Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Lord's Day is a Demand to Repent

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exod 20:8).

Great point to reflect upon from John Piper as we approach the Lord's Day. On the issue of why so many seem to regard the priority of the Lord's Day and the sabbath command as a burden, Piper responds:
The reason that so many people feel it as a burden is partly that we have so much leisure, we don't feel the need for the sabbath rest; but more important, I think, is the fact that not many people really enjoy what God intended us to enjoy on the sabbath, namely, himself. Many professing Christians enjoy sports and television and secular books and magazines and recreation and hobbies and games far more than they enjoy direct interaction with God in his Word or in worship or in reading Christian books or in meditative strolls.

Therefore, inevitably people whose hearts are set more on the pleasures of the world than on the enjoyment of God will feel the sabbath command as a burden not a blessing. This is what John says in 1 John 5:3, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." The measure of your love for God is the measure of the joy you get in focusing on him on the day of rest. For most people the sabbath command is really a demand to repent. It invites us to enjoy what we don't enjoy and therefore shows us the evil of hearts, and our need to repent and be changed.

- "Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep It Holy"
In a climate of leisure and recreation - and that being in the Church, as much as outside it - the command for direct communion with God is indeed "a demand to repent." Given my own propensity to enjoy the world before the Savior, I am grateful for the weekly call to trust that what He offers is more than any other.

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