Jesus’ Baptism Part 1: John’s Testimony and Ministry

Jesus’ Baptism Part 1: John’s Testimony and Ministry

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Matthew 3:13

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. I have always thought it was interesting that Jesus said this baptism was necessary to fulfill all righteousness.

Baptism has been something I have wanted to do a thorough study of for some time so it was great to finally do so!

Jesus went through John’s baptism, first, to validate John’s ministry.

John’s ministry was the one making the way for Christ and it was directly pointing to Christ’s ministry. It was important for it to be validated by Him. Jesus was baptized by John and then began preaching the same message as John: Repent for the kingdom of God is near. (Matthew 4:17)

When the pharisees asked Jesus by what power He performed His miracles, Jesus asked them instead about the ministry of John the Baptist. If John’s ministry was of God, Jesus was of that same ministry. When they copped out and said they didn’t know, Jesus went on to validate John by saying he was a prophet. And not just a prophet, but the only prophet to be prophesied about, that he would herald the Messiah.

So Jesus’ validation of John’s baptism was a validation of Himself as well. And as John testified about Him- John 1:29 “I baptize with water but one will come after me who is mightier than I, and He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”

And again, “behold, the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world”.

John’s testimony was true and his ministry was from God, and his baptism prepared the way for Christ and Christ’s baptism.

John’s testimony was that Jesus was also more than just a man, existing long before John and far greater than him.

John 1:32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”

Because of what happened when Jesus was baptized by John, John himself realized Jesus was the Messiah and testified about Him.

 

There is a beautiful theme throughout John’s ministry and Jesus’ ministry.

When John was still in the womb the Spirit of God was on him causing him to leap for joy when the pregnant Mary visited John’s mother, Mary’s relative, Elizabeth. From the womb John sensed, through the Spirit, who the Messiah was.

The Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus was the sign that He was the Messiah. And the moment The Spirit descended was when Jesus began His ministry. This is the Spirit Jesus promised to send when He went to the Father. The Holy Spirit of the Father and the Son who is in us.

The Holy Spirit is Christ in us and He is our identity in Christ. Our comforter and our righteousness. It is the Spirit who has been speaking since the dawn if time, and He is still speaking of our Messiah. The baptism John talked of was that of the Spirit and fire. The baptism of Jesus.

 

Part 2 coming next Tuesday: Jesus’ Baptism for Us

❤️ Kara J

 

Photo by Clyde He on Unsplash

 

Righteousness Part 3

When life doesn’t go well for the righteous

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As the verses of God’s help in times of trouble suggest, there are still troubles that the righteous face. We are still living on this earth. Evil still affects our daily lives. Sorrows come and threaten to shatter us. The world is not made perfect, yet. There is still suffering even for the righteous. The Old Testament is a good example if this. David and Elijah and especially Jeremiah, all had their share of suffering. And then of course there is the icon of the righteous man suffering, Job. None of these people, however terrible their suffering, were overcome. Some complained but none were defeated. God can always handle our honest complaints. Coming to Him in trials, even with complaint, is still a productive reaction. It shows you know where the answers lie. Where your help comes from. And the tempests always served to deepen our love and dependance on God. An eternal outcome to a momentary struggle.

 

Those who are firm in the love of God know that in every storm, God is unchanged. Also, no matter how we act toward God, His heart for His children is unchanged.

It reminds me of one of my favorite parts from my favorite story. An exceptionally bratty, selfish princess has been taken against her will by a woman known to the king and queen as the wise woman and to the princess as a scary old witch. The wise woman looks lovingly at the princess but the princess takes it for weakness and actually tries to ram into the woman. After this, the wise woman looks at her again, this time sternly. And the narrator says this…she did not realize that the stern look came from the same heart as the look of love. -I am paraphrasing because I do not have the book in front of me.

This is not to say that everything bad that happens is God disciplining you. Also, there is a real difference between discipline and punishment. He disciplines those He loves like a father disciplines a son. But as far as punishment the Bible says this, perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment. In Christ we have no fear of punishment. In Christ we have perfect love.

