Many Christians approach the fourth commandment with a mixture of guilt and uneasiness. They sense somehow that Sunday ought to be different, but how and why and who sets the rules? God intended the Sabbath to be a source of renewal. It was to be a regular, weekly time in which we could get our bearings in life and make sure we’re living according to His will for us. Unfortunately there has been a long history of misunderstanding this fourth commandment and so many people have forfeited the benefits God intended this day to bring.

Scriptures
Ex 20:8-11; Lk 13:14-16; Mt 28:1-6; Ro 14:5-6; Ps 139:1-3; Ecc 5:18; Mark 6:31

Verse
“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 town. 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.” (Ex 20:8-11)

Thought
We can’t set aside one day for God and then try and live our lives without Him the other six. To do so would be to break this commandment. This one day reminds us that our relationship with God is not just a one day a week deal…it’s an everyday deal! Imagine what a difference in our lives a proper understanding of this one day can make. This special day can remind us that our life is designed to work best and be most enjoyable when we maintain a proper balance of physical rest and meaningful labor. It also gives us a chance to deepen our relationship with God through a worship experience that glorifies ands exalts His Son Jesus Christ. Finally, this day provides an opportunity to allow God to look into our lives and show us exactly what “course changes” we need to make to keep us following in His will.

Questions
What is your favorite Sunday afternoon activity? Have you ever had a time in your life when you consistently attended a worship service on a day other than Sunday? If so, what was that like for you? Do you see your “work” as a gift from God? Are there any activities you refuse to do on Sunday? Have you ever experienced the consequences of physical exhaustion? How do you make the Sabbath holy?

Response
Reflect on these questions: 1. Am I really trusting God with my life? 2. Am I relaxing regularly and letting God love me and refresh me as only He can? 3. Am I doing things in my own strength or the Lord’s? 4. Am I leaning on His wisdom instead of my own?

Prayer
Dear Lord, please help me find the proper balance between physical rest and meaningful labor in my life. Show me the great value that you have intended for me by my keeping the Sabbath holy. Help me to surrender and come to You for the rest that only You can give. In Jesus Name, Amen.