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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What a Difference a Day Makes

What a difference a different day makes!

 

Six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest. Leviticus 23:3

Can you imagine a week with only six days?

Without the extra day, creation would have already been exhausted.  Without the Sabbath, we would never have the rest that our Father knew we needed.

From the beginning, by His own example, He established the pattern for His creation, specifically for His people.

It is a sign between me and
the children of Israel for ever;
for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth,
and on the seventh day he rested,
and was refreshed.
Exodus 31:17

On the seventh day, Jesus rested after He accomplished His work for our salvation. Our Lord’s Day of Resurrection established Jesus as the Lord of the Sabbath for a new creation for Himself.

Our Refreshment
From my own experience, especially as I have gotten older, this day of rest is necessary, otherwise I would have to stop sometime during the week from exhaustion.  Beginning the day in worship with God’s people, and the afternoon resting, reading, and praying, gives me the refreshment I need for the week ahead.  Monday begins with a greater anticipation, assurance, and wisdom for the work that the Father has planned for me to do. I have heard of  many others who share the same experience, even those who are younger.

There are times when “the works of necessity and mercy” (Shorter Catechism Q 60) require an exception. In these times the Lord provides the strength that is needed for the week ahead, or the needed rest during the week.

Dear Father, we thank you for this Lord’s Day, for the glory of your presence in our worship, for the preaching of your word, prayers, the Lord’s Supper, the fellowship of your people; for families that rest together, and regroup for the week ahead.  Let us not miss what you have planned for us in your kingdom work this next week.  Let every day this week be a progression toward the next Lord’s Day, and each Lord’s Day a projection toward that glorious gathering with you in eternity.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Signs of Love

(August, 2010, six months before starting this WordPress blog)

Sitting in front of this new computer that bears no name—only a logo—I have determined that I will not fall in love with this thing. Thankfully, this is not the same temptation I had several years ago when we purchased a used Lexus.  It was a simple, clean-lined automobile but beautiful in my eyes from the moment I saw it, sat in it, and drove it.  Its satin ivory color was similar to this machine.  We purchased it at the Toyota dealership near us. Jerry and his brother returned it when it continued leaking oil and could not be repaired. I so wanted to keep that car because of its design and its special interior features.  Although I was not the least interested in the used gray Infiniti they brought home in its place, it has been a comfortable, dependable vehicle I have been blessed to drive for many years . The infatuation with the other car is revealed whenever I see others of that same model.  I can spot it anywhere. The Lord must have given me the experience so that I would know my proneness to such temptation.

Love at First Byte
Since we bought this no-name computer I have yet to speak to anyone who has not said that they “love” theirs.  Those who have family members with these machines also say that their brother and daughter “love” theirs.  For some it may have been love at first byte.  Understanding that when a person speaks of a thing that they “love,” it is much the same way in which the word “luck” is used; words that we hear often we seem to make part of our vocabulary.   We hear Christians speak of their being “lucky” instead of thinking or speaking of God’s sovereign goodness and blessing.

It used to be that the signs of love were seen on a person’s finger.  Former infatuations may have preceded and fallen by the wayside before that special person came into our lives with whom we covenanted to love “until death do us part.” Temporary signs are seen in a bouquet of flowers or other special gifts; and in faces that light up when we see or speak of the person we love; and in the wedding invitations and the ceremony.  But years of commitment through the hard times are the true signs of love in a marriage.

As I continue through this wilderness  into which our first parents brought us, I see many signs of love for the things of this world but not many signs of love for the things of God.  I hear much spoken of things that we love here on this earth, but not many things spoken about the things of God and heaven.  The signs of love for these things among the brethren of Christ are evident to unbelievers who love the same things.  A scripture reference in Revelation speaks of “the mark of the beast on the forehead or the hand,” and the “merchants that buy and sell,” even “the souls of men.”

