31 January, 2009

Sabbath a'Brakel: How Often Should I Read the Word?

The eunuch read while riding in his chariot (Acts 8:28). The Bereans searched the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11). How everyone ought to practice this in private, prior to going to work, both by himself alone, and with his family! At noon when one nourishes his body, he ought also to nourish his soul. In the evening after work, one must end the day by seeking some refreshment from the Word of God. In the meantime, while engaged in his occupation, by meditating upon what has been read, the soul will maintain communion with God. He will be enabled to understand the spiritual meaning as well as to experience the power of God's Word. This will cause the soul to grow in grace, protect against vain thoughts, control the tongue, suppress corruptions, and direct man to fear God (I: 77).

12 January, 2009

Prayer For First Reformed Presbyterian Church

Yesterday I preached my last two sermons as the pastoral intern of First Reformed Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids. Today my family and I begin our journey west as we seek to be obedient to the Lord's call for our lives.

Please pray for us as we begin this new phase of life and ministry.

Here is the doxology from last night's evening service. It is a selection from Psalm 122 from the 1912 United Presbyterian Psalter.


I pray the Lord that peace may still
Within thy walls abound,
And ever in thy palaces
Prosperity be found.

Yea, for the sake of friends and kin,
My heart desires thy peace,
And for the house of God the Lord
My care shall never cease.

Thank you people of First Reformed Presbyterian Church for 10 years and 2 months of love and pastoral care. Our friendship will have eternal rewards.

06 January, 2009

True Worship Involves Confidence in God and Reverence For God

John Calvin understood that true religion was one which reverenced God, had confidence in His promises, and resulted in worship according to His Word.

We live in an age where many Christians will say that they have confidence in the promises of God. We live in an age where Christians find the concept of 'fear for God' as something foreign. We hear a lot about the love of God, which is good and biblical, but the Scriptures (even the New Testament Scriptures, mind you) show that we are to fear God because he is a consuming fire. His holiness next to our unholiness should leave us quite humbled. We also live in an age where the 'what does this text mean to you' method of biblical study is supreme. This is foreign to the Scriptures- God has said how we are to worship Him, and God has prescribed what pleases him.

As we care for and reverence God, we should also consider how the Word of God reveals what true piety is. What is true religion? Calvin answered it this way:

Such is pure and genuine religion, namely, confidence in God coupled with serious fear - fear, which both includes in it willing reverence, and brings along with it such legitimate worship as is prescribed by the law. And it ought to be more carefully considered that all men promiscuously do homage to God, but very few truly reverence him. On all hands there is abundance of ostentatious ceremonies, but sincerity of heart is rare.

03 January, 2009

Sabbath a'Brakel: How Satan Plans on Attending the Lord's Supper

The devil knows that the Lord commonly blesses the assembly of believers, the ministry of the Word, and the partaking of the Lord's Supper. Therefore, he goes along to church and will seek to implement his practices upon you there also (IV: 240).