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Ten Promises: Fourth Command

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Doing a series on the Ten Commandments and today we come to the fourth:
Exodus 20:8–11 ESV
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Thought it Would be Easy
:
When I was preparing for this series a while back I did background work on each commandment and I thought this one would be easy based on what I was learning. But then as I prepared this past week, it was very difficult. And then I remembered that I had originally thought this one would be easy and I jogged my memory to remember why I thought it would be easier. And when I remembered that specific reason why this commandment should be one of the easier ones, the preparation didn’t become easy, but everything clicked. I will share later on why I had believed this commandment would be easy to understand, easy to embrace.
There was a particular reason why I thought it would be easy that I will share later.
Anxious World—Becoming Parent Changes Everything
We live in an anxious, worried, culture. It is a hurried culture. This is especially relevant because school is starting. When you become a parent everything changes. Things that used to be simple are now suddenly complex. Like leaving your house to go places.
Leaving the House With Kids
When you have kids it becomes the most stressful part of the day where the kids turn into turtles and the parents turn into monsters.
Leaving the house with Kids—bluffing, lunch/shoes
“Put on shoes and jackets exactly 8 minutes before you need to leave”—just enough cushion
A Mom got it down to a science: “Put on shoes and jackets exactly 8 minutes before you need to leave”—just enough cushion to get to school on time.
We are hurried.
Carl Jung in a bit of hyperbole said:
“Hurry isn’t of the devil, hurry is the devil.” -Carl Jung

We are merely moving shadows, and all of our busy rushing ends in nothing. ~ (NLT)

Psalm
Tell parents that it goes fast. See parents rushing and irritated at young kids. If I could go back to even the times of rushing I would. And I wouldn’t hurry.
Because many times our irritation at our kids and our irritation in general isn’t so we are on time, but our irritation reveals our idols. The idol of busyness, of hurry. Of activity.
Busyness as Status Symbol
How are you doing? Busy. It’s a status symbol. Used to be that having leisure time was a mark of success. Now it is the opposite.
And it isn’t just hurry but everything related to it
-anxiety
-worry
-angst
-regret
Archeologist and Ancient Tribe to Site in Mountains
-insisted they would go no further—and for no apparent reason, suddenly started moving again…after this happened a few times, he got upset...
-“we had been moving too fast and had to wait for our souls to catch up with our bodies”
And that isn’t a bad thought. Waiting for our souls to catch up with our bodies. And that is at its core what this commandment promises. Do you rest long enough and is the rest of the spiritual quality that you allow for your soul to catch up with your body?
We are so hurried.
What is the soul? It’s the most important part of who you are. It’s the invisible part of who you are. It is the supernatural part of who you are. It is the spiritual core of who you are.
Sam Harris talking about being outside of yourself. Objectively.

You don’t have a soul, you have a body. You ARE a soul. ~CS Lewis

The soul is what continues to exist after you die.
Psalm 62:1 ESV
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
Psalm 62:5–7 ESV
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Irony is that we Give a Soul Nurturing Commandment Rules
- (NLT)
The fourth commandment, remember the sabbath day, is all about resting your soul. Nourishing your soul. So it is ironic that we take a commandment that is designed to nourish and rest our souls, that promises rest for our souls, and we turn it into a soul crushing commandment.
We see rules…college dorm and vacuuming. Kids and legalistic parents. You have the right to make those rules…but you also have a responsibility to nourish their souls.

We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. ~ (NLT)