Our heavenly Father has never said that we cannot have, or enjoy the earthly things, but to recognize that they are blessings from Him.  Knowing what our temptations would be, He has not only instructed us in how we are to look at these things, but He has given us a Savior and His Holy Spirit to work in us the deliverance from loving what is temporal, perishable, and corruptible. Neither of us is exempt from the temptations, and few are able to resist the things that we face everyday, whether they come by name or logo.  If we can’t afford to buy them, we are tempted to covet them.

When our last computer died, I had hoped for this special computer which our pastor used and spoke of, (although I never heard him say that he loved his); but because Jerry was leaning toward a PC to replace the other one, the Lord enabled me to accept his leading.  It did not matter what kind we bought, except that it be of equal quality as our last one.  As the Lord worked through our pastor and Jerry to give us this one, I am committed to pray that it will not become a love object but the blessing that He has given for me to use for His glory.

I pray that as I become familiar with this machine that I can use it for the hallowing of His name, to speak of His kingdom, His grace, His love, and His glory, according to His will. I pray that it will be used to bring others to know and love the one who knows and loves us with an unfathomable love, our Father who has our “names written in the palm of His hand,” and in “the Lamb’s book of life;” and to know the Son, Jesus Christ, who, through His sacrifice, has given us the signs of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper to remember His love, forgiveness of sin, and the eternal inheritance that He has promised us in His Word.

I pray that we, together, will continue to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”—that knowledge through which we are given “all things that pertain to life and godliness”—for His glory and our joy.

Fran 8/31/10   (Unedited excerpt from Growing Up and Growing Old, Gracefully)

Going Up To The Feast

(Our daughter and her family will be coming for our Thanksgiving meal today, so there is not much time for writing, but I wanted to share these thoughts.)

When we think of our family feasts, are they just traditional ~ spending time with our family, eating and drinking to satisfy our human desires ~ or do we gather for a purpose beyond the physical?  Do we, as God’s people, understand the meaning of thanksgiving and feasting from a spiritual and eternal viewpoint?

During Jesus’ time, one of the feasts of the Jewish people was set for families to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem. They gathered as God’s people to remember the end of their bondage in Egypt. The Passover lamb was sacrificed and offered as atonement for their sins. Even as a lamb’s blood was slain in Egypt and painted on the doorpost of the houses of those who belonged to Him, the same sacrifice was being performed in Jerusalem year after year.

Going Up To Jerusalem

As Jesus spent three years with His disciples, He continually spoke of their “going up to Jerusalem.” He also said on different occasions that His “hour had not yet come.”

The last Passover celebration for Jesus, when His hour had come, He went up to Jerusalem. He instructed His disciples to prepare the evening meal, and then during their meal together He established the Lord’s Supper, a meal that would be for us a means to celebrate with Him as our once, and for all time atonement and the end of our bondage to sin.

From this dinner, He went to the Garden of Gethsemane where He prepared Himself to become the sacrificial Lamb. While the world was sleeping He was basting in prayer and tears. Then in the secret chambers of the enemy, He met “the power of darkness” and willingly submitted to be offered up as our sacrifice.

Jesus was crucified, and on the post of the cross the Father saw the blood of the Lamb. We look, in faith, to the blood of the Lamb of God, sacrificed for our sins, high and lifted up. We look to Him, partake of His sacrifice, and live, free from the power of the enemy and sin, now and for eternity.

42df8f2cf4c69a547c8b0b47f2a896caIs there anything for which we should be thankful, anything that would supersede our feasting on the Lamb that was offered for us.

Dear Father, such gratitude is beyond our offering, for such a sacrifice that is beyond our understanding. Work in the hearts of your people that we may taste, see, and experience the life of freedom and joy that is ours in Christ, your Son. Work your Spirit in our spirits to set forth praise and thanksgiving to you, to our Lord Jesus Christ and to your Holy Spirit for the work of our salvation. Keep us always rejoicing in you, with a daily celebration of praise and living to your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Related Article:  The Feast

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