The Joy of the Sabbath

church landscape
Oh, how I love the Lord’s Day! My sense of the importance of it started to grow when I started seeing the offense of worldly and recreational activities scheduled on Sundays and conflicting with Worship Services. About two years ago, I learned about the Sabbath in earnest. We have been studying the Ten Commandments in Sunday School, based on the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Catechisms. It was an amazing revelation to learn that the whole day is to be a day thoroughly different from the other six days of the week, and that it is a day to devote to the Lord, to His praise and our public and private worship of Him. Furthermore, I learned that as a Creation Ordinance, a command given by God at creation, Sabbath observance is the duty of all men – believers and unbelievers.

The Lord’s Day is a joy to me. It is the one day in the whole week that I can devote to the activities I love most – worship and fellowship with my Church family in the Lord’s House, time reading and studying God’s Word, time meditating on His Word, time talking with others about and praying for the needs of those we love and our own walk with the Lord. It is a day to rest from the activities that we engage in the other days of the week. It is such a relief to me to be able to relax into these pursuits without the demands of other responsibilities hanging over my head. I am free on Sundays!

The Lord’s Day shapes the other days of the week for me and makes Him always the focus of my week. I plan for the Lord’s Day. I must get clothes and meals for both Sunday and Monday ready in advance, since those are activities that I want to engage in as minimally as possible on Sundays. I must get other jobs done ahead of time that I will not engage in on this day of worship. It truly is a joy to me to have this structure and the aim of having a day free for communing with my God. In all of the preparations, I am worshipping Him with joy and anticipation. I guess in a way it emulates and provides a pattern for our waiting for His return!

One whole day to devote to the Lord! As I think about the Sabbath, I see that it is a wonderful example of how obeying Him is joyous. Obeying Him in this command is such a blessing for me, full of such loving anticipation and pleasure. I realize that obeying in every other way can involve the same kind of love, anticipation, and joy. All of His commands are for our good. We tend to think that they are limits to our freedom and hindrances to our good. Though my eyes may not see it now, I can know that as I obey my God in other ways, the same kind of rest and blessing I delight in around Sundays will be my reward. Obeying Him in any way is a way we worship Him and rest in Him. It shows me that obeying Him in general is true freedom.

Finally, as sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, good and loving Creator and Sustainer, the only true God, He deserves such single-minded praise and worship always. It simply is His due. He just asks one day completely to Himself. Who are we to deny Him?

How will you celebrate the Sabbath? How will you worship Him all day this Sunday? Let us encourage one another to wholehearted obedience to and worship of our gracious and glorious God!


6 thoughts on “The Joy of the Sabbath

  1. Dear Lisa,
    I love your question about how will we celebrate the Sabbath. We need to see the Sabbath as a true celebration. And we need to spend significant time thinking and meditating on how to make it more celebratory. Any specifics you want to pass along would be appreciated. Roxanne

  2. Roxanne,
    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. It helps me to understand more deeply what I am writing about. Yes. Celebration. How we do that is unique for each of us and depends most on our heart…who/what are we trusting? Him, I hope!

  3. I am in a place of questions and (hopefully) growth with the issue of the Sabbath. God ordained the Sabbath forever; I wholeheartedly agree with you there. My questions, though, relate to why this ONE of the Ten Commandments has been changed. God instructed us to observe the Sabbath starting at sundown on Friday and ending at sundown on Saturday. Jesus, himself, observed this Sabbath timing, and after his death the apostles make no mention of changing this God-given schedule. In fact, in Acts there is discussion of apostles speaking in synagogue (which met on Sabbath), and Gentiles asking questions, meaning they were also observing Sabbath as given in OT.

    God makes it very clear (in the minor prophets) that He holds individuals accountable for customs passed from generation to generation. If a custom is displeasing to God, he judges the original person/people who developed or changed the custom, but he also holds later generations accountable for not searching the Scriptures for themselves.

    Multiple times in Israel’s history, the Scriptures are ‘rediscovered’ in the temple, read and leading to repentance when the nation (or its leaders, at least) realize how far they had strayed from God’s instruction. God still held them to His original standard. As an example, when the Ark was being brought back, they did not observe the requirements of Levites moving it, of nobody touching it, etc…and the man who reached out to steady the Ark so it wouldn’t fall off the (not permitted) cart was struck dead for his sin, despite the good intentions.

    If the Bible holds everything we need for godliness, instruction, etc…then I’m afraid I have come to disagree with calling Sunday worship the Sabbath. Want to worship on Sunday? Great! But observe the Sabbath as God instructed, from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. As I pray and await God’s guidance, this is what I have begun to do.

    • Dear Bible Searcher,
      Your comment makes me smile…you love the Lord and humbly want to know Him and what brings Him glory. You are a dear sister! I don’t have time right now, but I will address your question, maybe in another post. If anyone else has any thoughts or questions, lets search together!
      Lisa J

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