Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Gift of the Sabbath

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Millions this week are studying about the "Lord of the Sabbath," and no matter who you are or where you are, the Sabbath is a blessing that God does not merely offer you, but gives you. You may be sick in the hospital, or a prisoner on Death Row, but no one can deprive you of the holy hours of the true Lord's Day, the Sabbath.

You don't have to be converted, or be a good person, to receive this "gift" of the Sabbath. It's like the "gift" of justification that Romans 5 says five times God has given to the world "in Christ," not just offered us. You may have spent your whole life in disregarding this gift of the Sabbath; if so, you have deprived yourself of blessings you could have enjoyed immensely. The one who disregards the holy Sabbath day is like Esau, the man to whom God gave the inestimable blessing of the birthright but "despised" it and "sold" it for a trifle of worldly pleasure (Gen. 25:34; Heb. 12:16, 17).

When the Sabbath begins at sundown, welcome its holy hours. Kneel and thank its Giver for it. Turn off the voices of the world so you can hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Don't reduplicate Esau in yourself--don't "sell" even a few moments of this holy time for a worldly indulgence of godless amusement, whether TV, CDs, DVDs, novels, newspapers, or what. Demonstrate that you cherish and treasure God's gift of the holy Sabbath--how else can you demonstrate that you cherish and treasure the sacrifice of the Son of God which Sabbath-keeping "signifies"? (That's how the Sabbath is a "sign" of sanctification, Ezek. 20:12.)

Of course, neither you nor I are the least bit worthy of this gift of the Sabbath. Our hearts are by nature carnal; the holy hours of the seventh day find us contaminated with worldly thoughts and desires. Hence, a sincere, honest, thoughtful prayer that the same "Lord of the Sabbath" who created the gift may hallow our soiled hearts, cleanse us, and grant us in these holy hours to be a student in the "school of Christ" for this one day.

You'll be sorry to see the Sabbath "go" when again the sun goes down and you'll immediately look forward to another Sabbath to come. We live the six days for this tête-à-tête with our Savior. Which is what it means to "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy."

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: January 24, 2003.
Copyright © 2012 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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