“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thou son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).

God gave the high importance for each of us to shut down the working habits and go to church Sunday — both in the morning to begin our day, and then Sunday evening to help us begin the day on Monday that follows. Just to run over to church as early as possible in order to meet the qualifications for Sunday has nothing to do with what our hearts really need.

Sunday needs to be fully given in our visiting and encouragement to others for Christ in all of our hearts. Sunday is the especially important time to be Christ-centered on things, and not games, sports and things that ignore our Bibles. Exodus reminds us that “six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest; holy to the Lord” (Exodus 31:15).

Some may argue about what God gave us back in old-time days and that it no longer applies today. I would greatly want us to take the gospel back from Old Testament days and apply that Bible to our lives today. What God says is good enough to be in our daily lives. The Godless thinkers and Bible disdainers will one day be sorry that what was rejected should have stayed at the top of what we all accepted!

We find that the sabbath is a symbol of salvation resting in Christ as the one who has believed specifically in Him as Lord. The New Testament believer has liberty in the matter of holy days (refer to Romans 14). Paul also writes in Galatians 4:4-6: “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” We need to get the truth into our hearts and lives as we are filling up our tanks. Eventually, we get more serious about taking in as much as we can get from the Holy Bible on a daily basis.

God has made the Sabbath for humanity. In Mark 2:27-28, we see being told to us that “And he said unto them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.’” We would have no other reason to really observe the seventh-day week if it were not so importantly shown for us from the Bible to accept God’s specific design.

We need the wonderful encouragement to be sitting at a church honoring Christ in a multitude of aspects. The stepping into the church that has been cleaned for Sunday is a great start. The grass has been mowed and trimmed, the flowers weeded, the windows and doors cleaned. Then we step into the building (no matter how new or old) and find a place to sit, no matter who else is there where you have often been seated. We ought to be glad that others have come to church and sat down to get things from the messages. I especially like the old songbooks as they strongly speak of Jesus and the presence we need from His life.

Thomas O. Chisholm writes in 1897 the words for the song “O to Be Like Thee:”

“O to be like Thee! Blessed Redeemer
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all the earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear,
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, Pure as Thou art!
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.”

We already begin to feel the Christlike goodness that Jesus has for us in the lives of others as we meet together, sing, pray, shake hands and encourage folks along the way.

Let’s not criticize the things here and there that we see, but rather pitch in and do all we can to make our Christ-centered church a place where Jesus is honored and magnified. The Devil wants to put the things of Christ out of business (if he could). This recent effort to close church doors is now a motivation to take Christ more seriously in our lives. We have no excuses not to.

Let’s get busy to “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). Dress up well, shine the shoes, put ties on your boys and selves and get womanly clothes for young ladies. Make church a blessing that you carry through the week so that you can sing:

“O to be like Thee! While I am pleading
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love
Make me a temple, meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and heaven above.
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art!
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.”