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); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

2021.03.31 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 8

Read 2 Samuel 8

Questions from the Scripture text: What did David do to the Philistines, with what results (2 Samuel 8:1)? Then whom did he defeat (2 Samuel 8:2)? How did they become his servants? Whom else did he defeat (2 Samuel 8:3)? To where did his territory extend? What did David take from him (2 Samuel 8:4)? Who came to help Hadadezer (2 Samuel 8:5)? What did David do to them (2 Samuel 8:5-6)? How does verse 6 summarize these reports (cf. 2 Samuel 8:14)? What else did David take from Hadadezer (2 Samuel 8:7-8)? For what would he be taking this gold and bronze (cf. chapter 7)? Who heard what David had done (2 Samuel 8:9)? What did that prompt him to do (2 Samuel 8:10 a)? Why (verse 10b)? What did he bring with him? What was David doing with all of this (2 Samuel 8:11)? Whose spoil was being dedicated to Yahweh (2 Samuel 8:12)? How did David make for himself a name in 2 Samuel 8:13? Where else did he put garrisons (2 Samuel 8:14)? How does verse 14 summarize these reports (cf. 2 Samuel 8:6)? How does 2 Samuel 8:15 introduce the summary of David’s administration? What posts do 2 Samuel 8:16-17 identify? Who filled them? 

Yahweh kept His promise. The Lord had promised to establish David’s throne (cf. 2 Samuel 7:16), and now chapter 8 tells us that’s exactly what He’s doing. 2 Samuel 8:62 Samuel 8:14 sum up their respective sections of the chapter, “Yahweh preserved David wherever he went.” Literally, “Yahweh saved David,” or if we wish to transliterate in light of chapter 7, “Yahweh Jesus’d David wherever he went.”

There is an immediate fulfillment here of the “you haven’t seen anything yet” promise to bless David. He thought it was good then. How much better it would be in the weeks and months to come! And the end result is 2 Samuel 8:15-18: a kingdom firmly established, with judgment and justice for Yahweh’s chosen people, and priests having a central place among the chief officers of the land (2 Samuel 8:17).

Yahweh supplied David’s keeping of his part. As Yahweh gives David success, David is stockpiling bounty for his son-to-be Solomon’s building of the temple (cf. 2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 5:51 Kings 8:16-20). Gold from Hadadezer’s servants (2 Samuel 8:7). A large amount of bronze from Hadadezer’s cities (2 Samuel 8:8). A silver, gold, and bronze thank-you by prince Joram’s hand from his father king Toi (2 Samuel 8:10). Silver and gold from all the nations which he had subdued: Syria, Moab, Ammon, Philistines, Amalek, Zobah (2 Samuel 8:11-12).

So, even David’s “contributions” are plainly given to him by Yahweh! Not only were the victories given Him by the Lord (2 Samuel 8:62 Samuel 8:14), but some contributions were just walked right into Jerusalem as a gift (2 Samuel 8:10). This is true of all that we give to or do for the Lord: it’s all from Him to begin with. He generously equips and enriches us with all by which we proceed to serve Him.

Yahweh would do this infinitely more. Solomon’s temple, for which these victories prepare, was a type (an action of God earlier in history that pointed forward to His ultimate action in Christ). Jesus is that temple built without hands (cf. Mark 14:58; John 2:19–22; Acts 7:48, Acts 17:24) . And He makes of us believers a spiritual temple that He Himself builds, in which the offerings that are lifted up are spiritual rather than physical (cf. 1 Peter 2:4–5, Ephesians 2:19–22). 

It would have been ridiculous for David to think that he was the one giving to God as the temple materials piled up. And how much more so for us. Did we go up to heaven to bring Christ down in the incarnation or down into the depths to bring Him up in the resurrection (cf. Romans 10:5–7)?! Of course not! And we have not resurrected ourselves spiritually, or created faith in our own hearts, or ingrafted ourselves into Christ by that faith.

We do offer ourselves unto the Lord, and lift up heart and voice in the spiritual sacrifices that we make in the public worship. And in addition to that, we constantly offer our bodies as living sacrifices (cf. Romans 12:1), and all that we are as slaves for righteousness (cf. Romans 6:13). As a royal priesthood, we even have anointed roles in His kingdom (cf. 1 Peter 2:9). But all of this is granted unto us by God, through the grace in which He gave us Christ Himself as Temple and King.

How has the Lord saved you? How has the Lord strengthened you? What has the Lord provided for you?

Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH538 “Take My Life, and Let It Be”


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

2021.03.30 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 15:9–17

Read John 15:9–17

Questions from the Scripture text: Who has loved Jesus (John 15:9 a)? Whom has Jesus loved (verse 9b)? In what does Jesus tell His disciples to abide (verse 9c)? What does He give as the way of abiding in His love (John 15:10 a)? How had Jesus been abiding in His Father’s love (verse 10b)? What is Jesus aiming at in saying these things to them (John 15:11)? As they abide in Jesus’s love, to whom are they to respond with that same love (John 15:12)? What does Jesus say is the greatest love (John 15:13)? How can we tell who are Jesus’s friends (John 15:14)? What does He no longer call the disciples (John 15:15)? Why not? Who chose whom (John 15:16)? For what three purposes (in verse 16) did He choose them? What summary command does He give them for what this bearing of fruit looks like (John 15:17)? 

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Prayer of Confession all come from John 15:9–17, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners

How would you like to be “full of joy”? Many ache to be full of joy. To many more, it does not even occur to them that this is possible, or perhaps they cannot even wrap their minds around what that could mean. But what if you could be full not only of joy as some conceive it, but full of a joy that was of an unsurpassable quality—the joy of Jesus Himself.

Our ears perk up when we hear John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may abide in you, and that your joy may be full.” Wait… we can become the dwelling place—the home address—for Jesus’s joy? The place where His joy persists? How?! “These things I have spoken to you…”

Jesus has already been talking about how His Father uses His words’ abiding in us to make us bear much fruit (John 15:7-8). Now, we find a big part of that fruit: loving one another. Jesus the Master is now Jesus the Friend who tells us what He’s up to (John 15:15): laying down His life for His friends (John 15:13-14). 

The Father has commanded this, and Jesus is living in His Father’s love, which means He eagerly obeys His Father’s will. Now Jesus is giving us a command: if we are going to be living in Jesus’s love, then we will be eagerly obeying Jesus’s will (John 15:10John 15:14). What’s His will? To seek absolutely every genuine good for those whom He loves (John 15:12).

