The movie Chariots of Fire was built around the refusal of Eric Liddell to run. He planned originally to run in the 100 meter trials in the 1924 Olympics. He declined when he learned they were to take place on Sunday. Some cheered his faith; others derided his legalistic interpretation of Scriptures. My feeling is that such a view has mixed the keeping of the Sabbath with the observance of the Lord’s day. The Sabbath was the seventh day and was a day in which no work was to be done. On the other hand, the Lord’s day is the first day of the week and is a day of worship and celebration.
While some activities on the Lord’s day are a matter of personal choice and conviction, we must not lose sight that this day is uniquely His. The Scriptures calls it “the Lord’s Day” (Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10). This indicates this day is His personal possession, just as is “the Lord’s Supper” (1 Corinthians 11:20).
Since this day belongs to Him, can I use any part of it for myself’? There is much silence in the New Testament about this. However, it seems to me that the principles for the use of this day are contained in Old Testament precedent. The Law of Moses recognized that everything belonged to God. However, the people could have their possessions for their own use if they first dedicated them to God (Exodus 34:26).
The harvest was an example. They brought the first of the fruits and presented them to the Lord as a sacrifice. By doing this, they dedicated the whole crop to Him, recognizing Him as the source. With this dedication, they were then free to use the rest as they wished.
Your giving the Lord the first day of the week recognizes His ownership of you your time, your body, and your material possessions. How better to dedicate the Lord’s Day to Him than by sharing His memory with His bride, the church? Worship can be a time of inward renewal and cleansing. Yet it also can be a statement of faith and dedication.
Is not this a principle for the whole of our lives? Only when we have realized that all of our lives are His and only when we have dedicated this to Him, can we right-fully use any part of it for ourselves.
Are you dedicating the Lord’s day to God? Or, are you withholding from Him what is rightfully His? It is difficult to see how one can use this day for their own pleasures and priorities and still claim to give it to God.
Glad Tidings of Good Things
Vol. 9/March 18, 2004, pg. 3
Smithville church of Christ, Smithville, TN