Could celebrating the Sabbath that Jesus observed from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset unlock a secret for your life?
> I find peace in the Sabbath.
>> It's set a rhythm to my life that I didn't have before.
> God definitely blessed me for keeping the Sabbath.
>> He’s provided for me my whole life.
> God definitely blesses it.
>> He blesses you for keeping the Sabbath in one way or another.
> You have permission to shut your mind down and to relax and rest.
>> The Sabbath keeps me focused.
> So I like to follow exactly what God says.
>> I can’t even imagine not keeping the Sabbath.
[Steve Myers] Could celebrating the Sabbath that Jesus observed from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset unlock a secret for your life?
Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we discuss: “The Benefits of the Sabbath.”
[Announcer] Join our host Steve Myers and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today!
[Steve] Everybody likes a bonus—something just a little extra. You know, in a way God gives us something in life that’s like a bonus—He gives us the many benefits of observing His Sabbath day—the biblical Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.
> And I just feel it’s something that we need to do each and every week because we get so caught up in the world and all of our daily routines that the Sabbath really brings us back to God.
>> I have a higher focus which is on God's way of life.
> God says He's going to bless you.
[Steve] It’s even better than employee benefits. Think about your job. Most of us would love to work for generous compensation and benefits—and for many, the benefits are even more important than the wages.
Paid vacation, paid time off, medical insurance, retirement plans—just a few of the benefits that workers love.
But you know, some don’t always take advantage of those benefits. I have a friend who doesn’t participate in his company’s Health Savings Account. Another friend doesn’t contribute to her retirement account and doesn’t receive her company’s matching funds—even though they are tax-free! These friends don’t really care about company benefits.
Now there is a program in which everyone should participate. It has more valuable benefits than any company can provide! What is it? You could call it the Sabbath benefit program.
The problem is though, like my friends, most people in the world don’t participate in this spiritual benefit program. They opt out.
But as God’s workers, He’s given us His Sabbath—Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. Now that’s the best benefit plan!
Why shouldn’t you opt out of the Sabbath?
> For me and for our family, it’s just—it’s such a part of the way we live, I can’t even imagine not keeping the Sabbath.
>> There are benefits from keeping the Sabbath. I have been blessed just because I kept the Sabbath.
[Steve] In the New Testament Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man” (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×). Christ was telling all of us that the Sabbath was made to help all mankind. It’s a part of God’s benefit program for everyone. So don’t opt out—you’ll want to “opt in” to God’s special day of benefits so you can fully participate.
Now, you’d probably agree that our modern world is too rushed. The hurry and rush of everyday life seem to make it so busy to appreciate the good things that you have.
Now on God’s Sabbath, you can take time; time to enjoy your Creator and His Creation, enjoy your family, good food, your accomplishments, music, and other simple yet inspiring things.
Now how often do you actually just sit back a little bit and really take notice and enjoy the pleasures of life? You see, all too often one day just flows into the next and nothing seems to offset any day different from another. Too much to do, not enough time to do it.
> The Sabbath is a timeout. It’s a reprieve from the chaotic pace of the week.
>> You know, human beings are not meant to live seven days a week, work, work, work. We are meant to rest and we’re meant to be with our God.
> Just the fact that we have time together as a family. We have a time especially when life gets busy, and it does, especially in the really busy times of our lives, having five children and teenagers down to toddlers and babies, it gives us that time to be able to just focus on God and focus on our family and put the world out, just for that 24 hours.
>> The Sabbath helps me slow down and refocus on what's really important in life.
> I love the Sabbath, the Sabbath is—it is beautiful.
[Steve] God’s Sabbath, from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, adds some spice to life. Like adding just the right amount of seasoning to a dish. My wife likes to add a touch of Cajun spices to some of her cooking. That seasoning adds just that little something extra to spice up the ordinary just a little bit. It adds some zing, some extra flavor.
You know, that’s what God’s Sabbath does. It can take the ordinary aspects of life and add a bit more flavor, a bit more interest, adding some zing! Just that right amount.
> God set aside this, this time where we can put aside other concerns that we may have; the laundry that needs to be done; the grocery shopping that needs to be done.
[Steve] Walking through a park or playing with your children. Spending extra time with loved ones on the Sabbath. You can stop and appreciate the fresh air, the trees, the wildlife.
Think about it. When was the last time you really stopped and looked up at the stars and enjoyed the beauty of a starlit night? That extra something that God gives us on the Sabbath helps us appreciate what we might otherwise overlook. It spices up life and helps you feel closer to your Creator who made all these beautiful things.
> Just to sit back and relax and just reflect back on God and so you could be thankful for everything that He's done for you.
>> I look at the Sabbath as a place in time that God has set aside so that I can get to know Him better so that He can get to know me better.
