Summary: Here’s our real world. Most people – · Now have to work on Sundays (at least from time to time.) · Are not real sure what (or who) is right when it comes to “keeping the Sabbath holy”.

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Do you ever find going to church to be a burden? A religious ritual?

Text: Exodus 20:8 thru 11

I have found it interesting how much has changed since I was a child. Our children may grow tired of hearing us tell them how it used to be, but here goes…

When a lot of us were much (much) younger, Sunday was a very special day.

Example: Even if you had an emergency and you needed a prescription filled at the drug store, you had to call up the owner, and get him or her to come down and open up. The restaurants were closed along with the filling stations and the grocery stores. Oh yeah, and there weren’t any Wal*Marts.

Folks knew the importance of everyone taking a day of rest and go to church.

That way of life was very accepted, and somehow we all made it without buying anything on the “Lord’s Day”.

Times have changed. Today the pendulum has swung in the other direction, and now few people recognize Sunday as the “Lord’s Day”.

Here’s our real world. Most people –

· Now have to work on Sundays (at least from time to time.)

· Are not real sure what (or who) is right when it comes to “keeping the Sabbath holy”.

As children of God, we should –

· Know what is right and what is wrong. We have God’s Word.

· Not have religious biases based on opinion, or even necessarily what we were taught when we were young.

· Have personal convictions that are based exclusively God’s Holy Word.

You see, I want to know how God would have me to live. How about you?

Well, what did Jesus have to say?

Text: Mark 2:23 thru 28

There is book of Jewish traditions called the “Talmud” that has 24 chapters listing various Sabbath laws created by man.

On the Sabbath, you could not travel more than 3,000 feet from your house. You were not allowed to carry anything that weighed more than a dried fig. You couldn’t carry a needle for fear you might sew something. Taking a bath was forbidden. Water might splash on the floor and wash it. Women were not to look in a mirror; they might pull a gray hair.

When Christ was here on Earth, these Jewish laws were to be strictly adhered to. Here, in Mark 2, the disciples were in violation of these man-made laws.

So the religious Pharisees asked Jesus why they were breaking them.

The answer Jesus gave the Pharisees is what we must also hear today.

Perhaps we have misunderstood and made the Sabbath a ritual, also.

Meeting true human need must always be more important than our customs, our rituals, and even our traditions (of what day we go to church).

Hosea 6:6 "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."

Knowing God and His mercy is more important to us than a day of the week.

I am convinced that Jesus made this even more simple for us when He told the Pharisees in verse 27, one translation says:

“The Sabbath was made to serve man not man serve the day.

Some would say our two texts we have read are a contradiction.

After all, didn’t the Fourth Commandment say we “shall do no work” on the Sabbath?

Caution: Never debate God’s Word.

As Pastor, I am not here to justify the Word of God. Rather, to only simplify it.

The Word of God is without error and never contradicts itself. There are other scriptures that must be considered.

God’s Word has the answer.

Deuteronomy 5:12 thru 15 gives basically the same declaration of the Ten Commandments as we have already read in Exodus 20.

Except in Deut. 5 there’s a reminder God attaches to the Fourth Commandment.

And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath...

So what is the point?

While the children of God were held in bondage in Egypt they were not allowed to do two things that are critically important for every man God has ever created.

Those two things are Rest and Worship.

The bondage of Pharoah was destroying the children of God (in the book of Exodus). Today, the bondage of greed and self-gain is proving to be just as destructive. Work and play have now become the two top priorities.

Nevertheless, Rest and Worship are still the two most important things you can do for your health, yourself, & your family.

Question: is going to church a burden?

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