February 17 - The Lord of Sabbath
The Sabbath is for people to have total and complete rest, it is God’s way of taking care of His people. Sabbath rest is for the welfare and enjoyment of the people of God, not just a religious observance. The law about Sabbath was made for man and man is not made for the Sabbath laws. God’s laws are there for our protection and enjoyment, not there to enslave us.
To observe the Sabbath is not just beneficial to us, it is also our way of acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus because Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. For anyone who breaks the Sabbath laws, the punishment is by death. It is not that he has sinned against the Sabbath, but he sins against God who instituted the Sabbath.
The religious spirit of the Pharisees was in total neglect of God’s original intention in giving the law of Sabbath. They turned it into an occasion of displaying their own piety while condemning others for not observing it. What is good for us and can glorify God can be turned around and become a burden for other people. When we become religious and self righteous like the Pharisees, we are beyond cure. Only the sick needs a physician and for those who think that they have no illness (self righteous), no healing is available.
To observe the Sabbath is honoring God, receiving benefits for ourselves and at the same time releasing others to do the same. Today, keeping of the Sabbath is more like a state of mind. It is a state of resting in God, it is to let go and let God. It is to not hold on to everything and using human power to do everything. It is to acknowledge the Lord in all that we do, relying on Him to accomplish. To rest is to rest from our own efforts to get things done. True rest can come to you today as you have the true spirit of the Sabbath inside.
A restless person is one who does not know the true Sabbath. He does not know about the love of God and the power of God. In an effort to achieve and feel secure, he overworks and enslaves others. His restlessness is passed on to those around him. He cannot sleep well at night and is always anxious during the waking hours. His mind is filled with “to do” lists and plans for the future. There is no joy and peace within despite of confessing Jesus as Savior and Lord.
When a church is filled with restless people, the church would become restless. Programs upon programs, busy and busier, praying is a waste of time and getting more and more is the ultimate goal. Are you tired of such restless life? Come to Jesus and feed on His goodness. Enjoy the true Sabbath today and give everything to God now in prayer.
Ps 27:1-6 Lev 4:1-5:19 Mark 2:13-3:6 Prov 10:1-2