[Steve] Now why would you opt out of God’s Sabbath benefit program? He designed it with blessings in mind for you!
> I just realized by keeping God’s laws and keeping the Sabbath day, that all the blessings that come with it, they supersede anything that we as humans can try to accomplish on our own.
[Steve] A while ago, a friend and I were having a discussion about it. I mentioned that even in the New Testament, God teaches us to observe the Sabbath day from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. Now he said he was raised in a church that didn’t celebrate the Sabbath. Now, he’d heard about it, but said to me, “I’d like to read and study the Bible, but I just don’t have the time.”
So I encouraged him to take the time—give it a try and see for himself. So one Sabbath he did. He began to read and study for himself. Suddenly, he had time to see what the Bible really taught. In fact he told me, “When I took the time to learn what the Book really says, I experienced the benefits for myself. I realized the importance of observing that special time of the Sabbath.”
Now my friend realized that no human came up with the idea of a day of rest and worship on his own. It was God’s idea. So he decided to opt in to the Sabbath benefit plan.
In fact, you can opt in to God’s Sabbath benefit program and find out the benefits for yourself.
I’d like to help you to do just that. You should order our special free Bible study aid, Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest.
You’ll be encouraged as you learn about God’s teachings and find inspiring help to understand what the Bible says about the Sabbath day. This is an opportunity to discover for yourself what Jesus lived and taught.
Order your free copy of our study aid, Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest. Call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. If you live outside North America, please write to us at the address on your screen [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254]. Or visit us at BeyondToday.tv to read or download your copy.
Because God rested on the seventh day, He designed it a holy day to be remembered for all time. I’m glad God made the Sabbath day for you and me to enjoy. He designed us to stop everything at sunset on Friday night and enjoy a 24-hour day to rejuvenate physically, emotionally and you know, most importantly, spiritually.
Imagine having one day every week to avoid work—a day to get out of household chores, a day of not worrying about to-do lists, and all of this without any guilt! You know, God intended it that way.
Picture a day to spend with your family and friends, a day in nature, or doing something nice for someone else. Kind of sounds like a luxury or a vacation—but it’s not. In fact, God planned a special weekly day for you and He built it into our very nature right from the start.
Our world values busyness, productivity. Your busy week most likely wears you out. The activity and challenge of your job is, well it’s fine, but after a week’s worth of work, aren’t you ready for something different?
You know, God designed it that way. He says, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (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 word Sabbath literally means “to cease or stop.” So just as God rested from His creation work, we are to rest from our day-to-day occupations and activities, and focus on what’s most important.
> Every week, we’d just stop what we were doing, we went to services, we learned more about how to live God’s way, and we benefited from that.
>> I would have to say it's just a safe haven, it’s a get-away almost like a little chunk of paradise—to get away from this chaotic world that we live in today.
> And the Sabbath is like the gateway out.
>> It's been nothing but a blessing. Because I've been a workaholic for a large part of my life and you know, I understood academically that rest was important but it wasn't until actually keeping God’s Sabbath, taking a rest, that I began to appreciate how much I desperately needed that break every week.
[Steve] God gave us the Sabbath as a way to push the reset button. Now if you’re like me, you’re easily distracted from the people and things that matter the most. Well what can get us back on task? God’s Sabbath!
Every week we have the chance to reset and “opt in” to His purpose for our lives. Now if we’re off track, there’s too many distractions or wrong choices in our life, it’s time for a course correction.
The Sabbath redirects us so we can focus on God’s time, His direction for our lives. Now it’s an opportunity to let go. When we’re weighed down with work, and worry and anxiety, God gives us the Sabbath. And at the core of the Sabbath is that concept of rest, but that’s not just a physical state—most importantly it’s a spiritual one.
It means trusting God. Trusting Him with my time, with my feelings, my character, my finances, my perspective, my attitude, my relationships, my whole existence.
> I go to church and then I go and I spend time with my family. God commands us to do it, but He commands us to do it because it helps us.
>> Become more in tune with God and that's a beautiful thing.
> For us, it just worked and made sense and I think it’s God’s calling us too and showing us, “This is the day that I want you to keep.” You know, “I want to set you apart, I want you to be different, and I want you to see that this is the way to live.” For us, it made sense.
>> Well I look at the Sabbath as something that God instituted at creation.
[Steve] God stepped back from His work—taking time to appreciate His creation. He wants us to do the same. When we celebrate the Sabbath, we enjoy His goodness, right in the midst of our challenging lives.
In fact, you could say that taking a Sabbath rest is an act of faith; it’s a reminder that no matter what we do, God is in control. He says: “I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy” (Ezekiel 20:12 Ezekiel 20:12Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.
American King James Version×).
