The Christian Sabbath ~ A Sheep’s View

I approach this subject as I do all others concerning the kingdom of God. I am as a sheep led by that great shepherd of the sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ; and also a servant of the one who has saved me from the slaughter. No longer one who leads and teaches, now I see only Him and His teaching; if perhaps documenting for a legacy what I have seen and continue to see of His kingdom here on earth ~ a prelude of that which is promised for eternity.

We refer to the Christian Sabbath as the Lord’s Day since through Christ’s death and His resurrection is the sure hope of a new life and eternity with Him. He established a new day of rest in Himself. He is our Sabbath; He is our eternal rest. He is Lord of the Sabbath; and He established His own day when He rose in victory over sin and death and ascended to the throne with all power in heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18)

The Lord’s Day and Worship
The Christian Sabbath ~ the Lord’s Day ~ was established for a different worship than the seventh day. The seventh was established under the law, for a day of rest (not for public worship) that was limited until the law of grace was brought to us in Christ. We no longer observe the Sabbath in the letter of the law in fear of the Lord’s wrath, bringing sacrifices of dead animals for atonement. We worship with the law written on our hearts and minds.

How we worship on this day depends on how we view the Lord’s Day. As sheep, recipients of the life of Christ and delivered from the former sabbath we bring our praises and thanksgiving to Him. We see worship on this day as an integral part of private and family worship on other days; a bringing together what we have experienced during the week of His presence and His power of salvation.

The Bridge to Eternal Rest
To know Him, His love for me in His suffering and sacrifice is to love Him. To love Him is to love His day. To understand this day and to see it from His perspective we have to know Him personally, as Lord and Savior; to follow Him through the week to what we know as the eighth day and the first day. The end of the week flows into the Lord’s Day, ending in a perpetual praise and worship; beginning a new week in obedience of faith to Him and His word; and preparing for the next Lord’s Day.

It is His day as He has become our bridge to the eternal sabbath.  “The word Sabbath seems to have derived from the verb sabat, meaning to stop, to cease, or to keep. Its theological meaning is rooted in God’s rest following the six days of creation (Genesis 2:2-3).”  (The Bible Dictionary)

The fourth commandment means more to the Christian than it did to the Israelites because we see it as the forerunner of the Christian sabbath. It was observed in remembrance of  God’s work in creation and His salvation for the Israelites.

They were required to offer bloody sacrifices through the priests offerings for atonement for their sins. Those sacrifices were abolished when Jesus, the Lamb of God was sacrificed once and for all time, for all His people in every generation from every nation.

This is the new day, through His sacrifice, that we remember and keep holy unto Him. God, the Father rested from His work of creation. Jesus Christ, the Son has rested from His work of redemption; and now sits in victory as our merciful and faithful High Priest interceding for us at the right hand of the Father until we are there at rest with them.

We rest in Him and His work now, as the Holy Spirit leads us in a continual worship in preparation for that eternal rest and worship.

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn
toward the first day of the week,
came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
 And, behold, there was a great earthquake:
for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said unto the women,
Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Matthew 28:1-6

Dear Father, open our eyes to see the living Christ. Let us by your Spirit know you; in obedience of faith worship you in spirit and truth today, and throughout this week know your presence and power. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

Image: Google

Love the Lord? Love His Day

As simple as it may sound, I love the Lord’s Day because I love the Lord.

It is, and has been for centuries, the day of celebration of the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. As our heavenly Father rested after His work of creation, and set aside the seventh day as the Sabbath, so, we rest in Christ and set aside the new day of worship on the same day of the week that He rose in victory from the grave, creating new life for His people.

This day is the day that I remember His atoning work on the cross for me.  All who are a part of His redeeming work meet together to give unto Him the glory due unto His name. I see this day as a new beginning; starting the new week in Christ and with His people.  Actually, at times it seems that this is the eighth day— ending the previous week with a day of praise for all that He has done —-and the first day, both rolled into one.

Years ago, when I realized that this day is a gift to His people, it became a goal every week for me, a projection from one Lord’s Day to the next, with every day between as a day of preparation for the next Lord’s Day.  As mentioned in another post, each Lord’s Day is a taste of heaven, a prelude to that day when we will be worshipping our Lord eternally.  Then everyday will be a day of rest and worship.

“And upon the first day of the week,
when the disciples came together to break bread,
Paul preached unto them.”
Acts. 20:7

Today is the day that I will celebrate my Lord Jesus Christ, His person, His work; the day that I will praise Him, serve Him, love Him and His people as we meet together; the day that I will “hunger and thirst” for Him and His righteousness, be filled more and more with His Spirit; and be in awe as I hear His Word proclaimed in power.

