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Are You in Sync with God?

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Is your life so hectic you don’t have time for what is truly important? Learn how you can enjoy genuine spiritual rest.

Transcript

[Gary Petty] Time. It’s the currency of life. It’s what you and I spend every second of every minute of every day. And once you’ve spend it, it’s gone forever.

Is your life so filled with trying to get to the next place, complete the next task, fulfill the next activity that you reach the end of the day stressed and discontented? Are you out of sync with the most important things in your life?

Is there a time management program that will help you get in sync with what is really important? Maybe the question you really need to ask is, “Are You in Sync with God?”

We measure time by the motion of the earth circling the sun and the moon circling the earth. Years, months, even seconds are measured by the movement of heavenly bodies. Day and night are measured by sunlight or lack of sunlight.

Did you know that the only measure of time that isn’t determined by the movement of heavenly bodies is the seven-day week? If the seven-day week isn’t measured by the orbits of the sun or the moon, where did it originate?

You know the ancient Egyptians had a ten day week while the oldest Roman calendar observed an eight day week. But there is one ancient people that have kept a seven-day calendar for thousands of years. The seven-day calendar, which begins with the day that now we call Sunday and ends with Saturday, is based, not on a scientific model, but an ancient religious text.

According to Genesis, the first book of the Bible, God created the universe as we know it in six days. 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 2:3 Genesis 2:3And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
American King James Version×
).

Before the existence of stars and planets, asteroids and black holes, there was no time as we know it. Time, in a physical universe, is a creation of God.

You and I spend our lives limited by time. How many times have you come to the end of a day, or a week, or month and been frustrated by what you didn’t get done? Have you ever wished you had more time to spend with your children or to accomplish something you really want to do with your life?

There are always demands on your time—your job, getting the kids to soccer practice, trying to keep up with Facebook, doctor appointments and fixing the leaking faucet. So we spend the currency of life every week; seven days, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes, 604,800 seconds.

We search for rhythms in daily, weekly, monthly, even yearly rituals and in the yearly seasons. These cycles supply a feeling of reassurance that time has meaning. Many Christians gather on Sunday morning to worship for an hour in a desire to include God in their weekly 604,800 seconds. Often after church services everyone rushes home to catch the pre-game show, or get in an afternoon of pleasure seeking, or toil on a project around the house.

Remember, time is a creation of God. We can spend our entire lives rushed and hurried and out of sync with what is really important. Or we can understand that God created the seven-day week, with the seventh day Sabbath, as a way for us to be in sync with Him.

Many Christians claim to observe the Ten Commandments. The truth is that most don’t. The Fourth Commandment is ignored, shunned, even despised by many Christians. The Fourth Commandment states, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God…” (Exodus 20:8-10 Exodus 20:8-10 [8] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. [9] Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: [10] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:
American King James Version×
).

The first step in effective time management is to get in sync with your Creator. This is why the seventh-day Sabbath is relevant to Christians today. The Sabbath isn’t an hour of worship followed by watching a football game, cleaning the garage, or catching up on a work project. Both in the Genesis account, and in the Ten Commandments, the Creator of time states that He set aside the seventh day of the week as a day of rest.

Now today we’re going to look at three reasons why the Sabbath is relevant to modern Christians and how observing the Sabbath can help you get back in sync with God. We’ll even talk with a Sabbath-keeper and see how understanding this key to time management has changed her life.

Now the first reason for Sabbath observance is found in understanding that the seventh-day Sabbath, the day we call Saturday, is a memorial of creation and its observance recognizes the Creator. The Fourth Commandment states, “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:11 Exodus 20:11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
American King James Version×
). The Sabbath was created by God at the very beginning of human history.

What is really important in your life? You can determine what is important to someone, just find out how they spend their time.

Do you want to experience God in your life? Is God a priority in how you spend your time? Or is He just an afterthought in sleepy time prayers? Observing the seventh-day Sabbath can bring you into sync with the Creator of time.

Well the first reaction of many people, even Christians, is that observing an entire day in spiritual and physical rest would be restricting, or boring, or even a burden. But the opposite is true. Observing the Sabbath changes your priorities and will actually “expand” your time by helping you understand what is really important. The reality is that much of our time is wasted on the unimportant, the uninspiring, the meaningless. The Sabbath is a weekly opportunity to refocus from the mundane to the eternal.

