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Four Steps to Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy


The Bible teaches that the Sabbath is a day of rest, dedicated to God, and is to be kept holy. But what exactly does it mean to rest on the Sabbath? How can you keep it holy? What should you do on the Sabbath day? What shouldn’t you do?

The following are four steps you can take to keep the Sabbath holy.

Step 1: Understand what it means to keep the Sabbath holy.

God created the world in six days, and on the seventh day, He rested. This seventh day is the Sabbath day (Genesis 2:2). When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, one of His commandments was to “remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8; see also verse 10).

The word Sabbath comes from a Hebrew word that means rest, and the word holy means something that is sacred or dedicated to God. The Sabbath is a holy day, a day that’s supposed to be different from the other days of the week. On this sacred day, you should rest from your normal daily routine and dedicate your thoughts and time to God.

Step 2: Commit to keeping the Sabbath day holy through worship.

Now that you know the meaning behind keeping the Sabbath day holy, the next step is to commit to keeping it holy. The best way to do this is by choosing to worship God, our Heavenly Father, and His Beloved Son, Jesus, on that day.

During the other six days of the week, you are probably quite focused on everything you have to get done. But on Sunday, the Lord’s day, you should turn your thoughts and heart to Him. Spend the day strengthening your faith in and respecting God and Jesus. Worship them by attending your church services.

Try to extend your Sabbath worship beyond just those few hours you spend at church. How can you do this? By listening to hymns, singing or playing uplifting music, reading scriptures, praying, and serving those in need.

Step 3: Prepare during the week to keep the Sabbath holy.

When you plan your week, be sure to keep the Sabbath day in mind. Don’t make any plans that will take you away from what you could be doing to honor the Sabbath. If you know you’ll need milk and cereal for Monday morning, buy it on Saturday instead of waiting until Sunday. If friends want to go out to lunch, plan that for a weekday or Saturday instead of Sunday. Do your housework and run your errands on Saturday. If you need to catch up on work or write a paper for school, set aside time during the week or on Saturday to do that.

Step 4: Organize special Sunday activities so the day feels different.

What can I do on Sunday? Perhaps because you are told this is a day of rest and that you shouldn’t do your normal activities, your mind focuses on all the things you can’t do. But you shouldn’t think of the Sabbath as a day of can’ts. Instead, focus on all the things you can do. There are a number of enjoyable Sunday activities you can do while still keeping the Sabbath holy, including:

  • Visiting family and friends.
  • Writing in your journal.
  • Learn more about your ancestors and family’s history.
  • Going for a walk with your family.
  • Taking dinner to someone who is sick.
  • Planning a family service project.
  • Calling out-of-state family members.

Anything that uplifts you and helps you become better, become more like Jesus, is a great way to spend your Sabbath day. God has promised great blessings to those that keep the Sabbath day holy. We can feel the love of God more in our lives. Our relationships grow stronger within our families. We can have greater focus and confidence in the upcoming week. To those who keep the Sabbath day holy, God has said, “Then shalt though delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth” (Isaiah 58:14).