Seek The Lord Sunday: Keep The Sabbath Day Holy

Alright...can someone come over here and just smack me upside the head right now?

Here I thought that talking about keeping the Sabbath holy would be an easy topic for this first Seek The Lord Sunday, but I've really struggled with it! Anyone else struggling?

First I should say that we do not do a very good job of keeping the Sabbath holy around here. We honor God in many ways through prayer, discussion, Bible study, etc. But taking a whole day to just focus on Him? Not really.

So what does keeping it holy even mean? Does it simply mean going to church? I think it's more than that. God has always been more interested in the state of our hearts toward him than he has been in the physical location of our bodies. We all know...ahem...that we can be in church and not really be in church. No, I don't think it's all about going to church.

To try and get to the bottom of why this is a tough topic for me, I had to do a little Bible study. I'll share a bit of what I've learned with you, and you can make of my notes what you will.

I'll just jump right in. So...the Ten Commandments are:
1. No other gods before Him
2. No idols
3. No taking the Lord's name in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath
5. Honor your father and mother
6. Don't murder
7. Don't commit adultery
8. Don't steal
9. Don't lie
10. Don't covet

My very first reaction when I look at this list is how I'm 100% on board with 90% of the Commandments. Of course...blasphemy, idols, stealing, murdering...lots of obvious ones, right?

So why is keeping the Sabbath holy so much less obvious to me? Let's look deeper. So what exactly does the Bible say about Commandment #4? If you'd like the full text, click HERE. This post is already threatening to reach gigantic proportions, so I'll not type the whole thing out.

One word I'd like to look at more closely is: Holy. We are to "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy." Sounds simple enough, but what does it mean??

The notes in my study Bible say "Holiness involves being consecrated to the Lord's service and thus being separated from the commonplace." Separated. From the commonplace. So we are to take a day and separate it from what is commonplace.

According to the full text describing the 4th covenant, the way we are to separate the Sabbath day is to not do any work. It reflects the teaching that God did the work of creation in 6 days and rested on the 7th.

Okay...but does it mean that we are to simply not go to the office? Does it mean that we aren't supposed to do yard work? Does it mean that I'm not supposed to do the dishes (Hey, yeah!!)? Does it mean that I'm not supposed to do the shopping or cooking??? Maybe that's why my house always looks like a tornado tore through it after each weekend...somewhere, deep in my very soul, I know I'm not supposed to work on the weekends! Ha! :)

I thought I was coming to some sort of resolution, but I'm more confused than ever. Are you confused too? Sorry. I wish I could give you some insight. Actually, I'm really hoping that someone will link up and give me some insight!


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Well, I've been studying this for several days now, and what I've found is written above. But this morning I started searching more of the New Testament on the topic of the Sabbath. I found Hebrews, chapter 4 to be really interesting. Click HERE if you'd like to read it. In this chapter, resting on the Sabbath is being used as a picture of how we can rest once we enter God's grace by faith. We no longer have to work to try and follow every minute letter of the law to try and earn our way to salvation. We can rest in God's grace.

Galatians 3:9-11 is also worth reading again and again. And once again. We are not declared righteous by observance of the law. We are only made "right" in the sight of God through our faith in Him and what He's done for us.

So am I saying that we don't have to keep the Sabbath day holy? If that's the case, then let's throw out the rest of the Commandments too, right? And how about everything else that the Bible says regarding what's right and wrong? None of it applies to Christians because all we have to do is have faith?! No. That's not what I'm saying.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't have it all figured out, especially when it comes to this topic of keeping the Sabbath day holy. This is a topic I'm going to have to pray about some more. I'm going to have to talk with my husband about this. Together, we will seek God's will in this area of our lives. I want to honor God in ways that please Him...not just ways that are convenient or easy for me. I'll let you know when we come to some resolution about what this all means for our family.

And in the mean time, I will rest in the fact that I am under God's incredible grace. Even if I've been royally messing up by not observing one of the "Big 10" in a way that God wants...I know that forgiveness is mine. Peace is mine. Joy is mine. Salvation is mine. Not because I've earned it (that's pretty clear by now)...but because God is just that good.


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I want to hear from you. What do you make of all this? Do you do something in particular to keep the Sabbath day holy? Do you have any Sabbath day traditions you'd like to share? If you don't blog, but would like to weigh in on this anyway, please leave a comment.



Seek The Lord Sunday Participants
1. Amanda @ TSC
2. Kimberly
3. Lisa-blessedwithgrace
4. Abrianna

Learn more about Seek The Lord Sunday here.

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Lisa  – (5/18/2008 01:17:00 PM)  

Thanks for starting this discussion. I think we do just get in our routine of going to church and doing our "Sunday stuff" and forget what it is really all about. I hope to continue with your Sunday topics.

Help Meet in the Making  – (5/18/2008 07:27:00 PM)  

I enjoyed this posting, Daiquiri.
I've struggled quite a bit with this because, at my job as a nurse, I am required to work every third weekend. Sometimes I get really down about having to work on Sundays and missing church so much, but I know God has placed me in this position for a reason and I have many opportunities to witness to my patients and their families, not just with words but with actions. A hospital is one place that has to stay open 24/7. Hopefully one day I won't have to work weekends, but for now I feel blessed to have the opportunity to reach out to so many people and show them the love of Christ.

Anonymous –   – (7/29/2008 03:47:00 PM)  

I know the Sabbath day is a day to keep Holy. It's a day we need to rest from our labors. It's not a day to go shopping and out to restaurants. We know we are not resting when we are doing these things. We are usually spending money and making other people work. Those are things we would do on any day of the week. God has given us the opportunity to rest physically, emotionally, and to really feel the Spirit on Sunday. If we prepare ourselves on Saturday by cleaning the house, shopping, taking care of business, doing the laundry and preparing a dinner to set aside for Sunday we have the opportunity to feel the freedom from our daily rituals of "work" one day of the week (on the Sabbath). We need to attend church (this allows for a physical and spiritual worship). We can actually spend time together as a family or by ourselves on Sunday to read , visit together, watch an uplifting DVD, or maybe just take a walk together as a family or by our selves. We could write in our journal about our week we had, listen to some soft music and/or read our Scriptures, write a letter to a friend or family member, play a board game together as a family,go visit family. It is a great time to meditate and really feel rested. It shouldn't be a day to run around and feel exhausted. Keep the day simple it is you day of rest. Don't make it a lazy day but a meditative day centered around things that help you feel connected with the Savior. Do things that truely make you feel lifted and relaxed. Keeping the Sabath day holy will give us peace in our lives and help us feel rested if we do our work on the other 6 days and give ourselves one day to relax and actually feel rested and relieved from our daily burdens as well as helping us feel closer to the Lord. It is a great way to prepare ourselves emotionally, physically and spiritually for the week ahead. I know this to be true because I have felt it in my life.

-Tammy

Anonymous –   – (8/06/2008 08:05:00 PM)  

thanks, this is an interesting topic. some of the things i (mj) do and it depends on your situation, are take one sunday a month and stay home and just sit quietly , no music, tv, phones, do nothing and just be still and know He is God,and allow my mind, my body, and my spirit to just rest in Him. Other things i do is to fast that day from any food, and maybe drink water and/or juice and mediate after reading God's word, write in my journal what i hear the spirit of the lord saying or revelation or reflect on His word or thank Him for the week that just past and seek him for preparation and agenda for the upcoming week.
i can say it makes a difference in my day and week when i do have my sabbath day or period of hours if i am not able to do it all day. it is refreshing and i feel restored and ready for the next week with clarification. sometimes i just concecrate myself which i believe is another word for sabbbath and holy.

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