Friday, 6 January 2017

Holy Days

Scripture:  Hebrews 4 v 11 - 12: "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Romans 14 v 5 - 6:  "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks."

In recent years an age old controversy has re-emerged in the Church that brings division and argument contrary to the love and truth of Jesus Christ. It was always accepted by the apostles and early believers that gatherings for worship be done on the first day of the week, Sunday, because that was the day Jesus was resurrected from the dead and we who were crucified with Him also rose with Him to new life on that day. 

Under the Ten Commandments given by Moses to the Jews after he met God on Mount Sinai, one of the commandments was to make the Sabbath Day, Saturday or Seventh Day, a holy day. From holy day we get holiday, a time of rest. The Jews to this day set aside the Sabbath, which begins on Friday night at 6pm and ends at 6pm on Saturday. 

Paul says in Romans 14 that one man esteems or honours one day above another and other men esteem every day the same. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. This means that we can worship God on whatever day is convenient for us and every day is special to Him. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and give thanks in it. 

I would like to take these thoughts a little deeper using my own life experience with Jesus Christ. I learnt these things over the years but I now understand what happened more clearly. 

When I was born again in 1974 I confessed my sins to God and because the wages of sin is death, I got the death penalty. Because I asked for forgiveness and for Jesus' Blood to cleanse me of all unrighteousness, my death sentence was laid on Jesus, who had died in my place. My spirit is now seated in Christ in Heavenly places and His Spirit now lives in me. Ephesians 2 v 5 - 6; Galatians 2 v 20. 

In other words - it is no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me. We sing that chorus without really understanding the full impact of those words. We are dead to this world! And alive in Heaven! In Christ Jesus we live and move and have our being. 

This world of sin, carnality, fleshly pleasures that I once enjoyed and was part of, no longer delights me or holds me in its hedonistic grip. My life in Jesus is my full delight and satisfies me completely. 

My soul and fleshly body still dwell here on Earth but I am spiritually already in Heaven having entered into my rest in 1974. Since then Jesus came into my heart and is continuing His work through my submission to God's will. The more submitted I am the more He can do and the further He can reach. 

If I become stubborn and disobedient and pander to fleshly desires, Jesus first has to conquer my will and get me back in line with the will of God before helping anyone else. So I must be an overcomer of everything that would block the move of God in my life. Get the log out of my own eye before I remove a splinter from yours. 

When I resist the Holy Spirit I find myself in difficulties in a physical sense. Nothing goes right and people react stubbornly to me. When I yield to the Holy Spirit and flow with Him everything is in harmony around me. Peace, love, joy and victory abound and there is no lack of anything ever. 

This is my experience in a nutshell but it should apply to us all as we seek to become more Christlike. When we enter into that Sabbath rest it should be from the day we meet Jesus and for all eternity. Our body and soul should just be a vessel for Jesus to continue to pour out His grace and love to those in need of salvation. 

Jesus did not come to Earth to be served but to be a servant to us all. He came to minister salvation to take our burdens from us and give us rest from our labours. 

His promises are true and I can only give thanks and glory to Him for the wonderful experience of freedom from religion, laws, worldliness, evil, sin, sickness, demons, death and destruction He has given me. He has given it to us all but some have not understood the gift He has given. It is still wrapped in legality, human rights, man made laws and religions. 

So strip off the exterior pretty paper and look inside. Read the Manual - the Bible - the Manufacturer's Handbook - and follow the instructions and live the life of true freedom that is ONLY found in Jesus Christ!

Prayer: Heavenly Father Your treasure is in us, our treasure is in You through Your Son Jesus. Help us put away childish things and arguments over days of worship and get to the heart of worship anyday, anytime and always. In Jesus' name. Amen.