Favorite Sermon Add to Playlist
Photo of Mark Finley

How to Keep The Sabbath

Mark Finley
Audio Only


Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference



  • January 23, 2021
    11:00 AM
Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

Copyright ©2021 HopeLives365.

Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

The ideas in this recording are those of its contributors and may not necessarily reflect the views of AudioVerse.


Video Downloads

Audio Downloads

This transcript may be automatically generated

Welcome to each of you are here I have just alighted to be here with the adventurers you know when Dan called me and asked me about this assignment I immediately was excited about it because I'm really excited about the Sabbath and I'm excited about sharing with families how they can better keep the Bible Sabbath I'm going to deal with this in 3 ways we're going to look at biblical principles for keeping the Sabbath and we're going to look at some spiritual insights but by the end of the seminar I hope by practical ideas one of my mentor is an old pastor said to me once you don't have to find many 1000000 dollar bills blowing down the street to be a millionaire and I've always thought about that you know my goal here is to give you at least one or 2 principles a lot of what I'm going to talk about you've already heard before but if I can share with you something that you haven't heard a principle that you can adopt for your family this next 45 to 50 minutes is going to be really well worth it so let's pray but before we pray I should ask you does everybody who is here have a study guide we want to be sure you do just hold them up if you have them so I can see it and Dan if there's anybody that doesn't have one that you want a study guide we want to be sure we put one in your hands now for those of you watching online we're going to post this study guide a little later and when we do that it will enable you to be able to have the notes from the presentation as well Ok let's pray. Father in heaven during this time together we thank you on this Sabbath afternoon that we can study a little bit about the richness the beauty of the Sabbath as we study practical principles as well as biblical insights help us to be able to look at Sabbath and really be blessed by it help us to have that sense of your presence and help us delight in the Sabbath and may the creator's day be a day when our hearts are recreated in Jesus' name amen a number of years ago late 18 hundreds there was a European who visited America and this European was asked what is the most memorable thing that you found in the United States and he thought for a moment and then he said this those Americans are always moving they never seem to stay still in fact they even have figured out a way to move when they sit down now the rocking chair had just come into existence and this European was so fascinated because he saw these Americans just sitting down and they couldn't stay still there rocking back and forth back and forth somebody has said that we live in a jet age but we're not Jets. If I had to term the 21st century I would say the 21st century is the age of Rush Hari stress anxiety and multitasking like you to imagine a professional woman she is on her way to work but she hasn't had time to eat breakfast so in the car next to her she has her breakfast her toast and her grapes and her blueberries and her granola with her milk in it that she puts on her lap and at the red lights eats it then while she's doing that she is listening to the weather on the radio and at the same time she has her cell phone and she's talking to her husband now some of you are smiling because you can a dentist fight with that scene of multitasking or imagine here is a man he's come home from work he's playing with his son but his cell phone is messaging him so while he's playing he's looking at his cell phone clicking in responding to the messages well at the same time his mind is thinking about the next job the next day we live in an age of. Self rush in a hurry and anxiety life has become really fast the images on our cell phone I often tease people that people say that my cell phone is a labor saving device because my cell phone I get messages on my cell phone I not only get messages but I can of course text back on my cell phone I people can call me and wherever I am in the world on my cell phone I'm getting my e-mail that has not saved me labor it has increased my labor just really incredibly dramatically now one of the things that the computer age has done that I think has really been quite seriously in affecting human relationships is that it has affected our relationship with God our families in those closest to us recently I read an article that really impressed me and I put it in your study guide the headlines of the article but you're going to do some writing here you'll notice that in the study guides I've left alliance for you to write but recently I read an article called The negative effects of computer addiction and the article stated that computer addicts withdraw socially as they spend more time on the computer so the more time you spend on the computer. The less time you have for meaningful interaction now I'm going to quote from this article it says this here's what the article says Computer Addiction can have a variety of negative effects on a person so here's the latest research what negative effects does computer addiction have the most immediate are social So the prime negative effect of gaming on the computer or being addicted to the computer affects you socially the user withdraws from friends and family as he or she spend more time on the computer relationships begin to with her as the user stops attending social gatherings skips meetings with friends in avoids family members to get more computer time even when they do interact with their friends uses may become irritable or away from the commuter computer causing further social harm so the idea is the more young people are actively involved in computers the more they are addicted to computer gaming the more they withdraw socially the less they are willing to participate in family activities and the more irritable they become That's the latest research now you may wonder what does this have to do with Sabbath keeping what does it have to do with positive Sabbath keeping it has a lot to do you see Sabbath is primarily a day for relationships if you are able to analyze the purpose of the Sabbath in one sentence of somebody said to me Pastor Mark. Define the purpose of the Sabbath in one sentence I would put it this way the prime purpose of the Sabbath is to develop a meaningful relationship with God and a healthy relationship positive relationship with our families and the people around us the Sabbath command gives us invites us to have this sacred pause now notice God didn't give us 10 suggestions he gave us stand commands right because what's the difference between a suggestion and a command a green light says go a yellow light says we suggest you be cautious because somebody else might be coming but a