Now the second reason for observing the Sabbath is in understanding it is a day of spiritual worship and renewal. The Sabbath—now listen to this—the Sabbath is your personal weekly appointment with God. Think about that a minute. The Creator of the universe, the Maker of time, has ordained one day a week as personal time between you and Him. How you spend this day will affect how you spend all other days.

Some time management gurus promote micro-managing each hour of each day in order to increase efficiency. Well adopting this management style can increase efficiency; it also has driven many people to nervous breakdowns.

A more healthy approach to time management is to organize your life into blocks of time dedicated to work, to family and to worship.

This is the framework used by God when He told mankind “six days shall you labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God” (Exodus 20:9-10 Exodus 20:9-10 [9] Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: [10] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:
American King James Version×
).

By planning our time in a weekly structure, we can get control of the non-stop whirlwind and begin to balance our activities. You need to schedule throughout the week time for work, for family meals, for exercise, for household chores, for personal Bible study and prayer and recreation. This weekly schedule of activity leads us to an important goal—the Sabbath.

Biblical days begin and end at sundown, so no matter how hectic the week, the goal of Friday sundown, the beginning of the Sabbath, waits with its promise of physical, emotional and spiritual renewal. As the Sabbath approaches, it’s time to forget the work problems and the mortgage payments. It’s time to shut out the noise of the daily pressure cooker. It’s time to experience your appointment with God.

How important is it for you to show up to an appointment with God?

Well in a moment we’re going to be joined by Whitney Creech. She will share with us the challenge of being in sync with God and sometimes being out of sync with society.

Now if you are interested in getting your life in sync with God then you should request the free study guide Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest. This booklet will help you discover the day God created as a special time between Him and His creation. It will take you through what Jesus Christ taught about the Sabbath and how the earliest Christians observed the seventh day as a time of rest and worship.

You can read Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest online at BeyondToday.tv. Or request your free copy to be sent directly to your mailbox by calling: 1-888-886-8632. Now write this down. That’s 1-888-886-8632.

Now if you have an e-reader like Kindle, Sunset to Sunset is available for download from the Amazon online bookstore.

Today we’re joined by Whitney Creech who observes the seventh-day Sabbath and has agreed to share with us her experiences and how getting in sync with God has improved her life. Whitney, thanks for being here with us.

[Whitney] Thank you.

[Gary] How does observing the seventh-day Sabbath strengthen your relationship with God and with Jesus Christ?

[Whitney] It really allows me to connect because God created the Sabbath. And so He created it, I know that He rested on the seventh day. So it’s something I can do that’s a part of His plan. And so I know that He would want me to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. And I feel connected to Him when I know that it’s something that He commanded me to do.

[Gary] It’s interesting though when you go back to Genesis. God rested. He gave us the example. And as our Father and as Christ is our Brother that’s what we want to share with them in that rest.

[Whitney] That’s right.

[Gary] Now how does keeping, observing the seventh-day Sabbath effect the rest of your week?

[Whitney] It’s a nice starting point. It really allows me to refocus on what’s important and God’s proprieties in my life, not my will. And so I’m able to focus on what He desires for my life instead of my goals, my ambitions. Which are important to have but it’s always nice to know that what I’m wanting is in line with what God wants for me as well.

[Gary] I know as a seventh-day Sabbath keeper, it is just something about you can drift during the week, you know, but every seventh day you’re brought back into remembrance of who you are, and who God is, and who Christ is and it’s… It really keeps you focused in and that’s part of the reason we do it.

Now, being in sync with God by keeping the Sabbath can sometimes put us out of sync with family, and friends and society. Have you ever experienced that?

[Whitney] Actually when I first started keeping the Sabbath, I was playing soccer in high school. I started keeping it in my senior year in high school.

[Gary] So how old were you?

[Whitney] I was 17.

[Gary] 17.

[Whitney] Yes. And, I had been playing all my life pretty much and my coach, He said, this is something different. I need you to explain to your team mates why you’re not going to be playing on Friday and Saturday because, of course, it would appear to them that I was just skipping practice and skipping games.

So I had to tell my whole team and my coach about the seventh-day Sabbath. I am sure in less words, but I had to explain it to them as a whole group. And it was hard because it was my peers, and my other fellow students, the ones I wanted to fit in with.

