August 13, 2007

Delighting in the Day, Part 8: The Sabbath was Made for Man

The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Mark 2.27

Some Sundays I have this strange desire to watch football all afternoon—which I don’t do because of the Lord’s Day. But Satan sometimes begins to convince me that this whole Sunday thing was just a burden, weighing me down and keeping me from being happy. I’m sure some of you have felt that same way!

How foolish I was to listen to him! Man’s regulations and the devil’s temptations are what weigh us down…but never the Lord’s commands. The commands are not burdensome! They are the delight and the well-being of those who humbly obey.

That’s why Jesus said “the Sabbath was made for man.” He was explaining that the Lord’s Day, though it does come with certain rules and regulations, is not to be viewed as a burden or a weight…but as a gift from God given for our good. So, let me give you four examples of why God gave us the Lord’s Day:

1. A day for physical rest. Our Creator knows exactly what our bodies need. We cannot keep going and going without rest. The body simply must have a day when strenuous labor is ruled out…when the stresses of our daily routines are left behind…and when we even set aside certain leisure activities so we can rest!

2. A day for meditation. If our lives are often too busy for adequate rest, we probably do not have as much time as we’d like for Bible-study and prayer, either. That’s why we need Sunday! If we take one whole day away from work, play, household chores, etc…we will have one whole day for as much reading, studying, and praying as we like!

3. A testimony to the outside world. Did you know that many lost people expect Christians to observe the Lord’s Day? And that they are confused when we do not? But what a witness it might be if our neighbors knew that God was worthy of a whole day’s worth of joyful attention!

4. A glimpse of heaven. One thing Jesus purchased with His blood was rest. One day, every believer in Jesus will rest forever from his labors…and worship God for eternity in heaven! You see, heaven is just one long Sunday! And if we use Sundays as we should now, we will take our minds off temporary things and whet our appetites for eternity!

So, you see, the Sabbath really was made for man. I encourage you now to test it out and experience the benefits yourself!

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