red light is what is a command is to stop and so God didn't give us 10 suggestions he gave us Ted commands he says Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy It's very fascinating for 7th Day Adventists who believe that the 7th day of the week is the Bible Sabbath we can also forget to keep it holy We can also at times treat the edges of the Sabbath that from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night as a common ordinary day you are no doubt away or that there's a telephone number and that you can call any place in the world and if you call that telephone number it will tell you exactly when the Sabbath begins so you can be any state you can be any country you can be. It's dial that number every ad that us knows it I mean there's no you're looking at me strange. You don't know that number it's l e v 2332 any place you are in the world you just leave the 32332 Leviticus 2332 from evening to evening show you celebrate your Sabbath see from evening to eat it show celebrate your Sabbath so any place in the world you are where the sun goes down I dial up l e v 2332 The Vicar's 2332 from evening to evening show you celebrate your Sabbath now God has a special blessing for us so let's start with sundown Friday night on sundown Friday night we can learn a great deal of positive lessons from our Jewish friends most Jewish families light candles at sundown on Friday night they have candles lit lit the table is well prepared and as Sabbath begins the father of the family blesses each of his children the father walks over at sundown so imagine the sun is just setting the candles are lit the table is decorated beautifully and here's little Josiah and the father puts his hand over the head of the. Of the boy and says the Lord bless you in keep you may as countenance shine upon you and give you peace this is my promise for you my son is weak now at that same time mother will be holding the younger children in later years both father and mother give the blessing here is a little promise box wouldn't it be a wonderful thing on Friday nights if each Friday night. A father or mother takes the promise out of the promise box different Bible texts and a mother takes her little child 3 years old in her arms and says I want to give you the Sabbath blessing the the father goes to is 13 year old son and says I want to give you the Sabbath blessing Here's the Sabbath blessing for you son Exodus 14 verse 13 stand still and see the salvation of the ward which I work for you today son take this promise cherish it all week and here daughter 7 years old you pick a promise here is the promise for you this Sabbath cast you die bread upon the waters for you'll find it after many days you know my child if you cast goodness and kindness and graciousness So it's going to come back to you Herman Wouk. It was a Jewish playwright probably one of the most. Most Popular probably writes in all of New York City and Herman Wouk when Friday night came told all of his cast I will not be here and he writes the story of the blessing of the Sabbath how he would come home on Friday night his wife would have the table set the candles would be flickering and Herman Wouk would give the blessing to his children and walk and bless each child now when the Jewish families bless their children on that Friday night at the end of the blessing each father walks to each child and hugs them and says My child always be faithful to your Jewish heritage and always be faithful to God and then gives them a blessing my child the Lord bless you and keep you the Lord let his face to shine upon you and the Lord give you peace so imagine Adventist families the sun is setting mom has prepared a delightful meal for Sabbath the candles are flickering and father comes with the promises of God's word pulls out a promise blesses his children father and mother hugged kissed their children embrace them that Sabbath and the Sabbath begins in that way no promises like these are often being shared with children. John here's your promise for this week seek you 1st the Kingdom of God His righteousness and everything else will be added unto you Mary has your promise this week my God shall supply all your need the promised blessings Sabbath Indeed it is a day for rich spiritual blessings the reading of the weekly promise in the pronouncing of a parental blessing was always followed in the Jewish Home by hugs kisses and warm embrace is long and it goes a long way to solidify a child's faith in their love for the parents one thing about Judaism that you begin to understand is that for the Jews the Sabbath was this incredible day of delight now of course the ferrous these perverted that I have led numerous numerous trips to Israel and one of the things I always do with my groups we go to Israel I I led a group recently of the General Conference leadership the presidents of the president General Conference and his team and the vice presidents that I was responsible for that and I always tell them on Friday night I want to go down to the Western Wall. Because if you go there on a Friday night when sun is setting they'll be hundreds of Jewish young people there hundreds of them and they grasp hands and they begin going around in a circle singing the songs of the Bible it's just it's an electric experience even miss Teenie my wife and I she joined in with the ladies I joined in with the man and you know you go down by the Western Wall and you whole I'm healed the hands of Jewish men she's holding hands with Jewish ladies and we're going around and around and around singing the songs of the Bible just rejoicing that Sabbath is come because Sabbath is such an incredible delight now there are 4 principles that I've outlined in your study and I trust that each of you have the study guide before you I've listed 4 principles for you that will help in understanding the fullness of the Sabbath 1st the prime purpose of the Sabbath this relationship a relationship with god of worship praise in the celebration of his goodness now the Sabbath is a palace in time that God invites us to shut out the cares of the world and concentrate on eternity you see most palaces are palaces in space where I see a palace I see a palace not long ago I was invited to fly to Ireland and to perform a wedding of a prominent family in a palace or actually on the palace grounds it was just magnificent palaces are wonderful places most palaces are palaces in time but the Sabbath is a palace in space so every Sabbath God's palace to say ends from heaven to earth and God invites us to come into that palace now God can I bring my radio in the palace so I can listen to secular music a God I think I want to go come into your palace and sit there and watch t.v. our God. It's a palace and tie God invites us to enter into his palace to the sacredness of his presence each Sabbath the palace descends from Heaven and God invites us to leave off our anxieties our stress our worry at the palace door invites us to enter into divine rest the Sabbath reminds us that we have meaning that we're not specks of cosmic dust so the Sabbath is this tremendous sense of