The observation of a Sabbath is one key to healthy living in Jesus, and not just in the Arab world but wherever you live.
Our member care team shared a series on Sabbath with team members and we wanted to share it with you. Here’s the first installment drawn from an article entitled “Four Reasons to Remember the Sabbath” by Mark Dance:
1. The Sabbath is a gift.
Originally the Sabbath was a gift to freshly emancipated slaves. Slaves don’t usually get gifts, much less days off. Yahweh wanted them to know they were no longer slaves, but His sons and daughters.
He not only provided deliverance, but rest and food as well. He provided twice the daily manna they needed on the day before Sabbath, so they did not have to collect it on their day of rest. What a generous God! He enjoys blessing us, if only we will let Him.
2. The Sabbath is a command to obey.
Rejecting or neglecting this gift is open rebellion. It wasn’t optional and initially; it was enforced with a death penalty. While those desert rules were intense (and fortunately temporary), they do give us a glimpse into how serious God takes the Sabbath. No. 4 on God’s Top 10 list is a 24-hour cease and desist order!
Sabbath rest is not a punishment, just a reminder that He created us to work hard and then rest easy. We do not need to choose between the two.
3. The Sabbath is an example to follow.
Balance is an illusion for driven people. Life is too unpredictable to balance. A better biblical goal is to live a life in rhythm. Athletes understand the need for a pre-season, season and off-season. So do accountants and politicians. Even nature’s seasons and cycles remind us of God’s rhythm.
Jesus demonstrated how our lives can have a healthy rhythm between life and vocation. We see Him oscillating between work and rest. Sometimes He would encourage the crowds to stay and eat, heal one more person or pray all night. Other times He would retreat to the lakes, mountains or wilderness for rest and renewal. One time Jesus even slept through a life-threatening storm. Why? Because He was tired!
4. The Sabbath is a person to love.
The ultimate purpose of the Sabbath is the glory of God. As we spend extravagant time with Jesus, He will enable us to accomplish His will; His name will be honored; and His Church will be built.
We must conduct God’s ministry God’s way. I’ve heard it said that we will find a few hours of rest here and there. That is not a Sabbath. The application is flexible, but the command is not. One day a week, disconnect from work and connect through worship and rest.
*Thoughts in this article come from “Four Reasons to Remember the Sabbath” by Mark Dance. Check out his full article here.