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In six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That’s why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me. Exodus 20:11(CEV)

It happens in every love relationship at some time or another. Sometimes it is nothing more than a minor irritant. Sometimes it becomes a fatal wound. It’s something we all have an equal amount of so the trick isn’t getting more of it, but using what we have to the best of our ability. So, what is this mysterious potion that can either make a relationship strong and resilient or bring it crashing down? It’s time.

The mark of a vibrant love relationship is the ability of all parties involved to make time with each other. Not time with friends. Not time working together on some project. Not time doing ministry or being involved in the community. Time alone with each other. Time to dream. Time to talk and/or listen. Time for intimacy and passion. If you want passion in your love relationship you must make time for intimacy.

Religion will tell you that you have to be in church on Sunday because God decreed long ago that you were to be there. ‘Keep the Sabbath holy!’ When I was growing up my grandfather had a cabin on a beautiful little fishing lake. Monday through Saturday we could fish to our hearts content…but not on Sunday because Sunday was a day of rest.

Sound silly? It was. But religionists have been making rules about the right and the wrong activities on Sunday (or Sabbath day) since time began. There was one notable exception to the practice of keeping Sabbath Day rules. That exception was Jesus Christ.

Jesus tried to instill in us a new definition of ‘Sabbath’. Sabbath wasn’t a day or a period of time. Sabbath was an attitude. In the original language the word we translate ‘rest’ is really better translated as ‘abstain’. God didn’t rest from creation because he was tired and needed a rest. He abstained from those activities to spend some time enjoying what he saw. The word carries a connotation of intimacy and passion.

Should we worship together? Certainly, for we need the support of our like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ. But our Father isn’t looking for activity and programs and special services. He wants to spend time with you. Intimate, passionate time alone just with you. All the other things churches and ministries offer are great, but just as in a passionate, vibrant love relationship nothing replaces the effects of time alone.

PRAYER: Daddy. I am so caught up in so many things right now. Most (if not all) are very good things. Ministry, job, family, community. I try to tell myself I’m doing this all for you but I realize that what you really want is time alone to hold me, to hear my voice, to touch my soul and feel my touch. Empower me with your Spirit of passion once again as I try to make more time alone with you. Amen.

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September 2011
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