Removed by God

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Removed by God —  11-25–2017
Giving thought to Bible stories, I was trying to think of so many ways God saved His people by ‘removing’ them from their currant situation to somewhere else. There are some stunning examples. Some were permanent but most were temporary. In at least one instance, God foretold the exact number of years the exile would be. Some removals were for saving the people and others were for punishment.
Examples: Adam and Eve removed from the Garden into a wilderness; the Noah family removed from Terra firma into the ark; Abraham removed from Babylon to The Promised Land; the Egyptian slave girl Hagar and her son Ismael were removed from the Abraham family to the dessert where she heard the voice of God regarding His plans for her son: his thousands of descendants are with us today and a major problem for the rest of us, because of the mistreatment of Hagar by the Abraham family); the Lot family removed from Sodom to safety in the mountains; Jacob removed from the Promised Land to safety from his very angry brother Esau; Joseph removed from Promised Land to Egypt when sold into slavery by his brothers; Jacob (Israel) family (70 people) removed from Promised Land to Egypt to reunite with Joseph;  Nation of Israel (now more than a family, numbering in the millions) removed from Egypt into the desert with Moses leading; Israel Nation removed from desert into Promised Land led by Joshua; Israel removed from Promised Land to captivity in Babylon by God’s helper King Nebuchadnezzar; after 70 years by decree of Cyrus the new king in Babylon, the captives were released and all who wanted to removed themselves back to Israel. (Quite a few stayed in Babylon); when Jesus was a baby, his family was removed from Israel into obscurity in Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Israel’s new baby king; in 70 A.D. due to an Israelite uprising against the Romans, the Israelites were removed from Israel and dispersed around the vast Roman Empire resulting in the spread of the Gospel all over the known world and the place once called “Israel” became known as Palestine; in WW2 the Jewish people of Europe were removed from their respective homelands to death camps where 6 million of them died; in 1948 God began to remove Jews from Europe and all over the world back to the Promised Land and this process continues today in the new, restored Nation of Israel.
In this time in which we live, God is also calling Believers to remove themselves from “a form of Christianity that denies the power thereof.”  He wants us to have a REAL relationship with Him in the power of Holy Spirit. We talk with Him and He talks with us. We pray, but some of us heard/felt Him answer, we would pass out from the shock!
And lastly, before The End turns into Eternity, there will be one more removal. The wise and worthy Believers will be called up by Jesus, removed from Earth. They will be safe from the Lord’s extreme wrath as it rains down upon the wicked. The final war with God’s enemies will be fought. It will end in victory for Jesus and His army. We will get a new heaven and a new Earth.
All that is NOT a timeline, and may not happen in that exact order. But it will happen. I leave the details to the Father (and the experts). I have learned truths in the past 15 years that I would not have understood 30 years ago. I will discuss matters such as this with others, but we must not argue or condemn one another’s point of view. We are still looking through a foggy window. Whatever God does or doesn’t do is His plan and it will be “good” for those of us who love and obey Him, those who are “The Called” according to His purpose. We must walk this out trusting Him with the simple faith of a child.
When Lord Jesus comes from heaven with his powerful warrior angels in flaming fire, He will bring vengeance to those who have opposed God, those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from His strength. This is the Judgment Day.  2 Thess. 1:7-10  (paraphrased)
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
copyright March 2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at
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Dreams

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Dreams —  11-18-2017

   

