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Blessings to all who visit here!

I’ve decided to add something new to my home page. I usually place a devotional on Facebook every morning, and thought it might be good to share those daily messages with my friends that visit my website. At some point in the future, I will adding the link to Facebook and Twitter, but this is a work in progress. I hope this message touches your heart. Feel free to share it with those you know who might also benefit:

April 19, 2014

DON’T FORGET THE SABBATH

Christians, in general, don’t recognize the fact that, even in death, Jesus kept the Sabbath holy by resting on that day. He could have chosen to rise from the dead on any day; He and the Father could have designed the plan of salvation around one of the other festivals. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, would have been just as symbolic, since He made atonement for our sin through His sacrifice. But as “…Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29b KJV), Jesus not only atoned for our sin, but He became our Intercessor, a Lawyer of sorts, before the Great Judge, God the Father.

Many Christians have an understanding of Sabbath being strictly a Jewish tradition; however, in studying Scripture, we see that the Sabbath was established at creation, long before Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob and the children of Israel came into the picture. “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 2:2-3 KJV).

For this reason, the Sabbath commandment is the only commandment that does not start out with ‘thou shalt’ or ‘thou shall not’! The Sabbath commandment is placed at the end of the first four commandments which Jesus summarized as relating to our love for God. “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. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38 KJV). The Sabbath commandment says, instead of ‘thou shalt’ or ‘thou shall not’, ‘Remember’.

Telling someone, like the formerly enslaved children of Israel, to remember something implies that it was forgotten over time and association with, and enforced labor for, the Egyptians! “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:40-41 KJV). They were probably forced to work seven days unless it was an Egyptian holiday for one of their gods, and over the course of more than 400 years of this treatment, it would have been easy to forget the customs established by the patriarchs!

Sabbath observance continued even into New Testament times. Part of the reason for Jesus coming to earth in the form of a human was to show that it was possible for a human being to live a perfect life, to perfectly follow the laws God established with Adam and Eve, which the devil had tried to dispute. Jesus rested on the Sabbath throughout His ministry, with His disciples, attending the synagogue, as was their custom. But His behavior on the Sabbath often was in conflict with the religious leaders of the time.

In Matthew 12:1-2 (KJV) it says, “At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.” Jesus always was able to give an answer that shut down the Pharisees, “Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?” (Luke 6:9 KJV). So, despite all the hundreds of conditions rabbis had added to the Sabbath observance, Jesus showed the simplicity in understanding this one commandment, and kept the Sabbath even in death!

My <3 song is one of my favorites about remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy:

“Don’t forget the Sabbath,
The Lord our God hath blest,
Of all the week the brightest,
Of all the week the best;
It brings repose from labor,
It tells of joy divine,
Its beams of light descending,
With heav’nly beauty shine.

REFRAIN:
Welcome, welcome, ever welcome,
Blessèd Sabbath day,
Welcome, welcome, ever welcome,
Blessèd Sabbath day.

Keep the Sabbath holy,
And worship Him today,
Who said to His disciples,
I am the living way;
And if we meekly follow
Our Savior here below,
He’ll give us of the fountain
Whose streams eternal flow.

Day of sacred pleasure!
Its golden hours we’ll spend
In thankful hymns to Jesus,
The children’s dearest friend;
O gentle, loving, Savior,
How good and kind Thou art,
How precious is Thy promise
To dwell in every heart!”

“If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 58:13-14 KJV). Have a blessed day!

ABOUT MY WRITING:

My first two books are available on amazon.com in either paperback, hardback, or ebook formats. they are the first two books in my group called “Journeys of Faith”. Take a look on my books page for “Through the Waters” and “Across the Wilderness”. “Out of the Valley” is coming along nicely. I am hoping to get it to the publisher within the next month or 6 weeks.

Meanwhile, look for several ebooks,not part of the “Journeys of Faith”. One is a compilation of my daughter’s poems, two are related to the grieving process: 1) a personal tribute to my daughter called, “Only in My Dreams”, and 2) an overview of the various ways we grieve other losses in our lives, named “White Crosses Line the Highways of Our Lives”. As they are released through Kindle Direct Publishing, links will be placed on this website.

With the holiday season approaching us, don’t let’s forget the less fortunate among us. Take time to search for somebody in need. Donate time feeding the homeless. Find new, innovative ways to reach out in your community. Most of all, don’t forget the commission in James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Feel free to use the emails on this website to contact
me regarding scheduling a book-signing and/or talk to a reading
group, church group or just a gathering of friends. I am
always open to new experiences and meeting new people.

<>< Jeanne F. Brooks ><>

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