I hope you have enjoyed the series on Nehemiah as much as I have! I want to leave you with a question today in the last post– restful or restless? Which best describes you?
Nehemiah 13:22 says, “And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day.” Sabbath means rest. Remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy is one of the 10 commandments. It is the longest commandment. It is the only one of the ten not repeated in the New Testament, however, its application is needed more today than ever! We are living in a fast pace, hectic, frantic, confused world. Why did God give man the Sabbath?
The very word Sabbath means rest. Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. He fulfilled the law. It is a spiritual Sabbath. The Bible says there is a rest for the people of God. We worship every day, but a day of worship is special. Every day is holy unto the Lord, but one day is extra special. We are to pray without ceasing, but there are special times of prayer. All of our possessions belong to the Lord, but the tithe, 10% of our income, is special to God. The Bible says forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.
I never had to ask my dad what we were doing on Sunday. Don’t try giving God excuses you would never try on your boss! We had unexpected company. The kids were so tired that we all slept in. We decided to go to the lake. When you set aside a Holy day and day of worship, you are saying Jesus is important to me. Make regular worship a priority in your life.
It is healthy to work six days and take one day to rest. Work is honorable and healthy. We need to teach our children to work! No one owes you a free meal. The Bible says if any will not work, neither should he eat! In Genesis 2, work is good. We need a job. Christians really work for Jesus and work like Jesus. In Genesis 3, work became toil. Sin entered the world. Work is good but if you are burning the candle at both ends you are not very bright! You can do more by working six days and resting one than you can by working seven days with no rest.
Is your work, your job, an idol? Do you have time for Sunday, church, family, children, and God?
Let this be a wake-up call for someone today. If you do not take time to Sabbath, you can lose your health, spouse, children, etc.
When I was a child, I always looked forward to Sunday. We went to Sunday School, preaching, and then to Grandma’s house for fried chicken! The kids played. The adults napped! Every Christian should look forward to Sunday! It ought to be the happiest day of the week! Every Sunday is Easter. Jesus is alive. It is a day of joy, celebration, singing, studying, laughing, and fellowship. It is a day of love, not legalism. If you want to be happy, give Jesus the first part of your income, the first part of your day, the first part of your week.
People ask, “Can I go out to eat on Sunday? Can I watch a ballgame on Sunday? Can we go swimming on Sunday? Can I work in my flower garden on Sunday?” It is the Lord’s day, not a legalistic day. It’s the Lord’s day, ask Him! Do what is worshipful and then what is restful! Take time to be holy, be healthy, and to be happy. Take time to rest! “Sanctify the Sabbath.”