Going to church and reading God’s Word is always important, but especially on the Sabbath!
Exodus 20:8-11 (KJV)
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
If I am healthy enough, I attend church 3 times a week. Why shouldn’t I? We go to work at least 5 times a week. We do other things, more than once a week, so why do some find it difficult to go to church once a week? God doesn’t ask much of you.
How would you feel if your spouse only came home once a week, from work? What if your children only visited you once a week, when they live around the corner? In fact, some only go to church on holidays. If we are to call ourselves Christians, shouldn’t we obey His commandment and not make excuses about why it is difficult to attend church once a week? Whatever you decide to do on the Sabbath, will be what you treasure more than God. If you would want your loved ones to express their love for you, by spending time in your home, shouldn’t you too, spend time in God’s?
Give It a Rest
What it means to “keep the Sabbath holy.”
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.”
—Exodus 2:8, NIV
An average day during my junior year in high school went something like this: Wake up, eight hours of school, four hours of practice, quick dinner, four hours of homework, hang out with friends (if I’m lucky), sleep, repeat.
Sound like your life? To keep from freaking out or getting sick, we gotta find time to rest. God thinks rest is so important he wrote it into the fourth commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8, NIV).
A “Sabbath” is a time of rest. The words, “Remember the Sabbath day,” point us back to the first Sabbath in history when, after he created everything in six days, God rested on the seventh day (see Genesis 1-2).
Now, let’s be realistic: God’s strength is unlimited. He created everything just by speaking. He’s present everywhere. He’s always available to talk to, and he doesn’t get tired or worn out. So, why did God rest?
The Bible says that God “blessed the seventh day and made it holy because he rested from all the work of creating he had done” (Genesis 2:3, NIV). I think God set an example for us when he rested, and we can see that example in a very important word: holy. This verse says that God made his day of rest holy. In the fourth commandment, we are told to keep the Sabbath holy. God wants us to follow his example. He wants us to take the time to rest, and he wants that rest time to be holy.
Whenever the word holy appears in the Bible, it means to be set apart just for God. In other words, totally devoted to God. A holy Sabbath, then, isn’t just any old time of rest, and it’s not just about rest for our physical bodies. God didn’t give us the fourth commandment as encouragement to zone out while watching TV or spend an entire weekend playing Rock Band. Doing those things might help us recharge our batteries physically, but a Sabbath is more than a time of physical rest. It’s also a time of spiritual rest—rest devoted totally to God.
Most of us know that nonstop busyness can wear us down and cause major physical problems or illnesses. What we so easily forget is that our spiritual lives work that way, too. As Christians, we’re called to represent Christ wherever we go and to share his good news through our words and actions. That’s not an easy thing to do, and if we’re trying to live up to that calling every single day, it can get really tiring! If we are pouring out of our faith all the time, we need to eventually get filled back up. Taking a Sabbath and resting with God can revive us spiritually with the energy and encouragement we need to live each day as messengers of the good news. Even Jesus, our Savior, repeatedly devoted time to rest with God, far away from the busyness of his life. (See Matthew 14:22-24; Mark 1:35.)
As we try to keep a Sabbath, however, we need to remember something: It’s not about just keeping another rule. When the Pharisees confronted Jesus about breaking the Sabbath, he made one thing clear: “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27, NLT).
So how can the Sabbath best meet our needs? A great starting point is going to church and youth group. Worshiping God with other believers and sharing our lives with them is an excellent way to find rest for our spiritual lives. The key to taking a Sabbath is finding a way to be with God that doesn’t include or feel like work. Along with participating in a church worship service, keeping the Sabbath could mean taking more time than usual to read your Bible, journaling your prayers to God, listening to Christian music, or enjoying God’s creation on a walk outdoors. Find your own unique way to be with him. Set aside time every week for it. Now you’ve started keeping the Sabbath holy.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV). By obeying the fourth commandment, we can take Jesus up on his offer and find rest for our bodies and our souls. Then, when we reenter our crazy world, we’ll have the strength to share the Gospel with others who also need the rest Jesus offers.
Article: Christianity Today