Does Your Schedule Honor God?
May 26, 2016
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Three words summarize the lives of Americans: overwhelmed, overscheduled, and exhausted. Many people have a passion to work and be productive. In fact, God instilled that desire in us. There are many Bible verses, especially in the book of Proverbs, that talk about how hard work—as opposed to laziness—is beneficial to us and pleases the Lord. Work enables you to achieve, provide for your family, and support your church and charities through financial giving.
Work in and of itself is not bad. The problem lies in our tendency as human beings to mistake busyness for work—and to so overfill every moment of every day that we ultimately squeeze God out of our lives. In doing so, we neglect the fourth command in the Ten Commandments that the Lord gave to Moses. God must have known our propensity to put work in front of Him when He said in 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 male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 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 word “Sabbath” is rooted in the Hebrew language and literally means “rest.” As much as we try to fight it, like a two-year-old fighting a nap, we need to rest. It’s the way God designed us. So He blessed the seventh day of the week and made it holy—set apart—for Himself. God generously gave us six days, and the seventh day is His.
Our great-grandfathers called this day “the Holy Sabbath.” Our grandfathers called it “the Sabbath.” Our fathers called it “Sunday.” And we call it “the weekend.” But the Sabbath does not mean it’s a day for us to sit on the couch, watch sporting events, and eat takeout food. It’s not a day to go shopping or to the beach because that’s what we may find restful. It’s a holy day, and it’s a continual call to worship.
Leviticus 23:3 shows us that the Sabbath is a day of sacred assembly: “‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.’ It’s a covenant of rest to commemorate the finished work of creation.”
Equally important, the Sabbath is a day to commemorate the fished work of redemption. Just as God rested from His work at the beginning of the Old Testament, His Son Jesus rested from His work at the beginning of the New Testament. Jesus’ work was bringing the message of salvation—by preaching the truth and healing the sick—and ultimately offering His life on the cross for the sins of the world. Hebrews 10:11-14 explains:
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest [Jesus Christ] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
By honoring the Sabbath Day and keeping it holy, we honor not only God’s command, but also His rest from His magnificent work in creation and Jesus’ rest from His redemptive work on the cross. If you would like to worship with us at Shepherd Church, our service times are Saturdays at 5:00 and 6:30 pm and Sundays at 8:30, 10:00, and 11:30 am at our Porter Ranch campus. We also have campuses in Agua Dulce, West L.A., and Woodland Hills.