“A Day of Rest”
By Pastor Donald Parker
You may not realize it, but God cares about every aspect of your life, that includes you taking time to rest. In fact, it’s so important to Him that he included it in His “Ten Commandments.”
In Exodus chapter 20 beginning with verse 8 we find the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. (9) Six days you shall labor and do all you work, (10) but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work…(11) Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
This word “Sabbath” means to cease or to rest. So what God is saying is, every seventh day you stop and take a day off to rest, but why? Jesus said in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
You see, God created the Sabbath for our benefit. So, when we observe a Sabbath, our lives are restored both physically and spiritually. God knew that we humans would need to take time away from the busyness of life for rest and focus on Him. Every seven days you need to get physically, emotionally, and spiritually recharged.
Now in the New Testament, we find that the first Christians began to celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday in honor of the resurrection of Jesus, and then it just became customary. But we all know that in today’s society, many people have to work on Sunday. God says to us; just pick a day in the week, once every seven days for rest, recreation and worship to recharge yourself.
It also says, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” The word “holy” means to be set apart. You keep your Sabbath day, your day of rest holy, by using it the way God intended. So, what does that look like?
There are several ways, but let me give you a couple. First, God wants you to use your Sabbath day to rest your body. Psalm 127:2 says, “It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”
God wants us to get our rest. In fact, it’s so important to Him that he used himself as an example. In Genesis chapter 2 it says that God had created the world and everything in it in six days and then on the seventh day He rested. Now, God Almighty didn’t rest because he was tired, because God doesn’t get tired. He rested so that he could enjoy all that he had created. He was modeling for us a very important principle that we are to apply to our lives. After six days of work, we’re to rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Another way God wants us to use our Sabbath; our day of rest is to refocus our spirit; to be in tune with God. Psalm 95:6-7 says, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.”
David said in Psalm 122:1, “I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” David said, “I look forward to going to church.” You know why? Because it kick starts our life. It rejuvenates our lives when we come together as believers and worship our Lord. Worship, time spent tuned into God, helps us focus on what’s really important.
Dads, single parents, the most practical way you can be the spiritual leader you should be in your home, is to take your family, your children to church. Your faithfulness to worship, to attending church regularly, is the best example you can model for your children. As parents, we don’t teach our children values, we model them. As parents, our children need to hear us say, “I look forward to going to church” and then take them with us.
When you buy a new vehicle, it comes with an owner’s manual that includes a maintenance schedule. That maintenance schedule says if you do these certain things at these certain times, then this vehicle is going to last you a long time. Guess what? We have an owner’s manual for life, it’s called the Bible; and in it God says the maintenance schedule for living, is every seventh day you stop to rest and refocus.
To hear more about how much God loves you and cares about every detail of your life, come join us Sunday mornings @ 11am at First Baptist Church of Van Horn – A Place to Belong.