This day I will, together with God’s people, participate in the Lord’s Supper, “remembering His death until He comes.” Besides all this, He amazes me with great and mighty things I have not yet known, asked, or imagined (Jeremiah 33:3).

Again, I ask that you share your comments about how the Lord leads you on this day.  What difference does the Lord’s Day make in your life, now?  What impression does the Lord’s Day make in your life for eternity?

May you be blessed today as you “delight yourself in the Lord and His Day.”  Isaiah 58:13-14

Dear Lord, fill us with your Spirit today and every day in preparation for each Lord’s Day ~ in preparation for that eternal Lord’s Day. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

The Life and Power of Humility (pg. 7)

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”
1 Corinthians 4:20

Jesus, on this day of the week, was raised in the power of the life He would give to those who follow Him. The Holy Spirit is still able to work the life of humility in us,

God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this;
that power belongs to God.”
Psalm 62:11

Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Jeremiah 32:17

“The life of God, which in the incarnation entered human nature, is the root in which we are to stand and grow.  It is the same almighty power that worked there, and from then on to the resurrection, which works daily in us.  Our one need (now) is to study and know and trust the life that has been revealed in Christ as the life that is now ours.”

“According as his divine power hath given unto us
all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him
that hath called us to glory and virtue:”
2 Peter 1:3

But as many as received him, to them gave he power
to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name:”
John 1:12

The power needed to become the sons of God is the same power needed for humility.

The life God bestows is imparted not once and for all, but each moment continuously, by the unceasing operation of His mighty power.” Humility Andrew Murray

“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power
to us who believe,
according to the working of his mighty power,”
Ephesians 1:19

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,”
Ephesians 3:20

Gracious Father in heaven, let this be our praise to you for the life of Christ that you promise your children. What you require of us, you have the power to do in us. Pour out your Spirit of humility upon us and make us to know your continual presence with us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

free ebook Humility~the Beauty of Holiness Andrew Murray (free audio)
A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility (free copy upon request)

Image: Google

 

The Starting Point for Happiness

A sermon may put you to sleep. It may pass over you without leaving its mark — or it may very well pierce your heart, lodge within your soul, humble you and change your life. Such was last week’s message from our pastor as he began Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount.

If you have studied Jesus’ Sermon recorded in Luke’s and Matthew’s Gospels, you may know that the word Blessed is a description of a true follower of Christ.

In the Christian language Blessed translates Happy. Jesus’ teachings were radical in His day and in ours to show by His own life and His Words that the kingdom of God begins in the hearts of those who are humbled before Him.

This sermon serves to awaken again the desire to share what I have studied and written about the subject of Humility. It has been a constant study since 2014 through Andrew Murray’s Humility ~ the Beauty of Holiness; when I posted A Broad Review of his book — a chapter every month that year.

Since then, I have been using that Broad Review, (published in 2017), with its main points, to saturate my mind, to meditate, ruminate and perpetuate the truths of God’s Word concerning the character of humility that is desperately needed in our hearts and lives. The humility of Christ within us is our blessedness and happiness.

Please watch ~ more importantly ~ listen to this sermon and visit with us this week for snippets of the reality of Humility that you may have never known or heard.  May the Lord bless your week. Fran

The Glory of the Lord’s Day

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For many years I have been convicted of what God not only says but what He implies in His own Word, about this day. With the conviction, has come more revelation, more understanding, more commitment, more discipline, and more joy.

In His Word, I see a continual pattern of God’s will, His working, and His way established for His kingdom here on earth. As His children and joint-heirs of His kingdom with Christ, His Son, we not only have the privilege of the written law, but we have the law by His Spirit written on our hearts and in our minds.

He not only reveals through His written Word what He wants us to know about Him and His kingdom but also by His Spirit works it in our hearts and lives.

The Pattern of Rest
The pattern from the beginning of time with His creation is continued through the work of redemption until we are brought to our final destination on what will be an eternal Lord’s Day.

The first was a resting from the Father’s labor; the second, the Son resting from His labor; and the third, a resting for His entire kingdom, as the Holy Spirit works in us, preparing us for that eternal rest in glory.

There is much that I could include in this document, but a lot of it would be what Jesus’ apostles, the early church fathers, the Puritans, the Reformers, and theologians have said. Documented in different Confessions, are the statements of faith concerning the Sabbath. Remember that what I write is all from “a sheep’s view.”

It is part of studying these, especially in the memorization of the Shorter Catechism with Scriptural proofs, that my convictions have been confirmed. Continuing to review these in prayer I seek to know and obey God’s word and glorify Him in this present day.