[Gary] Did it, how did you feel about that? I mean was it anxious?

[Whitney] I honestly don’t remember what I said…

[Gary] Oh really.

[Whitney]…because I was so nervous. It was kind of a whirlwind and it really strengthened my conviction though in the Sabbath and I had to make sure that it was my, my choice to keep the Sabbath. And that I really had to make it my own. And I had to realize that it was important and God wanted me to keep it or I couldn’t tell anyone else why I was keeping it.

[Gary] So how old were you then?

[Whitney] I was 17.

[Gary] 17. But you realized then, this was something God wanted you to do.

[Whitney] Yes.

[Gary] And I think that’s interesting. You just said how, if you are going to do something, you have to be willing to explain to others why you do it.

[Whitney] Exactly.

[Gary] Because that’s real character then. That’s integrity. When we’re able to stand up for something and tell others why we do it. So…

[Whitney] And it came across a lot more genuine since I could say this is why I am doing because I feel like I have to. It’s not something that someone’s telling me to do. It’s something that I believe the Bible says I have to do.

[Gary] How did it affect the, I mean how did the other players respond or the coaches respond? What was that like?

[Whitney] I don’t really remember the players’ reaction but recently my brother just went through the same class that the teacher, my coach taught and my brother didn’t seem to make much of an impact. He didn’t see him on the weekends. But my coach still remembers me. He still remembers the fact that I was different.

[Gary] Wow.

[Whitney] And so even if it didn’t make a huge impact, maybe he doesn’t keep the Sabbath now, but he remembers the fact that I had to stand up for that.

[Gary] Isn’t it amazing we talk about being a good example for God or giving a testimony for Jesus Christ and here you are simply keeping the Fourth Commandment and you’re remembered as the person who stood up for her convictions and obeyed what God wanted her to do. That’s a great story.

[Whitney] Thank you.

[Gary] Thanks for sharing it with us today.

[Whitney] You’re welcome.

[Gary] So far we’ve looked at two reasons why the seventh-day Sabbath is relevant to modern Christians. First, the Sabbath is a memorial of creation and its observance recognizes the Creator. And secondly, it’s a day of spiritual worship and renewal. It is a commanded appointment with God.    

Now the third reason the Sabbath is relevant to Christians is that it is a day of physical, emotional and spiritual rest.

Physical, emotional and spiritual rest are human needs. To ignore these needs is to sow the seeds of illness, depression, broken relationships and spiritual lethargy.

Imagine a day—think about this—imagine a day devoted to rest; no business calls, no painting the house, no shopping. Imagine a day with extra time for prayer and worship. Imagine a day with extra time to share with your family, no deadlines or pressing appointments. You know even our entertainment, like high-action television with intense sound tracks, can leave our bodies and minds exhausted. Imagine a day when you can shut out the noise, the violence, the preoccupation with making money and experience peace.

Now you might be saying, I’d like to do that someday, but right now my life is out of control. Well if you don’t have time to get in sync with God right now, I want to ask you something. I want you to think about this. When will you have the time? I don’t care what responsibilities you have or what chaos is happening in your life. There is no better time now or in the future. There is no better time than right now to begin to get in sync with God!

What if you made an appointment with someone on Thursday and the person decided just to show up on Friday? Well the Creator of time has made a weekly appointment with you. 

A memorial of creation, a day of worship and spiritual renewal and a day of rest—all reasons why the Sabbath is a wonderful gift from God. Why does the seventh-day Sabbath seem strange to so many Christians? We’ll discuss this with the Beyond Today panel, but first let me remind you of today’s free offer.

When you request your copy of Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest, we’ll also send you a free subscription to The Good News magazine. The Good News magazine is a valuable tool that you can use to make sense of an increasingly chaotic world. Every other month, you will receive a full color issue with articles about the economic crisis facing the United States, how biblical prophecies are unfolding in the events of the Middle East and the promise of a brighter future in the Kingdom of God. Every issue contains articles on practical Christian living and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Request your free copy by calling: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. Or, go to our website at BeyondToday.tv and request your subscription.

