At the beginning of this year, I prayed to God to reveal His vision to us and to show us His glory. I think He is doing both.
This is the year of the pandemic and shutdowns, the year of race riots and discord, the year of economic devastation due to unemployment caused by the pandemic, the year of angry debates over masks and people hording toilet paper, people shouting hateful things back and forth about our leaders. Almost all of us would say that things have never been as scary, confusing, or divisive in our lives as they are in the year 2020. It is, as they say, unprecedented!
But I believe that God is showing His glory through His patience and mercy.
The year that Jesus showed up on the scene, John the Baptist shouted to people in his day to Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! I think in this crazy, unprecedented year God is telling us the same thing. Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand! He’s giving us a warning, that we all might not perish.
The vision I believe He is showing us is of the destruction and disruption that happens when people created in the image of God do not seek Him first but turn away from Him and turn instead to other gods. He told His people to have no other gods besides Him. It was number 1 on His list. God knows that those other gods will destroy and devour us. He loves us too much for that. He really isn’t asking a lot, just for what He knows is for our good.
As I have grown in my faith, I have made it my intention to make God a priority in my life. I have had to make choices about whether or not I will do what He has commanded. It is not always an easy thing to do but in some ways it is very easy. Honoring the Sabbath has been one of the easy ones for me.
God has said that He wants one out of every seven days. One of seven. That isn’t really asking a lot, especially considering all that He has given and done for me. The thing is, God is the sovereign creator over the universe, He sent His Son Jesus to take the punishment that I deserved for my sin, He loves me that much. When I spend one day per week making Him a priority over anything else, I honor Him. I can get everything else in the world done during the other six days. I think it is the least I can do to give Him one of the seven days per week that He has given to me.
The amazing thing is that our God commands us to not work on one day every week. Not work! What kind of God commands that! We have a God who works for us, a God who sacrifices for us, a God who provides for us all that we need and even things we want, and all He asks is that we treat Him as what He is, the Lord of our lives who is worthy of special honor on one day per week.
Imagine if everyone who was created by Him, who has been given the gift of salvation through the death of His Son (whether they acknowledge it or not), who has the opportunity to be restored to the eternal life that we were created to have, would, at this unprecedented moment in time, give God one day in seven and honor Him as the Sovereign Creator God of the Universe that He is!
Would that look like repentance? It would definitely be a start.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. –Exodus 20:8-11