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, April 25, 2020

Affliction and Worship That Turn Our Hearts Toward Him (2020.04.25 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald)


Hopewell Herald – April 25, 2020

Dear Congregation,

From last week’s sermon text, we learned that all our comforts, great and small, come in the same love, wisdom, and power that gave us Christ.

In tomorrow’s passage, the Holy Spirit teaches about the intermediate state of the believer at death, and the hope of the resurrection.

This is a reminder that all of our sufferings, and even our death, also come to us in the same love, wisdom, and power that gave us Christ.

This is why the most troubling thing for a biblically-minded believer is when we lose our sense of communion with God or our affection for other believers as the bride of Christ. These are heavenly-world, and next-world, blessings that the Lord has given us to being enjoying in this world.

It speaks to the weakness of our faith that we feel the loss of other things so much more easily and intensely than the loss of communion with God. Indeed, afflictions may be what He uses to stir up our hearts toward Himself, so that we would say, “it was good for me that I was afflicted.”

But suffering isn’t the only thing that He uses to stir up our hearts toward Himself. He says that if we call His day a delight, then He will make us to delight in Him. And in the Lord’s Day assembly, He gathers us to Himself in glory, and presents Himself unto us, in an unique way.

Let us seek to be strengthened in our faith tomorrow, so that fellowship with the living God in Jesus Christ would be the great thing in our lives that makes us to live in His world as those who belong to Him!

Pastor


LORD'S DAY – April 26, 2020

Lord’s Day worship (and Wednesday prayer meeting) are live-streamed at http://bit.ly/harpclive

Please review the Session statement on the front of the Worship Booklet

11 a.m. Morning Worship
Children’s Catechism for April 26
Q26. What did God threaten in the covenant of works? A. To punish Adam with death if he disobeyed.

Shorter Catechism for April 26
Q34. What is adoption? A. Adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of, the sons of God.

Hymns and Psalms
+ SONG OF ADORATION — TPH352 "Man of Sorrows! What a Name"           
+ HOLY SCRIPTURE PUBLICLY SUNG — ARP119N "Your Word’s a Lamp"
+ SONG OF RESPONSE — TPH234 "The God of Abraham Praise"

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service

Scripture Readings
Old Testament – 1Samuel 5:6–12
Epistle – Ephesians 1:15–19
Gospel – Luke 4:31­–44

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing from Genesis 25:1-18 about the resurrection hope that God gives us, both for what will ultimately happen with our bodies, and even for what immediately happens to our souls at death.

No formal/organized gatherings other than public worship. Heads of households are encouraged to find other ways of helping their families keep the day.
WLC 118. Why is the charge of keeping the sabbath more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors?
A. The charge of keeping the sabbath is more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors, because they are bound not only to keep it themselves, but to see that it be observed by all those that are under their charge; and because they are prone ofttimes to hinder them by employments of their own.

Hopewell this Month

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for April:
Madison-Monrovia ARP in Madison, AL

April Psalm of the Month
ARP119N Your Word’s a Lamp

Upcoming Events
•May 4, Monthly Session meeting 6p.m.
•Men’s Breakfast, May 16, 6:30a.m. Boys and men of all ages encouraged to attend.
•October 2-4, HARPC 200th Anniversary Celebration

Smooth Stones from a Babbling Brook
(internet links of the week—COVID edition)
▫ARP Pastor Stephen Richardson has written an open letter to the churches on the command of Christ for public worship. One might conclude that he is wrong, but will we have the moral courage to at least deal seriously with the question? Do we have the gospel confidence that liberates us to allow the possibility that he might be correct, to be able to recognize a great sin in ourselves because we have a Redeemer of great sinners, who is worthy of our repenting? If not, how will we ever genuinely repent of anything?
▫This article by Chris Coldwell refers back to one faithful minister’s spiritual observations following a devastating plague of Yellow Fever in New York City toward the end of the 18th Century. The conclusion is that although we ought to be moved to repentance and revival by such Providence, truly it is only the movement of the Spirit of God that will overcome men’s hard hearts. So let us cry out to Him for that movement!
▫Have you discovered that persistent, plodding family worship is something that God has used to transform your and your household’s spiritual life? If so, you’ve probably got someone you love whom you want to convince of the same thing. Perhaps you can make use of this now-seven-year-old video of Pastor Joel Beeke saying that regular family worship is the most important thing that he does in his life. There’s just four things you need to do. Read the Bible, have dad explain it, pray together, and sing together. The video is worth your four minute investment (or less, if you listen at more speed).
▫Some of you will remember brother Zack Groff, who reminds us that the more unstable and threatening life gets the greater the joy of having a God of perfect stability and favor toward us in Christ.
▫Francis Grimke was an African American Presbyterian pastor during the Spanish Flu. Caleb Cangelosi summarizes five great points for us from an excellent sermon that Pastor Grimke preached during that pestilence.
▫The Christian Observer recently published an article from Pastor’s personal blog. He’s also written several other articles recently, mostly on the subjects of public worship or the fifth commandment.