I woke from a dream, and promptly forgot it. I knew it had to do with high school friends, but the details escaped me. It was around the time of the Tidwell Sisters most recent annual visit to Del Rio, and I had these friends on my mind. As I lay there stretching, it got me thinking about dreams. I began to talk to the Lord about it, thanking Him for good dreams. I felt His prompting to write on this subject. We all dream, but some of us remember dreams longer and more vividly. There are spiritual dreams that have great meaning: God’s Spirit is communicating with our spirit. In more ordinary dreams our subconscious is communicating with our conscious mind to show us a solution to daytime problems. The difference is subtle. Spiritual dreams are usually vivid, colorful, with symbolism, and easy to remember. They are however, not always easy to understand. When I have that kind of a dream, one I can’t understand, I have a couple of friends I consult with. They help me work out what the Lord is showing me. And I help them with their dreams at times. Spiritual dreams can be very useful to Believers.
Dreams and interpretations are scattered around in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. It would seem strange to me, even ridiculous, to think the Lord doesn’t use them any more. I had a friend in Del Rio years ago who dreamed of a plane crashing. She saw across the body of the aircraft as it was going down, “Braniff”  She felt (from the Lord) this airline company was about to go bankrupt. The Lord directed her to the president of one of the local banks, a Christian, and business friend of her husband. She told him of her dream. She said, if he or the bank had stock in Braniff they should sell. He thanked her politely, but she felt he thought she was nuts. It was less than 6 months later that Braniff took the bankruptcy nose dive and went out of business!
Most of my life my dreams were stressful, some bordering on nightmares. They reflected a lot of how my waking life was (and still is in some ways)— stress. The recurring theme has been about being lost myself, not knowing where I was, can’t find my way; or hunting for people that I have lost (can’t find them). I dreamed once that I could not find a certain family member. The setting was in the neighborhood where my family had lived in Del Rio when I was young. I was going from door to door, knocking and asking people if they had seen the missing person. As the dream went on I got more and more distressed with tears streaming down my face. I woke myself up talking and crying out. In reality, this person was in a really bad place spiritually. Bad Choices! I was angry at this, but also very worried. I knew the dream was a reflection of my deep desire that this person not be lost! I prayed and ask the Lord to take my burden. I got more peace about this, both awake and asleep!
The past 15 or so years, I dream about my sons. They are usually still little boys—-good dreams of when we were a young family of four. It seems to portray an appreciation for what I didn’t even realize at the time were the good days! I always thank the Lord for this kind of dream. I dream of Mama and Daddy, my sister, all young and healthy. Sometimes my mom or dad advises me about something going on in my life. It’s always helpful advice.
Many of my dreams are populated with schoolmates and people I knew through church or Christian groups years ago. I feel good when I wake from the dreams of my school friends. It’s great to see all of us young, when we were—slimmer and our bodies not hurting all over!  Whenever I dream of them, it is usually in some kind of setting where we are in a hotel or convention place. There are many people around, going to and fro, shops along the way. My friends want to dawdle and look around in the stores, but I keep trying to tell them we need to find the registration desk and learn where we need to be. They always have a lot of luggage and I am usually trying to help with some of theirs and have my own smaller bag, too. it. In some of those dreams I have even told the others that we should leave all the luggage behind and just get to where we need to be because there was some kind of a deadline for getting signed up! This dream is pretty simple to understand. Urgent Destination. Deadline. (Emphasis on DEAD.) Baggage. It is a “Get Right or Get Left” kind of a dream if there ever was one!!!
Sensible people want to go to heaven. But some of us put off making reservations as long as we can. One day we plan to get signed up, but not yet. We must make our salvation sure BEFORE we die. And the phrase “You can’t take it with you” would definitely apply! We must lay down our burdens! Nobody will bring any luggage into heaven!
Safe to say, I have a heart concern for all the friends and family that I love. And I am even not exactly fully free of earth’s concerns myself. In my own dreams, I’m notified of the fact that I’m carrying a little luggage myself!  Burdens. Love of the world vs. Love of God.
I pray for all my friends and family and my readers I never met, that your dreams are helpful to you, even the bad ones. They may warn you or show you the way out of a mess. It’s not unusual to have more than one way of looking at a dream. The true meaning may come as we ponder it prayerfully over a day or two. If you have a vivid but weird seeming dream, I urge you to find a solid Believer in Jesus who has the gift of dream interpretation. I find I do better with interpreting the dreams of others, but need help figuring out my own.
The men said to him, “We have dreamed dreams, and there is no interpreter of it.” And, Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God?  Tell me your dreams.”  Genesis 40:8
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
copyright  April  2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at

Bitter Disappointments

Weekly Sabbath Survey
 Bitter Disappointment —  11-11-2017

    

