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In the Gates

Assemble to the Lord

The Worldview of God’s Law: Spiritual Discipline (2)

Assembling as one people to the Lord is of the utmost importance.


Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths…” Exodus 31.13

Central to the maintenance of a vital covenant relationship with God was the spiritual discipline of assembling as one before the Lord. Of only one of the Ten Commandments does the Lord say, “Above all…” Keeping the Sabbath and feast days of the Lord brought together disciplines of hearing and seeking the Lord so that the people could be renewed in their identity as a holy nation among all the nations of the earth.

The Sabbath days especially were to be faithfully kept. God expected His people to rest from their labors in remembrance of His resting from His own, and to spend the day being renewed in Him as their Creator and Redeemer.

The Sabbath was to be a sign between God and His people, to remind them that they were not like all the other nations and peoples, but had been separated unto the Lord for the purpose of bringing the blessings of His Covenant to all the nations (Ex. 31.12, 13). This they could not do if they failed in their holy calling. The Sabbath would have served as a continuous, weekly reminder that Israel rested in the strength of the Lord so that they could go, through the remainder of the week, in the power of His redeeming love as holy people unto Him.

The various annual feasts, the seven-year Sabbath for the land, and the Jubilee year all performed similar functions, reminding the people of God’s grace and promises and providing them ways of standing out from their neighbors as a people holy to the Lord. We must believe, on the basis of God’s Law, that His Sabbath still remains a holy day and that feast days appropriate to this age of grace and the Kingdom can be beneficial in renewing and deepening our covenant relationship with the Lord.

Believers in Jesus Christ today must not forsake the assembling of themselves together, as is the custom of some (Heb. 10.25). Rather, we observe the Lord’s Day as our Sabbath and celebrate the grace of God in special seasons associated with His creating, sustaining, and redeeming grace. By assembling together for such observations we maintain a vital component in our tool box of spiritual disciplines.

For a more complete exposition of the promises of God, order a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, from our online store. How does Jesus use spiritual disciplines in our lives? Read T. M.’s meditation, “All Rest,” reminds us that keeping the Lord’s Day is an important way of loving our neighbors.


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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