Summary: Today's message is from the Getting Spiritually Aligned series. We are looking at getting our days aligned with the Lord's day, or the Sabbath.

Getting Spiritually Aligned

“Aligning Our Days”

Matthew 28:1

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Most of you may not know that I’m a sports fan; whether it is football, basketball, and baseball, but mostly I watch when it gets to the playoffs. I even had season tickets to UNLV games many years back. But now I’ve had it with sports and I am no longer going to go to the games. You know why? I’ve made a list

• Every time I went, they asked me for money

• The people who sat around me didn’t seem very friendly

• The seats were hard and uncomfortable

• Not once did the coach call me and for my talents to help

• The referees make decisions that I don’t agree with

• I strongly suspect the people around me were hypocrites, because they were more interested in seeing their friends and what others were wearing than the game

• The band played songs I never heard, and they were too loud, and I don’t like that kind of music

• The games are usually scheduled when I want to do other things

• My parents made me go to too many games when I was growing up

• And, I want my children to choose for themselves the sports they want to attend

The alignment we’ll be talking about tonight, (and I feel like I’m preaching to the choir, because you’re here) is one that I believe is close to the Lord’s heart, and one that is given for our spiritual well being, and that is our need to align our days to the Lord’s Day.

This principle actually came into existence back in the very beginning of creation. It’s known as the Sabbath.

“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.” (Genesis 2:2-3a NKJV)

The word, “Sabbath,” means to cease and desist, and has come to mean the day in which God’s people would rest from all their works and worship the Lord. And so, just as God ceased from His labor on the 7th day, He set a pattern for His people to follow.

To insure this, He made it into a law, one of His top ten, the fourth one to be exact, and it became a sign of His covenant relationship with His people.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy … the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work” (Exodus 20:8, 10a NKJV)

It later developed into a day of the study of God’s word during the inter-testamental period, that is, between the Old and New Testament, with the development of synagogues. Here the keeping of the Sabbath became a day of worship and the study of God’s law, as well as ceasing from work related activities.

But by the time Jesus came, that which God desired for blessing His people turned into an unrelenting rule. To illustrate, by the time Jesus came, this one law of God to keep the Sabbath day holy had over 300 religious laws surrounding and attached to it. This is what Jesus had in mind when He confronted the Pharisees.

“He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.’” (Mark 2:27 NKJV)

Jesus was pointing back to the original intent of the Sabbath, and that is to provide rest for His people, and the miracles He performed on the Sabbath, like the healing of the man with a withered hand (Mark 3:3), taught a higher principle that God intended the Sabbath to portray, and that was mercy.

This was expressly taught when the Pharisees tried accusing Jesus’s disciples of breaking the Sabbath law by gathering grain to feed themselves.

Jesus said, “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:7-8 NKJV)

And so God instituted the Sabbath, and the principle behind the Sabbath, so that His people could put aside the duties of life and concentrate on the spiritual side for the refreshment of the soul. And it is this Sabbath rest that Jesus came to give those who believe in Him, ceasing from their own good works trying to get themselves into heaven, and instead resting in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He provided upon the cross.

Therefore, there remains a rest for God’s people, just as Jesus promised when He invited those who labor and are weighed down by life, to come to Him and receive rest for their weary souls (Matthew 11:28).

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