God’s Special Day – Isaiah 58

Spiritual growth and strength come from spending time with God and His word.  As we read, pray, consider, and meditate, the power of God settles our spirits and brings to us a peace and serenity like no other.  We get these benefits when we make a conscious effort to set aside the many distractions of life to focus on God.

The Lord established a special weekend day for His people called the sabbath.  It is a day of rest originally given to the Jewish people as part of a special covenant.  The sabbath is celebrated on the seventh day, Saturday. 

Later, Jesus rose from the dead on the day after the sabbath, the first day of the week.  Since that time, most (but not all) Christians celebrate their “sabbath” on a Sunday, Resurrection Day.  There is evidence that the earliest churches celebrated their day of worship in this way.

Whether we celebrate our sabbath on a Saturday or a Sunday, God has established it as a day of rest for all of us to set aside the toils and financial struggles of the week to lean upon and give attention to Him, our Provider.  It is a time to make Him a priority for our attentions – to worship, pray, study His word, and to share our gifts and help others.

This dedicated time is important to God.  If we will make it a priority in our lives, God has promised to bless us abundantly in return.  He makes this promise through the prophet Isaiah:

13 “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,
14 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 NKJV

If we will set aside this time for God, He promises to make it well worth our while. 

It is very easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and to forget to make time for God.  This is especially true when we are off-kilter – perhaps upset by something that is going on in our life or around us.  The paradox is that it is in times like this when we most need the calming effects of spending time with the God who loves us.  He wants to bring us peace and serenity through the power of His presence.

Oftentimes, though feeling down, we are built up by fellowship and worship with other believers.  The Holy Spirit resides in the hearts of women and men who believe in and follow Christ.  Some days, I may not feel like I am carrying the Spirit and may feel more like dry tinder or a wet log.  But the spiritual fire of those believers around me eventually fires up my spirit and soon I, too, am ablaze with the uplifting presence of God’s Spirit within me.  Once again, I am riding on the high hills of the earth, enjoying all the goodness of the blessings of Abraham, made available to me through Christ.

 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  Galatians 3:29 NKJV

Just as when we give of our finances, God wants us to spend time with Him with a willing and cheerful heart.  He wants the sabbath day to be a time of anticipation and delight for us, not a dreaded obligation.  If we make a sincere effort to honor and worship Him in this way, He will make it magnificently worthwhile for us.  It is His promise!

Reflection

What is on my calendar for this coming sabbath day Saturday or Resurrection Day Sunday that is crowding out time for God?  What can I change to allow time to honor and worship Him on His day?

Lord, teach me to remember and honor You on Your special day of rest.  Speak to me through Your word, through prayer and through fellowship with and the teachings of other believers to make the sabbath or Resurrection Sunday a special blessing.  Draw me close to You and help me to turn over to You all the cares and worries I have for the coming week.  Grant us Your peace and complete freedom from fear, anxiety, and distress.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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