Abiding in Jesus, abiding in Jesus’s words, abiding in Jesus’s love (John 15:16 a-b) … at the center of all of these is loving one another. And the Father has committed Himself to giving whatever is necessary to produce this enduring fruit (verse 16 c, cf. John 15:2John 15:8)!

Whom has Jesus given you to love? What is the most important way to do this?

Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or TPH456 “Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners”


Monday, March 29, 2021

Pleasing Christ (and Godly Pastors) through Grace-Produced Unity

1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Blessed by Grace in Our Eternal King (2021.03.28 Morning Sermon in Genesis 49:1–28)


Blessing in this life indicates a grace that comes only in Christ, and points us to an infinitely greater blessing already begun


Saving Faith 4—How Faith Grows, part 2: Lord's Supper (WCF 14.1.4, 2012.03.28 Sabbath School)

WCF 14.1
I. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls,(a) is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts;(b) and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word:(c)
by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.(d)

(a) Heb. 10:39.
(b) II Cor. 4:13; Eph. 1:17, 18, 19; Eph. 2:8.

(c) Rom. 10:14, 17.
(d) I Pet. 2:2; Acts 20:32; Rom. 4:11; Luke 17:5; Rom. 1:16, 17.

by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened

2021.03.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 49:1–28

Read Genesis 49:1–28

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom did Jacob call in Genesis 49:1-2? What did he say he would tell them? What does he call Reuben in Genesis 49:3? But what does he say will come of him (Genesis 49:4 a)? Why (verse 4b–d)? Whom does Jacob name together in Genesis 49:5 a? What does he say about them in verse 5b, Genesis 49:6 c-d? What does he warn against doing with such people (verse 6a–b)? What does he pronounce upon them in Genesis 49:7 a-b? What, specifically, is that curse (verse 7c–d)? Whom does he bless in Genesis 49:8-12? What will his brothers do to him (Genesis 49:8 a, c)? What will he do to his enemies (verse 8b)? What does Jacob call Judah in Genesis 49:9 a? How does he describe his strength and victory (verse 9b–d; cf. Revelation 5:5)? What will not depart from Judah (Genesis 49:10 a)? What else (verse 10b)? Until what (verse 10c)? What will come to Him (verse 10d)? How is this King and Lawgiver from Judah described in Genesis 49:11-12)? What will happen to Zebulun (Genesis 49:13)? What does he call Issachar in Genesis 49:14 a? But what is this strong donkey doing (verse 14b)? Why (Genesis 49:15 a-b)? What will come of this (verse 15c–d)? What will Dan do (Genesis 49:16)? What do Genesis 49:17 a-b call him? What does he do with what effect (verse 17c–d)? What does prophesying this cause Jacob to exclaim (Genesis 49:18)? What will happen to Gad at first (Genesis 49:19 a)? But with what outcome (verse 19b)? Whom does Genesis 49:20 bless and how? And whom Genesis 49:21? Who receives five verses of blessing in Genesis 49:22-26? How is he described in verse 22? Who has done what to him in verse Genesis 49:23? How does he survive this (Genesis 49:24 a-c)? What else comes from the Mighty One of Jacob (verse 24d)? What four blessings is Joseph to receive from God Almighty (Genesis 49:25)? What does Jacob say about the strength of these blessings (Genesis 49:26 a-c)? Upon whom did he save such strong blessings (verse 26d)? What does he call him (verse 26e)? Whom does he bless in Genesis 49:27? What does he call him? What will he do, morning and night (verse 27b–c)? What does Genesis 49:28 call them? What does it point out about the blessings?

As Jacob is about to die, he calls in all his sons to prophecy over them. Clearly, he is speaking under inspiration here; in the second half of Genesis 49:7 he even slips into speaking in the first person on behalf of the Lord. Marvelously (considering what we have seen of this family!), the bulk of these prophecies are blessings. Even the summary verse (Genesis 49:28) refers to them in general as blessings. 

So when several of the sons’ prophecies are negative, we see that blessings come by grace and mercy. Reuben brought a curse upon his descendants (Genesis 49:3-4) as did Simeon and Levi (Genesis 49:5-7). We do not know what Issachar has done, but his tribe is cursed with laziness (Genesis 49:14-15). How then did the other tribes earn their better blessings? The answer is that they didn’t. God has given it by way of grace. 

Even when blessing comes as a consequence of godly living, that godliness itself is given by grace. But with whatever godliness the Lord gives us, there is more than enough sin in our lives to bring misery down upon us and all our descendants. The fact that we enjoy anything else now, or can hope for anything else for our children in the future, is a testimony to amazing grace!

So, indeed, it is marvelous that we may enjoy so much of so many different kinds of blessing in this life. Several of these prophecies show the greatness of earthly blessing in its possible variety and intensity. Though eternal blessing outshines it, and our sin can misuse it, yet earthly blessing is true blessing! 

Consider the wealth of Zebulun (Genesis 49:13); the heroism (Genesis 49:16) and tactical superiority (Genesis 49:17) of Dan; the persistence and triumph of Gad (Genesis 49:19); the affluence of Asher (Genesis 49:20); the beauty of Naphtali (Genesis 49:21); and the zeal of Benjamin (Genesis 49:27). This is not an exhaustive list of earthly blessing, but you are probably able already to identify several that the Lord has given to others, and to you yourself. And how great this blessing can be, as the prophecy upon Joseph shows, with blessing that corresponds to God’s almightiness and faithfulness (Genesis 49:24-25) in every part of life (verse 25). Jacob himself is quite impressed with his own blessing (Genesis 49:26)!

Finally, the greatest blessing in this passage is that of the king (Genesis 49:11-12) who would fulfill Judah’s praise and prominence (Genesis 49:8-9) in the arrival of Him to Whom all tribute and obedience belongs. Christ’s kingdom will be for all the peoples, in not only all of the earth but all of a new heavens and new earth (cf. Hebrews 1:8–13), forever and ever. Whatever good we see in this chapter or in this life is just the smallest taste of what belongs to Christ, and what His people will have forever!

What do you deserve for yourself and your children? What earthly blessings are you enjoying instead? In Whom are you looking forward to eternal blessings? How can you tell which blessings are a priority to you?

