Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
— Matthew 12:12, ESV
The holy Sabbath was made for man, and acts of mercy and benevolence are always in order upon that day. God does not desire his creatures to suffer an hour’s pain that may be relieved upon the Sabbath or any other day.
Jesus sought to impress upon the narrow minds of the Jews a sense of the folly of their view of the Sabbath. He showed them that God’s work never ceases. It is even greater upon the Sabbath than upon ordinary occasions, for at that time his people leave their usual employments and spend the time in prayerful meditation and worship. They ask more favors of him upon the Sabbath than upon other days, they demand his special attention, they crave his choicest blessings, they offer importunate prayers for special favors. God does not wait for the Sabbath to pass before he grants those requests, but he deals to the petitioners, with judicious wisdom, whatever is best for them to have.
Heaven’s work never ceases for a moment, and men should never rest from doing good. The Sabbath law forbids labor on the sanctified rest-day of the Lord. The toil that gains a livelihood must cease; no labor for worldly pleasure or profit is lawful upon the Lord’s day; but the work of Christ in healing the sick did honor to the holy Sabbath. Jesus claimed equal rights with God in doing a work equally sacred and of the same character with that which engaged his Father in Heaven.
The rest-day which Jehovah had sanctified and set apart for a special purpose, after he had completed the work of creation, was not intended to be a period of useless inactivity. As God ceased his labor of creating, and rested upon that day and blessed it, so man was to leave the occupation of his daily life, and devote those sacred hours to healthful rest, to worship, and to holy deeds.
— The Spirit of Prophecy Volume 2, p.63-65
Spend the Sabbath in prayerful meditation and worship.
Ask more favors of God on the Sabbath than upon other days, desire His special attention, crave His choicest blessings, offer prayers for special favors.
Never rest from doing good, the work of healing does honor to the holy Sabbath.
Devote the sacred Sabbath hours to healthful rest, to worship, and to holy deeds.