celebration Friday night sundown to certain nights sundown in our home often on Friday night you will always prepare some special meal we regularly have things like we have to have soup on Friday night peace soup or vegetable soup or potato leek soup and it's incredibly delicious with a large salad and home baked crackers but we always look forward to something special on Friday night and for us sunsets and we have worship together when our children were were with us and now there of course are grown but when our children with us after worship we had a wonderful supper and often on Friday nights we'd play a Sabbath game with the children or we now we love listening to music last night Friday night as we had our worship and a little something to eat and after that we listened to an amazing concert by the 3 jewels. Broadcasting called pillars of thing that was performed in Battle Creek Michigan with the Ender's university orchestra and choir we just sat and just totally relaxed I studied some for my sermon this morning but then just totally relaxed and watched listened to that the example that we get in the Sabbath worship particularly Sabbath morning worship is from Jesus and you know the text Well it's in Luke Chapter 4 verse 16 and if you have your Bible you may want to turn to it Luke for verse 16. The Sabbath worship was very prominent in Jesus' life in Luke 4 verse 16 it says so he came to Nazareth where he had been brought up and as his custom was he would into the synagogue on the Sabbath and sit up to read so Jesus focused on Sabbath worship now the Sabbath is a day of worship being God but it also has another unique meaning that we see in in Isaiah 565456 there is a unique meaning to the sabbath that is very meaningful to me personally. If you look for example at Isaiah $56.00 verse one it talks about bless it is the man that does this who lays hold on and who keeps from defiling the Sabbath that's verse 2 of Isaiah 56 and keeps his hand from doing any evil but then in verse 7 it says even them this is talking about all humanity even them I'll bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted in my Also my altar from my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations the Lord gathers the outcasts of Israel you know gathered to him others beside those who are gathered to him what God is saying here is this that Sabbath is a time that we can have a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood with our brothers and sisters around the world so when I come to Sabbath worship it living hope I know that 5 or 6000000 7th Day Adventists and Africa are worshipping I know that I my heart is united with my brothers and sisters in Angola and Mozambique and in Kenya and in Tanzania I have that sense that I'm worshipping with millions of Adventists around the world and I have another 5000000 in intern South America and I have worshippers in Europe and I know that I have worshippers sometimes in large churches and sometimes in houses and houses and homes and sometimes outdoors and sometimes in little huts and and there is that sense as a 7th Day Adventists that we come to worship the Sabbath with our brothers and sisters from all over the world so Sabbath is a symbol of unity of universal brotherhood it breaks down prejudice between people because we recognize that every human being is created by God and God has made us of one blood on all of all nations I think one of the things that God wants us to teach our children regarding when we come to worship on the Sabbath is this that the Sabbath is an eternal symbol that God has created all humanity and it's a symbol of unity among all peoples that God has indeed made of one blood all nations I think also if our young people get a vision of the bigness of the Adventist movement on Sabbath when I became a 7th Day Adventist I was 17 years old my father. Became an Adventist when he was 33 he was a Protestant my mother was a Catholic they married my father promised the priests that had bring the children up Catholic and it was later in his life that he worked with a 7th Day Adventist at Boston stable company and dad became an Adventist after becoming an Adventist he began to witness I worked with my father in his machine shop and we made we made all kind of parts in those days I worked on screw automatic screw machines Brown and sharp automatic screw machines of every one of arched my I have 3 sisters and every one of the kids in the family had to work in that machine shop and I asked my father why and he said because once you work in it you not going to want to work at it any more you want to want to go to college so you got to work in the machine shop so I can get you out of here and so you know so I worked and I made microsite stamps now you don't know what my credit stems are they're not the stems of a plant you remember those old beds in the hospital you remember those and they had the cranks and yet to crank come up now we got those pushbutton things how many remember those old beds in the hospital to crank up Ok well what made them crank up was this metal stem that connected from the crank to the bed it's called the mike right step I but I made thousands and thousands and thousands of those we had the from the business for those and that was my job dead assigned me to that machine so I'd be making those and making those and making those well look here's the very fascinating thing when my father became a 7th Day Adventist Sabbath became incredibly special for him and we he began to witness to me and as he witness to me I was the 1st in my family to become a sieve they haven't missed after debt and we had. A very little place to meet we didn't have our own church building we met in a Masonic Temple with 35 people almost no young people but here's what kept me going I sensed I'm meeting in this a little place with 35 people in the young people but I'm part of an international church I'm part of a divine movement that God has raised up and Sabbath did that for me as I would walk in their Sabbath I would sense in Imagine as a 17 year old boy this greatness of the advantage of man so Sabbath is a day set aside for worship for praise for celebration of God's goodness Jesus custom was to keep the Sabbath on Sabbath we are meeting with millions of others around the world and we have that sense of the leadership of God on Sabbath we are one body one movement one church with one purpose to prepare people for the coming of Jesus now each Sabbath God promises a blessing remember what it says in Genesis Chapter 3 and God blessed the Sabbath and God sanctified the Sabbath and God rest of the Sabbath here is why I don't want to Mr Cho one Sabbath here's why. Because every Sabbath God promises his blessings to come down and the Sabbath I miss may be the Sabbath that God had special blessings for me that I would have missed had I been there so I don't miss one Sabbath What about you folk I don't want to miss one Sabbath because that's the our heavenly father invites us to into intimate fellowship with him on Sabbath Now this includes not only corporate worship but setting aside time to quietly read