Ten Liberating Sabbath Truths
True rest is found in Jesus alone
1) The Sabbath is serious to God
God considers the Sabbath to be so serious that he put it right up there in the ‘Big 10’. In fact, before he tells us not to commit adultery or murder, he tells us to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
2) The Sabbath is important to God
When God gave us the Ten Commandments, He needed only five English words to condemn adultery, and four to denounce thievery and murder. But what about the commandment about the Sabbath? Read Exodus 20:8-11.
3) The Sabbath is God saying that you need to take time off
Many people tend to skip the Sabbath and work right through the weekend. Some try to cram more into a weekend than we do during the week. However, God specifically says that you need to take time off. God commands you keep the Sabbath.
4) God says “I'm giving the Sabbath for your benefit”
The Sabbath means the “day of rest”. God says that on every seventh day you are to take a day of rest. Why? In Mark 2:27 Jesus says “The Sabbath was made to benefit man, and not man to benefit the Sabbath.” How does the Sabbath benefit you?
5) God asks us to use the Sabbath to rest our bodies
Psalm 127:2 says “God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest.”
God says, I want you to rest, because your body needs rest. The Sabbath helps prevent us from burning out. This is so important that God used Himself as an example. He took six days to create the world and on the seventh day He rested. Was God tired? No, God does not get tired. So why did God rest on the seventh day? He was modelling something that He says is an important principal of life.
Ecclesiastes 10:15 says “Only someone too stupid to find his way home would wear himself out with work!”
Whatever you do for a living, you need to take rest from it on the seventh day. Do not bring your briefcase home.
6) God says to use the Sabbath to recharge our emotions
Use the day to recharge your emotions because life’s challenges and work stress drain you. How do you do it? There are three universal things that you need to build into every Sabbath:
a) Include time for quietness
Psalm 23:3 says “He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”
Quietness and soul restoration go hand in hand. We live in a busy world, where it is hard to find a place where you can be totally quiet. Yet the Bible says, quietness and confidence will be your strength (Isaiah 30:15). The Bible also says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). You need to schedule quiet periods in your life, and God says that part of your Sabbath needs to be a time of quietness to be alone with God. Many people use the whole weekend to relax and rejuvenate, but they never have any quiet time. That is why they are still stressed when they go back to work.
Mark 6:31 says “There were so many people coming and going. Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Let's go off by ourselves where we will be alone and you can rest for a while’.”
Jesus is saying there is so much going on in your life and you need to be by yourself and have a time of quietness. If you don’t, you will come apart.
b) Include time for family
God wants you to plan some special time with your family and do things with them that draw your family together.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 says “Enjoy life with your wife whom you love...”
Do you want to live a long time? Then chill out, relax, have some fun with your family. You are not wasting time, it is important time. God says you need to do it.
c) Include time for fellowship
You need time with other believers. We draw strength from being together. Hebrews 10:25 says “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, instead let us encourage one another.” When we get together, we encourage each other. That is why David says in Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the House of the Lord.” He said I look forward to it. Why? There is a rejuvenation that comes from being together with other believers. It is tough being a believer out in the world, so we need to encourage, uplift, inspire and challenge each other.
7) God says to use the Sabbath to help others
God says to use the Sabbath to do good and help others (Matt. 12:12). Visit the sick, help someone in need, encourage and comfort someone who is discouraged, pick up the phone, call someone and tell them that God cares, or feed someone who is hungry. When we do good on the Sabbath, we follow the example of our saviour Jesus. God wants us to be like Jesus.
8) God says to use the Sabbath to trust and focus on God
Tune in to God. This is the most important part. Psalm 95:6 says “Come, let us bow down in worship before the Lord our Maker.” The Sabbath is pre-eminently a day to worship and focus on God. By focusing on God, we must refill ourselves with God’s presence, power and love, and know that He is with us all the time. As we trust and rest in God, He changes us to be like Jesus. The Sabbath reminds us that only God can make us whole (Ezekiel 20:12).
9) God says use the Sabbath to remind yourself that God created and redeemed you
Remind yourself that God created you. He redeemed you. Because He did this, you belong to Him. You are now His child. You have been forgiven for your past wrongs. You are now lovable, acceptable, forgiven and capable because of Jesus. You are more than a conqueror. You are able to do ‘all things through Christ’ (Philippians 4:13), and you can be what God wants you to be.
10) Real Sabbath rest is when we come to rest in the finished work of Christ on our behalf
True rest is found not in a day, but in a person. It is found in Jesus alone, the Lord of the Sabbath. We enter true Sabbath rest when we stop trying to earn salvation, and put our hope, confidence and trust in what Christ has done for us. Our weekly Sabbath is a visible expression of our faith in Jesus. It is a sign that we have found true rest and salvation in Christ alone.