come join us for Sunday morning prayer. 8:15 am in the upper room at Hope in Christ Church.
Two questions worth considering in your Christian life. The answer gives a picture of your understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In an effort to help you prepare for the January 10th, 2016 Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections about church health and vitality, I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is about the centrality of the Word of God and the scriptures below are all referenced in the message.
- Read the Belgic Confession Articles 3, 4, 5, 6 and/or 7. Consider these Questions:
- Why is the Bible a “holy and divine” writing?
- What does it mean for the Scripture to “regulate, found and establish” our faith?
- What role does fulfilled prophecy have in authenticating the Scripture as God’s Word?
- For what purpose can the apocryphal books be read? What limits do they have?
- Since human writings are fallible, what benefits do confessions or catechisms bring to a believer? Is it wrong to consult these works for help in understanding the Bible?
- Read and pray Psalm 119, 2Tim 3:15-17, 2Peter 1:20-21, and/or Romans 15:4 for yourself and our congregation.
- Read, Sing or meditate upon any of these songs and hymns:
- Write a paragraph describing what a church centered on the Word of God would look like. What kinds of things would they do, not do? What element would be present in their worship? How would disputes and decisions be made?
Are you looking for a Bible reading plan for the year? Are you not sure where to start and how to systematically read through your Bible. Well, you are not alone and through the centuries a number of different reading plans have been created to aid in personal and corporate devotions.
Ligonier has done a great job of compiling these here.
Please find a great plan, stick to it and enjoy the Words of the Lord.
“The kingdom comes when Jesus becomes King of your life. But it has to be
your life. You can’t create a kingdom that doesn’t exist, where you try to be better than you really are. Jesus calls that hypocrisy – putting on a mask to cover the real you.”
Paul Miller, A Praying Life, (Navpress, (c)2009), p.33
John Calvin masterfully states the problem with the love of money (i.e. selfishness) in his commentary on Exodus 1:9:
“This was common with heathen nations, to profess in their counsels, that what was right should be preferred to what was profitable; but, when it comes to the point, covetousness generally so blinds everybody, that they lose their respect for what is right, and are hurried away headlong to their own advantage.”
The Ethical dilemmas we find ourselves in are not truly a question of what is right, most often, but a question of how can we get what we want and still have the pretext of being right.
John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries (Complete) (trans. John King; Accordance electronic ed. Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1847), n.p.
From John of Landsburg, 16th century catholic monk, from his A Letter from Jesus Christ, where he imagines Jesus speaking personally to us saying:
"I know those moods when you sit there utterly alone, pining, eaten up with unhappiness, in a pure state of grief. You don’t move towads me but desperately imagine that everything you have ever done has been utterly lost and forgotten. This near-despair and self-pity are actually a form of pride. What you think was a state of absolute security from which you’ve fallen was really trusting too much in your own strength and ability…what really ails you is that things simply haven’t happened as you expected and wanted."
"In fact I don’t want you to rely on your own strength and abilities and plans, but to distrust them and to distrust yourself, and to trust me and no one and nothing else. As long as you rely entirely on yourself, you are bound to come to grief. You still have the most important lesson to learn: your own strength will no more help you to stand upright than propping yourself on a broken reed. You must not despair of me. You may hope and trust in me absolutely. My mercy is infinite."
Paul Miller, A Praying Life (Colorado Spring: Navpress (c)2009), p.58
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