We all have times when people let us down. Even very faithful friends or family can mess up and cause us great hurt and disappointment. Our humanity in its fallen state seems to open the door for us to miss the mark, fail miserably, and disappoint others. We make promises we can’t keep. We forget the plan or show up too late.
This leaves the injured party with a BIG case of the blues. They are depressed because things did not go according to plan. Some even get angry and bitter. I lost a really good friend that way. I still have a sore spot from what happened. She just couldn’t open her heart to me. I left her sitting in a restaurant for over 2 hours, and when she went home and called me, All I could say was, “I forgot.”  She said she kept thinking I would be there any minute. I had let her down before for reasons of my health. That day I was so sick I was still in my night gown when she called about 3:00 PM. No amount of explaining and asking forgiveness would fix it. I lost a BEST friend that day.
So, what is the problem here?  We have unrealistic, sometimes unrealized and/or unreasonable expectations of how other people will or can make us HAPPY. We are trying to feel fulfilled by what other people do with and for us. If you have ever been married and had kids, this would be a place to consider the problem. Your nuclear family is always going to be “The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.” Then you throw in some in-laws and a few good friends and you have a party! Sometimes, it’s a Pity Party. People will let us down. Sometimes they are doing their best and we are being awful and unkind to be disappointed with them. Many kids have been damaged by parents who expected more than the little guys could give.
I heard a TV preacher say psychologists think in one to one relationships where people really love each other, it is still usual for most people to give someone else no more than 80% of what that person needs. So there is a 20% deficient at all times even in the BEST relationships. There are no perfect people. There’s just us. We cannot ask someone to give us what they do not have.
The usual answer is to divorce that 80% woman or man, and go find someone else. That someone will most likely be only another 80% and she/he could be even less. That 20% (or more) unfulfilled part of us is why people say, “My husband doesn’t pay enough attention to me.” Or, “My wife doesn’t understand me.” God deliberately allows this, because He’s leaving a 20% space in us to make our own happiness, and to fit Him into our lives. Instead of complaining that Earl watches TV all weekend or Ethel talks on the phone too much with her friends. We need to be finding fulfillment in the things of God, spending time with the kids or our aging parents, a taking up a hobby. (And, no, “affairs” are NOT a hobby despite what the current morality says in that regard.)
We all must find fulfillment in the things we enjoy doing, together and separately. We cannot expect others to make us happy. We cannot put our happiness in the care of another person. It creates an occasion for a control issue with a lot of emotional black mailing, such as giving you the silent treatment, or having a fainting spell or a migraine that gets them off the hook for your family reunion and making you unhappy!
Relationships are rarely a 50-50 thing. Never have been. Some days you get more than you give, and other times you give more than you get. We must stop doing too much math over who gave the most, and just live life. Be happy! If things are so out of balance that it is continually one-sided, some counseling or a sensible, calm discussion may be in order.
Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright   March 2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at

Extra Mile Walk

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Extra Mile Walk —  August 18 2017

   

Many true, committed Believers are “all or nothing” people. They don’t do things halfway, and have to make themselves take short cuts when time or circumstances demand it. Jesus talked about going an extra mile with someone who asked you to go one mile. Doing more than required. Then there are people we might call “Minimum Johns.” The minimum people do what is expected or required and nothing more. They don’t go extra miles if they can help it. In school they never went after the extra point question on a test.
God being the original perfectionist, we should develop some of that as we mature in His will for our lives, even if it doesn’t come naturally. We should want to be the best that we can be; do the best job we can and add something extra if we can. This requires using imagination, prayer and certainly some planning ahead. Waiting ’til the last minute is seldom a good plan when hoping for something above the baseline. The servant of the Lord must do better than “par for the course.” It should be our goal for each day. The longer we serve Him the more of an Extra Mile Walk with Him we should have.
There are some pursuits in life that may suffer with striving for perfection. Art is one of those. If we want perfection, we shouldn’t paint a picture, we should take a photograph. The artist’s imperfect rendering of a subject or scene is the beauty of what art is. On the other hand there are those whose pursuit of perfection is manic, and therefore not Godly.
The ministry of the priesthood of the Believer is not the place to let things play out any old way. Musicians should practice and preachers should prepare their thoughts for preaching sermons. Everything we do in ministry should certainly be prayed over intently. But also, there is such a thing as spontaneity, being ready whether it’s convenient or not. And letting the Holy Spirit take over when He has a plan of His own!  But we cannot use these as excuses for failing to prepare.
Sometimes when I’m diligent with my daily devotional, the things I read in my devotion book or the Bible itself becomes the “word” for someone else I speak with later in the day. If I had not prepared by being faithful in my own devotion, I might have missed what someone else needed. David said, “I hide Your word in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” The Lord God’s Word stored in our memory becomes a lamp guiding our feet. But what is never put in the bank can never be taken out. No Deposit, No Return. In all things we do for others and for ourselves, we must strive for that Extra Mile Walk, starting with hiding the Scriptures in our hearts.
Jesus taught several parables about the various levels of service. He knew to begin with that not everyone would or could answer the call to go after perfection, to really chase Him. It doesn’t necessarily mean some of us are not a part of the gang. It’s about the Master’s approval rating of each of His servants. We have been taught we are all equal in the Lord, but the Scriptures seem to deny this. God looks not at our outward success, but rather at how hard we tried. This is why we should not judge the relative level of the service of others. We look on the outside but God looks at the heart. I think of school kids. One is smart as a pet coon but doesn’t even try. Makes B’s and C’s. Another child is kind of slow, not stupid but not whip smart either. He works hard because he wants to learn and do his very best. He also makes B’s and C’s. Which kid is the one closest to achieving perfection? It’s all about maximizing what we have to work with.
Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. Violent people seize the kingdom of heaven by force like a precious prize. A kingdom share is sought after with the most ardent zeal and intense exertion. As a deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after Thee, O God.  Matthew 5:6, 11-16; Psalm 42:1
 