I share today a scheduled Bible reading from Luke 23:52-56.

“This man (Joseph of Arimathaea) went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.”

Jesus had finished His work of redemption and His body was laid to rest until the day of His resurrection. It was the day of preparation for the Sabbath. Why was Jesus’ death scheduled for this day?

I have not searched this question, nor do I write here of its significance, except that it was God, the Father’s plan and He established the Lord’s Day in covenant with His Son as the Christian Sabbath, the day in which we would weekly celebrate the risen Lord and Savior.

Those who stayed around after Jesus’ crucifixion was Joseph, one of the counselors, who had not consented to Jesus’ death, and the women who had followed Him from Galilee. The apostles, in fear, had scattered. Joseph asked to take care of Jesus’ body, and the women returned home, and prepared spices and ointments for His burial.

But these would never be used because when they returned after the Sabbath, the law of a seventh-day had been displaced by a new law of life in Christ’s resurrection.

They rested the sabbath day according to the commandment, while Christ was establishing a new covenant for God’s people. He was resting while they were resting, but in a different rest for a different purpose.

Living in Projection of the Eternal Sabbath
Preparation for the Lord’s Day and the practice of it today is in the fulfillment of God’s promises for an eternal sabbath. When we live, projecting from one Lord’s Day to another, we are practicing and preparing for Christ’s glorious return and eternity with Him.

We go through each day of the week, in private worship, and making preparation under this projection, look forward to spending the day in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, as He has appointed in His word.

God had appointed Joseph to ask for and prepare Jesus’ body for burial. We are commanded by Him to observe the day in His honor and in celebration of our new life in Him. We are to worship God through Him and the Holy Spirit in spirit and truth each Lord’s Day.

We take part in the body of Christ, the church, in communion with His risen body, through the Lord’s Supper each Lord’s Day, remembering His death until He comes again.

Would I have waited to see what or who would have been there for Jesus after His death? How do we now remember His death and resurrection? This is no longer a question for me  but in response to His sacrifice for me, mine is a sincere desire and commitment to spend the Lord’s Day with Him, without any division of time for other things.

How do you prepare for the Lord’s Day?

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Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath

The following sermon, based on Luke 6:1-11, helps to explain why the Christian Sabbath was changed to the first day of the week. It all relates to the authority of Jesus Christ as Lord of the Sabbath;

And He said to them, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Luke 6:5

In Christ Alone

What Matters, Today?

This question should be asked every day. If we have trouble understanding what matters every day, we may want to start with what matters on the first day of the week. What matters to Jesus, the Lord that we follow? What mattered to His first disciples?

“Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.” Matthew 28:1

“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.” Mark 16:1-2

“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.” Luke 24:1

“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.” John 20:1

“[Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.” Mark 16:9

Thinking Jesus was still dead, Mary Magdalene and others came to the tomb on the first Lord’s Day to anoint Him with the spices they had prepared.
Now that He is risen and sits as our High Priest at the Father’s right hand ~ our Prophet, Priest, and King ~ it matters what we bring Him on this day.

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“So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”John 20:9

It matters to Jesus that we plan the Lord’s Day with Him.

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“On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.” Acts 20:7

It matters that we gather with other believers to receive His Word and the Lord’s Supper ~ the meal He planned for us before His crucifixion. (Hebrews 10:25)

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“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.” 1 Corinthians 16:1-2

It matters that we bring our tithes and offerings into the storehouse for the ministry of His kingdom here on earth. (Malachi 3:10)

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 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,
and I heard behind me a loud voice
like the sound of a trumpet,”  
Revelation 1:10

Though John was exiled to the isle of Patmos because of his testimony of Jesus, he was with the Lord.
It matters that we are in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day to hear His voice and experience personal fellowship with Him.

Our Lord Jesus Christ desires fellowship with us every day, but especially today. He came to us, died to take upon Himself our sin, to reconcile us and open the doors of heaven for us to be with Him and the Father.

Can we see Him waiting on this appointed day for us? Does it matter that we must be about the Father’s business on the Lord’s Day? Do we long for this day every week? Do we enjoy fellowship with HIm above everything else?

When we know what matters to the Lord on His Day, we will understand what matters every day of the week. Continual communion with our Lord is the means of Life to those who love, obey, and follow Him.

Dear Father, it is by your grace that you have sent your Holy Spirit to us for new life in Christ. For your glory and His, work in us daily in preparation for each Lord’s Day. Separate us to yourself in Him and enable us to hear His voice and live in worship and praise every day. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

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