Good afternoon brothers and sisters,
Psalm 111 begins with these words: Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
The psalmist then goes on to give more than a dozen examples of the sort things for which we can be thankful.
1. Thank God for His great works.
2. Thank God for His righteousness. (mentioned twice)
3. Thank God for His grace.
4. Thank God for His mercy.
5. Thank God for His provision of food.
6. Thank God for His covenant.
7. Thank God for His power.
8. Thank God for our inheritance.
9. Thank God for His faithfulness. (mentioned twice)
10. Thank God for His justice.
11. Thank God for His precepts.
12. Thank God for His trustworthiness.
13. Thank God for His uprightness
14. Thank God for His redemption.
What you are you thankful for today?
I trust that you who have spent any time with Pastor Tim and Anlle this past week have found them to be delightful, to be passionate their faith and to really care for people. This Lord’s Day, Pastor Tim will be covering all the parts of the worship service that are reserved for ministers alone–the salutation, the pronouncement of pardon, the ministry of the Word, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and the benediction. Pray that God’s Word might go out with power and accomplish that purpose for which He sends it forth. The Order of Worship is attached. Please make use of it in preparing your family to worship our great and mighty God.
Just as an FYI, Pastor Tim and Anlle will be joining the crew going down to Neighborhood Fellowship this Lord’s Day. They want to get a peek at that aspect of who we are as well.
· May 26—Neighborhood Fellowship
· May 26—Sheridan Health Care (worship service)
· June 2–Fellowship Meal
· June 2–Special Congregational Meeting
· June 3–Adults Fellowship Group (townies)
· June 9–Young Adults Fellowship Group
· June 10–Ladies Meeting
· June 16–Adults Fellowship Group (westsiders)
· June 17–Adults Fellowship Group (townies)
· June 23–Neighborhood Fellowship
· June 25–Mike and Lili McCabe (missionaries to China)
· June 30–Psalm/hymn sing (outdoors around a fire)
The man who does most good to souls is often the simple believer who says to his friends, ‘I have found a Saviour; come and see him.’ —J.C. Ryle
If we would have any sin subdued, we must not only labor to overcome it…but must invite Christ to abide in its place. —The Valley of Vision
One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time. —John Piper
There is a great gulf between the Christianity that wrestles with whether to worship at the cost of imprisonment and death, and the Christianity that wrestles with whether the kids should play soccer on Sunday morning. —John Piper
We must remind ourselves that God loves us, not because we are loveable, but because we are in Christ, and the love which the Father has for his Son flows over to us because we are in him. —Jerry Bridges
You must come to a point of being willing to offend, or else you’ll never say much of anything.—Elliot Clark
I am a creature, created in the image of God, fully dependent on him and fully accountable to him. —Jerry Bridges
If We Could See Sunday from Heaven
Have you ever caught yourself looking past Sunday morning? Has the promise of the week ahead ever begun to eclipse the wonder of gathering with God’s people?
You probably don’t despise church, but you might still quietly pine for the extra rest that afternoon and evening. You might long for another week to start. A temptation arises, at times, to take Sundays for granted and start looking forward, instead, to what comes on Monday: to routines, relationships, events or activities, maybe even to work. Church slowly, even imperceptibly becomes an interruption in the week, instead of the culmination.
How does the awe-inspiring weekly gathering of God’s chosen people devolve into a stoplight — an inconvenient intrusion in the flow of our lives? Often, it’s because we’ve started worshiping something else the rest of the week.
Do you want an unfailing friend?”
Do we want an unfailing friend? Such a friend is the Lord Jesus Christ.
The saddest part of all the good things of earth is their instability. Riches make themselves wings and flee away; youth and beauty are but for a few years; strength of body soon decays; mind and intellect are soon exhausted.
All is perishing. All is fading. All is passing away. But there is one splendid exception to this general rule, and that is the friendship of Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus is a friend who never changes. There is no fickleness about Him: those whom He loves, He loves unto the end. Husbands have been known to forsake their wives; parents have been known to cast off their children; human vows and promises of faithfulness have often been forgotten.