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
copyright December 2016
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at 

Mystery Solved?

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Mystery Solved? — 8-12-2017

   

When I first began my very serious walk with Jesus, about 40 years ago, I read the Bible like a person deprived of food would eat. I couldn’t get enough of it!!  I was sometimes frustrated by ‘the begats’  Someone begat a son, and that son begat another son, etc. But I also knew every word in this Book was there as part of God’s message to us. 
In time I also got very interested in Biblical archaeology. I realized that there were artifacts from tribes and civilizations mentioned in various magazines and things I was reading which coincided with the Biblical text. Too many times I heard experts say, “This Babylonian jar” or “Egyptian writing” (whatever) “predates the Bible by X number of years.”  It seemed many experts wanted very much to emphasize the timeline and discredit the Bible’s validity like its authors copied stories from other. Every time I heard that, I thought, how can they say that when our Bible starts out with “In the beginning God created the Earth, moon and stars, plants, animals and people.” How can something buried in a pyramid on Earth PREDATE that!?!  I believed by faith, thought there should be a way prove we were first, with some discovery like the Dead Sea Scrolls.  
For the past few years I have been thinking, how can it be proven that there is an unbroken chain from Adam right on into the time of Jesus and on to us?  I believe the Lord has shown me. I was tucked in for the night, praying, as is my habit. I was asking the Lord about this problem with proving that we had the ‘old, old story’ before any other nation or tribe or ‘god’ or religion on Earth. I was close to dozing when I heard in my head: “Melchizedek.”  Clear as a bell. I did the usual, “Lord, is that you?” thing. And I heard, Melchizedek is the answer.”  A gladness rose up in my heart as prayed for guidance. I asked the Father to lead me every step of the way and thanked Him for guiding me. I fell peacefully asleep, and the very next morning, my quest began.
For many of us, Melchizedek is a mystery, a shadowy figure, almost a myth. But I quickly learned that others were ahead of me in looking into his identity and purpose in being where and who he was in the Biblical story. I’m trusting I have received from the Lord that led me to my conclusion. Others are figuring out other answers. I am not teaching this as a solid doctrine, but a bit of imagination, conjecture, what if’s, and the thoughts I believe God gave me. I present it as a possible truth that proves my unbroken chain theory. As I began gathering material and praying for the Lord to show me what to do with what I was seeing. The Internet makes it possible for us to compare notes and share ideas with others. This possible End Times revelation can strengthen our hearts in these troublesome times. In my search I’ve found some facts and some very interesting coincidences.
I decided in May of 2016 to write a book about it. I got very excited, began writing, making plans. I prayed for guidance. I ask for input and prayers from a few trusted friends. One told me there are already numerous books written on the subject. I went online and saw all those books, written by people likely possessing a lot more education and ability than I have. I was pretty discouraged at this point and abandoned the book idea, for sure, and maybe the whole project as not worthy of seeing the light of day. But I kept the feeling that I wanted to share what I believe is truth even if just with my readers! What God shows me may be sort of elementary, but it is still important and useful for others. So, I prayed more.
So now, I will hit the high spots to inform you leaving a trail of bread crumbs for you to do with as the Lord leads you. My answer is pretty simple and I don’t claim it to be super theology. Just the righteous musings of one of God’s servants. I find my premise believable enough to pump up our faith in a God who is aware of every jot and tittle. I believe He has shown the unbroken line from Adam to the written words of the Torah, right on to Jesus Himself and in to us in our big ol’ King James Bible. The truth is hidden in the begats. There are a few extra-Biblical writings and legends that appear to confirm what the Bible reveals.
In Genesis, there is a list of righteous men who founded the first people of God. The list of patriarchs, fathers and sons in succession, is this: Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, and Abraham.  From Adam to Abraham was 1,947 years. (Take note of how long people lived back then.) The key figure for us is Noah’s oldest son, Shem, who was the founder of the Semites, some of whom became the Hebrews, then the nation of Israel, and finally were all called Jews which is a shortened version of King David’s tribe of Judah. This is the tribe Jesus was born into.    
There are also Bible verses and other records of some very wicked men who lived during the time of these named patriarchs. These evil men were very powerful and became known in pagan circles as ‘gods.’ They were so wicked they provoked God to bring on The Flood. One of the most outstanding is Nimrod. He was a peculiar person of amazing strength, a mighty hunter (killer) of men, a warrior king and terrifyingly cruel. He was the instigator and builder of the Tower of Babel. There is a Babylonian legend that Noah’s son Shem killed Nimrod and then hacked his body to pieces (just for good measure). It seems Shem must have distinguished himself from the crowd by taking on this terrifying man, sort of David & Goliath style.
I believe there could have been written records among God’s people very early on, their genealogies and history, but there is no doubt there was much oral history as parents told their children of these events from generation to generation. And these were re-enforced by the fact that their lives overlapped to many more generations than we do now. Adam lived all the way to the time of Noah’s father, Lemech, who was 56 years old when Adam died. Methuselah was 870 years old when Shem was born and lived 99 more years after. Shem was 390 when Abraham was born and lived 210 more years after. Shem actually lived 35 years after Abraham died. He lived to see the birth of Isaac and Jacob, and presumably was still the High Priest of the people. The telling of the story of creation and the days after Adam and Eve left the Garden Eden must have been repeated over and over and over again.
(Abram was returning home from victory in a battle.) Melchizedek, King of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was The Priest of the Most High God. He blessed Abram and said, “Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be The Most High God which has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And Abram gave Melchizedek tithes of all the spoils.  Genesis 14:19-21
So who is this ‘Priest-King’ of Salem? (A town later known as Jerusalem.) Where did he come from? Why was Abraham giving him tithes? Many Jewish and Christian scholars see it this way:  In those days, there was one high priest at a time and it would be the oldest living patriarch. Melchizedek was not the person’s name but the title of his office. It means “King (Priest) of Righteousness.”
Abraham was born in Chaldea and called to go to this land God would show him. Suppose Abraham had heard of this faraway place, Salem, in the family stories. He knew of the High Priest of God living there. And Abraham, after his victorious battle with the pagans, sought out this man to honor him and maybe even to renew his acquaintance with him. Could this King of Righteousness be Abram’s own eight ‘greats’ grandfather, Shem?  Some experts say, yes!  I believe it is the best conclusion to fill in the gaps in Scripture. This mystery of who Shem was. He was in the line from Noah who was called a preacher (Priest-King) of Righteousness, and was serving as High Priest in his time, even though it was only in his own home and family! There wasn’t even a tribe name back then.  
As the world population grew, wickedness grew with it. God was choosing out the one family to carry the knowledge of The Living God, YHVH. By sending Shem on ahead to the Promised Land, was He preparing for Abraham to have the spiritual guidance and encouragement he needed to keep the faith? It was necessary for Abraham to leave his birth family behind because God was starting new with him. Shem would have brought scrolls when he made his pilgrimage to Salem, or written them after he got there. The High Priest would be the keeper of the family stories and bloodlines. He continued his ministry to God right there alone, as he waited for what God had in store. Abraham was very rich, he had thousands of head of cattle, military men to protect his people and belonging, and various skilled craftsmen. They were a whole city themselves as they moved along pitching their tents where there was good grazing. No doubt word of their arrival reached everyone in the land. And Shem (Melchizedek) would know that this was the man, his own descendant, he was waiting to be sent by God. Surely after they met, there were times he schooled Abraham and they had interaction with each other for many years.
Melchizedek is referred to in the New Testament (Hebrews 7). Remembering this is his title, we can see that the priesthood continues from the original patriarchs all the way to Jesus, who is now our High Priest forever. He was both the high priest and the sacrifice that Passover day on Mount Calvary.
Never again will I feel challenged by Hindu, Buddhist, or any other ‘ancient’ religion that their beliefs and spiritual knowledge precede the Jewish faith. They do not! All the various peoples who got left out every time when God sorted the righteous from the others and narrowed the family line, like Able favored over Cain, and Jacob chosen over Esau. The ones left out, took at lot of the stories with them but, forsook YHVH and founded their own pagan belief systems. The reality of the Living God was something that touched everyone who had any contact with His people. The legends in Judaism of scary wicked men, a big tower built, the flood of all floods, giants, and so forth, was not taken from the pagans. It was the other way around.
I want to thank a few friends who never gave up on me for the telling of this story. They encouraged me to get something done with the “by faith facts” we have. I pray you are blessed to think about the marvelously creative ways in which Almighty God gets people to the right place, at the right time so they are making history, and even more, some of them were/are laying the foundation for the future. We don’t always need positive proof of what God is doing or has done, because:
We walk by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright July 2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at 