Because you are in Christ, God always has the same heart toward you, whether rejoicing in your affection or disciplining you, or comforting you in times of trouble, it is all with the heart of the Father. Not the heart of a father, not the heart of your father, the heart of the Father. Even earthly fathers can understand this concept. A good father loves his children the same no matter what. Whether the kids are good or bad or in trouble or in need, the root of love is always at the heart of it all. No father does this perfectly but God is not a father like anyone else.

Think of His delight in His Son in whom He is well pleased. Remember when Jesus came to God before his death? He pleaded for the cup to pass. He was honest and poured out His heart to God, but at the end he determined to go through it. He fully trusted God and submitted to Him. Do you think the love of the Father was any less for His Son when He was on the cross? Seeing what the cross meant and accomplished for us, do you think His Love for us is any less when we are suffering? Jesus bore the trial and was victorious. He is the Son to whom God has given the earth as His inheritance.  And this is the identity God has rebirthed you into. His Son is the righteousness He sees in you.

 

Maybe when you see yourself you see someone unworthy. But our unworthiness has always been understood and is why Jesus gives us His identity and life. You see your unworthiness, but God sees His Son. And He is before the throne of the Father, interceding. And that intercession is based on the Father’s heart and will.  God considers us worthy of being his children. He also sees of as worthy to receive His Spirit. How intimate it is, that God’s own Spirit is given to us. How can we be separated from Him? Nothing on earth can separate us from the perfect love of our Father. Nothing can separate us from the righteousness of His Son on our behalf.

And with that I’ve skipped to New Testament righteousness. But they are, at the core, the same. Both rooted in faith in the Righteous One.

God be praised!

Tomorrow we get to talk more about God’s righteousness. ^_^

❤ Kara J

Righteousness Part 2

Earthly Rewards for the Righteousness

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The Old Testament has a lot of verses about the benefits of righteousness. A lot of them are built into the fabric of creation.

Here is something very telling about the true nature of righteousness:

Psalm 85:11

“Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.”

It says that the Lord will give what is good and the land will be fruitful as a result of faithfulness and righteousness. But what I love is that it says that faithfulness springs from the earth and righteousness looks down from heaven. It is a testament that it is faith that is given from us and righteousness that comes from God. It is not that our righteousness reaches up to heaven and then God blesses us. It is that our faithfulness, or faith in His faithfulness, reaches up, and His righteousness gives it’s full attention to that faith. Also, I do not believe this faithfulness is just referring to what we offer. I believe this faithfulness that springs from the earth is God’s creation and work that is always glorifying Him. As it says in Isaiah 6:3,
“And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’” I believe the glory of God is faithfully springing up from the earth to glorify God.

His own faithfulness is at work in the earth and always glorifying Him. It is less about our faithfulness and more about His faithfulness to us, in which we can fully trust.

As a side note, his is something that helps me when I see other Christians and get disheartened by what seems to be a lack of faith in some area of their life. I’m talking about Christians with a lot of people listening to them. God reminded me with this verse that He receives glory from the whole earth. That His servant indeed brings Him glory, not because of their perfect faith, but because of His own work of faithfulness in the world that is always a spring of life reaching to heaven.

We are all on a journey to becoming more like Christ, and He is far more patient with our and others’ processes than we are. Remember, our righteousness is in Christ. So pray for your brother or sister in Christ to know His love more and more because this is God’s heart for them and He is the author and perfecter of our faith.

Ok, where were we? Oh yeah! Benefits of righteousness. XD

Here’s a few of the many:

Psalm 34:15, The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;

Psalm 34:17, The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

Psalm 34:19, The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;

Psalm 34:21, Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.

Psalm 37:25, I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

Psalm 37:39, The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

Psalm 37:16-17 Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.

Psalm 112:4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.

Psalm 112:6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.

 

There are blessings for the righteous on earth for practical matters, and there are spiritual blessings in this life also, as well as blessings in heaven.