Thousands have been neglected in their poverty and old age, who were honoured by all when they were rich and young. But Christ never changed His feelings towards one of His friends. He is ‘the same yesterday, today, and forever.’ (Heb. 13:8.) READ MORE…
Would You Accept More Gospel Hostility If It Also Meant More Gospel Openness?
I was speaking to a well regarded UK apologist, pastor and author by Skype from Scotland the other day and he said this: It’s never been more hostile to the gospel, but never more open either.
What he meant was that while there is a concerted push against the Christian frame among the political, cultural and legal class of his nation, and in the West in general, there is also a wave of openness to the gospel that he’d not witnessed before.
And that’s in Scotland, which is about ten years ahead of Australia in terms of the secular push in the state. There’s a positive glee in people when Christianity takes another battering; a sense that we’ve had things our way for too long, and the chickens are coming home to roost.
The Book Your Pastor Wishes You Would Read (But Is Too Embarrassed to Ask)
I’ve seen churches where the pastor has been treated terribly—a slave forced to cede to the congregation’s every whim. I’ve seen churches where the pastor has been treated heroically—a superstar who exists above all critique and accountability. Surely the biblical position avoids both extremes and treats the pastor far better than either a slave or a celebrity. It treats him as a shepherd or, better still, an under-shepherd who serves on behalf of the great Shepherd of the sheep, Jesus Christ.
For a pastor to thrive in his God-ordained role, both he and his church must know the nature of their relationship and be willing to do their part to make this a healthy, happy dynamic. And this is exactly the subject of Christopher Ash’s new book The Book Your Pastor Wishes You Would Read (But Is Too Embarrassed to Ask). READ MORE…
The Surprising Role of Guardian Angels
What did Jesus mean in Matthew 18:10 when he said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven”? He meant: Let the magnificence of every unimpressive Christian’s entourage of angels silence our scorn and awaken awe at the simplest children of God.
To see this, let’s clarify, first, who “these little ones” are. “See that you do not despise one of these little ones.” They are true believers in Jesus, viewed from the standpoint of their childlike trust in God. They are the heaven-bound children of God. We know this because of the immediate and wider context of the Gospel of Matthew.
This section in Matthew 18 began with the disciples asking, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1). Jesus answers, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3–4). In other words, the text is not about children. It is about those who become like children, and thus enter the kingdom of heaven. It’s about true disciples of Jesus. READ MORE…
Why Is Love not a Mark of the Church?
In the book Hitting the Marks: Restoring the Essential Identity of the Church, I present the historic, Reformed understanding that the three key identification marks of a true church are the faithful preaching of God’s Word, the right administration of the sacraments, and the proper exercise of discipline. In response, I am often asked the question above. Why is love not among the marks of the church? After all, Jesus Himself said,
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)
With such a clear indication by the Lord that love identifies us as His followers, then how can it not be included as a mark of the church? Why, with the emphasis placed upon it here, is love not THE mark of the church?
Though I do address this question more fully in the ninth chapter of the book, let me give my short answer followed by a brief explanation. My answer to the question “Why is love not the mark of the church?” is simply this: “It is!” Now let me explain. READ MORE…
Clearing Your Conscience – Acts 24:16
It is vital for every Christian to keep the conscience clear. There are many things of which the world, flesh and devil may accuse us, which may be true or false. To serve well in the church, and shine light on the state, we must know we’ve done right to maintain a vibrant witness. As Paul says to Felix in his trial at Caesarea: “So I always take pains to have a clear conscience both towards God and man.”
Popularly, some call conscience ‘the Policeman of the Soul’. Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines conscience as
“…a co-knowledge with oneself, the witness borne to one’s conduct by conscience, that faculty by which we apprehend (learn or understand) the will of God, as that which is designed to govern our desires.”
Every person has a God-given conscience – it is seared by sin, cleansed by Christ’s blood, realigned by chastening, and retrained and honed by Scripture. READ MORE…
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
“In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.” J. Gresham Machen
“When Christ calls a man – he bids him come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer