Saturday, November 11, 2017

2017.11.11 Hopewell @Home ▫ Isaiah 58:13-14

Questions for Littles: From what were they to turn their feet on the Sabbath (v13)? Whose day is it? What were they to call a delight? What were they to call honorable? Whom do we honor when we delight in the Sabbath? Whose ways are they not to do on the Sabbath? Whose pleasure are they not to find on the Sabbath? Whose words are they not to speak on the Sabbath? What (whom!) does v14 say that this kind of Sabbath-keeping will make them delight in? Upon what will this Sabbath keeping make us to ride? Upon whose heritage will this kind of Sabbath-keeping make us to feed?
In the Scripture for the sermon this week, the Lord taught us what it means to treat the holiness of His day as weighty, especially as it concerns our ways, our pleasure, and our words.

The first way to “honor Him” on His day is by not doing our own ways. This refers to activities that are not sinful on other days. The Lord’s Day is holy. It is set apart from common use. It is set apart for another use. In Monday’s devotional we focused on attitude, but now we are talking about how this works out in action. God says, “clear your schedule on Sunday. Whatever you had planned, cancel it. I’ve got plans for you for this day; I’ll tell you what to do, and you do it as well as you can.”

The second way to “honor Him” is by not finding our own pleasure on His day. The verb means “seeking” just as much as it means “finding.” Just as with scheduling and planning, God has reserved our “seeking” energies for Himself on the Lord’s Day. Our tendency is to spend our hearts in yearning after those things that we think will give us more pleasure. On this day, however, we have an entire day of seeking to be pleased with Him directly. If we find that “doing His way instead of my own” isn’t pleasing, then let us seek with our hearts to find Him pleasant.

The third way to “honor Him” is by not speaking our own words. In fact, the text is much stronger: “not speaking a word.” There are at least two reasons for this. One is that out of the overflow of our hearts, our mouths speak (Luk 6:45). Our words will let us know how we are doing with our hearts.

Another reason is that the Lord’s Day is a day of being gathered together with one another, and our words have a significant impact upon one another. Our hearts are bad enough that the last thing that our brothers and sisters on the Lord’s Day need is for our words to turn their attention away from Him. Indeed, each of us needs all the Lord’s Day help that we can get, and in love each of us ought to be filling others’ ears with the wonderful goodness of our Lord.

As spiritually cold and dry as we are, these three simple steps are very difficult. Even if we are committed to them, we will find it tough slogging and fail often. But, we have confidence in Christ’s blood that this is paid for, and confidence that His obedience has already been counted for us. And, in this particular case, we have the most amazing promise attached: then you will delight in the Lord!
What is your Lord’s Day plan? With whom can you agree to mutually encourage one another with “Lord’s Day” words?
Suggested Songs: ARP184 “Adoration and Submission” or HB70 “O Day of Rest and Gladness”

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