Suggested songs: ARP72A “God, Give Your Judgments to the King” or TPH421 “Christ Shall Have Dominion”


Saturday, March 27, 2021

2021.03.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 49:1–28

Read Genesis 49:1–28

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom did Jacob call in Genesis 49:1-2? What did he say he would tell them? What does he call Reuben in Genesis 49:3? But what does he say will come of him (Genesis 49:4a)? Why (verse 4b–d)? Whom does Jacob name together in Genesis 49:5a? What does he say about them in verse 5b, Genesis 49:6 c–d? What does he warn against doing with such people (verse 6a–b)? What does he pronounce upon them in Genesis 49:7 a-b? What, specifically, is that curse (verse 7c–d)? Whom does he bless in Genesis 49:8-12? What will his brothers do to him (verse 8a, c)? What will he do to his enemies (verse 8b)? What does Jacob call Judah in Genesis 49:9a? How does he describe his strength and victory (verse 9b–d; cf. Revelation 5:5)? What will not depart from Judah (Genesis 49:10a)? What else (verse 10b)? Until what (verse 10c)? What will come to Him (verse 10d)? How is this King and Lawgiver from Judah described in Genesis 49:11-12)? What will happen to Zebulun (Genesis 49:13)? What does he call Issachar in Genesis 49:14a? But what is this strong donkey doing (verse 14b)? Why (Genesis 49:15 a-b)? What will come of this (verse 15c–d)? What will Dan do (Genesis 49:16)? What do Genesis 49:17 a-b call him? What does he do with what effect (verse 17c–d)? What does prophesying this cause Jacob to exclaim (Genesis 49:18)? What will happen to Gad at first (Genesis 49:19a)? But with what outcome (verse 19b)? Whom does Genesis 49:20 bless and how? And whom Genesis 49:21? Who receives five verses of blessing in Genesis 49:22-26? How is he described in verse 22? Who has done what to him in Genesis 49:23? How does he survive this (Genesis 49:24 a-c)? What else comes from the Mighty One of Jacob (verse 24d)? What four blessings is Joseph to receive from God Almighty (Genesis 49:25)? What does Jacob say about the strength of these blessings (Genesis 49:26 a-c)? Upon whom did he save such strong blessings (verse 26d)? What does he call him (verse 26e)? Whom does he bless in Genesis 49:27? What does he call him? What will he do, morning and night (verse 27b–c)? What does Genesis 49:28 call them? What does it point out about the blessings?

While this is the blessing of a nation that is about to be redeemed by grace (cf. Exodus 1–15, 2 Samuel 7:23), it yet includes a number of earthly blessings and curses—outcomes of actions and gifts of mercy.

From Reuben, we learn not to presume. He should have had the first place (Genesis 49:3a), but loses it for his sin (Genesis 49:4). Simeon and Levi teach us the consequences of wickedness (they are divided and scattered for their violence (Genesis 49:5-7), but also the amazingness of grace—that the Lord would take one of these tribes to be His priests!

Because the blessings are in order by birth mother, Judah appears here among the sons of Leah (but the prophecy about Judah is important to consider in the context of a chapter as a whole, and we’ll return to him). This is why instead of Dan, Zebulun and Issachar appear at this point. Issachar is older, but Zebulun goes first and has a good blessing (Genesis 49:13), while Issachar goes second and is prophesied to squander his strength by laziness and end up in slavery (Genesis 49:14-15).

Dan is a reminder that deliverers (Genesis 49:16) might come by cleverness instead of raw power (Genesis 49:17), but that regardless of human mechanism, salvation comes from Yahweh (Genesis 49:18). Gad (the raided raider who raids back, Genesis 49:19), Asher (the ‘happy’ one who enjoys and provides rich food and delicacies, Genesis 49:20), and Naphtali (sure-footed and sure-breeding, Genesis 49:21) all receive brief but desirable blessings.

Though the highest place ends up going to Judah in the prophecy of the Messiah, Joseph’s blessing is indeed a double portion (Ephraim/fruitful, Genesis 49:22, cf. chapter 48) and Manasseh (forgetful, with Genesis 49:24 making him forget the griefs of Genesis 49:23) … 

but far more than just double. The turnaround comes by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (Genesis 49:24c), the Shepherd Who is the Stone of Israel (verse 24d), the God of Jacob (Genesis 49:25a), the Almighty (verse 25b). With such an One giving the blessing, it’s not surprising that the blessings are as exhaustive as possible. “Heavens and the deep” (verse 25c–d) are bookends that mean “blessings everywhere.” And “of the breasts and of the womb” focuses especially on how the Lord will multiply Joseph to be able to employ and enjoy all this blessing. Comparing blessings has been a major theme in Jacob’s life (cf. chapters 27–28), and he announces that Joseph’s blessing has been better than them all (Genesis 49:26). Certainly, the brevity of Benjamin’s blessing (Genesis 49:27) seems to bear this out by contrast.

And this brings us back to Judah. His blessing begins with a play on his name (Genesis 49:8a) and victory over his enemies (verse 8b) before implying that Joseph’s dreams/fulfillment were a foreshadowing of something that would belong to Judah in a fuller way (verse 8c). The combination of the lion illustration (Genesis 49:9) with the prophecy of the forever-king (Genesis 49:10) leads to the idea of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, which is ultimately fulfilled in Christ (cf. Revelation 5:5). 

The word Shiloh (Genesis 49:10c) may refer to the place where the tabernacle was for a time, in which case it would be a prophecy of God tabernacling among His people, ultimately in Christ as Priest. Or, it could be two Hebrew words which mean “tribute to Him,” in which case it would refer to the wealth of the nations being brought to Christ as King. 

As is often true in Scripture, both may be implied at the same time, though the same ideas about the kingship of Christ appear in close connection in Psalm 72, where his enemies’ defeat (Genesis 49:8b, cf. Psalm 72:9), the bringing of tribute (Genesis 49:10c, Psalm 72:10), and the bowing of the nations (Genesis 49:10d, Psalm 72:8–9, Psalm 72:11) all appear. Genesis 49:11-12 may sound odd in our ears, but they are a description of royal splendor—he will be so wealthy, he’ll use wine instead of water to wash his clothes; and, they’ll describe the beauty of his appearance using images from the abundance of his wealth (verse 12).

O how great can be the earthly consequences of our sin, and how great can be the earthly blessings of God’s grace! But how infinitely greater is the blessing the comes from the priesthood and kingship of Christ!

What are you doing to avoid sins of lust and violence? What earthly blessings have you received? Why is the blessing of Christ’s forever-kingship infinitely better than these?

