As we entered the building at GracePointe Baptist Church yesterday, Pastor Jeff Brown was speaking concerning the Lord's Day. As we were running a few minutes behind I didn't catch all that he was saying, but I spoke with him after the service and he confirmed what I thought he was saying. I agree with Pastor Jeff that the Lord's Day is to be kept holy. The world invents new holidays and loves to put them on the Lord's Day. Yesterday was Father's Day. Being a father of seven children, and teaching them the Fifth commandment, which is, Honour your father and your mother, I like Father's Day. I like to call my own father and express my thankfulness to him for being a good father, particularly when I was growing up. Yet, the focus yesterday should have been, as it is each Lord's Day, on our Heavenly Father.
It seems strange that the church does not appreciate the sabbath day that the Lord has given us for our own benefit. Those who bother to celebrate the sabbath at all tend to complain that it is restrictive. Yet the sabbath day is a picture of our rest in Christ. I appreciate the way the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith regards the sabbath day:
Paragraph 8. The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe a holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations,30 but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.31
30 Isa. 58:13; Neh. 13:15-22
31 Matt. 12:1-13
Brothers, this is a blessing! Let us abstain from our worldly employments *and* our recreations on this day and spend the "whole time" in the public and private exercises of his worship.
The sabbath is not a legalistic standard by which we can measure our own holiness. For indeed you do not gain any favour with the Lord by your consistent keeping of the sabbath. Rather, this is a gift that God has given us. One day in seven we are allowed rest and the complete devotion to the worship of our Lord without the normal everyday distractions that continually plague us during the rest of the week.
So then, let us earn our living the other six days. Let us entertain ourselves, if we must, on the other six days. But let us devote the Lord's Day to Christ Jesus, our glorious redeemer and saviour. To Him be all glory, honour, and praise.