Baby Valerie has fallen asleep in the Lord. The following is from their pastor:
Dear Saints:
Joe wanted me to inform you that the Lord has taken Valerie to be with Him.
She is in a better place than this fallen world. Though we’ve known her only shortly, we will miss her. We will meet her again one day, however. The parting today will not be for long.
God is good.
In love,
Marion

Congregational Prayer Requests (new/updates in bold)
▪ Alan McClelland and his ministry at Ft. Rucker
▪ Repentance of the Church and the Nations, as well as comfort and strength through the advancement of the gospel against the backdrop of SARS-CoV-2 and its accompanying panic, especially joining the rest of the ARP at 9a.m. central every day
▪ Joe & Lauren from Heritage CPC in Centerville, in the loss of their newborn baby, Valerie
▪ Comfort and provision for the LeeAnn Billings family as they grieve, especially for new work, as the university just eliminated her position from the department
▪ Rebecca Sterling’s new shunt and tube to properly drain brain fluid
▪ Pray for the Jeffers family, whose granddaughter Isabelle (14) and then her mother Norma both attempted suicide; there’s a long way to go medically, financially, and especially spiritually for all involved; please keep praying for them and for Sue’s ministry to them
▪ Pray for Kacey and family, going through difficult trial
▪ Pray with D&L L for her 85yo mother and her heart issues
▪ Pray with KC for her acquaintance Linda who doesn’t seem to know the Lord, and just lost 21 year old son; and, for sister Diane and her husband Frank, who need a living faith in Christ; and for friend Patty, a believer, that she will continue to do well after treatment for uterine cancer
▪ Pray with D&M G that her mother would continue healing well and not smoking; for Sean; for Jeremiah and Julianna; and for the adjustment and thriving of Jordan and Atlanta and family with new baby twins, Charlotte and Hew
▪ Pray with W&C G for her mother’s health and caregivers; and for spiritual (and total) well-being of son Greg
▪ Pray with J&H H for his father’s cancer and recovery from open-heart surgeries; and sweetness in his parents’ remaining time together; for his youngest brother; for sister-in-law’s recovery from cancer treatment
▪ Pray for James Heard to make good choices and to walk with an serve the Lord in this next phase of his life.
▪ Pray with H&K H for their health (especially Karen’s back, which keeps getting reinjured, and their schedule which it affects) and for many of their loved ones; needing Christian fellowship: her grandmother and father, widow Hope w/4 children, Brown family of 7 (wayward son Nicholas); needing health: her mom, sister Lisa, Martina, Donna, Joyce; needing spiritual life: Velvet and Reagan (lost their sister/daughter to a brutal murder), neighbors Shawn, Merlin, & children; other widows: Libby, Naomi (w/daughter Stacia), Stephanie (w/many children, were missionaries); friend Andrea’s New Age friends; Charles & Robert to be able to forgive; friends w/family problems: Dave, Lee, Melodie, Cole; spiritual growth and wife for friend Scott; their family’s evangelism, recently firefighter Dalton; Riggs to grow mighty in the Lord
▪ Pray with R&M J for Meredith, young daughter of M’s college friend Ashely (and husband Brad), who’s taking medicine to shrink her brain tumor
▪ Pray with O&A L for her unbelieving mother w/heart condition, and brother w/lung cancer.
▪ Pray with CM for his sister Ginger, diagnosed with an aggressive and advanced leukemia, and for Sheriff’s Reserve James Wilson, and his wife Andra’s cancer
▪ Pray with C&T P for wisdom for him about what to do with two good career choices, and for the conversion of her brother Todd; and for her dad who is not doing well and his wife Jolene, who is receiving radiation to treat a spot on her brain.
▪ Pray with D&K R for their family’s growth in godliness, especially dying to self, godly speech, and Lord’s Day keeping; for Micah, Rachel, and baby girl due in July; and for local pastor/constable Darryl Thrasher, who has an aggressive, malignant brain tumor
▪ Pray with GR for friend Abby to come to faith in Christ
▪ Pray with JeR for believing friend Jeanette Cary’s CHF, Fibromyalgia, & slow-healing wound
▪ Pray with J&S R for her nephew, who needs life in Christ; and for her and her family in the loss of her father, especially spiritual impact on her sisters and nephews; and for her sister Rebecca’s pregnancy; and for the whole family, and especially his mother, as they grieve the passing away of his father; and for neighbor Stacey’s friend whose two-year-old daughter is still struggling with the virus
▪ Pray with S&V Y for his parents and siblings as they deal with his father’s declining health and his mothers dementia
▪ Please pray with Madison-Monrovia ARP in Madison, AL, throughout the month of April
▪ Please pray for the TN-AL Presbytery to be enabled to plant a faithful church with the resources available and earmarked for that purpose
▪ Please pray for all ARP presbyteries, churches, and agencies
▪ Please pray for our nation, state, community and all the officials thereof 

Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship, is by God required of all men: and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son, by the help of his Spirit, according to his will, with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and, if vocal, in a known tongue. (WCF 21.3)

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