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A Day of Delight
God draws very nigh to His people on the day that He has blessed and sanctified. Following the example of the Creator. man was to rest upon this sacred day, that as he should look upon the heavens and the earth, he might reflect upon God's great work of creation; and that as he should behold the evidences of God's wisdom and goodness, his heart might be filled with reverence and love for his Maker."
HOW TO PREPARE
All through the week we are to have the Sabbath in mind and be making preparation to keep it according to the commandment. We are not merely to observe the Sabbath as a legal matter. We are to understand its spiritual bearings upon all the transactions of life.
When the Sabbath is thus remembered, the temporal will not be allowed to encroach upon the spiritual. No duty pertaining to the six working days will be left for the Sabbath. During the week our energies will not be so exhausted in temporal labor that on the day when the Lord rested and was refreshed we shall be too weary to engage in His service.
While preparation for the Sabbath is to be made all during the week, Friday is to be the special preparation day. [See Ex.16:23; Lk. 23:50-56.]
On [the preparation day] all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away.
Before the Sabbath begins, the mind as well as the body should be withdrawn from worldly business.
God says: "Them that honor Me I will honor." I Samuel 2:30. We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time.
Work that is neglected until the beginning of the Sabbath should remain undone until it is past.
HOW TO OPEN GOD'S HOLY DAY
Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight; let the members of the family assemble to read God's word, to sing and pray. [See Leviticus 23:32, Mark 1:32]
HOW TO OBSERVE
"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." Ps. 122:1.
"I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation." Ps. 111:1.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." I Jn. 1:7.
We need to cherish and cultivate a spirit of true worship, a spirit of devotion on the Lord's holy, sanctified day. We should assemble together believing that we shall receive comfort and hope, light and peace from Jesus.
Everyone shstuld feel that he has a part to act in making the Sabbath meetings interesting. You are not to come together simply as a matter of form, but for the interchange of thought, for the relation of your daily experiences, for the expression ef thanksgivng, for the utterance of your sincere desire for enlightenment, that you may know God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Commuiting together in regard to Christ will strengthen the soul for life's trials and conflicts.
As you enter the place of worship, ask the Lord to remove all evil from your heart. Bring to His house only that which He can bless.
All heaven is keeping the Sabbath, but not tn a listless, do-nothing way. On this day every energy of the soul should be awake, for are we not to meet with God and with Christ our Saviour? We may behold Him by faith. He is longing to refresh and bless every soul.
The necessities of life must be attended to, the sick must be cared for, the wants of the needy must be supplied. He will not be held guiltless who neglects to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. God's holy rest day was made for man, and acts of mercy are in perfect harmony with its intent. God does not desire His creatures to suffer an hour's pain that may be relieved upon the Sabbath or any other day. Jesus stated that the work of relieving the afflicted was in harmony with the Sabbath law. (See Luke 6:1-10.)
"Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath day." Matt. 12:12.
The Sabbath school and the meeting for worship occupy only a part of the Sabbath. The portion remaining to the family may be made the most sacred and precious season of all the Sabbath hours. Much of this time the parents should spend with their children. ln pleasant weather let parents walk with their children in the fields and groves. Amid the beautiful things of nature tell them the reason for the institution of the Sabbath. Describe to them God's great work of creation. Tell them that when the earth came from His hand, it was holy and beautiful. Show that it was sin which marred God's perfect work. Bid them see how the earth. though marred with the curse of sin, still reveals God's goodness.
Tell them of the way of salvation. Present before the children Jesus, as a child obedient to His parents, as a youth faithful and industrious, helping to support the family. From time to time read with them the interesting stories in Bible history. Question as to what they have learned in the Sabbath school, and study with them the next Sabbath's lesson.
HOW TO CLOSE THE SACRED HOURS OF THE SABBATH
As the sun goes down, let the voice of prayer and hymn of praise mark the close of the sacred hours and invite God's presence through the cares of the week of Iabor.