Keeping the Sabbath

Weekly Sabbath Survey

 Keeping The Sabbath —  7-28-2017

   

If you turn from doing your pleasure on my holy day, call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy day of Yahweh honorable, and shall honor it by not doing your own ways, you shall delight yourself in Yahweh God and I will make you to ride the high places of the Earth, and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your ancestor. For the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it. Isaiah 58:13-14
More people are thinking about doing something to “honor the Sabbath and keep it holy.”  Some make it their worship day. Others make the 7th day a special day of rest that pleases the Lord, but continue going to a church building on Sunday. Some with a heart conviction about Sabbath may have a spouse or other family who do not share our enthusiasm. It is wise to proceed with caution and prayer as you begin to follow your heart. We must follow our convictions, but not be in strife in our household. The Lord sees as we keep our Sabbath and honor His day of rest in the best way we can.
The Sabbath is for OUR benefit. [Mark 2:27] Our obedience in keeping the day holy will be rewarded in ways we don’t even know. Obeying God’s commandments is never wrong. It opens doors for us, giving blessings at His good pleasure.The following suggestions for “how to” may help. Once we understand the basic requirements of Sabbath keeping, we will find it is not a “burden.”
1)  The Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. [Ex. 20:8]. Observing this day must be a real commitment. As simple as that sounds, it is exceedingly difficult for Gentiles. (The verses from Isaiah indicate we aren’t the only ones who have found it difficult. Isaiah was writing to the Jewish people!) We have grown up in a culture that does not recognize the 7th day of the week as God’s day of rest. Our friends, and even family, may not like us doing it. If we want to go forward, we must do as Jesus told us, “count the cost” because doing this in the face of such opposition may make it difficult.
2)  The Sabbath is a day for REST. We should look forward to it, make plans for what we will do or not do. From sundown on Friday to sundown of Saturday, we are to rest. No work or job should be done for income or self-provision. God provides 6 days for us to make a living, but decrees that the 7th day we do not conduct business. No buying or selling on the Day of Rest. No housework such as laundry, cleaning, or a lot of cooking. We can do things around the home that we enjoy such as hobbies, caring for animals, and preparing simple meals. But ordinary non-essential chores should not be done. If there’s a big kitchen spill, clean it up. We can be practical and use common sense. If something can wait, then it should.
3)  The Bible tells us to have a holy gathering on Sabbath. The Sabbath is celebrated in families, beginning on Friday at sundown with a meal. A small home group of family or friends, no more than 8-10 people can be done. The fellowship should include a simple meal, and can include Jewish traditions. The two Sabbath candles are lit by a woman in the group as she gives thanks to Yahweh for the Sabbath Day, and for sending Jesus who is the Light of the World. A man in the group says a blessing as he breaks and passes the bread, then the wine in turn, at the beginning of the meal: “I bless this bread which is the Body of our Lord Jesus and I bless this wine which is His blood.”  This is “communion.”  Singing a simple worship song as the bread goes from one to the other would help to keep it from seeming too “ritual.” Let each person eat their portion immediately and start the wine around right after the bread with each one drinking immediately. Conversation is okay, too. It is a celebration and thanking God for sending Jesus and giving us a day of rest. The meal should close with a prayer of thanksgiving for the food that has been provided.

4) After supper, there might be worship with singing and/or a Bible lesson/discussion. Participation by all should be encouraged, including the children. Bring the lesson should rotate from one to another, not the same person all the time. Each evening can be its own event. Maybe someone wants to bring a song solo, or the kids have a skit to present. A night of board games would be fun. Don’t be too structured. Be creative and make this time fun. Keep a relaxed, happy atmosphere. The Sabbath is not meant to be a burden. It is a time for joy and laughter and family.

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
copyright November 2016
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