Jul. 26, 2016

Remembing the Sabbath

I am sure most of you have taken part in many Facebook challenges. I recently completed my 8-day Scripture challenge assigned to me by a very close friend. Our theory was that by posting God’s word daily, we could shoot down all the negativity circulating on social media. We didn’t have enough darts to come close to accomplishing that mission <shrug>.

One Sunday morning, I posted the verse, “Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.” I knew it was the verse God laid on my heart that morning but I felt a twinge of guilt since I slept in that day. I was out of town with my husband. He was on business; I was on a break.

I enjoy times that allow me to take a break and step out into God’s “wilderness” of mind. These times of wilderness thinking teaches me to follow Jesus’ example. If He needed to take a break every now and then, so should I. All of us need times that we find revival and refreshment for our souls. So, there I was waking up late in a motel room posting a verse (THE verse) about the Holy Sabbath with no intentions of visiting a local church. Hyprocrisy? I don’t think so, my friends. Jesus showed up in the motel room.

I made the decision to turn off the TV. I found a quiet, comfortable spot and grabbed my bible. I prayed a short prayer offering my mind, my heart, and my spirit for anything God wanted to teach me. I opened my bible in the exact spot where I had finished reading the day before, and here is where it took me: Luke 6:1-11.

Isn’t it interesting that on that day, immediately after God asking me to post Exodus 20:8 as part of a silly Facebook challenge, my bible reading just happened to be a teaching on the Sabbath? And people doubt there is a God of intimacy who individualizes His relationship with each and every child in His kingdom! God had something to say to me. My spiritual ears were listening; ready to learn.

The verses can be broken down into four trains of thought. Since I am Baptist, all sections will start with the same letter – Homiletics 101. Legalism, Logic, Lordship and Love.

Legalism: The Pharisees, the religious leaders who upheld traditional beliefs binding them to focus on the letter of the law as opposed to its intent, wanted to criticize Jesus for not following Scripture in regards to the Sabbath.

Logic: Jesus did a very interesting thing when responding to the Pharisees’ criticism. Jesus referred back to a strong leader in Hebrew history, David. Jesus simply pointed out that even David, a great Israelite leader, understood that logic surrounds Scripture. When we use God’s word to condemn, we do not understand God’s grace at all.

Lordship: Jesus declared His entire existence and purpose in these passages. He is Lord of the Sabbath. We should look to Him in our Sabbath practice’s because He owns the Sabbath. God does not ask us to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy merely for His sake. God commands us to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy for our sake! In doing so, we move away from legalism, understand the logic discovered in the Christian life, and acknowledge Him as Lord over everything.

The story doesn’t end there. There is another L-esson. The angry, pouty-baby Pharisees continued the battle even though they had been proven wrong in their Scripture interpretation and legalistic religious practices. They attempted to condemn Christ a second time regarding His actions on the Sabbath.

Love: This time Christ allowed love to rule. He healed a man despite their objections because it was the loving thing to do.

Did the Pharisees learn (oops, another L word!) anything? No. They chose to stay mad, pout and plot to harm Jesus because He did not put Scripture into practice exactly how they were taught to believe it. Sound familiar?

During this very hate-filled political season, instead of condemning a candidate – why not choose to apply logic and love while keeping Jesus Lord of everything? Move away from legalism. Be willing to learn more about others. Discover the gift of compassion and hold tightly to it in the face of adversity. Jesus did!

*The artwork entitled, “Revelation!” is copyrighted by the artist; along with this blog site.