Sunday Morning
Friday, January 15, 2010

 

Exodus 20:8-11    "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 

         The fourth commandment is the final command in the first series of commandments which is all about honoring God.  As previously stated, no other laws have validity if God is not honored, holy in our hearts, or exalted by our lives.  Law is merely a set of constraints which make life rigid when God is not hallowed, and thus, the law becomes nothing more than that which produces guilt, because without God we are powerless to keep the law.  And the crowning law by which we are to honor God is to remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.  It is a day set aside for Him and a day established for restoring the soul.  

        Many will note that the law in no way says attend church on Sunday – and they are correct.  However, there is a lot the law does not say.  It doesn’t prohibit us from anger, bitterness, resentment, greed, lust, unforgiveness and the like.  But Jesus made it clear that if we allow ourselves to indulge in those things, then murder, adultery, stealing, lying, and coveting will happen.  For the keeping of the law begins in the heart.  And when the heart is set against the things of God, the law will be broken.  The same thing is true about the relationship between attending worship and honoring the Sabbath.  For when we ignore the Lord’s Day by not fellowshipping and worshiping together, then violation of the first four commands is inevitable.  

        A classic illustration of how this works is the Hebrew slaves freed from Egypt.  No people on earth had ever seen, nor have ever seen since, the mighty working of the hand of God more clearly than these people.  They saw God’s care and provision through the plagues which brought about their freedom.  They saw the Red Sea part and they journeyed on an ocean floor on dry ground.  They saw ample manna in the morning to feed a city the size of Denver and enough quail in the evening to do the same thing.  They saw water gush from a rock which would provide water to 2 million people and their livestock as well.  Who could have ever doubted God after seeing all that?  And to top it off, they heard the voice of God from the mountain before Moses ascended to the top.  In short, here was a group of people who saw the hand of God lovingly set them free from bondage, they saw miracles on their behalf, they saw His daily provision for their hunger and thirst, and they heard His clear and audible voice.  But in less than 40 days they were melting down their jewelry and constructing an idol to replace their God.  Now the question arises, “If a people who saw God so personally and intimatelycould begin idol worship in only 40 days, what makes us think we can go seven days without renewing and restoring our relationship with Him?”  The answer is obvious, we cannot.  That is why the New Testament admonishes us not to forsake assembling together.  

        No law is without purpose and this one is no different.  We are made both body and spirit.  And when we place our faith in Christ, our spirits are born again.  But we must live in these bodies until such time as the Lord separates the two.  And as such, these bodies are still in rebellion against God.  Therefore, we must work to subject the body which is rebellious to the spirit which has been made righteous by faith.  This process is called spiritual disciplines.  And foremost among those disciplines is worship.  For if we do not subject our bodies to worshiping God on a regular and sustained basis, then our spirits begin to be control by our bodies.  And when that happens, sin is quick to follow.

          I have missed church 2 times in the last 15 years.  Both came during my last vacation.  Oh I justified and rationalized like all Christians do when I missed, but the reality was, I put my agenda above God.  Even though I turned my pick-up into a house of worship with sermons and music tapes, those were merely little legalisms to cover up my sin.  On the first of those two days, after dark had set in and the snow was flying, I totaled my pick-up into the side of a moose.  The results will be about a $7000 loss on my part.  The second time, same thing.  I rationalized getting home was important and I had to drive straight through Sunday to make that happen.   Again, we filled the inside with sermons and worship music.  And when we arrived home, we learned our home had been broken into and many precious heirlooms were lost.  Now hear me.  I am not saying that God did those things to me because I missed going to church on Sunday.  But there is one thing that I know for sure.  How I reacted to those events were reactions of a person who had turned his back on his God for a couple of days.  Honor the Sabbath and keep it holy, so that your spirit will stay in control of your wayward body.


Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455
903-262-5088
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