Righteousness is one side of a coin. The righteous are blessed. The wicked are cursed. Not that it is a matter of chance like with a coin toss, but this is the way the world works. God made it that way. Sin leads to death but it also gains guilt, punishment, shame and troubles on earth. Righteousness on earth gains blessing, peace, joy, and long life.

This is a general rule of creation. This means it is not the case every time but it is generally true. What is the same every time, is God’s heart for the righteous and His attentiveness and help.

Tomorrow I’ll go over when things don’t go well for the righteous.

❤ Kara J

 

Photo by pragmart on Unsplash

Righteousness Part 1

How to Be Righteous- Old Testament

D91738F7-997C-4CDA-9B53-E1E0CD9B3DAEWhen I think of the topic of righteousness from the Old Testament I feel I need to start a little before the actual word first appears. This is mainly because the word “righteous” is not used when talking about Adam or Enoch.

Adam and Eve, when in the garden, walked with God. Or at least that is what it seems to infer was normal in Genesis 3:8
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”

God came and took a walk in the garden. It seems to me He did this regularly and walked and talked with them. Obviously as new, innocent creations they were righteous before the fall. There was nothing keeping them from having face to face conversation with their creator.

Enoch was taken by God and did not die. He walked with God all the days of his life. This walking with God is what I believe righteousness is all about. What our true purpose is.

The same vocabulary is used when the word “righteous” is first used in scripture. The first actual mention is with Noah.

Gen 6:9 says, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”

Here it also says he walked with God.

When God makes the covenant with Abraham He says “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.” Genesis 17:1 But before God tells Abraham this, it says, “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Gen 15:6

Faith leading to righteousness came before walking faithfully before, or with, God. Of course, in order to walk with someone you have believe in them. Faith is the beginning of walking with God. But not just faith in His existence. Faith in His word and that He is who He says He is.

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

So it is not just believing He is real but also believing His heart for you. That He desires to reveal Himself to His creation.

 

ISRAEL

At the beginning of the Old Testament it seems that righteousness is only by faith and is lived out in intimacy with God. Of course, these examples have been with individuals.

When the nation of Israel is sanctified to God, He gives them laws with which to be righteous. So, is it now by laws that we please God? Well, we can tell by the commandments given that the foundation has not changed:

Deut. 6:5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

As Jesus said in the New Testament, the greatest command is to love God with all your heart, soul and strength. Fulfilling this fulfills loving your neighbor as well. No one loves your neighbor like their Creator and Savior and Father. And through loving God and your naighbor, the rest of them are naturally obeyed.

So indeed, righteousness in the Old Testament is by faith in God and intimacy with Him, just as it is in the New Testament.

The laws given to Israel were also to be a sign to the other nations of the perfect justice and righteousness of God who gave the laws to them. Of His fairness and understanding and also of His holiness and provision.

To us it may seem like a ton of laws. More than 600 in total. But in that day, laws showed that there was justice and order and cleanliness and fairness. Deuteronomy 4:8 “What great nation is there that has laws and rulings as just as this entire Torah which I am setting before you today?”

The laws show the heart of God. Not to kill, steal, covet, or give false testimony against the innocent. To love one another. The laws also covered cleanliness and justice depending on the transgression, how to work the land and so on.

Another interesting factor is that before God gave them these laws He showed His glory to them. His glory came down on the mountain in a cloud, with fire and darkness and with trumpet blasts. God had Moses and Aaron walk into the darkness and cloud to speak to Him directly so the people would listen to them. 

He is God who is always revealing Himself to us. This is the origin of our righteousness.

When it comes to the commands, loving God first would make the rest of the laws second nature. That is why Deuteronomy 6:24-25 says “…if we are careful to obey all his laws before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”

Obeying laws was their righteousness because all these laws are founded and preceded by loving God.

There are many verses, especially in Psalms, about what the righteous do. A lot of them have to do with rejoicing in God’s faithful love, in His laws and justice and in His provision and glory… because to be righteous is to know and love God and have His love for His creation.