Suggested songs: ARP72B “Nomads Will Bow” or TPH421 “Christ Shall Have Dominion”


Friday, March 26, 2021

2021.03.26 Hopewell @Home ▫ Philippians 2:1–4

Read Philippians 2:1–4

Questions from the Scripture text: What do they have in Christ (Philippians 2:1)? What do they have from love? What do they have with the Spirit? What other two things do they have? What does the apostle ask them to do (Philippians 2:2)? By what four things? How should nothing be done (Philippians 2:3)? What kind of mind should they have? And what should they do to others? What should not be the only thing they look out for (Philippians 2:4)? What else should they look out for? 

Unity (Philippians 2:2) is produced by humility (Philippians 2:3) and expressed in service (Philippians 2:4)—both of which are dependent upon grace and a grateful response to it (Philippians 2:1).

Depend upon and respond to grace, verse 1. So it all starts with grace, and that’s where the apostle begins. If the church went to “help” (Philippians 4:3) Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2) taking their cues from our present text, they might have begun with each woman by reminding them of all that God had done for them. Look at how it is that “in Christ” God has given you everything you need! How great His love has been, and how great the comfort of that love! How great is the companionship and guidance and help of the Holy Spirit! How compassionate and gentle God has been with you! If you had just a little of these things, that should be enough to compel you to this unity, but you do not have merely a little. How great is what God has done for you!

Seek others’ joy, Philippians 2:2a. The apostle then urges them to fill up his joy. Frequently, this letter has reminded us that we ought to care about bringing delight to those through whom the Lord Jesus has been pleased to give us spiritual care and oversight. Evidently, Paul was much beloved by them already. But shouldn’t we have the same desire to bring genuine spiritual joy to our other brothers and sisters? The first part of verse 2 implies that connection.

Be united in doctrine that produces love and zeal, verse 2b. How, then, do we who have been shown so much grace seek one another’s joy? The rest of verse 2 begins and ends with being like/one-minded. It reminds us that there is no unity without doctrinal unity (cf. Philippians 1:27, 1 Corinthians 1:10). But in the middle, they are to be same-loved and one-souled. Unity must include doctrine, but it must not be limited to doctrine. It is nothing without affection and shared life.

The necessity of humility, Philippians 2:3. So, what is getting in the way of loving others more? A nasty overgrowth of love-of-self. We need to kill selfish ambition, that desire that we would be highly esteemed. We need to kill conceit, our own high esteem of self. There’s no room for these if we are going to esteem others better, we need to replace exaltedness of mind with lowliness of mind.

The fruit of service, Philippians 2:4. The proof is in the putting. The putting of others’ interests ahead of our own. Spending sacrificially of our time on them. Spending sacrificially of our money on them. Sacrificing others’ opinions of us in order to raise their esteem of others. 

What has God done for you? What are you doing for others? How are you fostering affection? Sharing your life?

Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or TPH409 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”


Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Lord Whose Word Saves Us from the Wicked and Their Words (Prayer Meeting Lesson in Psalm 12)

Developments that make Yahweh’s poor ones cry out, v1, 8.
The words of the wicked, v2–4.
The words of Yahweh, v5–7.

What Our Use of Wealth Shows about Us (Family Worship in Luke 16:1–13)

For what is the wasteful steward commended? Pastor leads his family in today’s “Hopewell @Home” passage. Luke 16:1–13 prepares us for the second serial reading in the public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these thirteen verses of Holy Scripture, we see that diligence in using wealth well shows what we treasure, that the grace to use it well is indicative of where we are going, and that its place in our priorities shows whom/what we serve.

2021.03.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 16:1–13

Read Luke 16:1–13

Questions from the Scripture text: To whom is Jesus speaking (Luke 16:1)? What did the rich man have? What accusation was brought? What did he demand from the steward (Luke 16:2)? What can he no longer be? Why was this such a tough spot for the steward (Luke 16:3)? What does he hope to accomplish (Luke 16:4)? Whom does he call in Luke 16:5? What does he ask? What does one say (Luke 16:6)? What does the steward tell him to do? What does another say (Luke 16:7)? What does the steward tell him to do? How does the master respond to this (Luke 16:8)? To whom is the unjust steward compared? How do they compare to the sons of light? For what does Jesus say to use money (Luke 16:9)? Into what kind of home should disciples of Christ hope to be received by friends they gain? What does being faithful in the least mean someone will be (Luke 16:10)? What does being unjust in the least mean someone will be? What should we use well (Luke 16:11)? With what will we then be faithful? With what should we be faithful (Luke 16:12)? What can no servant do (Luke 16:13)? What are his two options? What specifically can we not serve? 

The “wasting” (Luke 16:1) of the swindling steward connects him to the younger brother, of whom the same verb was used in Luke 15:13. We knew at the end of chapter 15 that the older brother and younger brother had both begun in the same sin (failing to treasure the Lord Himself). It turns out that not just in parables, but in our ordinary living, how we use wealth can show us a lot.

How we use wealth can show us what we treasure, Luke 16:1-9. In Luke 16:8-9, Jesus Himself gives us the lesson of the parable (which spares us agonizing over the morality of what the steward did): “the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light, and I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.” 

Wealth has the same problem as your life in this world: it runs out; it fails. But when life in this world ends, there is an everlasting home. If you’re a son of light (Luke 16:8), you should be hoping that your everlasting home will be the one where other sons of light are waiting to welcome you (Luke 16:9). So that is what should set the priority for our use of wealth: we should be clever (“shrewd,” verse 8) to leverage our wealth for evangelism and for the support and sanctification of believers. Don’t slouch into worldly comforts and pleasures; wheel and deal for eternal treasures—particularly for others’ eternal treasures.

How we use wealth can show us where we are going, Luke 16:10-12. When the Lord Jesus asks the rhetorical question in Luke 16:11, “who will commit to your trust the true riches,” we realize that these true riches are not the wealth of this world but the welcome to the everlasting home to which He has just referred in Luke 16:9 (n.b. that He uses the same phrase “unrighteous mammon” in both verses). 

So, faithfulness in using money is a direct indicator as to whether we can expect to be welcomed in that home. The wealth of this world is a small thing. Either we are faithful in it or unfaithful in it. And what we do with it is an indicator of whether we will have the true riches. When God saves someone, He changes what they treasure (cf. Luke 16:1-9 and the discussion above), in order that we may see from how we use our wealth the value of the home to which He is bringing us. This should, of course, give us great pause if we do not recognize this change in ourselves.

How we use wealth can show us whom we serve, Luke 16:13. God and mammon cannot both be masters. When push comes to shove, either we will attempt to use wealth to serve God, or we will attempt to use God to serve our wealth. In that moment, we will know whom we are truly serving. 

