Why we love the Lord’s Day

Jesus-Reaching-Out

photo: iStock

“This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24. “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.” Rev. 1:10. It is his, by example. It is the day on which he rested from his amazing work of redemption. Just as God rested on the seventh day from all his works, wherefore God blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it—so the Lord Jesus rested on this day from all his agony, and pain, and humiliation. “There remaineth, therefore, the keeping of a Sabbath to the people of God.” Heb. 4:9. The Lord’s Day is his property. Just as the Lord’s Supper is the supper belonging to Christ. It is his table. He is the bread He is the wine. He invites the guests. He fills them with joy and with the Holy Ghost. So it is with the Lord’s Day. All days of the year are Christ’s, but he hath marked out one in seven as peculiarly his own. “He hath made it,” or marked it out. Just as he planted a garden in Eden, so he hath fenced about this day and made it his own.

This is the reason why we love it, and would keep it entire. We love everything that is Christ’s. We love his Word. It is better to us than thousands of gold and silver. “O how we love his law—it is our study all the day.” We love his House. It is our trysting-place with Christ, where he meets with us and communes with us from off the mercy-seat. We love his Table. It is his banqueting-house, where his banner over us is love—where he looses our bonds and anoints our eyes, and makes our hearts burn with holy joy. We love his people, because they are his, members of his body, washed in his blood, filled with his spirit, our brothers and sisters for eternity. And we love the Lord’s Day, because it is his. Every hour of it is dear to us—sweeter than honey, more precious than gold. It is the day he rose for our justification. It reminds us of his love, and his finished work, and his rest. And we may boldly say that that man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ who does not love the entire Lord’s Day.

Robert Murray McCheyne, The Works Of The Late Rev. Robert Murray Mccheyne

Blogging Break

Something that a number of people I respect have been encouraging in their own lives is the idea of a blogging break. Taking some time away from what can be a highly self-promoting medium to recharge, relax and refocus. This week I’m doing that while enjoying a family vacation in Grand Bend, Ontario.

So this week, I won’t be contributing any new content to this site. However, it doesn’t mean there won’t be anything worth reading as I’ve line up a few godly and thoughtful men to guest-blog.

This week’s guest bloggers are:

  1. Ben Reed, small groups pastor of Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN. He also blogs regularly at Life & Theology;
  2. Matthew Svoboda, soon-to-be pastor of 56th St. Baptist Church in Kearney, Nebraska. You can find him online here;
  3. Gabe Posey, who blogs at Jesus Apostrophe and is involved in an Acts 29 church plant in Southern Alabama; and
  4. Chris Canuel, who blogs at Striving with God.

There might be another one or two surprise guests coming up, but we shall see.

I’m very blessed to have these guys helping me out this week. I hope you enjoy what they’ve got to say!

Saturday is for Sabbath (2)

Today is Saturday, and it’s been an incredibly stressful week.

A wise man, when talking about stress, service and responsibility, once said, “Know the size of your plate.” To continue with this analogy, if the amount of stuff I could comfortably handle could fit on a dinner plate, the amount I’ve got would fit on a buffet table.

But I continue to try to Sabbath and learn to deal with what I can as God enables me.

Today’s agenda is pretty simple:

Pray and read my Bible.

Read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Go for a family walk and/or Daddy-Daughter date

Write a letter to one of my oldest friends, Scott, and his new bride, Brittany (they’re getting married today!).

And, maybe have a nap.

That should be a pretty full day.


How are you spending your Saturday?

Recharging

recharging

You know what’s the best thing about a long weekend (and, in my case, an extra long one at that)?

Getting a chance to recharge.

My in-laws kindly invited us up for another weekend in Grand Bend (which we gratefully accepted). Although I’m not a beach guy, it’s really nice to get away from the regular routine. It’s funny, the last vacation I had (our attempt at a “stay-cation” in August), was actually one of the most stressful weeks Emily and I had all summer. Because there’s always stuff to do, time commitments, plus quality time with Abigail and Emily, sometimes things just get put off. And so that week was spent frantically playing catch up (got most of it done, in case you were wondering).

So this weekend has been much appreciated.

We were at the beach on Sunday morning, and my mother-in-law commented on the almost hypnotic quality of the ripples of the water. I looked and honestly, all I could see was the evidence of God’s grace. It may seem like a small thing, but it’s actually quite pleasant to look at.

I’ve gone out for a couple of walks along Ontario Street (Highway 21), which is also very pleasant, despite the stream of traffic trying to go to the beach. I’ve had a couple of opportunities to just sit and read…

And it’s nice.

I kind of feel like I’m able to breathe a bit easier.

I’m still struggling to effectively deal with stress. I don’t like having more on my plate than I can possibly address. Nor do I like having actually found my limit for how much I can actually do (for what might be the first time).

All that adds stress.

But what adds more stress is not taking the time I need to actually function like a human being. To be, as a friend recently told me, needlessly absolute and negative in my language.

So I think I’ll be able to go back to the regular day-to-day with a bit of a clear head. I’m hoping it lasts longer than a couple days.

And if it doesn’t… well, I guess I’ll look forward to the next opportunity to recharge.

Saturdays are great for Sabbath

Saturdays are a lot of fun at the Armstrong house. We have been trying to have pretty agenda-free Saturdays to encourage relaxation, and family time.

They’re also a day that we’re trying to use for Sabbath—to put aside things that distract us from God and enjoy Him.

Historically, this is something I’ve been terrible at, both in the sense that I am terrible at resting, and that I don’t always take the time to enjoy God, to be reminded, as John Piper would say, “that God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”

All too often, I find the distractions of life pulling my attention away. There’s dishes to be done. A lawn to be mowed. Groceries to be purchased. Freelance work to be completed.

And all of these are important. We need food, a tidy kitchen, our lawn to not look like a jungle… and the extra money from freelance work is very helpful. But they’re not the most important thing.

Jesus is.

In Exodus 20:8, we’re commanded to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” because, Jesus tells us, “the Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27). We’re told these things because one of the most important ways to worship God is to enjoy the great gift He’s given us—Himself, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Spending one day enjoying Him, is definitely not a lot to ask, and God is a gift too important to ignore.

So let me ask you, dear reader: Do you Sabbath? How will you use your Sabbath day to enjoy Him?