• Simon Schembri

Are You Keeping A Sabbath?

This is a subject that has had much debate over many many years throughout the Church. Should we or should we not observe The Sabbath?

Well, let’s first determine what The Sabbath is…

The Jewish Sabbath (from Hebrew shavat, “to rest”) is observed throughout the year on the seventh day of the week—Saturday. According to biblical tradition, it commemorates the original seventh day on which God rested after completing the creation. It is also the fourth commandment handed down by Moses on Mt Sinai. Put simply, it was a command as was “do not steal or do not kill.”

So why as Born Again believers do we have trouble keeping a Sabbath?

Before we get into that let me just address the big issue that has raged throughout church history about Saturday or Sunday or any other day for that matter. Is the actual day important? Or is the purpose of a Sabbath the essence of what God is wanting for His people?

What we need to fully understand is that Jesus came to set us Free from the law of sin and death and through his Grace we are not bound by tradition or the law. Does this mean that we can just do what we want and completely dismiss all of Gods commandments? Of course not! The Lord put things in place to aid us and to give us a better life and observing a Sabbath is part of His plan for our good!

Jesus made this very telling statement in Marks gospel…

“And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27 NKJV

With this simple but very telling statement, Jesus clears up any confusion surrounding the purpose of The Sabbath. It is for our good! It’s not simply just another law for us to observe!

I can tell you from personal experience that I struggled with this for many many years in ministry. I thought that going to church for a couple of hours on a Sunday fulfilled my “obligation” of the Sabbath. I kept it holy! I’ve got to tell you that The Lord impressed upon me for many years that I needed to change my attitude towards this for MY benefit!

After much fighting and justifying I finally decided to do what I believe The Lord was instructing me to do. I decided to take a Sabbath each week. Xene & I now have Monday’s off. People that know us, our church family, our extended family and close friends know that Monday’s is “Our Sabbath” our day of rest. They know not to contact us unless it’s an absolute necessity. Our moto for this day (stolen from someone else by the way) is “We rest, we play, no work, God loves us!”

On Monday’s we do all we can to simply follow this motto and observe a day of rest. Has it helped? You bet ya it has! Was it difficult? Absolutely at first. Many distractions came and we both had to fight them to maintain this one day of rest. I can hear you say “but you don’t know my life I am simply too busy to take a whole day off” are you? really? The Lord Himself rested for a day and wants what’s best for us and offers us this Sabbath for our good!

One thing I will say and finish with here is this. Don’t make this a religious thing. This is purely a decision between you and The Lord. As for me, together with my wife, I have chosen to take a Sabbath every Monday.

We rest, we play, no work, God loves us!

Have a wonderful day and just remember Jesus loves you more than you will ever know!

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