Now when we stop chasing material goals for one day every week, we say, “God, you’re in control. I’m honoring You. I’m focusing on You—on Your Sabbath. Even though I’m only working six days, I trust You to provide for me all seven days. It doesn’t matter how much money I would make today, or how many things I could check off my to-do list. It’s Your Sabbath and I want to “opt in” to your time. A time to rest, reset my thinking, reset my body and worship and honor You.”
> I think it was a bit of an adjustment for my boss and my co-workers because they were used to me working all of the time.
>> Just to get closer to God spiritually...
> If you want to follow God and please Him then definitely keep it.
[Steve] But observing Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset can seem to go against the expectations of the world around us.
When I began to really read the Bible—I learned about the Sabbath. But at first, I didn’t keep a 24-hour period of rest Friday sunset to Saturday sunset because it seemed like a good idea to me. I did it because it was a command of God.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” He says that in the Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:8-10 Exodus 20:8-10  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shall you labor, and do all your work:  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×). God gave the Sabbath command, in fact He did it to a slave people. He had just rescued them from a life of bondage and hard labor. They were a people who rarely, maybe never, got a day off. We’re reminded of this connection, “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” (Deuteronomy 5:13-15 Deuteronomy 5:13-15  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work:  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, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your ox, nor your ass, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates; that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you.  And remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD your God brought you out there through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.
American King James Version×).
God wants you to have a day off from your work and have a day to reset and focus on spiritual matters. The Sabbath is intended to be a day of physical rest but also a day of spiritual renewal and rejuvenation. This spiritual purpose is why God set the Sabbath apart as holy and a day to assemble together for worship.
> The Sabbath command says remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. There is no real confusion for most people of what day of the week the Sabbath is. Most people would know that it's Saturday—seventh day.
>> Well I go according to what the Scripture does say.
> It's a commandment of God, so we keep it by going to a commanded assembly—which is church. And that is a wonderful experience.
>> I grew further into my faith and realized, it's one of the Ten Commandments. You don't take any of them away.
> If you're wanting to follow God, absolutely it's what He commands to do.
[Steve] Are you ready to follow God and enjoy His Sabbath benefits? I’d like to help you, so please request our free Bible study aid, Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest. It will help you strengthen your faith as you grow in understanding of this very important commandment. Observing the Sabbath each week will help give you a fresh perspective on life.
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God’s Sabbath benefit program has another valuable aspect. The opportunity to meet with God! On the Sabbath we are told to have a holy convocation. So within the Sabbath is a time set aside for a special assembly, a commanded meeting. (Leviticus 23:2-3 Leviticus 23:2-3  Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.  Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
American King James Version×).
Think of it this way: every Sabbath you have a divine appointment with God! Now that’s too good to opt out of this benefit!
> Well, probably the biggest benefit of keeping the Sabbath is that it brings our family together every single week on the seventh day. We go to services together. We learn more about God than we knew the week before. We come home. We typically talk about what we learned. We talk about it on the drive home. It’s very unifying for our family.
>> You’re there with smiling faces. You’re there with activities. You’re there with Scripture. You’re there with all kinds of conversations that happen where people are just—they are, they're just so happy.
> The most amazing thing about the Sabbath is that it draws people from around the country, around the world into one place, and you all are friends, and you all are family.
[Steve] Friday sunset to Saturday sunset is the Sabbath, and within that time is a time that we come together for services to worship God collectively as His people. We all have the choice to follow Jesus’ example and opt in to connecting with our Great God in a special way on His day.
His Word tells us: “Praise God in his holy house of worship…Praise him for his acts of power, praise him for his magnificent greatness … Let every living, breathing creature praise God! Hallelujah!” (Psalms 150:1-2 Psalms 150:1-2  Praise you the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.  Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
American King James Version×; Psalms 150:6 Psalms 150:6Let every thing that has breath praise the LORD. Praise you the LORD.
American King James Version×MSG).
Are you ready for a blessing in your life?
> It’s been a tremendous blessing to our marriage—we have a healthy marriage, we have a healthy family, we put God first in everything we do all the time and it’s really been a great blessing.
>> He definitely blesses you for keeping it. I think the most important thing is just to never compromise. You can never compromise the Sabbath.
> You realize the church is your family.
>> One of the commandments in the Ten Commandments is to keep the Sabbath and make it holy and set apart. So if you want to follow God, you need to follow the Sabbath for what He says.
[Steve] If you want to follow God—don’t forget that you have a very special appointment with Him. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8 Exodus 20:8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
American King James Version×).
The Sabbath is a day of remembrance. You know how easy it is to get distracted—to put God on the back burner and lose purpose in life. You’ve got a lot going on and I’m sure your plate is full. Yet, the Sabbath benefits us by clearing our plate of life’s responsibilities, so that we can remember the Lord of the Sabbath.
