Friday, March 25, 2011

The Sabbath Blessing - Part 4

We've been examining the wonderful blessings that come from keeping the Sabbath. God's laws are not designed as a curse for us but blessings given for our good. God is kind and gracious and we must receive His laws as tokens of His goodness. As I've pointed out, God gave us the Sabbath because it is fitted to our nature and condition. To reject the Sabbath is to bring detriment to both body and mind.

The Blessing of a Godly Testimony

In this fourth installment concerning Sabbath blessings I'd like us to consider the blessing of a Godly testimony. Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16). We live in a thoroughly secularized society. Because of the remants of our Christian heritage many people do not have to labor on Sunday. Government offices are closed, educational facilities are closed, and most business are closed. Most people simply see it as a day off and they spend it in various ways according to their personal desires. Few see it as a Sabbath's rest. What a testimony it is for them to see you and your family honoring this day. Sadly, it is often hard to identify God's people today. In days gone by, you could easily recognize a Christian family on Sunday morning. Their dress indicated they were going to something important. Going to worship was not like going shopping or going to the park. Every one who saw them knew exactly where they were going. When we leave the house on Sunday morning our neighbors should not mistake what we are doing. And they should witness that, as God's people, we see this day as a special day. Do your activities on Sunday demonstrate to the world that you serve the Lord Jesus Christ? When our children were young their friends knew that this day was not a day that they played outside. It was a testimony to their friends that we are the people of God, and it was a testimony to our children as well. What a testimony it is to lost family members when you humbly excuse yourselves from family activities that violate the separation of this day. How many lost husbands or wives have been converted as they witness their mates faithfully honoring this day? And what a testimony it is when the world sees us observing this day with great joy, not as a day filled with harsh rules and regulations that bind and restrict us, but a s a blessing from God full of joyous delights. "For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being" (Romans 7:22 ESV). As I pointed out in one of my earlier posts, it is true that we seek to glorify God every day, but God has set apart one day as being holy, distinct, and separate. As we order our lives for the keeping of this day we must keep in mind how our lives might benefit others. What greater benefit than demonstrating before the lost that we serve a good and gracious God in whose service we delight. May we demonstrate before them the joyous liberty we have as we faithfully honor this day.

1 comment:

Chad C. said...

Amen! The church today forfeits much of its visible authority and identity when it fails to uphold the Sabbath.