August 23rd

Honoring the Lordís Day

"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." The mouth of the LORD has spoken.  Isaiah 58:13-14 NIV 

9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:9-11 NIV 

These passages addressed the law of keeping the Sabbath day or the Lordís Day each week.  Through Jesus we are not bound to the Mosaic law for salvation, but we are obligated to abide in Godís commands out of love for him and appreciation for what he did for us on the cross (John 15:10).  When we do our best to live by Godís commands, weíll benefit and enjoy his best for our lives.   

With that in mind, I found some notable promises in these passages concerning honoring the Lordís Day.  Overall, God has blessed the Sabbath day and has made it holy.  God said that if his people would honor the Sabbath, they would find the joy of the Lord, ďride on the heights of the landĒ and feast on the inheritance of Jacob.  As sons of God through faith in Jesus, we too can benefit from these promises when we honor the Lordís Day. 

The joy of the Lord is something that hopefully every one of us desires.  Life following Jesus is not meant to be drudgery.  To ride on the heights of the land is to enjoy success in our jobs and be at peace with our neighbors.  To feast on the inheritance of Jacob is to enjoy all the benefits of sonship through Christ (Romans 8:17).  When we honor the Lord ís Day each week, we will begin to discover these wonderful promises manifesting in our lives.   

Additionally, there are some other common-sense reasons to honor the Lordís Day. These include:

        We need a day to rest from our work, reconnect with God and prepare for the next week

        Even God rested after 6 days of work Ė weíre made in his image and likeness

        The Sabbath was important to God - so important, in fact, that the death penalty was imposed for those who broke it under the Mosaic system   

Whether we regard Sunday, Saturday or any other day as the Lordís Day, what is important is that we honor at least one day as the Lordís.   We should remember that our heart attitude is what matters most to God.  Itís easy to get religious about what we do, while letting our hearts slip out of touch with God.   

Iíve found it really helps to approach the Lordís Day (Sunday for me) with the mindset that it is a day to put God first.  I used to treat Sundays as an overflow day for projects, shopping and exercise.  Not that those activities are wrong in themselves, but I was often doing them with only myself in mind.  I now try to do things that help me focus on God on Sundays.  I have noticed that my week goes much better after Iíve honored the Lord on Sundays.   

I encourage you to consider how you might honor the Lord on a special day each week.  In doing so, I believe you will enjoy the fulfillment of Godís promises.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

ďLord God, Thank you for giving us your perfect laws that bring freedom for living.  Thank you for satisfying the requirements of the law by the blood you shed on the cross for my sake.  Lord I commit to setting apart Sundays (or whatever day you choose) as the special days to honor you each week.  Please show me some sensible ways I can maximize my focus on you during those times. Please teach me how to rest in you. Thank you for all the promised blessings that come from honoring the Sabbath.  I praise you and worship you!  In Jesusí name I pray, Amen.Ē