Jesus said that the Lord’s day—is really the Sabbath day. Remember what He said, “the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” (Luke 6:5 Luke 6:5And he said to them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
American King James Version×).
Opting in to God’s Sabbath benefit plan is something you’ll want to fully participate in. It reminds us that God makes a way for us to be full time, full-fledged members of His divine family. He gives a weekly reminder of His plan and purpose through the seventh-day Sabbath—a very special day to meet with God, a day of joy, a day of freedom, and fellowship.
Yet, following God and observing His Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset can also bring difficulties.
“My brothers and sisters, you will have many kinds of trouble. But this gives you a reason to be very happy. You know that when your faith is tested, you learn to be patient in suffering. If you let that patience work in you, the end result will be good. You will be mature and complete. You will be all that God wants you to be.” (James 1:2-4 James 1:2-4  My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations;  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
American King James Version×, ERV).
God tells us that challenges can come.
> And I had a lot of pressure from people who did not share my belief in the Sabbath to just take any old job. And my bank account was dwindling and dwindling. And I was really put to the test here. I was praying and looking for a job six days a week. When my bank account got down to $10, God provided a job right when I needed it. And He did not allow me to go broke. He did not allow me to starve. I did not get evicted from my apartment. And it was the job I was really hoping to get.
>> Our family was going through a few trials and I was looking for employment, and I’m telling you, I put my application in all these different places and I was waiting, and I got interviewed probably by about ten businesses. And then, I kept saying, “God, I’m giving this to You. I’m telling everybody that I can’t work on the Sabbath.” And the thing that kept me, believe it or not, from getting those jobs was me saying that I kept the seventh-day Sabbath. They were willing to hire me if I said, “I’ll do it”—but I said, “I’m sorry, I will not. I can’t compromise on my beliefs” and that. And so, I just prayed about it and tried to stay strong in my belief, and sure enough, a job called me right when I thought it was just done and I was going to give up—a job called me and said, “We want to hire you”, and out of 500 people, 12 of us got hired. So I know it was a total blessing from God.
> I had a job waitressing and the busiest days were on Friday nights and Saturdays—that's when everyone usually goes out and I wasn't really observing the Sabbath when I started. So, after a while I got more serious about it and setting my priorities straight and I told them I wasn't able to work Friday nights or Saturdays. And they weren't too keen on that thought, so they started to cut my hours back and stuff. And I found another job in a nursing home and it paid more so I was blessed by keeping God's commandment.
[Steve] These people obeyed God and have been blessed by it. You can be too.
God gives us this principle by saying: “Put me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour out on you in abundance all kinds of good things.” (Malachi 3:10 Malachi 3:10Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now herewith, said the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
American King James Version×, GNT).
God encourages you to make the choice—to do what He would have you do—what’s best. Yes, it might seem a little difficult, hard to do, But He wants to give you the best of spiritual blessings. He wants you to “opt in” to His spiritual benefit plan.
> I would just say it's worth it! It is an amazing pleasure to do every week, whether it's waking up and going "you know what I don't have to work today" or going to church and being able to fellowship with all of the brethren who think alike.
>> I decided on a Tuesday, I'm going to try this Sabbath thing this Friday and I wasn't really quite sure other then I knew that God talks about the Sabbath and says that we should keep it, so I tried it! I took Him at His Word and it's been a blessing ever since.
[Steve] I hope you’ll take God at His Word. Take that first step this week to fully participate in God’s special day of benefits. The time is now to commit all areas of your life to God and to choose to worship Him on His Sabbath day.
You can discover even more about the truth of the Bible and learn what Scripture teaches about the Sabbath by ordering, Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest and your free subscription to Beyond Today magazine. Please call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. Or, you can read both online at BeyondToday.tv.
Hi, I’m Steve Myers. I’m the pastor here at the United Church of God Cincinnati East congregation. I’d like to welcome you to come and join us on this great spiritual journey. We have hundreds of congregations around the United States and across the world. Click on the “Congregations” tab to find a church near you. We’re committed to growing in our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ as well as fellowshipping with each other.
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[Steve] The New Testament church was instructed to take advantage of God’s spiritual benefit plan: “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9 Hebrews 4:9There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.
American King James Version×, NIV).
You can fully participate too. Make God’s Sabbath—Friday sunset to Saturday sunset—your Sabbath. Honor God His way and expect a spiritual benefit.
That’s our program for today. Thanks for joining me. Don’t forget our free offers and be sure to tell your family and friends about us. Tune in again next week for another edition of Beyond Today and join me in praying, “Thy Kingdom come.” For Beyond Today I’m Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.
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