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Wednesday: Miracles on the Sabbath — 13 Comments

  1. Satan wants us to focus on extreme legalism in observance of of the Sabbath,as he uses this to draw off our attention from Christ.God keeps watch on us even on Sabbath as he always does every day.

  2. Can anyone truly say he/she has been perfectly keeping the Sabbath? If so, how does one tell? Is it by a satisfied checklist or an ecstatic feeling? In Jesus’ day it was thought that Sabbath keeping was something to be measured; and those who did it best were to be commended, if not set apart from the others; thereby diverting honor to mankind.

    By the Pharisees checklist approach they had made the Sabbath into an ugly institution through all the burdens they added to the Sabbath keeper. Far from a Day to look forward to in honor of the Creator the Sabbath became something to dread. Herein lies the issue which Jesus confronted.

    Jesus deliberately performed miracles, and allowed certain other activities on the Sabbath to make a statement against the common practice and revive the true spirit of Sabbath keeping, which includes doing good (works of mercy).

    In our day the problem is largely on the other side, where a casual approach, neglect, or outright rejection casts a shadow over the Sabbath. It is why the remnant (representatives of Jesus) are particularly called to make a statement in these last days against the common practice and to revive the true spirit of Sabbath keeping, which includes conscious preparation and avoidance of unnecessary distracting work. It is to repair the breach and restore honor to God (Isaiah 58:12, 13)

    Whether through the Pharisees overburdening approach or Babylon’s ‘do as one pleases’ attitude the dragon is after Christ, the Creator and His honor (Revelation 12:4, 5). Still the battle was won in Heaven (Revelation 12:7-9) and again at the Cross (John 19:30). There is yet another conflict, which involves God’s seal; and the remnant is to play an important role in it.

    Are you up to it? Which side are you leaning on?

  3. Many are the times that we have selfishly used Christ command to do good on sabbath in matt. 12:10-12 to justfy running of our own errands on sabbath day.Remember we should do good on sabbath,visit the sick,share food with the less fortunate,visit prisoners as well share the good news and all other good deeds that will remind the broken hearted that God still cares.Lets desist from legalistick self centered acts.

    • Thanks for your comment, Edwin. What struck me is that you recognize that there are two sides to the coin of legalism:
      1) one side focuses on doing just "the right thing" often forgetting both the Lord and neighbors in the process
      2) the other side focuses on the liberties "allowed" - reasons for not doing what the Lord asks of us.

      Both approaches are legalistic.

      Instead, a focus on loving God first and our neighbors as ourselves may lead us to "break" Adventist Sabbath traditions, just as Jesus broke the Sabbath traditions of the Jews.

      It reminds me of the inspiring comment by Lisa Haub in which she shared how she made the Sabbath a delight for her family.

      Among other things, she mentioned

      in the afternoon on hot summer days instead of going to the pool we would go to a local nearby river, where we would have vespers, and sing praises about Jesus, and look at God's creation, (yes I let the kids get wet!)

      The way she expressed herself implies that she was conscious of a Sabbath tradition against "getting wet" on the Sabbath. But it allowed her children to enjoy God's nature and look forward to each Sabbath. (Note that she did not take her children "to the pool" where they would be surrounded by influences to distract from the Creator, but to the river, where they were free to glory in His creation.

  4. The Sabbath should be to us a reminder that we should turn away from legalism. It reminds us that God did all the work and gave us the Sabbath as a gift in the same way He did all the work and gave us salvation.

  5. If our Sabbaths are planed by the mints and even week and months in advance with no free moments for the spirit to move on a member in the pew , are we legalistic?

  6. I love the quote from John 5:17 'My father has been working until now and I have been working.' God doesn't stop sending us sunshine and rain on the Sabbath and providing for His creation. He even calls it work. In the same way I serve my family meals on the Sabbath and wash the dishes and dress my children and change diapers. We can ask ourselves: Do my actions on the Sabbath draw my family and neighbors closer to God and fulfill their true physical and spiritual needs?

  7. One of the confusing Sabbath issues I have and see it all the time in our church in general,is going out to eat on Sabbath. Some say, well cooking is work so I go out to eat so I don't have to cook. What about the people cooking your food at the restaurant? Are they working for you? Doesn't the Sabbath commandment say, thou shalt not do any work including you manservants? What is the preparation day for? isn't it to prepare your table so you won't have to on Sabbath? Spending money on Sabbath? Traveling at your leisure and buying gas on the Sabbath?