and pray and fellowship with God and listen uplifting music I always like on Sabbath to find at least some time to be a load some time to really seek God and have some get my spiritual batteries recharged So the 1st purpose of the Sabbath is worship now the 2nd purpose of the Sabbath is to exhibit our complete trust in our creators care when we worship on Sabbath we are trusting God to provide our needs the Sabbath command is clear Sabbath is today to rejoice in his goodness and not be distracted detour or diverted from its purpose and blessing us now let's look at 2 very clear texts in the Bible that help us understand the significance of what I've just said Nehemiah Chapter 13 the prophets of the Old Testament were pretty straightforward it times and in this particular instance in Nehemiah Chapter 13 the Israelites are working on the Sabbath and they are doing buying and selling on the Sabbath and so Nehemiah is pretty upset about it Nehemiah 13 verse 15 the Am I a 13 verse 15 and onward in those days I saw in Judas some people trading wine presses on the Sabbath and bringing in sheaves So what were they doing there working on Sabbath. And loading donkeys with wine grapes figs in all kinds of burdens they wanted a financial advantage when they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day and I warn them about the day on which they were breathed selling provisions so he's warning them the men of tired wealth there and they brought in fish because you know tires on the seacoast in all kinds of goods and they sold them on the Sabbath of the children of Judah and in Jerusalem so here is what's happening the Sabbath is being defile people are going to giant on the Sabbath and they're going to subway and they're no no no what were those are the stores are going to old Macy's and so anyway you understand the point here. It says men of Tire they were buying all kind of goods and they were selling them on the Sabbath to the children to Jude in Jerusalem then I can tell. Judith this the leadership I said to them what evil thing is this you do by profaning the Sabbath did not your fathers do this didn't they bring to Sastre on us yet you were added the wrath of Israel by profaning the Sabbath so when he gave that speech the gates of Jerusalem as it began to be dark before the Sabbath he commands at the gates be shut and the new burdens be brought but some people still did it verse 20 now the merchants and sellers of all the kinds of where large outside of Jerusalem once or twice I have to smile when I read verse 21 so I warned them and said to them Why do you spend the night around the wall if you do so again I'm going to lay hands on you from that time on they came no more of the sabbath than I mean if I was pretty straightforward Wasn't it he said look the Sabbath is being defiled you do it again I'm going to come out by those gates because all the merchants would get around the gates of Jerusalem and they would be taunting the Israelites who couldn't wait to sundown came and Nehemias that you do that again guys will lay hands on you and he says then they came no more to do around this that the Sabbath. God has promised that if we keep his Sabbath holy and do not defile it by buying or selling or being so absorbed with the news that he is going to bless us in ways that we cannot imagine the blessing of God is taken away if we defile the Sabbath so it's not a matter of a legal a strict requirement of what I cannot do buying selling it cetera but it's rather the missing of the blessing so God Blessed is to assist in ways beyond our imagination if we are faithful to him and keep his Sabbath those blessings may be peace those be an inner sense of joy that may be an inner sense of commitment of contentment that God gives us but his blessings are poured down there rained down on us I can testify that in my own family in my own family as I told you my father was not brought up in a 7th evidence home he became an administrator's 33 as the result of dead becoming an Adventist that had been working on the night shift for Busted staple company you know with the stapler is that we're made dead made those staplers he was so he was made he was working the night shift as the result he worked from 3 o'clock Friday afternoon till 11 o'clock Friday night now of course when Sabbath came and dad no longer would work on Sabbath so he was he was. Fired from his job. He had at that time 3 children to feed and forth on the way. But he began looking for other jobs finally found 3 part time jobs it was very difficult for us in those days financially we did not have a lot lived in a small home Perkins Avenue in Norwich Connecticut and but Dad kept quoting for us Matthew 6 verse $33.00 seek you 1st the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you seek you 1st the Kingdom of God although I was not a 7th Day Adventist I respected my father because I saw that he had a deep trust in God that he would not violate the Sabbath by working on it for money he believed that there was a blessing in the Sabbath my father began looking for other jobs and finally approached a factory called all time ago that was owned by a Jewish man and we dad told this Jewish man he wouldn't work on the Sabbath the Jewish man said you're hired and so he hired my father now the interesting story is this you know the aluminum windows and doors that are made these these storm doors dad was making the frames for those and so he would make the frames in the machine shop they would take them up stairs and they would assemble them at that time for the storm doors and storm windows. My father was not well educated but extremely smart and incredibly mechanical dad invented new cutters for their machines which cut his work from 12 months a year to 6 months he could do the same amount of work in 6 months then they would assemble all year so the president of the company said you just work yourself out of a job for 6 months you can. You can make our parts for 6 months but you've developed these new cutters so as a result of that you're here you're out of a job for the 06 months dad said well look your machine's going to lay idle What if I got my own work and I rented your machines for the next 6 months and I did that was an entrepreneur and his business crew larger than their business and eventually he bought them out and eventually he had a factory that was larger than their factory and that's where we worked I worked there my sister's work there it's etc so and I've talked to my father about it he has died now but when he was alive in his he said Mark I never forgot Matthew 633 seek you 1st the Kingdom of God His righteousness and everything else will be added unto you There is a blessing that we miss if we allow secular activities to come into the Sabbath Isaiah 58 verse 13 and 14 brings this out as well Isaiah 58 verse 13 and 14 brings this out as well the 1st principle is that the Sabbath is a day of. Worship 2nd principle is that the Sabbath is a day that God invites us Him that God Himself invites us to come to enter into with him and that the Sabbath is a day to exhibit complete trust in our