I’m joined by fellow Beyond Today hosts, Darris McNeely and Steve Myers. You know many Christians don’t understand why other Christians would observe the seventh-day Sabbath. Yet here we are, three pastors who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to this earth and died for us, was resurrected, is at the right hand of the Father and yet we keep the seventh-day Sabbath. Now why does that seem strange to so many Christians?

[Darris] Well I think, Gary because perhaps so many Christians are not familiar really with what the Bible teaches on this particular subject of the Sabbath. You know a lot of people keep a Sabbath. When they hear the word Sabbath they may think: first day for the week. They may think any day of the week. They may not really know what the biblical concept is but the true biblical Sabbath is the seventh day. And there’s a scripture in Mark 2 that says that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath.

A Christian is one who follows Jesus Christ, who models themselves as a disciple of the teachings of Jesus Christ and there’s really no way that you can be a true disciple without understanding, in a sense, which day Christ is the Lord of. He is the Lord of the Sabbath day which is very clearly from Scripture, the seventh day.

And, so it seems strange because people relate that to something that’s Jewish. But you know, if you just took the Fourth Commandment and said that it’s Jewish and that’s why one doesn’t do it, well then you’d have to assign that to all the other Nine Commandments as well. So that argument really doesn’t wash.

Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath and to really understand what it means to be a Christian, one really needs to study into this subject.

[Gary] It is amazing how so many Christians do say I keep the Ten Commandments but when you talk about the fourth one, they’ll either spiritualize it away—that the Sabbath is every day or they’ll say it’s Jewish. Which is ridiculous because that would make all ten of them Jewish.

[Steve] Yeah if Christ said follow me, shouldn’t we do what He did? And so many ignore that point when it comes to the Sabbath or they talk about the Lord’s Day. But if you really had to look through the New Testament and decide what day is the Lord’s Day, you’d have to go to Mark 2:28 Mark 2:28Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
American King James Version×
where it says Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. So that would have to be the Lord’s Day, the day that Jesus Christ Himself kept. And if you compared that to 1 John 2:6 1 John 2:6He that said he stays in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
American King James Version×
, it’s very clear there. It says if we abide in Him we also ought to walk as He walked.

[Gary] That’s right.

[Steve] And what’s interesting about that passage, it’s in the past tense. And that means we look back to His life, what was His example, what did He do, what was His practice and when it came to worship, He worshiped on the Sabbath. So if we are going to follow Jesus, we are going to worship on the Sabbath.

[Darris] But you can’t just keep it in the past tense because Hebrews also says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. And He is the Lord of, again, the Sabbath day. So, what is Christ’s true practice or what, you know where is He today? And that is another dimension about the Sabbath in terms of fellowshipping and meeting with God on that day too.

[Gary] Well it’s amazing when you take Genesis where the Sabbath is created. Right at the beginning when God created humanity, He created the Sabbath. It’s one of the Ten Commandments and then we have Jesus Christ declaring Himself as the Lord of the Sabbath. It’s a pretty important subject.

[Steve] If you were to go back to Mark 2:27 Mark 2:27And he said to them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
American King James Version×
, instead of 28 where He says He’s Lord of the Sabbath. The verse before says the Sabbath was made for man. And it doesn’t say it was made for Jews. That word for man there is literally mankind.

[Gary ] Yes.

[Steve] It was made for people. The Sabbath was made for people. So that’s the day we should observe if we are going to be really honoring God the way He wants to be worshipped.

[Gary] So you’re a Sabbath-keeper. At some point in your life you decided to keep the Fourth Commandment. How has that changed your life? How is being a Sabbath-keeper affected your life?

[Darris] It separated me very clearly. It had an impact in a number of ways on my life but in one way in particular, it separated me from my world, the world that I had at that time. And it will anyone who begins to worship God, in particular to keep the Fourth Commandment, the Sabbath day, as God teaches. You are separated from the world and the more you align yourself with that aspect of God and His law, His teaching, the more separation there will be. Because you have to make decisions that affect your job, your choice of career, your leisure activities, your whole way and your whole walk of life. And it, so it separates you from the world and that’s very hard for people to get into but yet it does have benefits—life-long benefits for those who begin to do that and to take God at His Word and come to understand and know who God is through this very important part of His Law.

