Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Sound The Battle Cry"1 (Lyrics)
Mark 2:27 – Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." (NIV)
This year, we had a large load of gardening soil delivered to our house. Then, my brother and I got busy shovelling it into pails and carrying it to the various garden beds to top them up. We did this, as many gardeners already know, because growing plants draw nourishment from the soil, which in turn depletes the earth that they are growing in. It thus becomes essential to top up the gardens on a regular basis in order to have healthy and hardy produce or flowers.
This gardening chore reminded me of how we, too, as God's people, need to top up the soil of our lives in preparation for the good fruit that the Holy Spirit desires to produce within us. This is why today's verse is an important one to know and heed. As we go about our daily lives, the issues and tasks that we face and deal with deplete us spiritually, mentally, and physically. They take energy in thought, word, or deed. God knew this, which is why He made the Sabbath for man. God knew that man would require regular top-ups of rest and refreshment after a prolonged time of work.
For some, this time of Sabbath may be Saturday or Sunday: a time to reflect on and experience the presence of God and His restorative powers through organized worship. For others, however, it may be another day of the week, for we live in a day and age when people work at all hours and on all days. Many are not able to attend organized worship on specific days, but that does not mean that we cannot observe Sabbath time.
Therefore, even if we cannot attend organized worship on organized days that we have traditionally known as the Sabbath, let us make sure that we heed the wisdom of God in this matter. Let us prayerfully choose one day per week to make and take the time to be with God in a refreshing and reflective attitude. Sing hymns of praise, pray, read words of Scripture, meditate upon what the Lord has done, is doing, and plans to do, past, present, and future. Rejoice in your relationship with Him and His with you on your day of Sabbath.
After all, the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Each and every one of us needs the top-up which only God can provide if we are going to continue to be as productive as possible for His kingdom here on this earth.
Prayer: Dear Lord, it is often so difficult for many to attend regular worship services. Help each and every one of us in regard to this matter, however, to keep the Sabbath — to make and take the time to be with You in a refreshing and reflective attitude each and every week, that we may be topped up in and by Your presence and be bearers of good fruit from Your kingdom in our world. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.