heavenly Father Isaiah $58.00 verse $13.14 it's a tax that's often misunderstood if you turn away your foot from the sabbath Now what does it mean to put your foot on the Sabbath I've heard some explanations that say oh you're trampling on it you're defiling it that's not quite true in the Bible if you put your foot in the land it was a sense of ownership so the idea of putting your foot on the Sabbath is the idea of saying I own this day it is a common ordinary day for me to satisfy self so not putting my foot on the Sabbath is the idea that God owns this day and I'm entering into his blessing on the day so if you turn away your foot from the Sabbath the words don't put your foot on my day don't claim that you own my day that this is a day that's common like any other day from doing your pleasure on my Holy Day So here's the point. The idea of doing your own pleasure has to do you the background of that passage is that you selfishly do what you want on this day but if you call the Sabbath a delight so the Sabbath is not is not a day for my selfish pleasure but it's a day to find delight in the things of eternity to find delight in heaven so every Sabbath is to be a miniature heaven where I enter into worship and praise of God I enter into deep trust of God where every Sabbath I rejoice in his love in His grace and His goodness it says you call the Sabbath the delight the holy of the Lord honorable honor him not doing your own ways so the Sabbath is a day in which we focus on him to recharge our spiritual batteries not finding our own pleasure doing our own words but look then you shall delight yourself in the Lord and will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth and fill you with the heritage of Jacob your father the mouth of the Lord spoken of God says that if we are faithful to him. And keep the Sabbath and delight in his love and grace that He will cause us to ride on the high places of the earth that he will put a special blessing upon us it doesn't mean that you'll never lose a job if you step out for the Sabbath but what it does mean is that God gave you something much better to give you a joy inside a peace inside he'll give you a sense of right doing inside and he will provide for you and make your supply your every need some time ago when I was in and go I was interviewing a number of pastors It was just after the Civil War in and go and go I had a terrible civil war a lot of devastation took place I had a group of pastors and I said to them will tell me stories about the war and a young Pat young pastor get up and he said let me tell you my story he said actually it was just before the war and I was here in university I was a student university and I was to graduate that year. But as I was this student in university to graduate my final exam came on Sabbath and I had to make a decision will I go and take this exam on Sabbath or won't I take it these it was a real struggle because I thought I was going to lose that chorus and I wouldn't be able to graduate it was really a struggle for me what should I do and he said I know many people would say there's no problem with that but he said look for me I couldn't do it I just it was against my conscience so I went to my major professor I said Look professor the exam is coming on Sabbath and I really am concerned about it I am a 7th Day Adventist from sundown Friday night to sundown starry night I keep the Bible Sabbath Could you give me permission I'll take it before I'll take it after do anything possible all come in Saturday night after Sabbath come in and sundown I mean I'll come in after sundown and he said my major professor at nothing doing he appealed to the dean nothing doing we can't set this precedent if you don't take the exam you're going to fail you will not graduate so he said all that Friday he struggled should I go shouldn't I go he said but he would go to church he was in church somewhat anxious but he said God I'm giving this to you the professor came to class that day and gave the exam on the way home from the on the way home the professor's walking home has his briefcase in his hand 2 thieves. Grabbed the briefcase knocked the professor down to run off with the briefcase the briefcase was filled with the exams that the students had just taken the professor was not hurt but the exams were stolen so the. Professor doesn't know what to do because graduation just in a couple days and so the professor went to the president of the universe at the exams as to what should I do the professor said you can do nothing the president said you can do nothing else but give to the students the grades they previously had in the class forget about the exam and our advantage student got an essay is the class. Them that honor me God says I will do what I will honor I will honor. In Brazil. We had at one of the secular universities one some of a lot of administrations there must I don't know the number but there were scores of Advena students in this particular university they were forced to take exams on Sabbath the Evan student said we can't do it they appealed to the dean nothing doing they appealed to the university president nothing doing now in that country we have a man who is one of the wealthiest men in the country. And one of the most prominent citizens in the country a dear friend of ours and he's in his ninety's now just a tremendous man so the students came to him they said you're prominent what influence can you have they're forcing us we don't want to take exams on the Sabbath he said Leave it to me you know what he did he bought the university fired the president put in a new president and they then could keep keep their exams on Sabbath they didn't have to take their exams on Sabbath I'll tell you God has his ways God has his ways now there are students in all fairness who refused to take exams on Sabbath and they've had to retake the class there are students who all those stories to work out that way but this is what they've discovered they would rather have peace inside and a clear conscience before God then violate something that God has done God makes a promise and when God makes a promise he doesn't let that promise down and that promise is them that the I will honor the Sabbath is a day of trust we trust God that will care for our business we trust God that if we don't work on that day that he will provide for our needs we trust God as students that this can be a break from our intense study and he will bless our minds we trust God that day that we can leave our cares and anxieties alone and enter into a relationship with him now the 3rd principle is this the Sabbath is a day to enjoy God's creation you know there is nothing more enjoy up 0 that on Sabbath to get out and walk in God's creation and study it look. I mean I'm always amazed at the ingenius of God in the far right of God I want you think just about the trees imagine Sabbath collecting the leaves for you with your kids do you know the difference between the red oak in the White Oak and how to identify them you know the White Oak has the rounded part into the leaves that the Red Oak has the