Friday, December 2, 2011

Have a Great and Godly Weekend

Thank God it's Friday.  Those are words that just about all of us have said.  It is the last day of the normal work week and at the end of the day, most of us who work have two solid days off.  We spend our time getting things done around the home, spending time with family and friends, and spending time doing those fun leisure activities we just can not do during the rest of the work week.  Weekends are a wonderful gift from God.  In fact, the whole concept of a day off began at creation.
And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.  Genesis 2:2-3 NKJV
Of course God did not really take the day off.  He rested from His creative work, but He did not kick back and let the back-up god sit in for the day.  He was just as much God that day as any other day.  If God rested from being God, the entire universe would fall apart if it continued to exist at all.  This reminds me a little of us on our weekends.  Today I want to talk a little bit about how we spend our days off and celebrate God's gift of weekends.

First off all, they should be restful.  This is not to mean that we need to lay in bed all day eating popcorn and watching movies where the most work that we do is answering the door for the Chinese food delivery man.  What I am saying, though, is that they need to be restful, especially mentally restful.  God created the Sabbath for man because God knows that man needs a break.  He created us and so knows what our needs are.  To work hard seven days a week while taking no time to rest you mind and body will only result in you being less healthy.  You are not going to be happy or healthy and as you grow older those effects will become more and more pronounced.  While it is true that death is only our door into eternal life, I do not believe we are called to hasten to process by working more than God says you should.  Perhaps you think that you job is too important or that too much is at stake and that you have no choice but to keep working seven days a week.  That position is not only prideful but it also reveals a lack of faith.  First of all, God tells you to take a day off.  If God tells you to do something, you need to believe that God will make a way for it to happen.  That is where faith comes in.  As for pride, thinking that you are too important to take a day off shows that you think that whatever you do is more important that God's creation.  If God can rest from creation, you can certainly rest from your job. 

Another thing we should do is enjoy our weekends.  On the 6th day, when God completed the work He had done, he saw that it was very good (Genesis 1:31).  He looked upon what He had created and was happy with it.  He enjoyed the work that He had done.  While we may not always enjoy the work we do, we can certainly appreciate what we have done.  If you did work hard all week, enjoy the weekend.  Spend time with family and friends doing Christian-appropriate things that are fun.  Leisure is a gift from God and He has provided this world with so much for us to enjoy.  Whether it be fishing, hunting, watching a game, or whatever those things are that women like to do (of course I can only speak for men!)  There is nothing wrong with having a good time so long as that good time is not in sinful things.  God saw that His creation was very good, enjoy it for the gift that it is. 

We also need to have time for God on weekends.  I am not just talking about going to church on Sunday, but that is part of it.  God blessed and sanctified the seventh day as the Sabbath.  This was not just a day away from work, but a day for spending time in the things of God.  We should spend our weekends worshiping and praising God.  Even in your leisure, always remember that whatever you are righteously enjoying was provided by God, along with the time to enjoy it.  Always remember God, always acknowledge Him, and give Him the praise and glory for the gift of weekends.  Thank Him that He established the time of rest for our bodies and minds to allow us to remain healthier in this life.  Spend time at church for sure but also take the time to spend that time with God alone and with your family.  Worship Him, get into His Word, and pray to Him on weekends when you are not just squeezing Him in between rushed tasks.  Unhurried time with God is a tremendous blessing in and of itself. 

And, finally, we need to remember that we are still Christian on weekends.  Some even in the church think that it is just fine to get drunk at a weekend party or on a Friday night at a bar.  Some even feel no shame about the shame they bring to the Cross.  That is an abuse of God's gift to us.  Just as God was still God on the day He "rested," so are we still His children on our days of rest.  That is why I was so adamant on saying that while enjoying weekends, it is important to enjoy them in righteous endeavors and not sinful ones.  More than that, we are still witnesses of Christ no matter what day it is.  There is no day off from sharing Jesus with the world by our lives and our testimony.  In fact, weekends are a great time to get involved in an outreach or to use the free time to volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry.  In fact, many Christians do.  Many churches schedule outreaches on weekends for this very reason.  People have free time and many Christians love to spend that free time sharing the love of Jesus.  To get you greatest joy sharing your greatest love with the world is a truly blessed thing! 

All in all, the Sabbath and weekends in general are a gift of God.  We should cherish them and appreciate them as such.  We should enjoy them, use them to get the rest we need, and give some of it back in spending time in fellowship with God.   Just like many gifts of God, this one can be abused and we must be careful lest we destroy our testimony.  So enjoy your weekend.  Spend time doing fun things with family and friends.  Spend time in unhurried fellowship with the One who gave you this amazing gift.  Spend time sharing His love with others.  Happy Friday, everyone, happy Friday indeed! 
And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath."  Mark 2:27-28 NKJV

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