Tag Archives: sabbath

Matthew 10:16-12:21

What is the price of two sparrows-one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31 NLT

The sparrow is a small, seemingly insignificant bird. If God cares about them, how much more does he care about me? It reminds me of these lyrics by Casting Crowns, “Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name. Would care to feel my hurt?”

The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.) And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one!” Matthew 12:10-13 NLT

The Pharisees placed their law above human need. But, Jesus cared more about the person he was healing, than that it was on the Sabbath.

This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him: “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations…And his name will be the hope of all the world.” Matthew 12:17-21 NLT

Dear Father, thank you that your spirit is resting inside of me. When I’m worried, I will remember your constant care for me. Thank you for your provision. Nothing is too hard for You. Amen.



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Jeremiah 46-48; Hebrews 4

I live in a city with a naval air base about 5 miles away. The background noise of jets soaring above and rescue vehicle sirens are a continual reminder that sin is at work: wars are all too real and accidents happen. The good news is that it’s just about a half mile walk down to the ocean where I can sit and wonder.  The noise dissolves and time seems to stop beside the water. Every day the ocean is the same but new. Beauty unfolds in a thousand ways large and small. The noise of life in a broken world fades.  My mind quiets and I BEHOLD the goodness of God as showcased in Creation.

Creation is a mere reflection of God’s glory, whereas, Jesus is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:3There’s no need to walk down to the water’s edge to discover this truth. To spend time with Jesus, dwelling on the riches and beauty of his love is to worship God and enter into the Sabbath rest the writer of Hebrews describes:

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God: for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9-10

God knows that our lives are busy, but to quote the old Finnish proverb, “God didn’t invent hurry.” He commands us to stop long enough embrace the Sabbath, and rest in the wonder of Jesus. It’s God’s job, not ours to make the world go around. Stopping long enough to notice his hand at work, allows him to breathe new life into us.

Lord Jesus, forgive me when I have chosen hurriedness and distraction over your Sabbath rest. Help me to stop long enough to wonder at your beauty and rest in your love.  Amen



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1 Kings 11; Philippians 2; Ezekiel 41; Psalms 92, 93

Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness

A psalm. A song for the Sabbath day.


It is good to praise you, Lord,

to sing praises to God Most High.

It is good to tell of your love in the morning

and of your loyalty at night.

It is good to praise you with the ten-stringed lyre

and with the soft-sounding harp.

Lord, you have made me happy by what you have done;

I will sing for joy about what your hands have done.

Lord, you have done such great things!

How deep are your thoughts! Psalm 92:1-5 (NCV)

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about God’s goodness and the need to be full of gratitude for His work in my life: His faithfulness, His grace, His provision…

When I give thanksgiving to the Lord for everything He has done for me, in the good times and in the bad, it is a witness, a testimony to me and to others of His unfailing love.

Whether I sing as David sang or dance as David danced, my own personal expression of gratefulness is what the Lord is craving from me, appreciation of my Creator, my Protector, my Provider, my Savior, my Lord. Praise is the way to fill God’s love tank with just-my-size love – spending quality time with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, offering words of affirmation, bestowing the valuable gift of myself, touching His heart and presenting myself to His service.

As I lift up His name to the heavens in praise, I take a moment to reflect on Him, and take my focus off of the stresses of life in the world. I remember that even in moments when I have felt alone, He has always been there, His footprints revealing the times He has walked with me and the times He has carried me because I could no longer walk myself.

As I praise Him all day long, in the morning, noon, and night, joy rises up within me, happiness bubbles to the surface of my heart and with that gladness comes contentment and peace. I am once more able to rest in Him.

Rest.In.Me. (Matthew 11:28-30)

And, that, I believe that is the true definition of “Sabbath”.


Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Deuteronomy 20, Deuteronomy 21, Deuteronomy 22, Luke 6:1-26

Read at: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Dt%2020,21,22;%20Luke%206:1-26&version=NKJV

Warfare and Healing

Deuteronomy and Luke present different facets of the same theme:

Principles Governing Warfare

In Deuteronomy 20 God gives orders of how to go to battle against your enemies.         “Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” … If there “is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart.”

            Living under Christ’s command requires going into the difficult places in my heart, life, and in those of others; Being open to God’s Word and obeying His commands. Not being faint hearted but stalwart because the Lord Jesus Christ goes with me to set me and other captives free. Sometimes the territory gets Very large and the enemy seems Very fierce. The fainthearted near me debilitates me because he is without God’s vision. If I don’t wear the Word of God over my eyes and ears 24/7/365 I am UNempowered.  