Shared great memories of Grandparents house, but I also have a very bad memory.
Eagles/Raiders Superbowl
Those who live in big cities in the US take an average of 12 seconds to walk 60 feet. Those in the African city of Blantrye, Malawi, take 31.5 seconds to walk the same 60 feet.
My parents went away that weekend. We will come back that in a minute. Austin living in their living room. All the greats. Namath, Bradshaw, Cowboys. Mean Joe Green. And then I heard the sound. The clip clop of high heeled shoes. Usually that is a great sound as a kid because it means your parents are going out for the night. This time it was a soul crushing sound. Preacher preached extra long. Glad they lost because if they had won, never would have forgiven. Parents were at a conference. Pastors watching the game. Amazing how inconsistent we are. Watching football is a form of rest. What? Missing the whole point. And it becomes soul crushing instead of rest for your soul.
And it isn’t just hurry but everything related to it
-anxiety
You say, but isn’t that what the commandment says? Let’s look.
-worry
Exodus 20:8 ESV
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
-angst
Exoduse 20: 8
So remember Sunday to keep it holy. Today is the Sabbath. Right? Wrong. Verse 9:
Exodus 20:9 ESV
Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,
Exodus 20:9–10 ESV
Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.
:
Which is the seventh day? Saturday. What is today? Sunday. What do you do when Jews and Seventh Day Adventists who still observe the Sabbath on Saturday say that we don’t follow the Bible?
-regret
Didn’t Change in NT
You say I thought it changed in the NT. Not one shred of evidence that it changed in the NT. Jesus observed the Sabbath, the apostles after Jesus died observed the Sabbath. They went into the synagogues. There was never a debate over the Sabbath—if the apostles had said that the Sabbath was rescinded, that would have been a huge issue in the early church. Paul would have written whole letters about it. So when did the Christians worship?
Acts 20:7 ESV
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.
:
1 Corinthians 16:2 ESV
On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.
Which is the first day of the week? Sunday. The Lord’s Day. This would have been like their Monday. Think about the sacrifice of time that happened there. When everyone else was starting their work weeks, the early Christians were gathering together to worship.
Why did they gather on Sunday?
Because of Jesus. Because that was the day that he rose from the dead. Because Jesus changed everything. And everything in the early church was all about Jesus. That was the controversy—that they were nothing but Jesus people. Jesus was the whole ball game. And Jesus rising on Sunday meant that Jesus had transformed this commandment in some way, had fulfilled it in some way, had made it richer in some way, had taken it beyond silly rules. Jesus changed everything. We are getting closer to the original reason of why I thought this commandment should be easier than the others to understand. But we aren’t there yet.
Constantine
In the year 321, the Emperor of Rome was a man named Constantine. Up until that point, Christians were brutally persecuted by Rome. Christianity was seen as a lower level religion for poor and uneducated people. They were thought to be cannibals because of this idea of eating and drinking the body and blood of Jesus. But Constantine was leading the army of Rome into a difficult battle. He claims he had a vision of the cross of Jesus in the sky and as a result he became a Christian and made Christianity the official religion of Rome. At the same time, he declared that Sunday would now be the day of rest in Rome:

