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How Do I Keep The Sabbath?
The Sabbath is God's gift to us. At the end of creation week God rested from His work. "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:1-3 KJV).

God didn't need to rest. He never gets tired. The Bible says He does not "slumber nor sleep." Psalm 103:4. It was not for Himself that He rested. He gave this day to us so that once a week we might reflect on our Creator, refreshing ourselves physically and spiritually.

In Jesus' day, the religious leaders had surrounded the Sabbath with man made restrictions that made the Sabbath a burden rather than a joy. Jesus walked in the fields on the Sabbath day with His disciples. He rejoiced with them as they stripped the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands and blowing away the chaff as they walked along. The religious leaders sternly criticized them for harvesting, threshing and winnowing on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1,2). The leaders had lost all joy from their Sabbath-keeping, and refused to allow others to rejoice in God's special day.

Jesus healed the sick on the Sabbath day. He said "it is lawful to do well [good] on the Sabbath days" (Matthew 12:12 NIV).

What kind of activities are appropriate for Sabbath keeping? 

The Bible
says, "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" (Isaiah 58:13,14 NIV).

This says the day should be special. It should be a delight and a joy. It says we should not do the things we ordinarily do on other days of the week. Each person must decide for himself or herself what this means. It may mean not doing the ordinary chores like mowing the lawn, or plowing the garden, or vacuuming the house. We can do those things on any of the other six days. In deciding what is appropriate, we need to use common sense mingled with determination to honor God.

What is an appropriate way to keep the Sabbath? 

Ask yourself these questions: (1) Are your Sabbath
activities a blessing to you? (2) Is the Sabbath a delight? Or is it a burden? (3) Does it draw you closer to God or cause you to drift away from Him?

There is something significant about the day God gave us as His special day. The Sabbath is a meaningful sign between me and Jesus. It not only reminds me of His great creative work in the beginning, but of His recreative work in my heart through the new birth. I love His invitation in Matthew 11: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." The Sabbath rest is a loving reminder of the rest Jesus gives my soul.


 Written by Bob Edwards, Malibu, CA. Biblebay Copyright © 2008. Click here for content usage information.