[Steve] You mentioned benefits and I think with the Sabbath, the benefits are untold when you really begin to see how it orders your life and it changes your perspective. That the commandment says remember the Sabbath. So on Monday, Tuesday, you’re still remembering the Sabbath. And if my life is supposed to be dedicated to God that means my whole week is focused on that; focused on honoring Him. Focused on coming to worship Him the way He wants to be worshipped. So that does change your perspective.

It changes what’s most important and God tells us in Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×
. He says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” So as we strive to do the things that God is pleased with, worship Him the way that He would like to be honored. He says all these things will be added to you. So whether it’s jobs or families or whatever we might think we are giving up to obey Him, He says He’s going to add those things back to us. And so it’s really not a loss. It’s really the most beneficial thing we can be doing.

[Gary] You know a little bit earlier in the program, I interviewed a young woman who had to deal with when she began to keep the Sabbath. It put her out of sync with school, with her playing soccer. So people come along and they say okay, I need to keep this. I need to obey God and they find they can be out of sync with their family and their friends and their school or their job. How do you help people work through that?

[Darris] People have to begin first of all to recognize that this is a matter of personal decision, personal faith. When you step out God promises that He will be with us. I’ve never known anyone to go without, to go hungry, to be destitute because they obeyed God at any point of His Law, especially the Sabbath day. There may be times of stress and trial but God always provides an answer and it becomes a way of life that is one that is based on faith, but it is one that you must… God does say on certain points, prove me now herewith, and this is one. And when we take God at His Word, the rewards, the benefits, the blessings that will come in the long-term far outweigh the challenges that will be there in the short-term.

[Steve] Yeah I think that is a challenge; is as we put God’s way into practice, you know see if God is going to bless you. He promises that. He promises that over and over again. That as we follow Him that there will be blessings. And sometimes not always are those blessings are physical things. He says our treasure is in heaven and we’re looking forward to the return of Christ ultimately. And so that’s where the ultimate blessing. So should we be in step with the world or should we be in sync with God. That’s kind of the choice that we’re given and hopefully we’re going to make that choice to be in sync with God.

[Gary] And it really does come down to faith.

[Steve] Yes.

[Gary] We have to believe that God is and what He says is what’s best for us and we have to be willing to submit to that. And it comes down to faith.

[Darris] And to believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

[Gary] Right. You have a weekly appointment with the Creator of the universe. Remember our free offers today. Call right away to request your copy of the free study guide, Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest. This study guide will help you discover the first step in how to get in sync with God’s time. It will take you through the instructions concerning the Sabbath given at creation, the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus Christ. When you make your request, we’ll also send you a free subscription to The Good News magazine.

You can read both God’s Sabbath Rest and The Good News magazine online at BeyondToday.tv. Or request your free copy by calling: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632.

In addition, I really encourage you to visit our website. We are now producing daily videos answering your questions, and keeping you up-to-date on important things happening in the world around you. Join us throughout the week for BT Daily and get additional analysis on prophecy, the Bible and God’s plan for your life.

Are you in sync with God? Is your life so hectic that you don’t have time to experience spiritual rest with Jesus Christ? Instead of cramming every day with exhausting activity it’s time to start enjoying the day God set aside for you to rest and renew your relationship with Him. It’s time to begin celebrating the Sabbath!  

I’ll be right back with a final comment right after this.

[Narrator] Christ came to earth with a central message of the Kingdom of God. What is the Kingdom of God? Most have never heard or understood what Jesus actually taught on this subject. The United Church of God is hosting free seminars held simultaneously around the world.

[Steve] That Kingdom is coming to earth—that was the message of Jesus Christ. It’s not a Kingdom that’s off up there in heaven but it’s a Kingdom that Christ is going to establish right here on this earth.

[Narrator] Go to KOGSeminars.org for details to find one near you. Kingdom of God Bible Seminars—giving the message of hope for tomorrow, beginning today.

[Gary] Sign up to attend our informative Bible seminars today. We’re adding locations every week, so if you don’t see a seminar near you, go check back again next week. 

Thanks for joining us. Don’t forget our free offers and be sure to tell your family and friends about us. Join us next week on Beyond Today as we continue to discover the gospel of the Kingdom of God. We also invite you to join us in constantly praying, “Thy Kingdom come.” For Beyond Today, I’m Gary Petty. Thanks for watching.