Posts Tagged ‘4th Commandment’

Recent Reflections: Remember the Sabbath Day…

June 3, 2013
Recent teachings on the 4th Commandment have inspired a couple of poetic expressions.

Recent teachings on the 4th Commandment have inspired a couple of poetic expressions.

As I attempt to hone my skills as a writer, through this blog or by way of my pages, I sometimes think of the words of Saint Augustine: “To contemplate the truth and to share the fruits of that contemplation.” Recently I have been giving considerable thought to a series of messages given by Pastor Michael Bivens relative to the 4th Commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. In reflecting on the first message of the series along with a follow up message by his wife, Pastor Joy Bivens, I was inspired to write two poems which are included in today’s blog entry.

My family was not Seventh Day Adventists nor were we strict legalists with regard to keeping the Sabbath, but as I was growing up, I recognized early on that Sunday, which we taught was the Sabbath, was a special day that somehow differed from the first seven days of the week. My mother always prepared a special meal that was more elaborate than the usual weekday fare which was very satisfying, nonetheless. Following the meal, we could not do any household chores, and there was no sewing or ironing of clothes or tending to any other mundane matters. My sister and I could not go to the movies (although we could watch television) or participate in other events outside the church. All this was practiced with an assumed recognition of “keeping the Sabbath day holy.”

For the past 46 years, I have been an ardent student of the Word of God with a passion to study the Bible and teach its precepts. As I took extensive notes during most Sunday morning messages, I would sometimes review my notes later that evening and reflect and write. For a period of time, I would review my notes on the following Monday morning when my schedule allowed me to do so. Since the reminder of the significance of the Sabbath, I now devote Sunday evenings to reflecting, writing, and communing with God in a new way.

To reinforce the initial message, I composed this poetic reminder:

 Do Remember the Sabbath Day

Once again for Pastor Michael T. Bivens


Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy

 Exodus 20:8

Do remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy:

Time of rest and worship, devoted to God solely.

Never forget–Imprint this truth in your heart and mind.

In the Sabbath rest of God this is where we will find

God’s will that we cease from labor and serve Him wholly.

Represent creation, even as He is holy.

Serve not yourselves but the true and living God only.

Leave a legacy of service for all who come behind.

Do remember the Sabbath day.

The Lord displaces the proud and exalts the lowly,

Who savor the goodness of God ever so slowly

And reflect the glorious creation He designed.

Seek God’s perfect will and do it and then be aligned.

Keep God first and never entertain the unholy.

Do remember the Sabbath day.

This familiar passage also relates to keeping the Sabbath, as God intended it to be kept.

This familiar passage also relates to keeping the Sabbath, as God intended it to be kept.

Pastor Joy Bivens, co-pastor of Equip U Ministries, offered a follow-up teaching on the importance of keeping the Sabbath, this past Sunday, and her message based on Isaiah 58 inspired this poem:

“Lord, I will. . .”

For Pastor Joy Bivens

Isaiah 58: 13-14

“If you will . . . , then I will,” says the Lord, who cannot lie.

I say, “Lord, I will . . .” and know that you will not deny:

No good thing will you withhold from those who walk upright,

Who do your good pleasure to make the Sabbath their delight.

To honor you and obey you this day is my good pleasure.

To serve you shall be my delight beyond all measure.

I will speak for you–what would you have me to say?

I do not seek my own way but honor you this day.

From the depths of the Valley of Despair I ascend,

For you cause me to ride upon the wings of the wind

And feed me with the heritage of Jacob, my father.

To lavish love upon those who serve you is no bother.

Assured of the final victory, you give this token

And bring to pass all things the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Listen to a reading of Isaiah 58 by Alexander Scourby:

Following the message by Pastor Joy, I shared a prophetic poetic word of exhortation that captured the essence of how we should view the subject of keeping the Sabbath day. God desires that we “change our attitude,” as this piece encourages us to do:

From “Gotta” to “Gitta“

For Yolanda Stewart

 with gratitude to Dr. Dale Sides

 who introduced the concept



 Little biddy things can happen that don’t make sense.

Changing one little letter makes a big difference.

Subtle changes in the words we speak can change our mood:

From “gotta” to “gitta” shows a whole new attitude.

“I ‘gotta’ go to work and pass the time away”

Becomes “I ‘gitta’ go to work; I have a job today!”

“I ‘gotta’ take care of these kids—that’s another world”

Becomes “I ‘gitta’ nurture those who will someday change the world!”

Work heartily for the Lord whatever you do.

Remember in the end that He will reward you.

You may not agree with me, but it’s still so true,

Especially when you face tasks you don’t “wanna” do.

Some doors may close, but this key to life you will find:

Put off the old, put on the new–renew your mind.

“ ‘Gotta’ to ‘gitta’ ” is thinking of another kind.

Move ahead in faith, and you won’t be left behind.

We have to change in the midst of these changing times.

Standing on the mountain top is the one who climbs.

Changing how we think and what we say does make sense;

From “gotta” to “gitta” makes a really big difference.