Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday after Ash Wednesday

The Third Commandment.

You shall sanctify the holy-day.

What does this mean?-

Answer - We should fear and love God that we may not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred, and gladly hear and learn it.

Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,  Whirrrrrrrrrrr, Whirrrr, Whirrrr, Whirrr, Whir,        Whir,               Whir.
   -This darn drill! Just when I need it most it quits on me!
     -Well, did you charge the batteries?
   -Nobody told me that I had to.
     - Did you read the instruction book?
     -I’m sure that it doesn’t tell you the batteries stay charged indefinitely.
       And haven’t you been drilling holes and driving screws with it all day?
   -Well, yes I have been using it pretty hard today.
     -Then why are you surprised that it needs to be recharged? Your drill isn’t bad, and your charger isn’t bad, you just didn’t make the connection.
   -All right, back in the charger.
Just like batteries that need to be recharged our lives need to be connected to God for spiritual charging.

Have you made the connection? Have you read the instruction book?

God tells us to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. I believe He does this for many reasons.

One is that God wants us to set aside a special time to honor and respect Him. He wants and deserves our time so that we can have a relationship with Him. In this relationship we submit to Him and humble ourselves because we have sinned and fallen short. And with our true humility and repentance comes His blessed forgiveness! Time to celebrate! Do we celebrate when the Colts score? (yes, but not as often as we used to).

Do we celebrate when our Wyneken teams score? Yes, with fervor and excitement. Then we should celebrate when God forgives our ugly sins and brings us back into a holy relationship with Him.  As pastor says when we leave the communion table forgiven and renewed – GO WITH MUCH JOY! Our batteries are charged!

 The command to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy doesn’t mean that we can’t work on Sunday  ( if your cow falls into a pit on the Sabbath wouldn’t you get it out?) And our relationship with God is not limited to Sunday or to being in a church building, God wants us to be out there every day wherever we are,  drilling holes and driving screws for Him, building His Kingdom and bringing others to a relationship with God. There are a lot of people out there who have not read the instruction book and maybe don’t have a place to charge their batteries. We can not only tell them about Christ and the peace that we find in our relationship with Him, but maybe God can even give them a little charge through our fellowship and witness.

There are other times and places that God provides for us to get “charged up”  such as personal devotions, Bible study groups, or listening to Christian music and witness, but Sunday is a special day and worshiping together  with other believers is a VERY special time. We can pray by ourselves anytime and any place that we want to. As a matter of fact God wants everything that we do and say to be a prayer to Him (pray without ceasing).But the opportunity for corporate worship – worshiping together with other believers – is a very special time.  God tells us - Where two or more of you are gathered together, there am I in the midst of you.

Can you tell me anything more special than having God right in the midst of us? I don’t know about you, but it sends shivers of excitement down my spine just thinking about it! It doesn’t get any better than this till we reach our eternal home and can spend every day with Him in glory!
It is so easy for us to take this day, this time, and this place for granted , or to look at it as just another “social event” or a chance to talk with someone that you don’t see through the week. Fellowship is a wonderful blessing among Christians and a true way to build our faith and “charge our batteries”.  But true worship is a relationship with God that is a unique and special way to humble ourselves before Him, receive His forgiveness, and Praise him for the Love that He shows us!

How can we take that for granted? I always feel that if I am not in church on Sunday I miss out on a lot of good things.
To remember the Sabbath brings with it a whole host of blessings for us and more importantly, it brings honor to God.

 Once again, we pray;
Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me, the joy of Thy salvation, and uphold me with Thy Free Spirit. Amen 

Stan Stoppenhagen

Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld ©WELS

The Offertory The Lutheran Hymnal © 1940 Concordia Publishing House,  St. Louis

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