❤ Kara J

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash

Sabbath Day of Rest Part 7

7D22B466-E4C2-47E8-B702-A71C48E01426Remember, He loves you like His Son.

His Son, who suffered and died. Also, to whom He gives the entire world as an inheritance and whom He made ruler over every nation. His Son to whom He gives all glory and honor in Heaven, before whom every knee will bow.  

He did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all. Now He is seated in Heaven at God’s right hand over all. The hope and salvation of all. The fairest of all. And, of course, He has made Him  our true rest for all eternity, because He is our new and holy identity.

This is our Father. There is no cross you carry that Christ does not lift for you. And the inheritance of Love is yours in Christ.

Sin in the world breeds destruction and we as Christians are not going to pass unscathed. But we will be victorious and at peace if we have our eyes fixed on Christ Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the glory set before him endured the cross scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of God in heaven. Blessed are those who are not offended on account of Jesus. He tells us, “in this world you will have troubles but take heart, I have overcome the world.”

Comforted yet? ^_^

Seriously, I pray that nothing in your life comes in between you and the love God has for you. If it does, how can you truly rest in Him? You must keep looking into His wonderful face and seeing who He really is and His heart for you. The clearer we see Him the more like Him we become. The more we surrender, the more we rest in Him.  

This is the nature of the first command of our creator. To have full, life giving, holy rest in Himself.

Glory to God in the highest. Peace on earth, good will toward men!

Be blessed in our Love and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Love you lots!

Kara J.

Photo by Bobby Rodriguezz on Unsplash

Sabbath Day of Rest Part 6

52356FE7-1B4D-4A04-B638-F365F544098ASo what is it that we do? I’m sure you’ve heard it before: Surrender.

If you think that sounds like work, you are both right and wrong. The work is in the waiting. Come to God in prayer and wait. If anything is worth making a priority for a bit each day it is this. Time alone with God to tell Him you are His and wait on Him. You can pray different verses that build your faith, like the ones that talk about His promises to make you holy or ones that most make you feel loved by Him. Believe His word. Believe He loves you. That He wants your holiness more than even you want to be holy. And that wanting your holiness means wanting your intimacy. Intimacy with Him is how we become more and more like Him. But if we are not surrendered in everything, there will always be a barrier. And yes, God can help us surrender also. Of course. ^_^

I’ve struggled most of my life with the question of what this rest looks like. What do we actually, practically do so that it is God working and not us?

Finally, not that long ago, I found it explained so perfectly in the book, A Short Method of Prayer which said, “Abandonment, then, ought to be an utter leaving of ourselves, both outwardly and inwardly, in the hands of God, forgetting ourselves, and thinking only of God. By this means the heart is kept always free and contented.” Jeanne Guyon

The trick is to think on Him, and not you. The Bible says to enter his house with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. There are things you can praise God for that do not change no matter what you are going through. So when you come to Him, enter His presence with praise and thanksgiving. And when you feel the sweet affection of your Savior, rest in that. Think of what the scripture you are reading tells you about the heart of God and deeply feed on His word and allow yourself to rest in it. Rest in its truth. Rest in the heart of God for you. Don’t stress about what you do or don’t do. Don’t stress about yourself at all. Just don’t give up on resting in God and waiting for Him to do His work in you.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17) Remind yourself of Him in any way you can, as much as you can, when you are not having your time of prayer and study. It will help your faith. Do not feel you are too good for anything that helps. Do not say, I shouldn’t need to be reminded or helped so much by songs, sermons, books, notes to self, wise friends… remember this thing is a battle.

Yes, I Know, I just said it was about rest and now I’m talking about a battle. Don’t worry. This kind of battle is also a rest, because God is fighting and God has already won. He will help you. Those who seek Him find Him, when they seek Him with all if their hearts.

The battle for favor with God, for audience with Him, it is over and won. The battle for being right with Him and earning His love, it is done. It is won. You need not work for it.