What do you work at with your money? How are you faithful in using it? Whom does your spending say is your Master?

Suggested Songs: ARP45B “Daughter, Incline Your Ear” or TPH187 “I Belong to Jesus”


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Forming Praise, Priorities, and Prayer from the Very Words of God (Family Worship in 2Samuel 7:18–29)

What does David do with the words that Nathan delivers to him from God? Pastor leads his family in today’s “Hopewell @Home” passage. 2Samuel 7:18–29 prepares us for the first serial reading in the public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these twelve verses of Holy Scripture, we see how the very words of Scripture form our praises, our priorities, and our prayers.

2021.03.24 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 7:18–29

Read 2 Samuel 7:18–29

Questions from the Scripture text: Before Whom does David go sit (2 Samuel 7:18)? What two things does he ask? What kind of thing was it to bring him thus far (2 Samuel 7:19)? What has the Lord spoken of, for how long? What can’t David think of (2 Samuel 7:20)? What does Yahweh know? Why has He done all these things (2 Samuel 7:21)? What did He make His servant to know? What doesn’t exist (2 Samuel 7:22)? What makes Israel special (2 Samuel 7:23)? From what has He redeemed them? What has He made them (2 Samuel 7:24)? For how long? What has He made Himself to be unto them? What does David ask the Lord to do (2 Samuel 7:25)? What does David ask to be done forever (2 Samuel 7:26)? What does he ask would be established? What enables David to pray such a prayer (2 Samuel 7:27)? What is true (2 Samuel 7:28)? What have those words said? What does David ask that blessing his house would do (2 Samuel 7:29)? For how long? What enables him to ask for this? 

David turns God’s words over to Him in astonished praise, 2 Samuel 7:18–24. He has no good reason for why the Lord would choose him (2 Samuel 7:18). The Lord’s answer is just that He chose him (cf. 2 Samuel 7:8). And he has no good reason for why the Lord would bring him thus far (verse 18). The Lord’s answer is just that He did (cf. 2 Samuel 7:9). And he has no good words of praise (2 Samuel 7:20) for such an astonishing promise as he has been made (2 Samuel 7:19, cf. 2 Samuel 7:12-16). And he has nothing to which to compare Israel (2 Samuel 7:23-24), since the Lord has been pleased to make permanent promises concerning them as well (2 Samuel 7:10-11). 

In all of this, David’s astonishment and response flow directly out of what God has just said by His prophet. That teaches us something about how to receive and respond to the Word of God: that we ought to be amazed by what He says concerning His people and that His own words should form our praises unto Him.

David turns God’s words back over to Him in earnest prayer, 2 Samuel 7:25-29. He makes it clear that this is what he is doing by the introduction to the “petitions” portion of his prayer, “Now, O Yahweh God, the word which You have spoken […] do as You have said” (2 Samuel 7:25).  And what Yahweh of hosts has revealed (2 Samuel 7:27a) is what puts it into His servant’s heart to pray (verse 27b).

When our prayers request what God has promised, we are helped to pray them for the sake of His glory. “Let Your name be magnified forever” (2 Samuel 7:26a) is the ultimate purpose of “let the house of Your servant David be established” (verse 26b). Because God is infinitely glorious, His righteousness demands that He infinitely exalt His glory. There is no greater argument that we can make in prayer, and no greater encouragement to ourselves as we pray, than that God is accomplishing His glory by this.

When our prayers request what God has promised, we are enabled to pray with absolute confidence. “Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness” (2 Samuel 7:28). What a glorious thing to be able to say! And, dear believer, when you are praying Scripture back to God, you can always say it!

When our prayers request what God has promised, we are enabled to pray with pleasure. We can pray “let it please You”  (2 Samuel 7:29a) “for You, O Lord Yahweh, have spoken it” (verse 29b). And as the Spirit conforms us to Christ, what pleases Him will also please us. Such is His mercy that what pleases Him in verse 29 is “to bless […] with Your blessing […] blessed forever” (cf. verse 29). This was God’s disposition toward David in Christ, which means that it is His disposition toward all who are in Christ.

How have you been developing the skill of praising and praying directly from the words of God in Scripture?

Suggested songs: ARP119G “Keep Your Promise to Your Servant” or TPH521 “The Lord’s Prayer”


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

2021.03.23 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 3:21–4:8

Read Romans 3:21–4:8

Questions from the Scripture text: What is revealed apart from what (Romans 3:21)? By what is that righteousness witnessed? Whose righteousness is it (Romans 3:22)? Through what in Whom? To whom and on whom? How many of them? Why (end of verse 22)? What two other things are true of all, and all who believe (Romans 3:23)? What happens to believers (Romans 3:24)? At how much cost? By what? Through what? In Whom is this redemption? Who set forth (exhibited) Him (Romans 3:25)? As what? By His what? Through what? To demonstrate what? What had God previously done? What does the justification at the present time demonstrate (Romans 3:26)? What two things is God here? Whom does He justify? What does this do to boasting (Romans 3:27)? What forces this exclusion? By what is a man justified (Romans 3:28)? Apart from what? Of whom does this make God the covenant God (Romans 3:29)? How are each of the two groups in Romans 3:30 justified? What question does Romans 3:31 ask? What is its answer? What question does Romans 4:1 ask? What would give Abraham something to boast about (Romans 4:2)? Even if so, before Whom would he still not be able to boast? What question does Romans 4:3 ask? What is its answer? As what are wages counted (Romans 4:4)? What does the person in Romans 4:5 not do? What does he do? Upon Whom does he believe? Whom does God justify? As what is faith in this God counted? Who else talks about his (Romans 4:6)? Whom does he describe as blessed? Apart from what does God impute righteousness? Who are blessed in Romans 4:7a? Who in verse 7b? Who in Romans 4:8?

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Prayer of Confession all come from Romans 3:21–4:8, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with Just as I Am, without One Plea

One of the great corrections that the Reformation made to Roman Catholic theology is that the righteousness with which a believer is right/just before God is not at all righteousness that he has worked, but only Christ Himself (and all the righteousness that Christ worked). We see that truth throughout this passage. 