"On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed." ~Constantine, 321AD

Why would he do this? He didn’t do it because that was the day the Christians worshiped. He did it because that was the day the pagans in Rome already WERE worshiping the Sun God. So it made sense to make the Sabbath on Sunday so it would be natural for the pagans who would now flood into the church to worship on the day they were accustomed to.
Here is what we take from that…if we think the Sabbath is about rules and what we can do and can’t do, we need to be humbled to see that we don’t even have the day aligned with the fourth commandment. So if the intention is to follow the original fourth commandment, we are so bad at that, that we don’t even get the day right.
Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath
Unless something much bigger is happening than rules and silly debates about football and rest. Which brings me to the original reason why I thought this commandment should be easy to grasp and preach. Jesus and his disciples had picked grain on the Sabbath, the Pharisees caught them breaking their laws…Jesus’ response:
Mark 2:27–28 ESV
And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. In other words, Jesus transforms the Sabbath. Jesus fulfills the Sabbath. Jesus makes the Sabbath different. The Christian life is all about nourishing our souls. As I said earlier, we are so hurried. We are so anxious. Worried.
Mark 2:27–28 ESV
And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
Mark 2:23–28 ESV
One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. In other words, Jesus transforms the Sabbath. Jesus fulfills the Sabbath. Jesus makes the Sabbath different. The Christian life is all about nourishing our souls. As I said earlier, we are so hurried. We are so anxious. Worried.
Hebrews 10:1 ESV
For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.
Jesus Work So we Can Rest
Paul leaves not doubt:
Adding the burden of the Law and making the fourth commandment about what we do, leads to crushing the soul, not resting and strengthening the soul. The Sabbath was only a shadow of things to come. Listen to how the Apostle Paul who would have been a strict Sabbath follower put it:
Adding the burden of the Law and making the fourth commandment about what we do, leads to crushing the soul, not resting and strengthening the soul. The Sabbath was only a shadow of things to come. Listen to how the Apostle Paul who would have been a strict Sabbath follower put it:
Colossians 2:14–17 ESV
by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
How much clearer could the man have been? Don’t let anyone pass judgment on you because you do or don’t observe the Sabbath…why? Because of what Jesus did on the cross. Because of the work of Jesus. Because of the forgiveness of sins. Because of his triumph over death.
Hebrews 10:1 ESV
For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.
Hebrews
Hebrews 10:11 ESV
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
So the priest would stand all day and offer sacrifices. He wasn’t allowed to sit down because the sacrifices weren’t finished. His work was never finished.
Hebrews 10:11–14 ESV
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
-
Hebrews 10:12–14 ESV
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
So the priest would stand all day and offer sacrifices. He wasn’t allowed to sit down because the sacrifices weren’t finished. His work was never finished.
Work was Finished
Why did he sit down? Because the work was finished. It is finished. When God created the heavens and the earth, he rested on the seventh day. So many times you hear pastors say that if God needed a rest and he is all powerful than how much more do you a mere human need a rest on Sunday? And that misses the point. God didn’t rest because he was tired. God rested because the work was finished. Think about Creation. He not only created life, but created the mechanisms in life so that life could be sustained and reproduced. The word rest there literally means to cease activity. To stop. So God rested on the seventh day because the work was finished. Jesus sat down on the 8th day, Sunday, that morning that he rose from the dead, because his work was finished. He had made creation new. We don’t make ourselves new creations, we ARE new creations. Jesus rested because there was nothing left to do! We live out of that work that Jesus did.
Whole Christian Life is Sabbath Rest
In fact, the whole of the Christian life is living out of that Sabbath rest
Hebrews 4:9 ESV
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
Hebrews
Psalm 46:10 ESV
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
That word for Sabbath rest is the only time that Greek word is used in the NT and it means an ongoing place of rest. Has nothing to do with one particular day.
Matthew 11:28–30 ESV
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Rest for your souls.
Instead of telling us to try harder to find him, he says to stop to find him. To be still.
Psalm 46:10 ESV
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Solitude
The pace of the Gospel of Mark is very fast. And Mark records the day in the life of Jesus in Mark chapter 1. Jesus is on the move. Great things are happening. He heals Peter’s mother in law.
Mark 1:36–37 ESV
And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”
Mark 1:35–37 ESV
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”
Mark 1:32–37 ESV
That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”
:
Even Jesus found time for solitude.
Even Jesus found time for solitude.
Watch
Think about solitude in two categories: you need brief periods of solitude on a regular basis—each day, even at intervals during the day. But you also need extended periods of solitude—a half day, a day, or a few days—and this is possible only at greater intervals.
Frances de Sales, author of the classic An Introduction to the Devout Life, used the image of a clock:
"There is no clock, no matter how good it may be, that doesn't need resetting and rewinding twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. In addition, at least once a year it must be taken apart to remove the dirt clogging it, straighten out bent parts, and repair those worms out.
In like manner, every morning and evening a man who really takes care of his heart must rewind it for God's service. … At least once a year, he must take it apart and examine every piece in detail, that is, every affection and passion, in order to repair whatever defects there may be."
Eagles/Cowboys Game with Dad
-Contrast
Longing for Gathered Worship
What about weekly worship?
After Resurrection:
Luke 24:52–53 ESV
And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.
Early Church wanted to gather together:
Luke 24:53 ESV
and were continually in the temple blessing God.
Early Church wanted to gather.
Early Church wanted to gather.
Acts 2:46 ESV
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
Gathered more. Luke didn’t stop praising. Acts gathered daily.
Hebrews 10:25 ESV
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
don’t give up meeting together.
Why should we not neglect meeting together? Because we are commanded to observe the Sabbath? That would have been the perfect opportunity for the writer to drive that baby home. No…but to encourage each other. To long for that day of eternal rest. Promised land was land of rest. Heaven is where our souls are at rest.
