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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Public Worship that Redirects Any Honor We Might Receive to Our Gracious God (2020.06.06 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald)


Hopewell Herald – June 6, 2020

Dear Congregation,

While many are tempted to proclaim their good sentiments to be seen by men, it is God’s good providence to bring us to a passage that reminds us that our blessedness depends entirely upon God who sees and knows what we are in secret (cf. Mat 6:1–18).

He is pleased to reward us for the good that He Himself has produced. For, He has punished in Christ the sin and guilt that belonged to us, and He produces by Christ whatever good comes from us.

One of the most subtly seductive of earthly treasures is to have others esteem us (cf. Mat 6:19–21). But, we should seek rather the esteem of God, and do it in a way that brings Him all the honor, if others happen to notice.

It is not Isaac that Abimelech esteems in Genesis 26:26–33. Rather, what even the Philistine king sees is that it is the Lord who has blessed Isaac.

Not only do Isaac’s circumstances show evidence of blessing, but he has conducted himself so very differently than the world does. And, his public conduct is complemented by his public worship. He is that odd Hebrew, with the odd altars, and the odd public worship, to his odd God.

When many are clamoring to be seen by the godless as virtuous, there could hardly be days in which we more need the reminder that our character and conduct are not supposed to be like that of the world, but rather distinct by their difference.

And, with the necessity of worship’s “publicness” under fire, there could hardly be days in which we more need the reminder that we should be so devoted to the public worship of the true Lord that, when others have observed our distinctiveness, they know to ascribe that difference to Him.

So, as our gracious Redeemer has so often done for us, He brings us tomorrow to just the portion of His Word that we need at just the time that we need it.

Truly, He is worthy of our worship. And truly, He is abundantly good to us to give us such a means by which to worship Him!

Looking forward to doing so with you,

Pastor

LORD'S DAY – June 7, 2020

9:50 a.m. Breakfast Line Opens
10 a.m. Bible Class
We are studying the ARP’s confessed theology from Scripture. This week, we continue the doctrine of justification (how sinners are declared righteous by God) moving from the alone ground of our justification (what Christ has done) to the alone instrument (faith) through which we can be credited with Christ’s righteousness.

11 a.m. Public Worship
Children’s Catechism for June 7
Q32. Who tempted them to this sin? A. The devil tempted Eve, and she gave the fruit to Adam.

Shorter Catechism for June 7
Q40. What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience? A. The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience was the moral law.

Psalms and Hymns
TPH376 “The Head That Once Was Crowned with Thorns”   
ARP104A “My Soul, Bless the Lord” 
TPH47A “O, Clap Your Hands”

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service

Scripture Readings
Old Testament – 1Samuel 9:1–24
Epistle – Ephesians 2:19–22
Gospel – Luke 6:1–5

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing from Genesis 26:26–33 about how believers must be those who know that all true blessedness is only in Christ, and who wish for their lives to be displays of that true blessedness which is in Christ.

12:45 p.m. Coffee Fellowship and Catechism Class

1 p.m. Fellowship Lunch & Open Mic Time
There will be plenty for everyone, but as with breakfast, those who are uncomfortable eating from the line are encouraged to bring their own food that they keep separate.

At open mic time, we’ll begin with birthdays and anniversaries and recitations of the memory verse: (Genesis 26:28) But they said, “We have certainly seen that the LORD is with you. So we said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, between you and us; and let us make a covenant with you’”

2:30 p.m Psalm/hymn Sing
Carryover song requests from last week:
Red: 476, 459

3:30 p.m. P.M. exhortation from Ephesians 2:19–22

After Party at ???? (No open invitations to congregation yet at time of writing)

Hopewell this Month

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for June:
Prosperity ARP in Taft, TN

June Psalm of the Month
ARP104A My Soul, Bless the Lord

Upcoming Events
•June 8, Session Meeting, 6 p.m.
•June 10, Prayer Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
•June 20, Men’s Breakfast, 6:30 a.m.
•October 2-4, HARPC 200th Anniversary Celebration

Congregational Prayer Requests (new/updates in bold)
▪ Alan McClelland and his ministry at Ft. Rucker
▪ Repentance of the Church and the Nations for general rejection of the Kingship of Christ
▪ 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
▪ 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
▪ 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
▪ 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 and husband w/high bp, 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; Harwell’s sleep issues.
▪ 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 her family’s grieving over her brother
▪ Pray with CM for friend Michael Duval and his recovery from knee surgery
▪ PRAISE with SM for relief from recent increase in pain and illness
PRAISE with C&T P for new job, and pray for the conversion of her brother Todd; and for her dad and family in the loss of his wife Jolene, and for her interaction with her dad during her time in Kansas
▪ Pray with AR for friend Caleb Figura w/mysterious but debilitating gut illness
▪ 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&M R for baby Bentley, and their family’s adjustment and future with him
▪ 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 his whole family, and especially his mother, as they grieve the passing away of his father; PRAISE for her sister Rebecca’s safe and healthy giving birth to baby girl
▪ Pray with S&V Y for his parents and siblings as they deal with his father’s declining health and his mother’s dementia
▪ Please pray with Prosperity ARP in Taft, TN, throughout the month of June
▪ 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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