It is “the righteousness of God” (Romans 3:21). It is “apart from the law” (verse 21). It is “the righteousness of God” (Romans 3:22). It is “through faith in Jesus Christ” (verse 22). It is “on all who believe” (verse 22). Among these righteous “there is no difference” (verse 22). All of them “have sinned” (Romans 3:23). All of them “fall short” (verse 23). The standard of which they fall short is “the glory of God” (verse 23). Believers are “justified freely” (Romans 3:24). Believers are “justified by His grace” (verse 24). Their redemption “is in Christ Jesus” (verse 24). Boasting is “excluded” (Romans 3:27). A man is justified not only “by faith” but very specifically “apart from the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28). It is “by faith” and “through faith” that God justifies both the circumcised and uncircumcised (Romans 3:30). Abraham was justified not by indebting God for wages through works (Romans 4:1–2Romans 4:4), but rather by grace (v4) through believing (Romans 4:3, cf. Genesis 15:6). Justification is “to him who does not work” (Romans 4:5). God is the One “who justifies the ungodly” (verse 5). The believer’s “faith is accounted for righteousness” (verse 5). The blessedness of Psalm 32 is for those “to whom God imputes righteousness” (Romans 4:6). This imputation is “apart from works” (verse 6). This blessing is for those who have contributed “lawless deeds” that they would be “forgiven” (Romans 4:7). This blessing is for those who have contributed “sins” that would be “covered” (verse 7). This blessing is for those who have contributed “sin” which the Lord does not “impute” to him (Romans 4:8).

Behold how many times, and how many ways, the Holy Spirit here demands that we see that justification is not at all, not even a particle, upon the ground of what any of us has done! It is true that the verdict on the last day will have an accord with what else God has done in us by grace—producing from Christ, by His Spirit, His own character in our lives (cf. Romans 2:6; Revelation 20:12–15). But these works that He re-creates us to walk in are not even the smallest part of the ground of our worthiness.

This is why we must reject all Roman Catholicism and Arminianism—not to mention our own false ideas that we must reform ourselves a little bit before we come to God in repentance. How can we? Surely, we must come repenting and not clinging to our sin.  But it is only the righteousness of God in Christ that can be counted for us in our justification. And again in sanctification—that process by which those who are already justified are made more and more holy—it is only the power of God that can do it, and it is only the righteousness of Christ from which it can be produced. 

He doesn’t accept us the way we are. He accepts us the way that Christ is! For, He accepts us on the basis of making Christ ours, and making us Christ’s. And He doesn’t leave us as we are. He makes us like Christ. But we mustn’t think that any of this means that we must get the slightest bit better before we come to Him. Indeed, we cannot do so, and the idea that we can is a lie of the devil to keep us from Him.

For what do you need to come to Christ? Of what do you need to repent? What is keeping you from coming to Him?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH453 “Just as I Am, without One Plea”


Monday, March 22, 2021

2021.03.22 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 48

Read Genesis 48

Questions from the Scripture text: What was Joseph told in Genesis 48:1? Whom did he take with him? What was Jacob told in Genesis 48:2? What did Israel do in response? About Whom does Jacob begin speaking in Genesis 48:3? What two things had God Almighty done? Where? What two things had He promised in that blessing (Genesis 48:4)? About whom does Jacob now speak in Genesis 48:5? What claim does he lay upon them? Who will be Joseph’s (Genesis 48:6)? By what names will they be called in their inheritance? Whom is Jacob remembering in this conversation (Genesis 48:7)? What had happened to her? Upon whom does Jacob renew his focus in Genesis 48:8, to formally recognize and address them? How does Joseph describe them (Genesis 48:9a, cf. Genesis 48:5)? What does Jacob say to do with them (verse 9b)? What does Genesis 48:10 note about Israel? What does he do when Joseph brings Ephraim and Manasseh near? What does he say he hadn’t hoped to see (Genesis 48:11)? But in fact Who has shown him what? Now where does Joseph place them for the blessing (Genesis 48:12)? And how does he position himself? How does Genesis 48:13 summarize where each, Manasseh and Ephraim, were specifically placed? But what does Israel do in Genesis 48:14? How did he guide his hands? Despite what fact about Manasseh? Whom does Genesis 48:15 say Israel is blessing? What is the first thing that he calls God here? What is the second? What is the third (Genesis 48:16a)? What is the first/primary request of this blessing (verse 16b)? Whose names are to be named upon them (verse 16c–d, cf. Genesis 48:6)? What is the concluding request of this blessing? What did Joseph see in Genesis 48:17? How did he feel about it? What did he do about it? What did he say to his father (Genesis 48:18)? Why? What did his father do (Genesis 48:19)? What did his father say about himself (cf. Genesis 48:14)? What did he say about Manasseh? What did he say about Ephraim? What was the final part of the blessing (Genesis 48:20)? Thus what did he do, even in this blessing? What does Israel now say is happening to himself (Genesis 48:21)? Who does he say will be with Joseph? What will God do? What does he call the land? What additional gift does Israel give Joseph (Genesis 48:22)? Above whom? How had Israel obtained it?

As Jacob blesses his grandchildren in this chapter, the blessing points upward (in a manner of speaking) to God, backward to creation, forward to the great commission, and in all things to Christ.

The blessing points upward to God. He is God Almighty (Genesis 48:3), by Whose power we are enabled to walk before Him and be blameless (cf. Genesis 17:1). He is the promise-making God, Who has recently reiterated promises to Jacob (Genesis 48:3-4). He is the promise-keeping God, Who sustained Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 48:15 b), Who has always protected and provided for Jacob (Genesis 48:15 c), and Who has delivered Jacob from all evils (Genesis 48:16 a, even the current evils of his sickness and his imminent death).

The blessing points backward to the creation mandate. The conclusion of the blessing, “let them swarm into a multitude in the midst of the earth” takes us backward to Genesis 1:28 and a multiplication and dominion that are commanded there. 

The blessing points forward to the Great Commission. There (Matthew 28:18–20), the Lord Jesus will command the making of disciples from all the nations, using the language of being “baptized into the (Triune!) Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Here, the blessings come in similar form. “Let my name be upon them, and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac.” We do the same, when a child is adopted and receives the name of his or her father. Yahweh puts His Name upon His people (cf. Numbers 6:27).

The blessing points, in all things, to Christ. In order for the blessing to be forever, and for sinners who must be forgiven, and for all the nations who fell and died in the first Adam, there is only one way such blessing can come: in the Lord Jesus Christ. Because it is in Christ, it depends not at all on any goodness in us. God is as free in His choosing whom to bless in Christ as Jacob is free to cross his arms and decide to bless the younger above the older, and to pick the two from the 11th son instead of the 1st. The blessing points, in all things, to Christ!

