10 March 2019
Call to Worship: Psalm 100:1-5
Opening Hymn: 236 “To God be the Glory”
Confession of Sin
O great and everlasting God, Who dwells in unapproachable light, Who searches and knows the thoughts and intentions of the heart; We confess that we have not loved You with all our heart, nor with all our soul, nor with all our mind, nor with all our strength; Nor our neighbors as ourselves. We have loved what we ought not to have loved; We have coveted what is not ours; We have not been content with Your provisions for us. We have complained in our hearts about our family, about our friends, about our health, about our occupations, about Your church, and about our trials. We have sought our security in those things which perish, rather than in You, the Everlasting God. Chasten, cleanse, and forgive us, through Jesus Christ, who is able for all time to save us who approach You through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for us. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: 1 John 2:1
Hymn of Preparation: 271 “Blessed Jesus, at Your Word”
Old Covenant Reading: Psalm 139:1-24
New Covenant Reading: Romans 8:26-30
Sermon: All Things!
Hymn of Response: Psalm 139A
Confession of Faith: Ten Commandments
Doxology (Hymn 568)
Closing Hymn: 520 “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
OT: 1 Kings 2:13-25
NT: 2 Timothy 4:9-18
The End of Adonijah
Shorter Catechism Q/A # 81
Q. What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbor, and all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.
Monday (3/4) Read and discuss Romans 8:26-30. James Montgomery Boice, commenting on verses 29 and 30, writes:
Years ago, Harry A. Ironside, that great Bible teacher, told a story about an older Christian who was asked to give his testimony. He told how God had sought him out and found him, how God had loved him, called him, saved him, delivered him, cleansed him, and healed him – a great witness to the grace, power, and glory of God. But after the meeting a rather legalistic brother took him aside and criticized his testimony, as certain of us like to do. He said, “I appreciated all you said about what God did for you. But you didn’t mention anything about your part in it. Salvation is really part us and part God. You should have mentioned something about your part.”
“Oh, yes,” the older Christian said. “I apologize for that. I’m sorry. I really should have said something about my part. My part was running away, and his part was running after me until he caught me.”
We have all run away. But God has set his love on us, predestined us to become like Jesus Christ, called us to faith and repentance, justified us, yes, and has even glorified us, so certain of completion is his plan. May he alone be praised!
Read or sing Psalm 2A Prayer: Please pray for our brothers and sisters in China.
Tuesday (3/5) Read and discuss Romans 8:18-25. In verse 18, Paul says something truly shocking.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
“Present Suffering and Future Glory.” It might be easy for an upper middle-class tenured professor at an American university to suggest that there isn’t any comparison. But Paul wasn’t living in an ivory tower or a glass bubble. Paul had experienced suffering in a way that few of us can even imagined: Paul had been rejected by his own people, and frequently misunderstood or abandoned by his fellow Christians. In 2 Corinthians Paul gives us a glimpse into the hardships that he faced. He writes:
Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.
Beloved, this isn’t a character in a novel. This is the real flesh and blood Apostle as he experienced these hardships in history. At least all’s well that ends well. At the end of his life, wasn’t Paul surrounded by those who loved him – those who appreciated just how much the LORD had done through his remarkable ministry? Well, not quite. In his very last letter, Paul writes:
For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.
At the end of his life, Paul experienced the pain – one last time – of being deserted. Here’s why this is so important: When Paul says, “that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed,” this isn’t because the sufferings of this present life are so small. It is because the glory that is to be revealed is so great. That’s true in your life too. When Paul says, “that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed,” this isn’t because the sufferings of your present life are so small. It is because the glory that is to be revealed is so great. Read or Sing Psalm 115A Prayer: Ask the LORD to help you fix your eyes on Christ and His Kingdom, that you would live in this passing world in light of eternity.
Wednesday (3/6) Read and discuss Psalm 139:1-24. Every person alive on the face of earth wants to be both deeply known and fully loved. We were created to enjoy such blessed relationships both with one another and with the Triune God. But there is a rub. Because of sin we now have things to be ashamed about – things we desperately want to hide – and we also realize that fellow sinners cannot easily be trusty to handle all of our warts with compassion. So, before we reveal ourselves too openly to another person, we want to know that he or she is for us. The amazing thing about today’s psalm is that the LORD knows us exhaustively (even better than we know ourselves) yet He loves us with an everlasting love because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Today’s passage is broken into four sections of six verses each:
- Verses 1-6 explore how the LORD knows everything exhaustively even what we are going to say beforewe say it.
- Verses 7-12 explore how the LORD is everywhere. It may actually be better for us to reverse how we normally describe this. Instead of saying that the LORD is everywhere we might want to say that everywhere and everything is present before God. For those who are trying to flee from God this is dreadful news. Yet, David finds this encouraging, because no matter where he goes – the LORD is there to guide him. This would have been particularly personal for David as he was driven from Israel by the madness of Saul – yet the LORD was always with him.
- Verses 13-18 remind us of how intimately the LORD is involved in creating us. God is not a distant watchmaker or merely Aristotle’s “unmoved-mover.” The LORD is intimately involved in our directly creating each and every human being who will ever live. This intimacy continues throughout our lives. Consider the joy you have when you receive a nice card or note from a friend. A large part of the encouragement comes simply from the fact that he or she was thinking of you. In verses 17-18 David declares that the LORD thinks of His people like that – and not just once or twice but with loving thoughts more numerous than the grains of sand on the seashore.