Spend One Day a Week in Other Country
Spend One Day a Week in Other Country
Heard as Law illustration: If we spend one day in another country would change us the other 6
What if our souls, the best part of who we are, spent 7 days in the other country, how would our flesh respond?
Jesus came and made everything new again. God rested on the 7th day, Jesus continued and finished the work, rose from the dead on the day the early church coined the 8th day. The 8th day was such a prominent theme that early baptismal fonts were designed as octagons to symbolize the 8th day. Because they understood that we live in that 8th day perpetually.
Age of new creation.
He didn’t give us steps to rest he gave us himself to rest in.
And yet the command in Scripture, the Law, not only in the Ten Commandments but all through Scripture related to hurry and worry and anxiety and being worn out is that we are to experience the exact opposite of that…
1 Peter 5:7 ESV
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
-
Psalm 62:5–7 ESV
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
-
(perfect peace)
Isaiah 26:3 ESV
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
- (perfect peace)
Promised Land in OT was place of rest. Heaven is entering into rest.
How? What are the steps to achieving this rest?
Thankfully we have the Ten Commandments.
Fourth Command—Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it wholly.
Exodus 20:8–11 ESV
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Hebrews had been slaves working 365 days a year—Unheard of in that society to take off one day.
Hebrews had been slaves working 365 days a year—Unheard of in that society to take off one day.
Remember that you were slaves. A slave didn’t get a day off. Now they were free. They were free to rest. Freedom isn’t so much about money but about whether or not you are enslaved to anything or anyone. A rich man who works seven days a week and sacrifices his family isn’t free, he is a slave. He is a rich slave, but he is still a slave.
-can’t vacuum on this day.
-can’t go to movies on this day, go to a restaurant
-inconsistent, watch football
And what about those Jewish and Seventh Day adventist who say we aren’t even following Bible. Sabbath is 7th day. Saturday. Why Sunday?
Sabbath is 7th day.
Early Christians gathered for worship on Sunday, day Jesus rose from dead. The Lord’s day. But they kept going on Saturday.
Nowhere was the Sabbath Day explicitly rescinded. Nowhere was there a controversy about the Sabbath among the early Christians.
Lord’s Day would be like our Monday.
I’m not even going to keep it on the same day. I’m taking the day away.
Hebrews 10:1 ESV
For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.
The writer is saying perfection is what is needed. But these sacrifices can never make us perfect. Listen to what the writer says in
Hebrews 10:11 ESV
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
So the priest would stand every day and repeatedly offer sacrifices—but they could never take away sins. He doesn’t get a break—the work isn’t finished.
Hebrews 10:12–14 ESV
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
2-
The priests had to keep standing. Jesus sat down. God rested on the seventh day, not because he was tired but because the work was done. Jesus completed his work on the cross he sat down because everything was done. Redemption had been accomplished. Sin had been forgiven. The Sabbath rest that God brought into existence all the way back in creation had been restored.
Hebrews 10:11–14 ESV
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
The priests would
Jesus rested because there was nothing left to do!
Whole of Christian Life is of Rest
Whole of Christian Life is of Rest
Whole of Christian Life is of Rest
Psalm 46:10 ESV
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
: instead of telling us to try harder to find him, he says to stop to find him. To be still.
instead of telling us to try harder to find him, he says to stop to find him. To be still.
Mary and Martha
Luke 10:38–42 ESV
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Matthew 11:28–30 ESV
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Solitude—Jesus in Mark
Watch Illustration
Rock and Sand illustration
What if our souls, the best part of who we are, spent 7 days in the other country, how would our flesh respond?
Hebrews 4:9–10 ESV
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Jesus sat down. It is finished. Jesus rested.
God didn’t rest because he needed a break. He rested because the work was done.
Man messed it up with sin.
Hebrews 10:11–14 ESV
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
Hebrews 1:3–4 ESV
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Hebrews 4:9–11 ESV
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
Jesus came and made everything new again. God rested on the 7th day, Jesus continued and finished the work on the 8th day. Jesus rose on the 8th day. Age of new creation.
Hebrews 10:12 ESV
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
Jesus came and made everything new again. God rested on the 7th day, Jesus continued and finished the work on the 8th day. Jesus rose on the 8th day. Age of new creation.
After Jesus completed His restoration work on the cross, like God He sat down because everything was done. Redemption had been accomplished. Sins had been forgiven. The Sabbath Rest that God originally instated in the garden had been restored ( ). In other words, Jesus rested because there was nothing left to do. Now He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool.
Jesus came and made everything new again. God rested on the 7th day, Jesus continued and finished the work on the 8th day. Jesus rose on the 8th day. Age of new creation.
Living in 8th day.
He didn’t give us steps to rest he gave us himself to rest in.
We want something to do. Some regulation to follow.

The lie underneath all sins is the lie that we cannot trust the love and grace of Jesus and we must therefore take matters into our own hands. –Martin Luther

Look Away From Yourself
Peter and Boat. We are Jesus in the boat.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly trust on Jesus name.
Sabbath rest is knowing it isn’t up to you. Looking away from yourself.
Prayers and poems to start school year. Inspirational.
Spurgeon Prayer
“Looking unto Jesus.” Based on , fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.
It is ever the Holy Spirit of Christ’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ.
He insinuates, ‘Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.’
All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that ‘Christ is all in all.’
Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits.
Therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith.
We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by ‘looking unto Jesus.’
Keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to Him; when thou liest down at night look to Him.
Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail thee.
‘My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.'
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