Are you feeling exhausted? I’ve heard from many of you who have felt worn out during the past couple of years.
We can find rest, thanks be to God, by observing the Lord’s Day as God’s gift to us.
For your gift of any amount this month, we’ll send you two new resources to help you celebrate the Lord’s Day for your good and God’s glory. More on that below.
Why are we so exhausted? To some extent, it has to do with the times in which we live. Some say we are living in an unprecedented or uncertain era. That’s not really true, of course. Nothing catches God off guard or thwarts His plans (Job 42:2). What we’ve witnessed over the past two years—political instability, societal unrest, a seemingly increased rate of sickness and death—none of this is new in history. Christians know that God is still on the throne, working out all things according to His eternal decree (Eph. 1:11). However, it is one thing to know the truth and another to put it into practice.
Christians in generations past also had to endure weariness, and our forebears possessed a biblical insight that can help us find rest. God’s people have always kept a true Sabbath as a weekly gift from the Lord, gathering to worship corporately and to rest from their worldly labors. One day in seven—on Saturday prior to Christ’s resurrection and on Sunday since—they delighted in God’s reign over creation and in His saving purposes in the world. By faith, families were strengthened in their knowledge and love of the Lord and in communion with one another. Only by following the Bible’s teaching will we find true rest in God (Ex. 20:8–11; Isa. 58:13–14; Mark 2:27).
Have you noticed how much stands in the way of truly celebrating the Lord’s Day? Some churches have closed or have been forced to cease public worship in light of the pandemic. But even before that, busy schedules have filled Sunday with activities that distract us from rest and from our “audience with the King of kings,” as Dr. R.C. Sproul described corporate worship.
Jesus tells us in the Gospels that the Sabbath or Lord’s Day is a gift to us, a day that God has set apart to refresh our weary souls and to renew our focus on Him. Rightly ordered worship reminds us of what is true and eternal, reorienting us to the holy God, who alone provides true rest for our souls by clothing us in the holiness of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Dr. Sproul pointed again and again to our privilege as the children of God. In worship, R.C. said:
“God comes to join us. He abides with us. He enters into fellowship. He brings us into His family. We invoke His presence. But when we are encouraged to draw near to Him in New Testament worship, we are encouraged to draw near to a God who is altogether holy.”
Too often we forget this, burdening ourselves on Sundays with everything but true reverence and rest. Perhaps we’ve allowed ourselves to believe that it’s a day of restrictions rather than a day of freedom that points us to our future eternal rest.
It isn’t only individual Christians who have lost their focus on the Lord’s Day. Many entertainment-oriented churches have jettisoned the true focus of corporate worship: the praise of God in all His holiness. And some pastors and church leaders have pushed the idea that livestreamed online worship is a suitable regular alternative to the in-person gathering of the saints. To find real rest, however, the church must recapture our affection for the Lord’s Day and seeing others face-to-face in gathered and reverent corporate worship.
This month, we’re offering two new resources to thank you for a gift of any amount and to help you delight in the Lord’s Day for your good and God’s glory. We have recently released a new teaching series and a new book that take an in-depth look at celebrating the Lord’s Day and its rest and worship. The Lord’s Day DVD teaching series with Dr. W. Robert Godfrey and the book Let Us Worship God by Dr. Derek Thomas are yours for your donation to Ligonier.
Whether it’s our library of books and video teaching series, Renewing Your Mind and our other podcasts, or Tabletalk magazine, your support provides teaching that helps strengthen the church around the world. Pastors write to us regularly to thank us for the Ligonier resources they use to help promote discipleship in their church. And individuals often call and email us, grateful that through their study of Ligonier’s teaching they have been able to find a healthy, gospel-preaching church where they can raise their families and grow in grace.
Thank you for co-laboring in ministry with us. May you have a blessed Lord’s Day this week and always.