There is nothing that can keep you from His love, so I pray nothing keeps you from coming and seeking His face, even guilt at not faithfully seeking Him…

Keep at it. Never let shame or weakness be a reason not to try again. God is patient and He loves to see us try. Not try to be loved, but try to have all He has promised. And what I mean by “what He has promised” is Him. When we are never satisfied with how much of Him we have, we can rest assured, we are fighting the right battle.

Think on His promises. Of what He has done for you, for others, for Israel and for the world. Of what His truth promises. Of His report about you and humanity. That you are loved and forgiven. That He will judge all with perfect justice. That His Son is ever before Him, interceding for you and for those you love, for those you hate and for those you don’t like or see any hope for. God is such an incredible lover of His creation.

Believe in His faithfulness to you and to His own Word. If you do not truly believe in His faithfulness to you because of something that happened or hasn’t happened, come to Him about it. This is your biggest blockade. If you cannot believe God loves you, then you cannot approach Him with a correct foundation of understanding. Love is the foundation. If you do not believe He loves you, you are misunderstanding His heart for you. It could also be that you put your heart into something other than Him and let it taint your view of Him. If your heart is in health, success, comfort, family, ministry or another person and those things have let you down, it may color how you accept the love of God. Rest assured that the parable is true: If you build your house in the sand it will crash and be destroyed. If you build it on the rock, only on the Rock, it cannot fall because He himself does not fail you.

I pray nothing keeps you from the sweet peace and rest of God’s love for you. Tomorrow I will be encouraging you even more in His love.

Grace and Peace!

❤ Kara J

Photo by Laura Fuhrman on Unsplash

Sabbath Day of Rest Part 3

D6F080DF-1640-4249-B070-56DBCAA3D207When reading through the verses on the Sabbath I found a couple that talked about the purpose of the Sabbath being to show that God made Israel holy.

Exodus 31:13
“Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.

Ezekiel 20:12
Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy.

When you think of holy as meaning, set apart, it makes sense with showing people who trust and rest in God vs people who don’t. But Holy is so much more than being different. If we take this idea of being in God’s rest to its culmination it makes so much sense.

The true beauty of the sabbath is, of course, found in what it points to. He gives us the Sabbath as a symbol of the gift He has given in His Son, the rest from works that we do to be righteous. Our salvation is through faith and our sanctification and righteousness is through that same faith. As Paul says,
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17

And as Hebrews says,

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;  for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.”

It was never our righteousness we were intended for. It is God’s righteousness we live in when we are in Christ. Our salvation is in being made one with Him, dying to the old self in His death and having His New Life. Only God is holy. He is all our holiness. Which means we simply rest in Him. We simply rest in the One who is holy. By faith in Him, not by works. Our righteousness is filthy rags. But He takes our attempts at morality and righteousness and puts them to rest. He is the bearer of fruit. He is the vine. He is the Life.

Just as the sabbath rest was the sign that God made Israel holy, resting in Jesus is the sign that He is the one that makes us Holy.

This rest is not natural to us, but remember His heart for you, He loves to see us try in our desire to please Him. It means our heart desires to please Him. But it is best when we Rest in Him, with faith in His ability to make us holy and bear fruit in us. This is His heart’s desire for us.

❤ Kara J

More tomorrow!

 

Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

Sabbath Day of Rest Part 5

CFDA3711-3825-4B54-B220-F7361201A98EHow important is it?

All but this rest in Christ is death. There is no life without rest in Christ. We are made holy in our rest in Him. This is what the Sabbath symbolizes. Eternal rest in God. This is our way to holiness.

This is why people died when they did not observe the Sabbath. They did not understand its importance or what it stood for.

So many people, myself included, feel there must be something we can contribute. Something we can do.

Really? What will your works gain you? I’ll tell you. They gain you two things. One, they make you feel like you are contributing and pleasing God. Two, they make others think you are contributing and pleasing God.

