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Page 457

6. Do all with a holy joy and delight - seek God's converting grace to keep His day holy with heartfelt desire, love, joy, and delight. Forced or hypocritical obedience displeases the Lord.

Read the following four illustrations; note how each is an example of breaking God's fourth commandment.

    Martin attends church because his parents require him to. However, he soon leans forward and rests his head on the pew in front of him. He sleeps through most of the service. "I can't help it, I'm tired!" he states.

    Sandy decides to go on an all-day hiking trip on Sunday with some friends. "I'll be observing nature and be sure to think about God," she claims.

    Fred's father goes to bed immediately after lunch and sleeps the entire Sunday afternoon. There is no family devotion at all in his home during the day. "I need to catch up on my sleep," he explains.

    Cindy saves most of her school homework to do on Sunday. "There's nothing else to do anyway!" she exclaims.

    Do you think that Martin would fall asleep at a meeting with his boss on Monday and tell him "I can't help it, I'm tired"? Would Fred's father ever think of "catching up on his sleep" on Saturday? Why not? Why are Sandy's and Cindy's statements also false excuses?

    A new minister in a small town visited many of its homes to try to persuade the people to attend church on Sunday. He became discouraged by the poor excuses with which he met. He noticed, however, that the town's residents faithfully attended the local theatre.

    He hired a sign painter and posted the following message where it could be read by all:


    1. Because my parents made me go as a boy

    2. Because no one pays any attention to me when I'm there

    3. Because they always want money


If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD.

- Isaiah 58:13-14a


When deciding to take her hike, how is Sandy failing to properly distinguish between God's natural and special revelation? Which alone can teach us of the Trinity and the way of salvation?

Read the five common excuses mentioned here for not attending church. How do all five make the same error of looking to the "Christian" instead of to Christ?

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