How keeping the Sabbath Has Changed My Life
by John Lemley
I am blessed to have grown up in a Sabbath observing family. So, there was never a time when the Sabbath was not a weekly event. For the first eighteen years of my life my parents were searching for a church which believed and practiced the teachings of the Bible, including the teaching to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. My mother wrote to the headquarters of numerous denominations asking for a list of their doctrinal beliefs. My father took multiple Bible correspondence courses
The Sabbath has been precious in different way at various stages of my life. As a child it was a special time of closeness to my parents and brothers without interruption by the unending chores that filled the other days of the week. It was a day without school work, sports and clubs. It was a restful day to focus on the things of God together as a family.
During my teen years the Sabbath was a welcomed change from a busy routine. It also served as a common bond with other young people who shared a conviction about the Sabbath.
As a parent, and now a grandparent, I am much different than I would have been if I had not known about and practiced this gift that God blesses humanity with on the seventh day of each week
I close with two quotes that I have adapted to the subject of the Sabbath. These words are adapted from Thom Rainer’s book Why I Attend Church and applied to the Sabbath. Mr. Rainer is a former
president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources and author of a number of books on the church.
“In a culture that minimizes commitment and maximizes self-indulgence, I have learned the precious gift of the seventh-day Sabbath. I do not see resting on the Sabbath as a burden or legalistic commitment. I view it as joy—a time when I can give and serve, a time when I can focus more on others rather than myself. I observe the Sabbath to help others, to encourage others, to focus on priorities that are eternal in nature and to participate in worship. I remember the Sabbath to keep it holy because I love the Sabbath. I truly love the day God sanctified and made holy – His Sabbath. A big part of our union with Christ is following His example of obedience to His Father The Sabbath provides precious time for serving and ministering to others and glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ. The idea of not following Jesus’ custom of faithful Sabbath observance is quite foreign to my family and me. ”
“Growth is not more knowledge or increase of years; it is simply more of Him and less of me. He increases as I decrease.”
The precious Sabbath hours provide the ideal environment for such spiritual growth.