Both are deceptively good seeming. Please hear me out. 

What is done in your strength cannot do what God can do in His. And if you believe that death to self is part of the christian life, this I assure you, is exactly what it looks like. Death to the “good” of self. Losing yourself. And no, you aren’t doing this in your own strength either. The self does not kill itself anymore than it makes itself holy. 

Tomorrow I’ll post on what exactly I believe our role is.

❤ Kara J

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

 

Sabbath Day of Rest Part 4

EFDFBD65-CF18-47DE-97EE-B7474A9B03F6Why can we rest in Him?

Christ said it was finished and sat down at the right hand of God. His work is done. I don’t mean His work in the world in saving the lost. I mean His work, and ours, in gaining favor with God for us. There is nothing you or I can do to make God more pleased with us.

Do you know that? I mean, do you really believe it? I sure have my struggles. When I am not keeping my eyes on Christ, doubt is right there. I just want to please Him. But sometimes I feel like I’m breaking my back to try and find out how. The flesh will always break it’s back trying to please God. It will never be able to. It will die trying. Let it. It is a corpse already. Our new selves only have life in Christ, and this is also where all our favor from God dwells. In His beloved Son. Anyone who has a child can appreciate this a bit. Though it’s nothing compared to what God feels. He is Love. His love for us is one we can drown in. One we can live in. One we cannot surpass.

We cannot add to the love God has for His Son with our works. And so, being one with Jesus, there is nothing we must do to make God accept us, be happy with us, love us. Nothing. It is simply believing this, that causes us to walk in its truth.

To try and work when God said to rest, is to scorn the finished work of Christ as not truly enough. It’s not our intention, but it is what we are doing.

But remember, He knows you. He is your creator. You are not surprising Him by these efforts. You are in His favor even if you are not aware of it.

As Jesus Himself said in John 5:31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.

He cared for the testimony of His Father and not the testimony of anyone else. It is the same with us who are in Him. Who does God say you are? What is His testimony about you? That is more true than even your own testimony about yourself.

You are in His perfect Son. You are His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased. Created. Bought with the blood of God. No one can snatch you from His hands. You sit with Christ Jesus on His throne above all powers in the spiritual realm.

Rest from striving. It is your faith in His Son that pleases God.

 

❤ Kara J

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Sabbath Day of Rest Part 2

8FD3D8E0-B478-44F3-AFF2-7D9CF83402ECGod’s command to observe the Sabbath day had a purpose.

It was an earthly rest symbolizing a heavenly rest. Not just the heavenly rest of God on the seventh day, but of the saints who rest in Christ from their works. (Heb 4:10)

Let’s just take a moment to enjoy God’s command. This is the second one given right after blessing mankind to be fruitful and multiply. He tells us to rest. He also intended this rest for the land from being harvested and from servitude for indebted Israelites (Ex 22:11) though these commands were not obeyed.

Ex 35:2 talks about it this way, “it is a day of sabbath rest to the Lord.”

This rest is a holy rest. A purposeful rest. One that is an act of worship to God. On it, Israel read the scriptures in the synagogue. As Christians we have made Sunday our day of rest and have our church services and worship God together on it.

So what of my dilemma of doing dishes on Sunday?

There are a few verses that helped me here.

Paul says in Romans 14:5
One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.

This means, again, it is up to what God puts on your heart personally to do. But both are accepted by God. Obviously it doesn’t mean that some never work any day. It means that, for some, everything is an act of holy worship to God and there was no need to have a special day.

If this is not yet the case for you, as it is not yet for me either, and you are not daily resting in Christ, do not feel you must consign yourself to one day of rest or just give up. God knows where you are. He has patience for the journey to holiness, it is Christ who perfects your faith after all. And even those who rest in Him sometimes see one day as still holier. This is also right if it is what God has put in your heart. If it is done in obedience and faith and not out of guilt or tradition. Every command is a blessing and is mean to bring us into deeper fellowship with the Father.

❤ Kara J

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash