The Lord’s Day: “A beachhead for the transformation of our whole lives.” – M. Horton


The Lord’s Day is not another treadmill, but a day of resting from our works as we bask in his marvelous provision for our salvation and temporal needs (Heb 4:1-5). After all, ‘the earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof’ (Ps 24:1). On this holy day, we rest in God’s care for our temporal welfare. But even more than that, we rest in him alone for everlasting life. It is the opportunity to receive a kingdom rather than to build one; to be beneficiaries rather than benefactors; to be heirs rather than employees; to be on the receiving end once again of ‘the Son of Man [who] came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Matt 20:28). We can be still and know that Yahweh is God (Ps 46:10.

This rest is not a cessation from all activity, however. It’s joining our Lord in his conquest over death and hell, receiving and dispensing the spoils of his victory. It’s opening the windows to the beams radiating from the age to come, where Christ reigns in grace, anticipating together that day when he returns in glory. Filled with the intensity of such sovereign grace, the Lord’s Day becomes a beachhead for the transformation of our whole lives, so that every day is warmed by its light.

‘God rested on the seventh day from all his works’ (Heb 4:4). Yet Israel, like Adam, failed the test and therefore forfeited the Sabbath rest. As Paul says in Romans 10, ironically, Israel pursued it by works but didn’t attain it, while those who didn’t pursue it by works but received it by faith did attain it. Unlike all of the high priests of the old covenant, ‘we have a great high priest who passed who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God’ (Heb 4:14). Taking his throne at the Father’s right hand, he has claimed it as our throne together with him in everlasting glory. ‘Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in times of need (4:16).

So again there is another ‘today’: the space in history to enter the everlasting Sabbath day with God by resting from our works because Christ has fulfilled all of our daily labors on our behalf. He calls us not to toil for that rest by our guarding, subduing, and keeping, but simply to enter his rest through faith behind the conquering King.

Taken from chapter ten, “Stop Dreaming and Love Your Neighbor,” (and its section “Entering God’s Rest”) of Michael Horton’s Or-di-nar-y: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World (Zondervan, 2014), pp.199-200.