There is a blessing of adoption here, but it points to the ultimate blessing of adoption in Christ. The blessing points upward to God, backward to the creation mandate, forward to the great commission, and in all things to Christ!

How has God been personal to you? Faithful? Powerful? In Whom, has He been all of these to you?

Suggested songs: ARP103B “Bless the LORD, My Soul” or TPH461 “Blessed Are the Sons of God”


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Conduct Worthy of the Gospel: Standing Unitedly, Fearlessly, Thankfully (2021.03.21 Evening Sermon in Philippians 1:27–30)

Stand fast unitedly in doctrine and practice. Stand fearlessly, showing your enemies' destruction but your salvation. Stand thankfully, for the gifts both of faith and of suffering for Jesus's Name.

Adopted into an Eternal Inheritance (2021.03.21 Morning Sermon in Genesis 48)


The foundation, fullness, and freedom of the blessing of adoption. By adopting us as His children, God causes His Name to be put upon us, and brings us into His own blessedness.


Saving Faith 3—How Faith Grows, part 1: Preaching and Baptism (2021.03.21 Sabbath School on WCF 14.1.4)

by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened

Saturday, March 20, 2021

2021.03.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 48

Read Genesis 48

Questions from the Scripture text: What was Joseph told in Genesis 48:1? Whom did he take with him? What was Jacob told in Genesis 48:2? What did Israel do in response? About Whom does Jacob begin speaking in Genesis 48:3? What two things had God Almighty done? Where? What two things had He promised in that blessing (Genesis 48:4)? About whom does Jacob now speak in Genesis 48:5? What claim does he lay upon them? Who will be Joseph’s (Genesis 48:6)? By what names will they be called in their inheritance? Whom is Jacob remembering in this conversation (Genesis 48:7)? What had happened to her? Upon whom does Jacob renew his focus in Genesis 48:8, to formally recognize and address them? How does Joseph describe them (Genesis 48:9a, cf. Genesis 48:5)? What does Jacob say to do with them (verse 9b)? What does Genesis 48:10 note about Israel? What does he do when Joseph brings Ephraim and Manasseh near? What does he say he hadn’t hoped to see (Genesis 48:11)? But in fact Who has shown him what? Now where does Joseph place them for the blessing (Genesis 48:12)? And how does he position himself? How does Genesis 48:13 summarize where each, Manasseh and Ephraim, were specifically placed? But what does Israel do in Genesis 48:14? How did he guide his hands? Despite what fact about Manasseh? Whom does Genesis 48:15 say Israel is blessing? What is the first thing that he calls God here? What is the second? What is the third (Genesis 48:16a)? What is the first/primary request of this blessing (verse 16b)? Whose names are to be named upon them (verse 16c–d, cf. Genesis 48:6)? What is the concluding request of this blessing? What did Joseph see in Genesis 48:17? How did he feel about it? What did he do about it? What did he say to his father (Genesis 48:18)? Why? What did his father do (Genesis 48:19)? What did his father say about himself (cf. Genesis 48:14)? What did he say about Manasseh? What did he say about Ephraim? What was the final part of the blessing (Genesis 48:20)? Thus what did he do, even in this blessing? What does Israel now say is happening to himself (Genesis 48:21)? Who does he say will be with Joseph? What will God do? What does he call the land? What additional gift does Israel give Joseph (Genesis 48:22)? Above whom? How had Israel obtained it?

This chapter gives us a picture of the blessedness that belongs to all of God’s people in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit draws that line of connection by the similarity of the language in Genesis 48:6 and Genesis 48:16

When adopting Ephraim and Manasseh as his own (Genesis 48:5), Jacob blesses Joseph (Genesis 48:15) by saying “Bless the lads; let my name be named upon them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac” (Genesis 48:16). This is the same language as applied to Ephraim and Manasseh’s brothers; “your offspring whom you beget after them shall be yours; they will be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance” (Genesis 48:6).

Indeed, the blessing that God gives His people is not only to put upon us the name of one of His tribes (like Ephraim or Manasseh, verse 6, or Reuben or Simeon, Genesis 48:5) or even of His servants the patriarchs (like Abraham and Isaac, Genesis 48:16). God’s blessing upon His people is to put His own Name upon us as His own adopted children (cf. Numbers 6:27)!

God has made a people promise, to multiply them (Genesis 48:4a). God has made a place promise, to provide for them (verse 4b). God has made a presence promise, to be their God and to be with them (Genesis 48:21). 

And it is especially this promise that overcomes the death problem (Genesis 48:7Genesis 48:11/cf. Genesis 46:4, Genesis 47:28–30; chapter 15). Even when we die, God is still with us. Even when we die, we are still God’s children. Even when we die, we will yet come into our inheritance. How? Because in order to solve the death problem, God Himself will become a Man, so that we can be joined to Him not only in His death but in His resurrection.

The “one who will come from [Abraham’s] own body” (Genesis 15:4) is God Himself, the only-begotten Son. And it is in Him, ultimately, that believers are not just called by Ephraim’s name, or Manasseh’s name, or Reuben’s name, or Simeon’s name, or Israel’s name, or Abraham’s name, or Isaac’s name. In Jesus, believers are called by Yahweh’s Name! And as adopted children, they are made joint-inheritors with Christ (cf. Romans 8:15–17).

Why does God do this? Simply because He is pleased to. He is not convinced to do so by anything in us, nor is He following some law of inheritance that compels Him. He is “guiding his hands knowingly” (cf. Genesis 48:14Genesis 48:19) to do as He pleases.

How does God do this? Because He is personal (cf. Genesis 48:15, “before Whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked”), faithful (cf. verse 15, “fed me all my life long to this day”), and powerful (cf. Genesis 48:16, “Who has redeemed me from all evil”). He is personal; He has created a people Whom He redeems to have fellowship with Him. He is faithful; His mercies are new every morning, and there are no gaps in His giving of every good and perfect gift. He is powerful; there is no pain or danger from which He is not supremely and sovereignly producing the blessing of the believer!

Our God adopts believers in Christ as His own heirs because this is the way that He has been pleased to display that He is personal, faithful, and powerful in His mercy!

How has God been personal to you? Faithful? Powerful? In Whom, has He been all of these to you?

