This past Sunday, as we studied Genesis 2:1-3, we looked at the need for us to have a day of rest (a Sabbath), the history of the Sabbath for Israel and how that correlates to our lives as Christians now, why church is on Sunday, and what the “ultimate rest” is for us (not working for salvation but resting in salvation by faith alone). I mentioned that God designed 6 days for work and 1 day for rest, yet many of our workweeks are a 5 day workweek. What do we do with that extra day off (normally Saturdays)?
We often use that day for yard work or taking kids to their sports games or doing shopping or many of the other activities we do or need to use Saturday to get caught up on. None of those things are wrong. But how can we also use that extra time to labor for the Lord? Well some of the things are vitally important and you don’t need to leave your house to do it.
First, prayer. When was the last time you spent a good deal of time praying for your lost friends and family, praying for your local church body, your pastor, the lost in your community, missionaries abroad, opportunities for ministry, etc? We can labor and fight in prayer as that is one of the most important things we can do and one of the most powerful. As a pastor, I love to hear people are praying for me because it goes far, believe me. So take some time, block off your calendar, grab your husband/wife/friend and just pray for those things that you may not normally pray for. Battles are first won in prayer so labor there.
Second, set aside time to serve. That can be taking your family to volunteer at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen, volunteering to help clean the church (if you have a building), inviting people to go out witnessing with you, or a host of other things. Will it mess up a Saturday you just wanted to rest? Probably, but you hopefully have one full day you’ve set aside for rest and communion with the Lord (many that is Sunday of going to church and resting afterwards). It’s not that we don’t have time to serve the Lord, it’s often that we don’t make the time and consume ourselves with ourselves. Am I saying every Saturday should be a service project and you can’t have vacation time or kid time or anything like that? Certainly not, but overall, do we find time to serve the Lord or are our weekends only about us?
Another way to labor for the Lord – call a fellow Christian brother or sister, maybe even one you haven’t seen in a while, and talk with them on the phone or go meet them for coffee. Use the gifts God has given you to edify them and build them up. It doesn’t have to feel like a burden to serve the Lord nor does it have to be “hard”.
Husbands, you can serve the Lord by letting your wife simply rest while you do the laundry and the dishes or whatever other household chore your wife does (hopefully you are BOTH doing work around the house). Not only will this benefit your marriage and romantic life, but it can be serving the Lord if you are doing it “unto the Lord” because you serving Him through serving her.
These are just a few ways to spend that extra time you have off from a “paying job” to do work for the Lord which in itself is paying, but in ways that manifest themselves here on this earth, but more so in the life to come as we store up treasures in Heaven!
This blog post comes from further thoughts of the sermon on Genesis 2:1-3 titled “Rest Assured Rest Given” which can be found by clicking here or simply visiting http://www.refugesanger.com/teachings. We are also on iTunes – search “Refuge Sanger” or “Pastor Mike Massey” to find our messages.