Be Holy as the Lord Your God is Holy – by Bryan Johnston

JohnstonResting in the Lord is hard to do. It is a gift from God that he commands his people to set apart one day a week for the Lord. In Exodus 20:9-10 the Lord says, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.” This day of rest is holy because it is dedicated to the Lord and him alone. It seemed foolish to those living apart from God in the ancient world to take a day of rest. It appears lazy as Pharaoh says, “Lazy, that’s what you are – lazy! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ Now get to work.” (Exodus 5:17-18a) In our modern culture where riches and materials rule the day, taking a day off for the Lord seems like such a waste of time.

My grandfather was a wheat farmer in Northeast Montana. During times of harvest workers were committed to spending days and days at a time
with very little sleep, in order to get their crop out of the ground to make the most profit for all their toils. It seemed foolish to take time off. My grandfather knew who his Lord was. He put his faith and trust in the Lord. He never worked on a Sunday in his life. He also never missed getting his harvest. He was blessed, God was glorified, and all who knew him knew who his God was.

Taking a Sabbath requires us to put our trust in God. We rely on God for all our blessings and comforts. We show our faith by giving God the glory and focusing on lifting up his name and sacrificing our self-confidence for his lordship over our lives. The Sabbath was a blessing for God’s people to be restored physically and spiritually. The day was given for man to draw near to the Lord. It was also a testimony to the world that God is holy and worthy of our time, energy, sacrifice, and attention. We are blessed to use the Lord’s Day as a day of worship, fellowship, service, and rest from work. The Lord’s Day is dedicated to the Lord through time with family, church, and God himself.

It has been very encouraging to see how this church family commits to honoring the Lord’s Day, even with the business of summer activities. We are blessed to see visitors who are faithful to God on this day as they join us for worship even as they are on vacation. If you are visiting with us, thank you for your faith and holiness. Your faith and trust are a testimony to God’s holiness. Thank you for setting your life apart for God.

Bryan Johnston, preaching minister, North Bend, Oregon USA Church of Christ – Comments welcome. Church bulletin publication date:  8/6/17

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