Table of Contents
Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27). God made the Sabbath for man’s enjoyment within the right boundaries of His commandment. He ordained it should be a blessing, not a burden. And it is to man’s interest and not his injury to observe it. Sabbath-keeping does not consist basically in the trivial observance of some regulations and in abstention from certain quests. To observe it that way is to miss entirely the true spirit and purpose of Sabbath keeping and is to do righteousness by works.
We refrain from certain tasks, pursuits, and topics of conversation, not to win favor with God. We refrain from these things in order that we may spend our time and thoughts on things that will increase our understanding of God and His goodness. True Sabbath keeping will increase our ability to serve Him and our fellow men more successfully. Whatever we do must come from our faith-relationship with Jesus (Romans 14:23).
The Sabbath is a day for rest that complement a close relationship with God. The Lord commanded, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work” (Exodus 20:8-10). This means a Christian observing the Sabbath refrains from working for pay on that day. Thus, the Sabbath is an opportunity to rest from our normal day-to-day pursuits.
Cessation from material pursuits shows that we have faith in God who will bless our efforts and provide for our physical needs. Other normal work includes housecleaning, yard maintenance …etc. This does not mean we cannot do simple acts like heating our meals and clean-up after wards…etc.
Praise, study and prayer
God wants us to enjoy our Sabbath time by refreshing our minds and bodies with His Word. The Sabbath is a time for a Christian to study the Scriptures, sing and spend extra time in prayer and meditation. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:4).
Worship in church
God commands His people to come together on the Sabbath day for fellowship and to hear His Word explained. In Leviticus 23:3, God told the Israelites that Sabbath was “a day of sacred assembly.” Jesus (Luke 4:16) and the disciples (Acts 13:13, 14; 13:42-44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4) had the habit of worshiping together on Sabbath. And Paul taught, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
Acts of mercy
The Sabbath day presents man with an opportunity to overcome selfishness and develop the habit of doing things for others. For this is pleasing to God (1 John 3:22). Jesus said, “Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:12). Acts of mercy involve sharing the Word of God with our family members, friends, and the seekers. It also includes visiting the sick, helping the needy, and assisting those that are in need.
Appreciating God’s creation in some easy and leisurely way is an inspiring activity appropriate for a Christian to do on the Sabbath. God manifested His love in His creation and He wants us to learn about His handy work and enjoy His creation (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20).
God’s promise of blessing
The Sabbath is one of the greatest blessings bestowed upon men by a loving Creator. True Sabbath observance will lead to the work of reformation pictured in Isaiah 58: 6,7. And for the obedient, the Lord promised a blessing: “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 58:13,14).
In His service,