoughts that are not associated with God.
- God should be invited to remove anything that might interfere with fellowship.
- One should reflect over the past and ask God to point out sins that have gone unconfessed and get those forgiven and out of the way for fellowship.
- Time to enjoy fellowship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Time for God to bring grace, mercy and peace to the soul.
- Time to reach for God's Word, open it's pages and let God's glory shine into the heart and enlighten the mind and soul.
2. A humble sense of one's responsibility should be recognized.
- God's day is for His children to come to Him and fellowship and "report."
- God's day should be welcomed as a blessing but with fear and trembling lest it not be kept as God commanded.
- Without God, one can do nothing and that God alone can make all things work to His child's good, so God's day is a day to acknowledge that.
- At the close of God's day, let the child of God ask, "what has God accomplished in me today?"
1. Those who do not recognize God's day as a special day but treat it like the other six days going about their business or pleasure are violating a commandment of God and will one day be judged by the very God whose commandment they have been violating.
2. It was on the first day of the week that the Lord Jesus rose from the grave, making sure that those who believe in Him will have eternal life with God the Father. In celebration of this wonderful event, the early church met on the first day of the week (Sunday) coming together to worship and observe the Lord's Supper, taking offerings and learning God's Word.
3. It is the obligation of every child of God, to keep this day the Lord has given with all the worship, honor and praise that can be given to the Lord Jesus.
4. Sadly, it seems that of all the commandments the Lord God gave, this one seems to be the most troublesome to keep for God's children. Why is there an average of only 25% of a church's enrolment in worship on any given Lord's Day? Where are the other 75%?
5. What if every child of God kept this commandment (unless sick, etc) and was in worship every Lord's Day for the purpose God intended His Day to be?
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