15 September 2019
Call to Worship: Psalm 100:1-5
Opening Hymn: Psalm 111A “Praise to the LORD! I Will Extol him”
Confession of Sin
Almighty God, Who are rich in mercy to all those who call upon You; Hear us as we humbly come to You confessing our sins; And imploring Your mercy and forgiveness. We have broken Your holy laws by our deeds and by our words; And by the sinful affections of our hearts. We confess before You our disobedience and ingratitude, our pride and willfulness; And all our failures and shortcomings toward You and toward fellow men. Have mercy upon us, Most merciful Father; And of Your great goodness grant that we may hereafter serve and please You in newness of life; Through the merit and mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: John 14:1-3
Hymn of Preparation: Psalm 130B “From Out the Depths I Cry”
Old Covenant Reading: Micah 6:6-8
New Covenant Reading: Romans 14:13-23
Sermon: My Brother’s Keeper
Hymn of Response: Hymn 392 “Holy Ghost, Dispel Our Sadness”
Confession of Faith: Ten Commandments
Doxology (Hymn 568)
Closing Hymn: 538 “Take My Life, and Let It Be”
PM Worship – Dan Borvan Preaching
OT: Psalm 90:1-17
NT: 2 Peter 3:8-10
The Coming King
Shorter Catechism Q/A #
Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Monday (9/9) Read and discuss Romans 14:13-23. R.C. Sproul writes:
Justification is not the end of the Christian life; it is the beginning, and it is to be followed by a rigorous pursuit of holiness. That is what righteousness is. To be a mature Christian is to live according to the principles of God. Righteousness is not defined in categories of eating and drinking. Churches that elevate trivial matters as the true test of Christian living are destructive. To say people are Christian only if they do not go to movies or dances is nonsense. Anybody can refrain from those things. It is the fruit of the Spirit that Christ wants for us – love, patience, longsuffering, meekness, humility. Paul is basically telling the church at Rome to grow up.
Read or sing Psalm 111A “Praise to the LORD! I Will Extol him” Prayer: Give thanks that sanctification is a fruit of God’s free grace and ask that the LORD would produce more of this fruit in you as you pursue righteousness by seeking to put God’s word into practice.
Tuesday (9/10) Read and discuss Matthew 5:1-7. Sinclair Ferguson writes:
We often speak of showing mercy. But what is mercy? Is it kindness, perhaps? Mercy includes kindness, but it is more than that. Someone has expressed the difference quaintly, but fairly accurately: Kindness is a friend calling when you are well. Mercy is a friend calling when you are sick.
The best illustration of the meaning of mercy is found in the parable of the Good Samaritan. At the end of the parable Jesus asks which of the three passers-by proved to be a neighbor to the man who was attacked by robbers. An expert in the law replies, “The one who had mercy on him.” The Samaritan illustrated the meaning of mercy.
Two things should be noted here if the Samaritan is an example of what we are to be to others. Mercy relieves the consequences of sin the lives of others (both sinners and those sinned against). The Samaritan took responsibility for the injured man. He ministered to his broken and bruised body and did everything he could to provide for restoration and healing. He did not deal with the cause of the man’s need by chasing the robbers (it was not justice he sought). He did no complain about the failure of society to meet the man’s need (it was not social failures he protested). Rather the Samaritan sought to work in the context of the immediate need set before him, and to bring relief.
Of course, there is a place for seeking justice. And there is room for concern when society fails in its duty towards the needy. But neither of these things is the exercise of mercy. Mercy is getting down on your hands and knees and doing what you can to restore dignity to someone whose life has been broken by sin (whether his own or that of someone else).
Read or Sing Hymn Psalm 130B “From Out the Depths I Cry” Prayer: Please lift up our brothers and sisters in Hong Kong during this challenging time for that great island city.
Wednesday (9/11) Read and discuss Micah 6:6-8. If the three most important elements in real estate are location, location, and location; then the three most important elements for rightly interpreting Scripture are context, context, and context. Today’s passage is famous for memorably explaining what the LORD requires of us – but what exactly is the context which will help us understand what Micah is getting at. Interestingly, the name of the book gives us a clue. Micah means “Who is like Yahweh?” and one of the chief goals of the book is to glorify the LORD by drawing our attention to how far He exceeds anyone or anything on earth: “Who is like Yahweh?” If we simply keep reading the book after today’s passage we come to three verses that are perhaps the very best commentary on today’s passage. Micah chapter 7 verses 18-20:
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. 19 He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. 20 You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.