    Don't stone me for my thoughts, but isn't God particular about Sabbath keeping and how we are to serve Him on the Sabbath? Have you ever noticed that a Seventh Day Adventist pastor nor anyone else will ever mention spending money, going out to eat on Sabbath or anything like that? Jesus is a Merciful and Gracious God, but is a Jealous God and expects us to serve Him as He has taught us to do so. imo

    • I remember a situation where a Sabbath-keeper allowed, at his own home and on the Sabbath, someone he hired to do a job. Why did he allow it? Because the worker unexpectedly showed up on the Sabbath to do the work, and the homeowner had failed to "remember the Sabbath" earlier in the week when he ordered the work. I don't know what he told the worker, but I do know that he confessed to his children that he had sinned earlier in the week in neglecting to plan to honor God. At the same time, he would not defraud the worker of his wages. God knows whether or not that was the best solution. At least the point was made that he intended to honor God with more forethought in the future.

  8. I'm suspicious that some may be using the word "legalism" in ways different from others, but always it seems to be with bad connotations. So I looked it up and found this definition: "2. Theology.
    a. the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.
    b. the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws."

    If we are taking definition 2a, I understand from the Bible that we are wrong theologically. But are we not talking about motivation, the reason we do what we do rather than the things we do? I have enough problem understanding my own motives at times. How can I presume to understand the motive of others, unless they tell me?

    I can though be observant of actions and compare those actions with Scripture. In that sense, I would be following definition 2b. And that is not bad, as we read in James 2:12 "So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty." How else could we follow the counsel in Matthew 18:15-19 or Hebrews 12:12-16? So we must judge our actions, lest we (and those we love) be found wanting in God's judgment.

    I believe God expects us to be intelligently and thoughtfully obedient to Him, and to do so out of a motivation of love for Him and for our fellow human beings.

  9. I always sin in every Sabbath day, pray for me cause I work on it except when we finish a month here in Rwanda. I wish I could ... all things are possible to God not a man like me. let all pray and be an example to all who surround us even in our job. thanks!

  10. I thank God for this wondetful lesson. I have one point to make and this goes to our nurses and doctors who work in government hospitals. Others may claim that their job is that of relieving humanity from suffering. They should do so only when the lives of patients are in grave danger and their services are inevitably required. Otherwise, they should let other nurses and doctors do not keep the sabbath do that work hence they also teach them in their way of life about the sabbath.

  11. Since the founding of our denomination out of its Baptist and Methodist backgrounds, we've championed the seventh day Sabbath and, understandably, have been very protective of this doctrinal point. We have discussed it in ways that have prepared the membership to refute all the arguments leveled against the Sabbath doctrine from numerous sources since our founding. Is it possible that this culture of defense regarding this particular doctrine might have distracted us from any deeper significance of the Sabbath commandment? At the center of the 4th commandment is the prohibition of the individual, son, daughter, manservant, maidservant, cattle and any stranger within the individual's household to "do ANY work"(Ex 20:10 KJV

    However, twice in OT Scripture God reveals to ancient Israel that the Sabbath was, "a SIGN between them and Me that they might KNOW that I AM THE LORD who SANCTIFIES THEM." (Eze 20:12, 20; Ex 31:13). In Deuteronomy 5:15 God declares the Sabbath a memorial of their miraculous release from Egyptian slavery. Isaiah 58:13-14 shifts the emphasis from "doing YOUR PLEASURE on my holy day", "not doing YOUR OWN WAYS", "nor speaking YOUR OWN WORDS" to "you shall DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD

    The Sabbath in addition to reinforcing in our minds the creative abilities of our God, becomes a symbol reminder that it is that Creator's committed responsibility to set us apart for His acceptable service, not ours. Our Creator wants us to have the kind of heart/brain/mind that keeps ALL his commandments (Deut 5:29), but like David, we have to come to a place of acknowledgment that such a heart/brain/mind is a Creator's gift through faith (Ps 51:10, Phil 3:9).

    Consider Galatians 5:13-25, God wants us to rest from "the WORKS OF THE FLESH" (Gal. 5:19) and enter into a spiritual relationship not governed by just written laws (Gal. 5:18, 22). It is important that God's people realize that not all living deemed by the Creator to be "lawless" will appear evil in our eyes (Mt 7:22-24). the seventh day Sabbath is only a symbol of the real miracle that God desires to create in all humanity (Heb 4:10; Mk 2:25-28). This Sabbath as we follow His custom, may He stand again and speak healing into our broken hearts/brain/minds (Lk 4:16-19).


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