Tuesday, January 22, 2019

2019.01.22 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 104

Read Psalm 104
Questions for Littles: How does this Psalm begin in the first two lines of v1 and end in the last two lines of v35? With what is God clothed (v1-2)? What are like house and chariot for Him (v2-3)? What was the Lord’s part in creation (v5)? In the flood (v6)? In the restoration (v7-9)? What has the Lord done for His various creatures, according to v10-14 and v16-22? What three things did God invent/create for man, and for what purposes (v15)? What does man spend his day doing (v23)? How does God’s work compare (v24-26)? For what do all creatures depend upon the Lord in v27-28? For what do they depend upon Him in v29-30? What belongs to the Lord in v31a? In v31b? How do v33-34 correspond to that? Comparing v32 and v35a, what do those verses show about God? With their placement in the middle of delighting in God and glorifying Him, how are we to respond to these truths about the Lord? 
This week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, and Song of Adoration all came from Psalm 104. This Psalm puts God in His place.

It praises Him as the Creator of an amazing world with amazing variety. It praises Him as the One who sustains all of His creatures from the smallest to the largest, from the least intelligent to man, from the defenseless to the powerful.  It praises Him as the One who continuously rules and overrules everything according to His sovereign will.

Man works hard to grow and process wine, and oil, and grain. But it is the Lord who invested these with the ability to gladden man, and give him strength and health. Our ability to work and produce and enjoy are all great privileges, because they are ways that God has permitted us to imitate Him in the creation.

But that’s just the point: even with all of our privileges, we are creatures. He is the Creator. Let us also imitate His generosity, His tender care. Generosity and kindness are becoming to those created in the image of such a Lord as we know and worship.

Still, let us not miss that the Lord saved the first half of v35 for the final thing for which to praise the Lord: His wrath and justice. With a Lord so glorious, it is the greatest of evils to fail to praise Him, let alone even to rebel against Him! Therefore, it is one of His great glories that He does not leave this unpunished.

As we obey the command at the beginning and end of this Psalm, to bless the Lord and praise Him with our whole soul, let us recognize the One in whom all of these meet: His generosity, His love, His power, His justice, His wrath—all are best seen in the cross of Christ!
For which of God’s attributes, do you most need to increase appreciation? How will you? 
Suggested songs: ARP104C “The Trees of the Lord” or TPH219 “O Worship the King”

Monday, January 21, 2019

Upcoming Sermon: January 27, 2019 - Genesis 4:1-5 - "Covenant Children"

In the morning sermon text on the coming Lord's Day, Adam and Eve start bearing children into the newly minted Covenant of Grace. The results are mixed, as we see childbearing by faith, working by faith (and not), and worshiping by faith (and not). More sobering, we will see that how we respond when confronted by the truth of our falling short may reveal a deeper underlying problem and might portend greater griefs to come. Won't you join us for worship, the 27th, at 11:00a.m.?

2019.01.20 Morning Sermon - Life for Sinners

The audio for yesterday's morning sermon has been uploaded. God has given life to sinners! Rather than seeing the account of the fall end with "dying you shall die," we found that it ended with, "living you shall live." In Genesis 3:20-24, we saw life praised by the redeemed, life provided for the fallen, life pictured in a sacrifice, and life promised in the Lord's preserving plan and power.

2019.01.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 3:20-24

Questions for Littles: What does Adam call his wife (v20)? Why? Of whom is she the mother? Who made tunics for Adam and his wife (v21)? Of what did He make them? What else did He do? Whom did Yahweh say the man had become like (v22)? In what way? What might the man put out his hand to take? To do what with it? Why? Where did Yahweh send the man (v23)? To do what? What did God place at the east of the garden of Eden (v24)? What else did He place? What did it do? To guard what?
The Scripture for this week’s sermon was all about life.

First, we saw life praised. Adam has heard what the Lord said about his wife. She would be the mother of the Seed who would crush the serpent’s head. She would also be the mother of the entire line of those between whom and the serpent the Lord would put enmity. She is going to be the mother of all the living.

Isn’t that amazing, after man’s fall into sin? There is going to be a line of the living! In honor and praise of this wonderful fact, he renames his wife “life.”

Next, we saw life provided. Adam and Eve had failed to cover themselves with the fig leaves. Yet, the problem wasn’t so much that their skin was exposed as it was that their sin was exposed. Now, God Himself provides the covering. This is a covering that will protect them physically, as they are put out of paradise into the harsher world. And, they know that it covers them spiritually as well, for God Himself has provided it.

Third, we see life pictured. The only true way to the only true life is through Jesus Christ. We have no righteousness or life in ourselves. We cannot even die or suffer well enough to satisfy God’s justice for our sin. Were we to try, it would go on for all eternity and never be sufficient. But, we see Adam and Eve with a covering that is sufficient for them. What is that covering? A substitute. We do not know if it were a lamb or a cow. But we do know to whom it points forward: the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world—Jesus Christ!

Finally, we see life promised. God does not destroy the tree of life. In fact, we will see it again in the New Heavens and New Earth. What He does do is block off the way to it via Eden. He puts the cherub there to indicate that God’s presence is still available, and He puts the sword there to indicate that the way to His presence is going to be by some other means.

In other words, there will be a new way into the presence of the Lord. Hebrews calls it, “that new and living way, which is His flesh.” Jesus, the Son of God made man, and crucified, and risen… He Himself is the way, the truth, and the life.
What habits do you have of rejoicing over and responding to God’s life for you?
Suggested Songs: ARP32A-B “What Blessedness” or TPH265 “In Christ Alone”

Saturday, January 19, 2019

2019.01.20 Corporate Confession of Sin from Romans 1

Our confession of sin tomorrow morning comes from Romans 1. It's so easy to identify that our culture demands approval for perversion. It's more difficult to identify that the roots of all of these sins still infect our hearts and lives. Praise God for His sanctifying and persevering grace!