              I need bold hearted men and women around me, especially at this time of my life. Prayer warriors who pray for God’s Word to be done. People of God’s Righteousness for God to live through them for the eternal benefit of everyone around them. For words of encouragement and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ Who IS the Victor!! I yearn to see and hear God’s Glory when I see so much carnage. I know it’s all so temporary, but I want God’s justice to turn people’s hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ! I am grateful to be that way, but I can grow weary in the battle. I am grateful for the bold hearted ones with me. I rejoice that Jesus has already won the War.

           Israel is about to be engaged in war. Iran will be sending missiles to our shores. People will die, but where will they go? To Heaven or hell? Who will tell them the Gospel before their time is up? Lord send me!

             Is it really that simple? Am I not to be despondent or to despair over what is coming? No, the Lord Jesus Christ says. The enemy will want me to feel “I am in charge”. What a proud arrogant lie! I rejoice in that Truth (that it is a Lie)!! Yippee!! I am free from the bondage of the responsibility for souls. But what AM I in charge of? Just being God’s daughter and following and loving the Lord Jesus Christ with my life each day. Step by step Jesus will show me His Great Adventure that I join. Whew!! Got through that One! May I live it another day by the Holy Spirit’s power! 

In Deuteronomy 21-22, the Lord addressed laws regarding unsolved murder, female captives, firstborn inheritance rights, rebellions sons, immorality, sins deserving of death as well as commands to helping your fellow man and woman and not being unequally yoked. All of these deal with sin, captives of sin, and how justice and God’s righteousness can be executed well for His Glory.

In Luke 6:1-26 Jesus said, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” – Jesus declared Himself God and boldly chose to heal on that day, setting a captive free.  Later on, Jesus “went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He … chose twelve whom He also named apostles.” The Lord Jesus chose the men for His army.

            Jesus continued setting people free: “He came down with them … a great multitude of people who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases … who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. … for power went out from Him and healed them all.”

             In the Be-Attitudes, Jesus the set the priorities for God’s people who win in the Kingdom of God: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. … Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.”

              I fit right in. I look forward to when the Righteousness is Full and I can no longer mourn over the pain and suffering of people which is caused by sinful, wicked choices.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.  Luke 19:10

For Further Reading – Matthew 11:28-30; John 3:5-21; John 15:3-11; Psalm 51; Romans 10:9-13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Joel 2:28-29 

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)


Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Luke, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Exodus 31-33; Mark 3:1-19

I suppose since the Sabbath is a topic in both our Old and New Testament readings for today it deserves some attention.

In Exodus 31 we read God’s final words to Moses before he goes back down the moutain. It’s interesting that out of all commandments for God to repeat he repeats the commandment to observe the Sabbath. The 10 Commandments were given back in Chapter 20, and here God repeats that one commandment before Moses returns. The penalty for breaking the Sabbath commandment is pretty steep – death!

Then in Mark we fast forward to Jesus’s day. In Mark 2 Jesus is already questioned about his Sabbath practices when he and the disciples were picking grain to eat. Jesus says “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” And now in Mark 3 the Sabbath issue continues when Jesus heals on the Sabbath. After that event we read that the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. We know that they were trying to trap Jesus, but after reading Exodus 31 you see how they figured they had a good case against him. After all, Exodus 31 tells us the penalty is death!!

So…  how seriously do I take the Sabbath? How seriously should I take it? To tell you the truth, it’s one of my least favorite Sermon topics. But here it is, my day to blog, and I have both Old and New Testament references so I am going to spend some time reflecting…  Maybe it stands out to me because I’m just getting out of a season at work that required nights and weekends with no days off. Sometimes even nights ON the weekends! Maybe??  Maybe. I know that I need rest. I have experienced the physical and emotional toll that this season has taken.

I think eveyone gets the concept of rhythms of work and rest. But it’s good to have those reminders, that it’s not just good sense but it’s a commandment. And Jesus tells us that it was made for man. And God thought it was pretty important and even reminded Moses of it after giving him the commandments and lots of other laws.

Lord, help me to understand that this is an important law, and it is for my benefit. Help me understand this truth and live it out. As I complete this difficult season, let me get back to the rhythm of work and rest the way it was meant to be.



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