pointed end but to go out on 7 to collect leaves and press them what think about all the different uses of wood I mean what the sport uses ash and why. Why do they use it you know baseball bats are often made of ash can you identify an ash tree do you know what that looks like what about the oaks in the pines pines are soft wood oaks or hardwood What's the difference between a white pine and a red white pine of course has 5 needles red pine only has 3 but you stick it out and study the trees or think about the ferns the bracken fern you know the bracken comes up and spreads out in the Indians used to eat bracken fern teach that to your children not don't know note of don't teach them to eat obviously but here's why the Indians ate it because they noticed the deer were eating the bracken fern and every time the Indians would hunt the deer their breath would be smelled by the deer the deer would run so they ate the bracken fern the deer smelled that on their breath the nose the Indians and the wonderful stories the cinnamon fur if you ever lost in the woods and you know what a cinnamon fern is they grow in 3 you pick it up it has a little knot in the root it's absolutely delicious so there is so many incredible lessons in nature we think about the wild flowers to press them and or you think about the edible berries not long ago. And Leslie knows because she and Josh she and Kylie and Daniel were with us were hiking on a trail that I'm not going to name for you because it's the most amazing Berry trail in the in the in the world and I don't want berries to be gone No I'm teasing you we're over it masses battlefield and we took a different trail that day and as we were walking down this trail there were raspberry bushes everywhere. I mean and I think nobody probably had discovered that trail before us and we musta spent 20 minutes there and we would just picking and picking and eating and eating and rejoicing in the goodness of God of giving us those raspberries on Sabbath you know nature is incredible what's the Sabbath for the Sabbath is a day to worship God to praise God to be in church together the Sabbath is a day to learn deeper trust in God The Sabbath is a day to rejoice to rejoice in nature Fourthly the Sabbath is a day for service and blessing others did you know that Jesus worked more miracles on the sabbath than any other single day Jesus worked more miracles on the sabbath than any other single day I'll give you one example or 2 of this turn please to John the 5th chapter John the 5th chapter The Sabbath is to be a day of service and blessing its parents on Sabbath we can help our children to understand the beauty of worship that there uniting with people around the world if we can help them to understand trust that the Sabbath is a day where we trust God we lay aside everything else the Sabbath is a day to enjoy nature and we get our kids outside in nature and get them to understand the trees and the flowers and learn about the birds and if we can help them to understand Sabbath as a datable us others it's a day of service this is what you find in Jesus' life for example John Chapter 5. And you look at John 5 Verse 2 there was in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate of pool which is in Hebrew Beth as Beth as to Beth means house of Bethlehem House of Bread Beth House of Bread Beth say does say it is fish Beth his house of fish Oh Jesus it was born in Bethlehem in the house of the baker and he was the bread of life Bethsaida Jesus called James and John by a fisherman's village and that's Bethsaida say it is fish Beth as to as to its mercy and so Beth as the House of mercy so Jesus comes and as Jesus comes he comes to this house of mercy and he comes to this place that is. The most despicable place the lame the halt the blind the deaf and they're in the scripture says that Jesus comes and he sees a man lying there votes today it says Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time he says you want to be made whole and Jesus heals that man verse 8 he says Rise take up your bed and walk so this is one of the most incredible miracles Jesus on Sabbath this was Sabbath that and Jesus on Sabbath healed that man you find another story of Christ healing a man on Sabbath in the book of John and we find that in John is well where Christ comes and heals a man on Sabbath you find all through the Scriptures Christ working miracles on Sabbath Jesus reaching out look at for example let's look at Mark the Mark one. You find it Mark you find it in John but there's a wonderful story and mark the 1st chapter and. It's Sabbath and Jesus goes into a synagogue there is a De Mint demoniac there Mark one verse $21.00 and it says they went to Capernaum immediately on the Sabbath he enters in to the synagogue and he teaches. And they're astonished at his teaching but this demon possessed man comes in there and Jesus cast the demon out Jesus leaves that synagogue that Sabbath worship and he goes to eat Sabbath lunch in Peter's home and Peter's mother in law is sick and Jesus heals Peter's mother in law you find that in verse 29 now as soon as they came out of the synagogue they came out from Sabbath worship they entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John Simons the other lay sick with a fever and they told him about it at once and he came and looked at her took her up by hand and lifted her up in the fever left her so what is Jesus doing always on Sabbath you know there are more miracles that Jesus worked on Sabbath than any other day and why is that true because Sabbath is to be a day of blessing is to be a day of service young people that are actively involved in service on Sabbath and not told what they cannot do not told what they are not supposed to do but simply are kept actively involved in service projects see the Sabbath as a delight let me give you some examples some practical ideas of blessing others on the Sabbath you could write this in your study guide think about people that are elderly that may not have the opportunity of coming to church bring them over bread pray with them on Sabbath. Think about people that may be shut in the hospital my wife and I for many many years but we were in Hartford Connecticut I was the associate pastor of the church one of the youth pastor is would visit New England would visit New Horizons New Horizons was a comprehensive home for the handicapped in New Britain Connecticut Joan Herman became one of our good friends Joan was paralyzed from her neck down in 1948 in the pair in the in the polio epidemic Joan could not use her hands she could not use her she couldn't button her blouse she could not feed herself she could not comb her hair and she became one of our dear friends when Joan Hermann got polio she was put in an old person's home she was 17 she was put in an old person's home with people that were dying she was physically handicapped but she was mentally alert absolutely brilliant she learned how to type by putting a mouth stick in her mouth and typing with it she had to be in an iron lung which was a round cylinder with only her head sticking out because her lungs were