Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30)

Saturday, November 28, 2020

The Reverent Life Is the Blessed Life (Family Worship in Proverbs 28:14)

What is the happiest sort of life? Pastor leads his family in a verse from the "Proverb of the day." In this verse we learn that the happiest life is the one that is actually spent trembling in wonder at and worship of God. The superficial lightness after which most of the world runs is actually a hard-heartedness toward God, whereas those who are tender toward Him have been giving the gift of seeing His glory and living for that glory —a gift that is part of the everlasting blessedness that Christ has won for believers.

Born Again and Nourished by the Imperishable Seed of the Word (2020.11.28 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald)

Hopewell Herald – November 28, 2020

Dear Congregation,

In this past week’s morning sermon, we heard that one of the ways that God is merciful to such sinners as we are is by giving us covenant children as His holy seed, and especially by bringing Christ into the world as the seed of the woman.

This theme of undeserved begetting and undeserved birth runs from Genesis 3 through John 3, holding out to us how merciful God is to dead and guilty sinners—and a great part of that mercy now stands before us in the form of His day and His worship tomorrow.

This week in the M’Cheyne plan, we were reading 1Peter 1, where we find this glorious passage:

22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because

“All flesh is as grass,

And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.

The grass withers,

And its flower falls away,

25       But the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

1Peter 1:22–25

When we hear the Scripture read, and especially when we hear it preached (v25), there is something eternal and powerful going on, something that outlasts this world.

God’s living and active and powerful Word is what the Spirit used to give us spiritual birth (v23). It will not and cannot fail in us, and it is the means by which also He sanctifies us (cf. Jn 17:17), working in us that fervent love for one another from pure hearts that v22 commands:

2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

1Peter 2:2–3

And where, especially are we nourished by this “pure milk of the Word” that gives the growing and maturing that we need as those who have been given spiritual birth? It happens where we come to the Lord as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, who offer spiritual sacrifices. It happens in public worship!

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1Peter 2:4–5

Looking forward to growing together, by the pure milk of the Word, in this indestructible and glorious life that God has given us,

Pastor

Whst It's Like When Yahweh Is with You (Family Worship in Genesis 39)

What happens to you, and how do you respond, when the Lord is with you? Pastor leads his family in tomorrow’s “Hopewell @Home” passage. In these twenty-three verses, we learn that sometimes when the Lord is with you, you end up in things like hard circumstances, facing severe temptation, repeated temptation, false accusation, and wrongful imprisonment. But, by the Lord’s being with you by His grace, you can be diligent and faithful in those circumstances and consistently resist severe temptation.

2020.11.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 39

Read Genesis 39

Questions from the Scripture text: Where had Joseph been taken (Genesis 39:1)? Who bought him from whom? What position did the buyer have? Who was with Joseph (Genesis 39:2)? With what result? Where was Joseph? What did his master see about him in Genesis 39:3? What did Joseph “find” in Genesis 39:4? What did he end up doing (Genesis 39:4-5)? What does verse 5 emphasize as the cause of all the prospering? How much did Potiphar entrust to Joseph (Genesis 39:6)? What little comment does v6 make at the end? Who notices (Genesis 39:7)? What does she do? What does he say his master has given him (Genesis 39:8)? What does he say his master has withheld from him (Genesis 39:9)? Against whom does he say he would be sinning if he did this? When did she try this (Genesis 39:10)? How did he respond every time? Who is in the house with Joseph one day (Genesis 39:11)? Who catches him, how (Genesis 39:12)? What does she say? What does he do? What does she see in Genesis 39:13? Whom does she call (Genesis 39:14)? What does she say happened (Genesis 39:15)? What does she hang onto for how long (Genesis 39:16)? Whom does she tell what in Genesis 39:17-18? How did Potiphar feel about her telling this story (Genesis 39:19)? What did he do with joseph (Genesis 39:20)? Who was with Joseph there (Genesis 39:21)? In whose sight did He give him favor? What did the prison keeper entrust to Joseph (Genesis 39:22)? What didn’t the keeper of the prison look into (Genesis 39:23a)? Why not?

What does it look like when God is with you?

Well, sometimes it looks like getting sold into slavery, lied about, and wrongfully imprisoned. We may be tempted to say about someone, “God can’t possibly be with him, if all of that is happening to him.” But this chapter won’t allow us to think that. It doubly emphasizes that Yahweh is with Joseph at the beginning of the passage in Genesis 39:2 and Genesis 39:3, and then again that this has not changed by the end of the passage in Genesis 39:21 and Genesis 39:23.

The Lord being with you is often a fact that you need to know from Scripture (like we do about Joseph) in hard situations, which we too can know about ourselves if we are in Christ Jesus (cf. Romans 8:28–39). 

But there are some specific ways in which we can see the Lord with Joseph here. 

We can see that the Lord is with us in every positive detail of every situation, even such a thing as Joseph ending up a house slave. Not only would field slave be a death sentence, but knowing the end of the story, we know how important it was that Joseph be where he was.

We can see that the Lord is with us in God’s giving us faith to trust in Him. Even Joseph’s Egyptian master was able to “see” that these things were from Yahweh, Genesis 39:3. This is almost certainly because of Joseph’s conduct and conversation. Surely, to remain faithful in such circumstances was a result of the Lord being with him.

We can see that the Lord is with us in God’s giving us wisdom and making that wisdom successful. “Yahweh made all he did to prosper in his hand” (Genesis 39:3, cf. Genesis 39:23c). Whether we acknowledge Him or not, the Lord is the One who has to grant unto us the success in what we do. Genesis 39:3 states it plainly.

We can see that the Lord is with us in giving us favor in others’ sight (“found favor in his sight,” Genesis 39:4).

We can see that the Lord is with us in giving us whatever authority or influence we have (“all that he had he put under his authority,” verse 4). 

We can see that the Lord is with us in blessing even those around us for our sake (“Yahweh blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake,” Genesis 39:5). Notice how that verse refers to Potiphar as “the Egyptian.” God often blesses unbelievers for the sake of the believers around them. And, that’s because it is really and especially for Christ’s sake that the Lord is blessing believers.

Finally, we can especially see that the Lord is with us in keeping us from sin. Look at how easily Jacob slipped into depression, but there is such diligence and wisdom and care here from Joseph. How? The Lord was with him. Look at how easily Judah plunged into sexual sin, but Joseph absolutely refuses to do so under great pressure. How? The Lord was with him. The reason that we can walk with God at all, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, is precisely because God is with us (cf. Philippians 2:12–13). 

What are some of the ways that you know and/or see that God is with you in your life right now?

Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength” or TPH243 “How Firm a Foundation”


Friday, November 27, 2020

The Very Worst Thing to Do and Very Best Thing to Rejoice Over (Family Worship in Luke 10:1–24)

Who are worse than Sodom? Who are more blessed than the kings and prophets? Pastor leads his family in tomorrow's "Hopewell @Home" passage. In these twenty-four verses, we learn that the Lord uses and blesses nobodies—and especially that there is nothing worse to do than to reject Christ and nothing more worthy of rejoicing over than that the Lord has chosen to give us Christ by faith.