Sunday, November 21, 2010

Revelation 22:14

Verse 14 “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city,.”

Now we have a third blessing in this book. This blessing differs in that it is not about the book of Revelation, but about keeping God’s commandments. Yeshua told us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. One of them being (I hate to keep beating this drum, but….) keeping the Sabbath. Whether you want to believe it is the seventh day of the week or the first, are you keeping it according to God’s ways? Or are you spending the day running from this service to that meeting to this service to that choir rehearsal, etc. Are you spending the day RESTING? You may think that you are spending it with the Lord if you are pursuing church activities, but are you really spending it with the LORD? Or are you expending your energy running around doing church activities for the church? I know Christians who feel that your degree of Christianity is measured by how many services you are attending during a week and especially on Sunday. By their standards "good" Christians show up to Sunday night service and "really good" Christians show up to Wednesday night prayer meeting. How ridiculous. God made no commandment about the number of services you should attend.

Spending the Sabbath with the Lord does mean spending time in Bible study, prayer, and praise, however, not all of it should be corporate, as most people really need a lot more family time and quality one on one time with the Lord. And the entire day does not have to be spent doing these things, as they do take energy. The main command is to set the day apart as holy and REST. That is what God did. He ceased being active and took time to sit back and enjoy His creation. After all, what is the sense of having beauty around you if you do not take the time to enjoy it? If we spend all our time working, we never have time to appreciate anything, and God wants us to appreciate what He has given us. Just taking the time to stop and smell the roses, as they say, is a way of worshiping God. It is showing our thankfulness and appreciation. I know that I appreciate a day off from work. I need it to get myself focused again. I know that I appreciate that I can spend time studying God's Word on my own without feeling guilty about the laundry not being done or the rug not being vacuumed, but I also know how important it is to take time to just appreciate the day and God's gifts and especially connect with my family. The Sabbath is a guilt free pleasure that God gives us as a gift, yet we refuse to take advantage of it. Instead Christians spend the day hurrying from service to service and being just as exhausted at the end of the day as they are any other day. Mental work (you should be listening to the sermons not sleeping through them) is just as exhausting at times as physical labor. To spend the entire day in or leading church services is not the same as resting. People spend virtually no time with their family, as a family unit, enjoying each other and learning about each other. We do need to spend time in corporate worship, but not to the point of excluding rest or family time. And taking time to enjoy all that God has given us is worshiping God. I know that when I give a gift, if the person never takes the time to enjoy it, I feel like it was not appreciated, nor was it worth my effort to give it to them. I am sure God feels the same way.

Getting off my soapbox on that issue, those who keep the commandments have the right to eat from the tree of life. This has already been mentioned, so we will not cover that further. And they may enter into the gates of the city. We already know that no sinner is going to get past those gates.

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