Tough Questions About the Law and Love

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Are you obeying God and taking time to rest and worship each week? Remember: It’s His loving gift to you.

Bible Reading: Matthew 6:19-24

You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24

“A CHRISTIAN friend and I had a big blowup about the fourth commandment—the one about ‘keeping the Sabbath holy,’ ” Kalli said. “Does it mean that I’m sinning if I work on Sunday or cause somebody else to work because I eat out or shop or watch Sunday afternoon football? My friend said the Bible forbids us to work or even do homework on Sundays.”

Christians today aren’t under the Old Testament Sabbath law. Following that law would mean halting all work between sundown on Friday and sundown Saturday. That’s the Jewish Sabbath.

But don’t miss this point: The moral principle behind the Sabbath law was kept by the early Christians who reserved the first day of the week—Sunday—for rest and worship (see Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10).

You don’t have to obey the Old Testament Sabbath law, but you should reserve one day each week for rest and worship (see Hebrews 10:25). For most of us, Sunday works because Christian congregations mostly meet on Sunday. Christians who can’t escape work on Sunday-such as doctors and nurses and dairy farmers-should take part of Sunday or another day for worship and rest.

And there are other issues. At this point in your life, school is your job. So you need to figure out how to keep homework from crowding out the time for worship and rest God wants to give you.

You need to be honest with yourself about how badly you need ajob that fills up your Sundays and takes you away from what might be your optimum time to concentrate on worship and connect with Christian friends. Most bosses will give you Sundays off if you are a reliable worker and are bold enough to ask-and if you are willing to make some adjustments elsewhere in your week.

What about those professional football players forced to work on Sundays because you want to watch a good game? Well, you aren’t necessarily sinning by watching ball or eating in a restaurant or going shopping on Sunday. The responsibility lies with the individuals serving you. If they are intent on obeying God from their hearts, they will choose another day of the week for rest, relaxation, and worship. If they don’t, that’s their choice, not yours.

REFLECT: Are you obeying God and taking time to rest and worship each week? Remember: It’s his loving gift to you.

PRAY: Ask God to show you how to use your downtime well.

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