|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “How to inhabit time”
Our Bible verse for today: “The Lord spoke to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: These are my appointed times, the times of the Lord that you will proclaim as sacred assemblies.” Leviticus 23:1-2 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You need your Sabbath day”
Not long ago I was reading through the Old Testament book of Leviticus in the Experiencing God Study Bible, and I came to chapter twenty-three, where God established the annual liturgical calendar for His people. In that chapter He gave the people a long list of holy days, or sacred assemblies that they would be required to observe. But interestingly, God started that list of annual events with a weekly sacred assembly that He wants His people to observe – the Sabbath day.
In the “Did you notice?” sidebar feature that is included with each chapter in the Experiencing God Study Bible, Henry Blackaby made the observation and asked the question, “The Sabbath is God’s weekly festival. How is this a special day for you?” Now that’s a good question for us to consider, “How is the Sabbath a special day for you?” Do you treat it as special and do you observe it on a weekly basis, as the fourth of the Ten Commandments instructs us to do?
By the way, the Ten Commandments are still in effect. All of them. Including the fourth. Observing the Sabbath isn’t an optional event, not even for us New Testament people. That’s why the writer of the letter to the Hebrews told us in Hebrews 10:24-25 that we are not to skip the regular assemblies of the family of believers. And yet, as we learned in a previous devotional in this series, regular and consistent church attendance by professing believers is at an all-time low in the USA today. We’re talking about professing Christians who are in the habit of skipping church. However, doing so is unbiblical. It’s a violation of the fourth of the Ten Commandments and it’s diametrically opposite of what Hebrews 10:24-25 teaches us.
In yesterday’s devotional message we thought about slowing down so our souls can catch up with our bodies. That’s precisely why God gave us a Sabbath day once a week, and it’s why He made it “not optional” for His people (both Old and New Testament people). The dual purpose of the Sabbath day is to slow us down and make us rest, but also to draw us together into those sacred assemblies for a weekly time of worship, learning, spiritual nurture, and the encouraging of one another.
My friends, you need your Sabbath day. It is both a gift from God and a commandment. I urge you to stop making excuses, stop putting other events and activities up higher on your priority list, and instead, be where you’re supposed to be on Sunday morning (in church). The old saying is very true, “Other things should not be the reason we miss church. Church should be the reason we miss other things.”
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