Category: Sunday rest 2024
Leviticus really makes you appreciate what we have today because of Jesus Christ! I know I would have had a hard time bringing all those animals to offer for my sins. It’s hard to admit sin privately before the Lord. I can’t imagine having to confess my sins to the priest and then offer an animal that would die right in front of my own eyes! Sin might become detestable after a few times! Maybe that was God’s intent!
Being a priest would have been difficult and very messy! Killing animals daily and sprinkling blood and washing and lifting dead carcasses up before the Lord would have been gruesome work. Going into the Tent of Meeting knowing that you might die yourself would also not be exciting. I am sure that Aaron had his moments too. He lost two sons who went into that Tent, probably under the influence of alcohol. Can you imagine his thoughts each year as he had to go in with the blood of a bull for himself and his family and then the blood of a goat for the whole nation? He had to go in alone and by faith make the acceptable sacrifice.
We have it easy today! Jesus has done it all! He is our high priest and intercedes for us. He sacrificed his own body and blood for our “atonement” covering of our sins. Our sins are taken away and our consciences are cleansed! It is finished! He did not have to sacrifice for Himself, like Aaron, because He was without sin. He ever lives to make intercession for us! Take time and reflect on this past week’s reading and thank Jesus for fulfilling all the law! Ask Him to make you holy, as He is holy. By faith, claim His righteousness. True Christianity brings rest and true joy! God bless you and have a great sabbath rest!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! . . .”God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2nd Corinthians 5: 17, 21.
Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep 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, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
As we ponder the past week and our reading through Exodus, we are reminded in Exodus 20:8-11 of one of the reasons for keeping the Sabbath–a seventh day of rest. God wants us to remember his pattern of creation. He Himself set the pattern of working six days and resting on the seventh day. No work was to be done! It was a day holy to the Lord because He blessed it and made it holy. In New Testament times, the first day of the week was used for worship and rest in celebration of the resurrection. The main thing was to take one day out of seven, not necessarily Saturday or Sunday. In fact New Testament truth teaches that each day is the Sabbath day–a day to rest in Jesus! (Hebrews 4:6-11)
I was in a prayer group with some pastors and one was telling how when we older ones grew up, Sunday was really a day of rest. Stores weren’t open and restaurants were closed. There were no movie theaters open and no TV. The current generations have no reference for the command of the Lord to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy! We would be happier and healthier if we heeded this simple plan of the Lord. May you rest in Jesus Christ and his finished work each and every day!
“Come unto me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Dear Friends on the journey,
Greetings! Are you taking time to rest and reflect on God’s goodness and grace? Are you attending a service of worship and meeting with others of faith to honor God? Are you setting an example for your children and grandchildren by living a life of worship with others in a church? If you are not physically able, God understands, but if you are able, please make every effort to exalt the Lord in community!
God brought His people out of Egypt to worship Him. He brought out men, women, and children to worship together! Worship is all about God! So many people today make worship about themselves and their personal preferences. They want a certain style or type of worship. They don’t want this or that–maybe drums or instruments. They don’t want to sing too long or too loud. They want to stay home and sleep in if they are tired. They want to come when it suits them and they want to feel good when they leave. They often say that they can worship alone better than with others, but seldom do! Besides this, they are being disobedient when they fail to gather with others!
Exodus 7:16 “And you shall say to him (pharaoh), ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve (worship) Me in the wilderness.”
God brought His people out for worship. They were laden down with blessings. God was visibly with them. They were provided with clothes that didn’t wear out, manna from heaven, water from the rock, and not one feeble or sick among them! Don’t neglect gathering together today in God’s house with God’s people to worship! Jesus is coming back for those who are eagerly awaiting Him!
In His Love, Pastor John
“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
Genesis began with God. He is the central figure! He is creating, working and enjoying! It was good! Man was placed by God in a Garden, walking with God in the cool of the day! Man is made special and in God’s image, male and female. Man is to rule over creation and tend it with God’s blessing!