paralyzed and she couldn't breathe she learned to paint with a paint brush in her mouth and painted she began to type letters to Congressman to senators to key government officials telling them that her dream was a comprehensive community for handicapped people eventually the government get on that and built that comprehensive community in New Britain Connecticut so we would go Joanie could come out of her wheelchair probably about a few hours maybe 3 hours a day and she had it she could come out of her iron lung rather about 3 hours a day and she had a motorized wheelchair and in another artificial long that would. Keep her breathing and she had a little platform when my little daughter my daughter who is now older Debbie was just a girl a little girl would put her on the tray and Joanie would go up and down the corridors with it Joanie was amazing. She was giving over 20 Bible studies at one time and I would go into her room and she would mount the Bible above her because she had a way in her back hours and hours a day and she would memorize those passages and then with her mouth sticks you'd turn the pages I would go into a room and she would say Pastor Mark 3rd door in the left draw on the left yes journey to the drawer she would say there is about 18 Bible lessons in there Could you read me the answers that people gave and I'll tell you whether they're right or wrong we had every Sabbath afternoon 3040 people come there was Billy who pulled himself on a board because he could not walk with his legs on the board had wheels on it and there was Doris whose head was cocked to the side and she I remember I'd be preaching and Doris would say Pastor Mark we think fast but our hands are slow don't go so fast you know just incredible people Doris who could not see she was blind she could not speak she was dumb she was totally paralyzed but she could hear and we would sing to Doris you can smile when you can't say a word you can smile new cannot be heard you can smile any time anywhere and Doris would give us this big smile we brought our young people there and our Pathfinders came summer adventures came in and service on Sabbath What can you do on 7. Visit elderly visit hospital bring him a loaf of bread What can he do and take kids door to door with literature and let him hang the literature on the door it's I talked to a friend this week they have a 500 member church in Fallbrook California and they have about 90 to 100 people coming in covert He said We have a covert project as and what your covert project he said taking great controversies putting in plastic bags and we started in October now can you believe this 9200 people California when I say everybody California when I say everybody California they took the great converse and put it in bags full additions and that church has propane torch has passed out from October to January 20000 great controversies door to door members every Sabbath come they take the plastic bags misting he and they hang them on the door as we need to get some more books to write that's what the literature ministry is planning every one of us can be a part our young people can go out they don't have to say a word to anybody giving out literature on Sabbath Can you think of somebody at Living Hope that doesn't get many invitations for a lunch. And you think of somebody who doesn't get many invitation for one look around the congregation and see who you can invite for lunch on Sabbath that may not get an invitation you will be so blessed by doing that in the courage of family to go for a walk with you you know we have a lot of families in the church where the wife may be a 7th they have innocent husband may not be you may have young people in the church whose parents are not real faithful in coming think about gathering them in. One of my favorite stories is about a young man I'll call Chad just to protect a dentity. Chad was brought up in the ad than a shirt but while as he grew he decided that there wasn't much left in church for him it didn't have much excitement for him so Chad left the church got involved with a motorcycle gang group long hair blowing in the breeze defied the helmet law helmets and one day it was a Sabbath morning he was speeding by the church and as he sped by it is most likely thought you know I still have a few friends there I think I'll go it was in a large church 5060 members extremely conservative church one of those churches where on platform you have to wear a white shirt I would not be allowed on the platform because of this law blue shirt but anyway you have to have a white shirt you need a black suit and a black tie it was a church that was very very very divisive very very conservative So Chad comes in it's he gets in a little late It's 10 after in 11 and as he gets in it's late and he it's now the song service over announcements are over the they're singing the opening song and everybody standing up if you ever walked into a church a little late everybody standing up what do you notice immediately you can you don't know where the seats are because you can't see anybody standing upright so Chad comes in Everett is standing up and he's walking down the ice looking at where we can i sit we're going to sit and before he knows it he's about the 3rd from the front everybody's looking at that kid he is the recalcitrant rebellious backslidden kid in the church we know what he's doing he's not keeping Sabbath you know Chad doesn't know what to do we just came to see his friends but here he is now finds himself by the so you know what he did he sat down right in the aisle sat down right in the right on the floor the head elder was sitting in the back. White shirt black top. You have to dress proper to go to church and the other began walking down the aisle and everybody knew what he was going to do he was going to ream that kid out to their surprise the Elder sat on the floor next to Chad and put his arm around him and said Chad we missed you I'm God you're here and the altar sat on the floor with that kid the whole service at the end of the service he looked at Chad and suggested you know my wife makes a pretty mean apple pie and you likely look like you need a good lunch today won't you come home with me and Chad what are you home with the old man that day and they walked they walked trails they talked Chad shared the struggles he was going through and as Chad looked back on his life he said that day that that old man invited me home as a teenager that was the day that I began making my little steps back to the church and back to committing to Christ Who do you know that may not get invitation home for Sabbath meal that you can invite that you can fellowship with the Sabbath is a day for service a day to visit the elderly that may be shut in and can't get out to church to visit members in hospital a day to spend time with those that are less fortunate that may not have the opportunities that that all of us have Sabbath is that day when we view Sabbath through these 4 lenses the lens of worshipping God and opening our hearts for a blessing now wanting to miss one church service the lens of trusting