36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
This weeks commandment isn't as simple as some others when it comes to following it by simply following the commandments Jesus gave in Matthew 22. But I'll do my best.
In the midst of the 10 commandments, this one commandment takes up 4 verses. I think the fact that it isn't a simple one line statement would imply that it is of some importance.
There's a lot of things I'm not going to state as fact. There's a lot of things people argue over that I don't find quite so technically important. Some out there will say that when Jesus came the old laws were done with. Some believe we only live by the new testament. Others believe in the old testament only, or that we need to follow every letter of the law perfectly. Some argue over the importance of observing the sabbath on Saturday. There's a lot of things one could argue over if you think about it.
Personally, and this is only my own personal view... what I think is important is observing it in general. Taking one day of rest each week.
Many people these days are on the go ALL the time. Workaholics and busy bodies and such. People are always doing something. Keeping busy isn't all bad, but keeping too busy can be. I met a guy in Brazil once who was running an orphanage all by himself. He was very burnt out and it showed. I don't know how many of you have ever felt burnt out but I can assure you it isn't a pleasant state to be in. when you're burnt out you're really no good for anyone. There's also a verse in the bible that talks about our bodies being a temple. We need to take good care of our bodies. You know, one of the verses there in Matthew, one of the commands Jesus gave said we need to love others as ourselves. How much do we love ourselves? And, how would we treat others in this respect? Would we want others to work every day without rest? Would we expect that of others? I'd like to think we wouldn't.
Rest is important for so many reasons.
God set a good example for us to live by.
So, how does all of this apply to the verses in Matthew? My personal thoughts are that if we Love God and love others as ourselves we would take care of ourselves. And in doing so, we would take that time of rest and spend time with the Lord. If we don't take that time each week then not only will we be missing out and be suffering, but we wont be as useful and effective to others. We wont be able to serve the Lord as effectively if we aren't getting that rest and spending some good time with Him. I mean, if we didn't read the bible and go to church we wouldn't be learning anything and we'd have no authority to claim anything for Christianity. We needs time at church and time alone with God so that we can know Him and be strengthened in Him, and we need the rest for our bodies and minds.
I don't know if I did the best job expressing my thoughts on this but I hope that you will be able to see that in some respect the commandments Jesus gave in Matthew can in fact apply to the old testament commandment to keep the sabbath day Holy. How you choose to observe it is not something I intend to influence at this time but I do hope that you will take one day in seven and set it aside for Him. In keeping up with the hustle and bustle of this life I do pray that you will not let yourself burn out. And if you ever do find yourself burnt out, just remember God is there for you providing you with the rest you need. All you need to do is be open to it.
Dear Lord, thank you for today. Thank you for friends and family. Thank you Lord for setting an example for us on how we should live our lives. I pray that we would take your word seriously and take good care of ourselves. I pray that we would set aside one day each week to rest and spend time with you. And I pray that the time would be refreshing and would strengthen us. Like so many of your laws I know that this plan for us is for our own benefit. Thank you for caring for us in this way.
A new subject or passage each week for all to discuss.
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