Genesis is foundational to our worldview as Christians. Without Genesis we wouldn’t understand where the universe, earth, and solar system came from. Without Genesis we wouldn’t know about the serpent and how sin entered along with death. We wouldn’t know about our special creation and purpose on the earth. We wouldn’t understand why the world was flooded and where the rainbow came from and what it testifies about! We would struggle to understand how we got all the nations and languages. We would not know how and why God began the nation of Israel and His plans to bless the world through Abraham’s offspring. We would not understand the conflict in the Middle East that pits millions of Arabs and Ishmael’s descendants against the Jews and Christians. We would miss all the rich stories of the fathers of faith as they struggled to walk with God, wrestled with Him, and followed Him through famine, imprisonment, threats and their eventual death. The lives of Adam, Eve, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Esau, Rachael, Leah, Joseph, Judah, and numerous others are chronicled. We read about their successes and failures; their loves and their quarrels; about births and deaths. They were much like us, yet known by name by our Father God!
Genesis 50:24-25 “And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”
Another seventh day of rest has arrived. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”. (Mark 2:27) Resting is not the practice of many in the modern world we live in. I know that myself too well. I am a doer and have been taught that I shouldn’t waste time. Time is precious and there are many things to do. I am trying rest and reflect more this year and enjoy creation, my family and God. We find the invitation in Genesis to enjoy a Sabbath Rest every seventh day!
Looking back on the readings from Genesis 10-26, we have taken quite a trek through time and history. The world-wide flood sent by God began the history of man again with Noah and his family. We have this genealogy in Genesis 10. In Genesis 11, we find some of those descendants building the tower of Babel in defiance to God! How could man forget the lesson of the flood in just over 100 years with their grandparents as eyewitnesses of that judgment? Was it true even then that the generations didn’t communicate? It has been said that God’s church is always only a generation away from extinction! But God is merciful in judgment, scattering them over the earth by confusing their languages. Thus the nations are formed and God’s plan is moved forward.
The lives of Abraham and Sarah and their children take up the bulk of last weeks reading. They appear about 2000 years before Christ. God’s purpose was to make from this couple a great nation that He would dwell with. They would be His people and He would be their God. Abraham believed God when God spoke to him and this counted as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6) Believing is the only ‘work’ we need to do to be right with God. I’m thankful that God’s grace covers my sin when I confess, repent and trust in His son Jesus!
Isaac is finally born to parents whose bodies appeared ‘dead’ to the ability to reproduce! The sound of laughter filled this aged couple’s home! God specializes in the impossible! We simple need to rest in His ability to do what He says He will do! Are you resting in God’s promise of salvation through faith in Jesus?
“May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!” –Romans 15:13
January 7th–Sunday of Rest
Each Sunday, the reading plan I am following offers a time to catch up and reflect on the journey so far. Catch up today and rest in the Lord. This walk is not a race. We are involved to build a relationship with the Lord and want to know His heart and break bread with Him.
Genesis 2:2-3 “And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation.”
As I reflect on these first six days, I am excited at the insights that I have gotten that help me on the way. God created the heavens and earth and man and then He took one day to rest. The seventh day, Sabbath, was man’s first full day on earth and he was to spend it with the Lord, enjoying creation and fellowship with the loving Father Who created him for His pleasure.
I think about Enoch who walked with God so closely that God just took him to be with Him. The birth of a child to Enoch and his wife, caused him to begin to prophesy about the Lord coming again in judgment. (Jude 14-15) He was 365 years old when the Lord took him directly to heaven–one of only two in the Old Testament who didn’t die physically! Oh, for that close a walk! In fact, this is what we are to be ready for today in the rapture of the church at the last trumpet! Noah walked with God and rode the ark over the waters of judgment to a new world! Abraham believed God and walked with Him to a new land of promise and offspring that would bless all nations! What an exciting walk! The God we serve is worthy of our worship and service.
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Revelation 22:20