Do you see the connection? While nobody is “like Yahweh” in His glory; Micah 6:6-8 is calling us to show the character traits that are like the character of Yahweh in Micah 7:18-20. Human beings were created in God’s image to reflect His perfect character into the world. The LORD is calling His people back to this very task. This is one of the things that Christ does and, amazingly, the LORD has committed Himself to conforming us to His likeness. Micah 6:6-8 is calling us to live in light of what we will one day be fully like because Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Prayer: Ask the LORD to bring visitors to our congregation who would be blessed by uniting with this particular church family.
Thursday (9/12) Read and discuss Psalm 90:1-17. At first blush, this might not appear to be the most encouraging Psalm in the Bible. Moses speaks of how fleeting our life is, how the LORD sees all our sins, and that He will cause us to return to the dust. These are not the sentiments we normally hear at a High School graduation ceremony – but maybe they should be. For rather than being a cause for despair, grasping the transient nature of this life is a cornerstone of having a truly meaningful life. At different points in our journey, we all recognize that all our dreams will not come true simply because we have them. The classic American mid-life crisis is simply the realization that we are not going to become astronauts, renowned scientists, or many of the other things we dreamed of in our youth. Most of us don’t have to wait until mid-life for this reality to set in. So we fight against it by placing our hopes in things that promise to make life meaningful or through “entertaining ourselves to death” in an effort to escape reality. Today’s psalm offers us a far more fruitful approach. Moses begins by claiming that the Eternal God is the dwelling place for His people and ends by calling out to the LORD to establish the work of our hands. We were created by and for God and our only hope for lasting significance lies in Him. As the poem by missionary C.T. Studd puts it: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Hymn 392 “Holy Ghost, Dispel Our Sadness” Prayer: Lift up the children of our congregation and pray that they will make their days matter rather than frittering them away after the world’s amusements.
Friday (9/13) Read and discuss 2 Peter 3:8-10. Gene Green writes:
Although [Peter] has refuted the heretics who claim that all things have continued without change since creation and that therefore there will be no future judgment (vv. 3-7), he must now explain to his readers why there has been an apparent delay in judgment. Peter gives his own interpretation to the phenomena that the heretics rally around. First, he states that God’s perception of time must be set over against human calculation since a long time for humans is but a short span for God (v. 8). Indeed, one cannot speculate on when God will intervene since the “day of the Lord” will come at an unexpected moment, like the coming of a thief (v. 10a). Whatever delay in judgment there may be is not rooted in the inability of God to intervene in human affairs but is an expression of the mercy of God, who desires salvation for humans and not their destruction (v. 9). But at the end of this brief paragraph, he again affirms, as he did in verse 7, that judgment will indeed come (v. 10). The end will be a time when both heaven and earth will suffer destruction and when all the deeds of humanity will be exposed.
Read or sing Hymn: 538 “Take My Life, and Let It Be” Prayer: As the LORD has given time for the lost to repent, lift up someone close to you who has yet to put his or her trust in Jesus and ask the LORD to sovereignly draw that person to Himself.
Saturday (9/14) Read and discuss Romans 14:13-23. Doug Moo writes:
We must insist that Paul’s advice in this chapter can only be applied to issues that are similar to the ones he is dealing with here. As we showed in our discussion of 14:1-12, eating meat, drinking wine, and observing Jewish holy days belong in the category of adiaphora: things neither commanded nor prohibited to Christians. Extending Paul’s plea for tolerance to other issues is both wrong and dangerous.
In an approach typical of our times, a few interpreters have turned to Romans 14 as evidence that professing Christians, whatever their exact beliefs, need to “accept one another.” Theological differences should be no bar to complete Christian recognition and unity. But such an approach not only unfairly extrapolates from the specific issues of this text to any issue; it also ignores the many texts in the New Testament that draw a line between acceptable Christian beliefs and unacceptable ones. … Right doctrine matters – and matters eternally. Paul is not encouraging acceptance of any professing Christian, regardless of what he or she may believe.
Recognizing the need to distinguish between essential doctrines and the adiaphora raises another perplexing issue. How do we determine what belongs in which category? … To be sure, Scripture is clear about some doctrinal matters. But the evidence on others is not so clear-cut. … From the beginning of the church, Christians have written confessions and doctrinal statements to formulate what is essential to the faith. Our own ideas about what is essential should … be grounded in these … confessions.
Prayer: Please lift up tomorrow’s morning and evening worship services.