What do you do on Sundays?
Dear BPCWAians, We thank God that we have been able to return to worship at church together since early June. After the months of lockdown, we have reached some semblance of a normal Sunday routine where we have resumed our Basic Bible Knowledge classes, Sunday School classes, and Worship Services. We have also resumed a number of our 3:30 pm Sunday afternoon Bible studies and fellowships at church as well. Yet, at the same time, several other Sunday activities could not be resumed, such as City Evangelism, and the ministry to many of the Nursing Homes. Due to physical distancing guidelines, we have also not been able to have fellowship over lunch or dinners as well. So, a gap still remains for many in terms of what used to be a regular Sunday norm of service. With Phase 5 having been pushed back several times, this may be how our Sundays will be, for some time yet. With more time on your hands, how are you spending this time?
The importance of keeping the Lord’s Day holy. It is a sign of our covenant. And “the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Ex 20:11). Just as the other 9 commandments, it is part of the moral law that believers must keep towards our Lord. Ex 31:13 “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.” Spending it in His presence and duties is an expression of our worship and our delight in our Lord. Isa 58:13 “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words”. A reason that God gives of why we must observe the Sabbath rest is because it was instituted by Him at creation, when “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.” (Ex 20:11).
Without a doubt, coming for worship in God’s house is commanded as part of the fourth commandment. This is a non-negotiable obligation – not to be forsaken for footsies, due to stormy weather (unless it is extremely severe to the extent of being life-threatening), school competitions or other such like. Also, when we understand that it is the Lord’s day, then we must know that it is about keeping the day holy, and not just spend several hours of that day with God. This means that how you spend your time from the time you wake up in the morning before worship to the time of worship, and the time after worship to the time you sleep ought also to be holy to God. If we are not careful, the time slips by and the day is over. God’s children must realise it is a privilege and a gift from God. While we have the blessed invitation to be in His presence and service, He promises to take care of the things of life that we are concerned about (Ex 16:22-30, Is 58.13). It is to our detriment to reject this blessed privilege that is intended for our spiritual good.
What you can do on the Lord’s Day. Worshipping God at the worship service goes without saying. 1) Do a personal study of the Bible. If you are struggling with something or a particular sin in your life, this is a good time to take the concordance or Bible searcher software out and search for all the verses relating to this topic. Write them down and put alongside your notes of how each verse teaches a new nuance of the topic that you didn’t see earlier. Have an extended time of personal communion with God in your quiet time. Always wished that you had more time to dwell on some Bible passages during your quiet time on weekdays? This is why God provided man with the sabbath. Go back to those passages marked out during the week and reread them, reflecting on what God is teaching you about Him. Or just read a whole book of the Bible today, or just take your time with several chapters, underlining them and making notes along the way. 2) Spend time in prayer. Chances are, many do not have time for heart-searching confession, thanksgiving, and supplications most days of the week. There are so many things to pray for God’s church and the brethren. When the sabbath is for your sanctification, it means spending it ought to make you holy. So, what better way than to wrestle with God, asking Him for power to overcome that besetting sin in your life, or to deal with something that you know has been dragging you down spiritually? 3) Listen or relisten to sermons that you never found the time to do. Our website has past sermons and Bible study topics and points you to our YouTube channel where many sermons and resources reside. Don’t just listen to it while you’re watering your garden or doing housework, but take the time to sit and concentrate on it, just as you would a sermon in church. 4) Memorise the Bible. Don’t know the order of the books of the Bible? Hardly know any Bible verses by memory? How embarrassing as God’s child. While the children revise their Sunday school verses, parents should do the same too! Equip yourself with key verses that will help your spiritual walk, or help you to speak to others, or to evangelise. 5) Read good Christian literature. Thank God for the availability of many puritan books that are available free of charge on online ebooks. Download some and read a chapter each week to grow in devotion to your Lord, or to learn to defend His truth. 6) Conduct family worship. Heads of home, this is a day when the family should come together in private worship in your home. Sing hymns to praise Him at home. Spend time speaking about the lessons learnt during the sermon. Pray for the church. Extend the blessed time of worship at church to continue to kindle that flame of love for our Saviour in the hearts of each one of your family members. 7) Reach out to others with the Gospel. With only a limited number of people being able to go to the Bullcreek retirement home and with street evangelism on hold, you can still contact your family, relatives, neighbours, or friends to share the Gospel with them. We have no excuse despite the expected physical distancing measures.
Yours in our Lord’s service,