God that Sabbath is a day to trust God through the lens of nature or Sabbath as a day. To study nature and to love God's creation and Sabbath as a day to do good we can become so absorbed with the delight of the Sabbath that we cannot wait till the next week to come do you know that's the way it was in ancient Biblical culture do you know the word for a week in the Greek language of the New Testament the word for a week like we say the 1st day of the week the 2nd day the week the 3rd day of the week they don't say it that way the word for a week in the Bible is sabot on it's a little different than Sat bought the Sabbath it sabotages So when you say the 1st day in the original biblical language you say the 1st day toward the Sabbath That's Sunday 2nd day toward the Sabbath 3rd dated at 7 so when you talk about the Sabbath you are every day of the week is pointing you forward to that great day that day when the palace from heaven will come down that day when Jesus will visit his people in a special way that day when we can shut in in his presence and recognize that he is our creator he's our redeemer He's our coming King the Sabbath is the link it is the link that links us to creation in the past it links us to redemption and it links us to the future how so every Sabbath we're reminded that God created us that we did not evolve every Sabbath we rest from our works and we trust his we rest in the salvation that he provides and every Sabbath we remember that just as He created the world and he Denecke splendor he's going to recreate it and as we read 2 key texts 1st Chronicles I could take your Bible in turn to Chronicles we're going to look at 2 key text that I want you to keep in mind when you think of the Sabbath we're looking at. The book of Chronicles 1st Chronicles Chapter 717 1st Chronicles Chapter 17 verse 27 he gives you an eternal principle 1st chronical 1727 now you've been pleased to bless the house of your servant that it may continue before you forever for you have blessed it a warden and show people us forever the Sabbath blessing is a blessing that God has placed in that day for ever and when we come to keep Sabbath we are rejoicing in this blessing and know that God will bless us when I was just becoming a 7th Day Adventist not yet baptized God gave me an experience of the blessing of the Sabbath I. Played on the y.m.c.a. basketball team and in our area the y.m.c.a. was a very significant youth movement and I played basketball for the y.m.c.a. team and our team qualified for the New England championship I played. In Connecticut and Norwich Connecticut and New England of course consists of Maine Vermont New Hampshire Connecticut Rhode Island and the in the championship was a real big deal I came from a home that did not have a lot of money so I hardly ever in my life in my childhood can ever think back of staying in a hotel I don't remember if I ever did I don't think I ever stayed in a hotel before in my teen up to much through my teen years eating in restaurants maybe a Cajun only but very very very rarely would we ever eat in a restaurant when you qualify as a basketball team for the New England championship you have the chance to travel. And the preliminary tournaments was in Springfield Massachusetts we were to travel to Springfield stay in hotels eat restaurants and I thought this is the only chance in my life I'm ever going to get to travel I will never get to travel again I will never stay in a hotel again never lick be in a restaurant again I can't give this up but I had studied the 7th and I will remember I was in high school I was North Free Academy and I was a senior now an academy I was baptized in March of 1963 and this experience would take put to make in place in December or January of 63 December 62 or January 63 and so there I am thinking man what an opportunity I can't let my friends down and kill my buddies down you know I I just have to go to this turn and I have to go and I wasn't yet baptized but I had studied the Sabbath I was really convicted on it I called an old lady who Francis parisite was her name she didn't go to the Norwich church rose but New London Connecticut I called Francis at Francis I got this great opportunity to play basketball to go to the New England championship but I'm struggling I am really struggling about shoes and old wives' had been asleep and I said well what should I do I'm not yet baptized I can still remember her she said Mark what would Jesus do that's all she needed to. Be I knew the answer Mark what would Jesus do I said Sister he wouldn't go to play basketball oh he would he would keep she said you've got your answer I had my answer I didn't go and you know I look at my life and I think about it a great deal. If I would have compromised God's truth about the Sabbath then what I have ever had the chance to travel the world to probably around 100 countries stay in places all over the world meet people from a variety of backgrounds Jesus says what I blessed a blessed forever and one of my favorite texts in the Bible is 1st Samuel 2 verse 33 text that I want to leave you with today what is the purpose of the Sabbath is to come and worship God is to praise him and never to miss that opportunity what is the purpose of the Sabbath it leads us to deeper trust deeper confidence in God What's the purpose of the Sabbath to spend time with our Creator and nature to spend time letting our our souls catch up with our bodies in an age of Russian hurry what's the purpose of the Sabbath is to do good. To find projects that can bless others what's the purpose of the Sabbath in one line to draw us closer to God and closer to one another the Sabbath is a day of relationships and here God says and 1st Samuel chapter 2 verse 30 therefore of the good Lord God of Israel says I said indeed that your house in the house of your father would walk before me forever but now the Lord says Far Far be it from me now here's the part for those who are needy I will. And those who despise me shall be likely esteem those that honor me God says I will honor will be so richly blessed if we are faithful to God and keep the Sabbath were not always quest with material blessings but whatever happens God gives us an inner peace and overflowing joy in a contented heart in him and being secure in the fact that we have done the right thing his love surrounds us His Grace fills our hearts and His Holy Spirit strengthens us so week by week my prayer is that you too will enter into the delight and the joy and the blessing of Sabbath let's pray Father in heaven how we think the with all of our hearts for this palace in time this slice of eternity the good news of the Sabbath may it always be a delight for us may we always free Joyce in it and find strength and worship to you May we find a deeper trust. May we see the beauties of nature and rejoice in their interest seize and your creative power and may we discover how to do good and bless others and we thank you that those that honor you you will honor in Jesus' name. And. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit w w w audio verse or.


Embed Code

Short URL