- Verse 19 takes a sharp turn. Suddenly David is calling on God to judge His enemies. This has puzzled some commentators because they are expecting David to round out the psalm by calling on God to judge David’s enemies. Why then does David conclude by pleading with the LORD to search and know David? The Psalm isn’t calling on God to gain knowledge by searching David (We have already seen above that He knows everything). What David is calling upon the LORD to do is to reveal to David anything that is wrong in his innermost being. David understood that his greatest enemy was actually his own sin and He was calling on the LORD to conquer this enemy by bringing David’s shortcomings to his own conscience and then turning him from these sinful desires to walk in everlasting ways.
Prayer: As the LORD to reveal to you something that you need to change in your life and for the grace to make that change now.
Thursday (3/7) Read and discuss 2 Timothy 4:9-18. Paul makes a number of requests of Timothy. But above all else, as John Stott points out, …
… Paul yearns for Timothy himself. ‘Do your best to come to me soon,’ he writes. ‘Do your best to come before winter.’ If he is ever to see Timothy again and enjoy his friendship, then Timothy must come soon (while he is still alive) and in any case before winter (when navigation would be impossible). So twice he urges him to do his best to come. We must not play down the urgency of Paul’s affectionate desire to see Timothy. The same apostle who has set his love and hope upon the coming of Christ, nevertheless also longs for the coming of Timothy. ‘I long night and day to see you,’ he has written at the beginning of his letter, ‘that I may be filled with joy.’ The two longings are not incompatible. One sometimes meets super-spiritual people who claim that they never feel lonely and have no need of human friends, for the companionship of Christ satisfies all their needs. But human friendship is the loving provision of God for mankind. It was God himself who said in the beginning: ‘it is not good that the man should be alone.’ Wonderful as are both the presence of the Lord Jesus every day and the prospect of his coming on the last day, they are not intended to be a substitute for human friendships.
Read or Sing Hymn 474 “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee” Prayer: Please lift up our brothers and sisters at the Presbyterian Church of Cape Cod.
Friday (3/8) Read and discuss 1 Kings 2:13-25. Walter Maier writes:
The devil (using the serpent as a disguise) approached the woman for two reasons. With regard to deception, he thought he would have a better chance with Eve (since she was made after Adam and Adam had received the command in Gen 2:16-17 from God himself, whereas Eve must have learned of it through Adam …). Also, the devil figured that the best, most effective way to get to the man, so that he would fall into sin, was through the woman, whom Adam dearly loved and appreciated (Gen 2:18-24).
In speaking to Eve, Satan twisted the facts (Gen 3:1b) and resorted to mixing truth with falsehood, which always equals falsehood. …
Adonijah approached Bathsheba for two reasons. On the one hand, he thought (and he was correct in this) that it would be easier (than with Solomon) to elicit her sympathy and to fool her; as a result, he would have her support. On the other hand, he thought that the best, most effective way to approach Solomon ad to fool him into granting his request was through Bathsheba, his mother. This woman Solomon honored and dearly loved and appreciated.
Of greater importance for the proper evaluation of the Adonijah matter is what that prince said to Bathsheba. He, as Satan did with Eve, deliberately twisted the facts and resorted to mixing truth with falsehood. “Mine was the kingship” – yes and no. Adonijah and other as well thought that the kingship belonged to him because of the custom typical in other ancient Near Eastern countries of the next ruler usually being the oldest living son. However, no such custom had yet been instituted in in Israel, and Israel, in many ways, was to be unlike the surrounding nations. The reality which decisively proves Adonijah a liar, though, is that God had, before Adonijah’s attempt for throne, designated Solomon as the one to succeed David. Adonijah knew this, and he had intentionally tried to circumvent the will of Yahweh.
Read or sing Hymn Psalm 62A Prayer: Ask the LORD that He would make you a person of honesty and integrity.
Saturday (3/9) Read and discuss Romans 8:26-30. R.C. Sproul writes:
What is a purpose? A purpose is a desired end, a planned consequence. When we set forth our goals and articulate our purposes, our plans are fallible at best. We know that the best-laid plans of mice and men can go astray. Fortunately, the poet Robert Burns was talking only about the plans of mice and men; he did not include God in that category, because the best-laid plans of God never come to naught. A pervasive doctrine in the Christian world today strips God of His sovereignty and, in effect, of His very deity. According to this doctrine, a poor, impoverished deity rings His hands in heaven, hoping at times against hope, that somebody will take seriously the sacrifice that His Son made and bring His plan of salvation to fruition. That is not God nor is a deity like that worthy to be given the title God.
God is the Lord God, the God who says to Pharaoh, “Let My people go.” Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, which is attributed in Scripture to both God and to Pharaoh himself. Paul will explore that in Romans 9. For now, we need only keep in mind that even Pharaoh, the most powerful man in the universe at that time, was clay in the hands of our Creator and our Redeemer, who had a purpose for His people, and through those people He had a purpose for the whole world: exodus, liberation, redemption, and salvation.
It is not as if God considered the exodus only after hearing the cries of the Israelites as they groaned about the burdens laid on them by Pharaoh. It is not as if God noticed the calamitous situation and said, “I had better do something about it.” God spoke to the children of Israel through Joseph, whom the enslaving Pharaoh did not know, saying, “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” God planned the bondage of Israel. He planned the Exodus from Egypt just as much as He planned the betrayal of Joseph and his imprisonment to demonstrate that all the afflictions and suffering that Joseph endured were working together not only for Joseph’s good but for Israel’s good and the good of all saints of every age.
Prayer: Please lift up tomorrow’s morning and evening worship services.