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The Third Commandment

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The Third Commandment

Post by PastorDan on Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:29 am

The Third Commandment


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Remember the Sabbath day, keeping it holy.


What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise His Word or the preaching of it, but we should hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.


The Third Commandment is one that may not seem like much of a challenge. It is just the “go to church” commandment. How hard could that be?

But the command to "remember the sabbath" is very deep in meaning. Teaching this depth even to young teens opens their minds to the depths of God's wisdom in a way that is sure to strengthen their faith and trust in Him.

On the most basic level, it means that we as parents need to be consistent in our enthusiasm for worship, which is not always easy. We best teach the Third Commandment by living it out. By actively participating in the worship life of HCLC, we teach our children its importance. Even vacation should contain some form of family devotion or pause for “Sabbath” worship to further emphasize the importance of the third commandment.

In our busy lives, it’s easy to excuse the occasional “Sunday off.” However, what we ought to demonstrate is a desire to worship God, and to nurture a love for God’s Word and the preaching of it in ourselves as well as in our children. For this reason, as much as is possible, Worship should be a family time, and even if your child is young enough for Children’s Church, if he or she would prefer to remain with you in the Sanctuary, you should encourage that. Quiet activities during the Sermon (coloring books are always great) are absolutely fine. The point is your child knows you are worshiping God. That is a bigger and more important lesson than anything your child might absorb from a lesson plan!

So in many ways the Third Commandment is about developing good habits.

The easiest way to positively reinforce the importance of Worship is to talk about it outside of church. What happened last Sunday that you might bring up on Tuesday? You get the idea. On our Forum we also have a growing number of Devotional materials that can be used together at home. Put it on the weekly family calendar and do it. If you prefer something in print, I just found a fantastic devotional book filled with devotions written for teens by teens. I’ll hook you up.   Cool

Bottom line for parents: If you want your children to find joy in worshipping God, they need to see how joyful you are about it. “Faking” joy is not a bad strategy if you can’t seem to feel any. Eventually joy finds you. It finds you most quickly in Worship.

Digging a little deeper:

In understanding and teaching the meaning of the “sabbath”, the Bible makes a beautiful move. The Bible teaches that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the all-availing sacrifice, which means the sabbath now dwells in HIM! This means that Jesus Christ is our “Sabbath Rest”. Since His resurrection spells our eternal life, and since eternal life is equal to eternal rest, having a life in Jesus is having Sabbath rest. We literally “rest” from having to satisfy God with our own lives, Jesus has satisfied God for us, giving us rest.

That last paragraph is the key to understanding how the third commandment functions today. Going to church is not a law to be followed in order to please God. That wouldn’t be “rest”, would it? No, “going to church” is incapable of pleasing God, ultimately. So our “rest” is from the obligation of having to satisfy a God notorious for demanding perfection. Instead, since Jesus accomplished perfection on our behalf, we are now free to Worship “at rest”. Our worship literally is rest, since it proclaims the good news of what Jesus has earned for us.

Of course sometimes we parents just like to throw the third commandment at our kids when we’re trying to get them up and ready for church. I can’t see much wrong with that, can you?
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PastorDan
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