The Sabbath Challenge Week 1







The Sabbath Challenge

My husband and I decided to start keeping the Sabbath as a way to
deepen our relationship with God and set an example for our children
to make time for God in their lives.

So this weekend was our first attempt. We started 6:00 p.m. Friday
night and stopped at 6:00 p.m. Saturday night. We quickly realized
that we didn’t know what we were doing.

We spent the first evening reading the Bible to see what God had to
say about His Sabbath. We learned that God wants us to set aside this
time with Him to get to know Him better and to rest our bodies and
minds. Our weeks are so busy, how often do we get quiet and still and
turn off all distractions? In our household, it was next to never!

It isn’t about following a set of rules that will send you to Hell if
you break them, but it is about experiencing God and telling Him that
He is important enough to spend a whole day with. Would we even
question spending a day with our best friend? God just wants to be
our very best friend.

The jest of what we read was that the more intense you get about
removing distraction and focusing on God, the more it pleases God.
And it was also interesting to find that showing God’s love to others
would take precedence over spending time with Him alone. For example,
if you hear of someone who is hurting or in need of your help on the
Sabbath, you should go and help them so that they will see God’s love.

But seriously removing distractions from our daily lives is going to
take a lot more preparation then we thought! I think it will be a
learning process for quite awhile!

My husband is a media/computer guy. This is what he does for a living
and what he loves to do in his free time. We have a two and a half
year old and she already knows how to use many electronic devices
(thanks to her dad!). We also have a five month old and I find myself
using some type of computer off and on all day while nursing her.

We shut off all electronics for the 24 hrs. and we all went through
withdrawal at different times! Our two year old did better than I
thought she would, though. By the end, she was playing so well that
she had forgotten about watching tv.

I think the hardest part was knowing what to do with our time. We
weren’t suppose to do things that got our minds off of God or things
that caused our bodies to work. It honestly drove me a little crazy
at times to see a household chore that needed done and not get up to
do it!

We quickly saw that we fill each day with hours of busy tasks and
entertaining ourselves. Sure we might take five minutes to pray and
fifteen minutes to read the Bible, but try doing it all day! Our
society definitely does not practice this. It actually seems a bit
crazy. I am ashamed to say how hard it was for me to spend the day
with God. I hope that it gets easier as the weeks go by.

By the time the last hour came around, my husband and I couldn’t stop
looking at the clock. It seemed like time had almost stopped! I knew
then that it was beside the point if I was watching the clock and no
longer focusing on God. I had grown tired and stopped trying.

We decided that we should work this week on writing down ideas for
productive ways to spend our time next Sabbath. We also need to make
a list for our two year old. We didn’t have a lot of options for her
to help her learn about God. Maybe having a plan of action will help
keep our hearts and minds on task.

I do have to say that I am very glad we took The Sabbath Challenge. I
learned more about my Creator thru His Word, I spent time talking to
Him about important things and listening to what He had to say to me,
my family spent a lot of time all together, and I got a nap on
Saturday (don’t know the last time that happened!). At the end of the
day, my body felt so rested and my mind and spirit felt renewed. And
when we got home from church on Sunday, I didn’t even feel like I had
to have a nap to make it through the next week!

So my challenge to you is to try The Sabbath Challenge with your
family and let me know how it goes. I would love to hear
ideas/suggestions on how to spend the day. And I will continue to let
you know each week how the challenge is going for my family!

Until next week!
Lisa G.


Here is a list of Bible verses that we found helpful in our studies:
Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 16:21-30, 20:8-10, 23:12, 31:14-15, 34:21, 35:3;
Leviticus 23:3; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Nehemiah 10:31; Isaiah 58:13-14;
Jeremiah 17:21-22; Hosea 6:6; Amos 8:5; Matthew 12:5-7, 12:11-12; Mark
2:28; Luke 6:9, 13:10-17, 14:1-6; John 5:1-17, 7:21-24, 9; Acts 15:21.


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