Suggested songs: ARP103B “Bless the LORD, My Soul” or TPH461 “Blessed Are the Sons of God”


Friday, March 19, 2021

Conduct Worthy of the Gospel: Standing Unitedly, Fearlessly, Thankfully (Family Worship in Philippians 1:27–30)

How can the Philippians gladden on another and their beloved apostle? Pastor leads his family in today’s “Hopewell @Home” passage. Philippians 1:27–30 prepares us for the afternoon exhortation on the coming Lord’s Day. In these four verses of Holy Scripture, we learn that believers rejoice to see and hear of one another conducting themselves worthily of the gospel: standing unitedly, fearlessly, and thankfully.

2021.03.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Philippians 1:27–30

Read Philippians 1:27–30

Questions from the Scripture text: With what word does Philippians 1:27 begin? Upon what one thing are they to focus in conducting themselves? What two possibilities remain for what will happen with the apostle? What does he want to hear that they are doing in one mind and one spirit? What does he want to hear that they are doing together? For what? What does he want to hear is not happening in any way (Philippians 1:28)? What will this lack of fear prove to their adversaries? What would it prove to the Philippians? From Whom is this salvation and its proof coming? How did they come to believe (Philippians 1:29)? What else was granted to them as a gift? On Whose behalf? For Whose sake do they suffer? What do they have in themselves (Philippians 1:30)? In whom had they previously seen it? In whom do they now hear that it is?

Believers, and especially pastors and their flocks, are to aim at increasing one another’s joy in Christ. The apostle looked forward to making their joy in Christ abound in Philippians 1:26, when they discover that for him to live and return to them was fruitful labor for Christ. And now in Philippians 1:27 he lets them know that he would like to have his joy in Jesus Christ increased by what he hears about their affairs: that they are living as citizens of the gospel of Christ. Specifically, he wishes to hear:

That they are standing fast unitedly. That they stand fast “in one spirit.” That probably deserves a capital S, because being in one spirit is further explained as standing “with one mind.” Believers have the mind of Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:16), because it is given to them by the Spirit who knows the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:10–15). 

Christian unity is first and foremost a doctrinal unity. It is a unity forged by the Holy Spirit granting to them to be convinced of what the Holy Spirit has said in the Bible—both about Jesus and about everything else. But if they are convinced, then they will be obeying the same commandments and serving the same kingdom. So, while it is at least a doctrinal unity, it is never merely doctrinal. He also hopes to hear that they are “striving together for the faith of the gospel.

That they are standing fast fearlessly. Yes, in order to obey and serve the Lord Jesus, we must resist sin. But we must remember that there are also other enemies. Certainly the Philippian church had seen adversaries attack Paul (Philippians 1:30a), and they had sent Epaphroditus to him (Philippians 2:25-30) when they heard that he was in chains again (verse 30b, cf. Philippians 1:7Philippians 1:13, Philippians 4:14).

But when enemies attack the gospel and the church, it just shows that they are about to be destroyed by Christ (Philippians 1:28a). And when we fearlessly continue in our obedience to Christ, it shows that God is saving us (verse 28b). Rather than putting us in danger of death, the attack that exposes that living is Christ reveals that if we were to die, it would be infinite gain!

That they are standing fast thankfully. What should we do when we realize that God has made us unafraid of death? Recognize that we’ve been given faith as a gift on behalf of Christ (Philippians 1:29a), and that we have been given suffering for His sake as a second gift on behalf of Christ (verse 29b). How valuable is this suffering for His sake that exposes to us our salvation? Valuable enough that we learn here that Christ Himself has earned it for us. How thankful we should be for such a gift!

Would your theology gladden the brethren and the elders? How about your fearlessness? Your thankfulness?

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


Thursday, March 18, 2021

How Faith Answers Alarmism When the Evil Bare Their Arms—The LORD Bares His Holy Arm! (Prayer Meeting Lesson in Psalm 11)

Evil has bared its strong, ready, clever, cloaked, powerful arm. Even worse, there are those who are advising the godly to abandon their posts and go underground. But there is a greater factor to consider in such a circumstance: Who is the LORD, and what is He doing?! "This devotional should be required reading before anyone reads 'Live Not By Lies'"—PW (godly man in the congregation who was there for it)

Jesus Loves to Save Sinners Like You (Family Worship in Luke 15)

What could make a man grumble at Christ’s saving others? Pastor leads his family in today’s “Hopewell @Home” passage. Luke 15 prepares us for the serial reading that we have been doing in that book in the public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these thirty-two verses of Holy Scripture, we are confronted with the need to see ourselves as sinners, so that we will rejoice to see that Jesus urges us to come to Him and treasure Him above all things, and subsequently rejoice when He saves others in this way too.

2021.03.18 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 15

Read Luke 15

Questions from the Scripture text: Who drew near to do what (Luke 15:1, cf. Luke 14:35)? Who complained (Luke 15:2)? About Whom? For doing what? How did Jesus respond (Luke 15:3)? What happens in the first parable (Luke 15:4)? How would they respond if they find the lost sheep (Luke 15:5)? What would they do when they got home (Luke 15:6)? Where is similar rejoicing done (Luke 15:7)? Over what? What happens in the second parable (Luke 15:8)? What would she do when she finds the coin (Luke 15:9)? In whose presence is there similar joy (Luke 15:10)? Over what? What is the third parable about (Luke 15:11)? What did the younger son want (Luke 15:12)? What did he do with it (Luke 15:13)? What problem did he run into (Luke 15:14)? What did he do about it (Luke 15:15)? For what did he long (Luke 15:16)? What happened to him in Luke 15:17? What did he say? What did he decide to do (Luke 15:18)? What did he decide to say (Luke 15:18-19)? What did he do in Luke 15:20? What did his father see? What did his father feel? What did his father do? What did the son say to him (Luke 15:21)? But to whom did his father speak (Luke 15:22)? And what did he say to do (Luke 15:22-23)? Why (Luke 15:24)? Where was the older son (Luke 15:25)? What did he hear when he came home? Whom did he ask about it (Luke 15:26)? What did the servant say (Luke 15:27)? How did the older brother respond to this (Luke 15:28)? What did the father do with him? How did he answer his father (Luke 15:29)? What does he claim to have done? What did he want to be able to do? With whom? What did he call his brother (Luke 15:30)? What is he angry at his father for? But what has his father done for him (Luke 15:31)? And why does his father say he should have been happy (Luke 15:32)?

Jesus is just too gracious. That was the complaint about Him (Luke 15:2) that He was dealing with this entire chapter (Luke 15:30). After all, He was feasting with repentant tax-collectors and sinners (Luke 15:1). 

So the thrust of the chapter as a whole is that if there’s anything worth making merry and being glad about (Luke 15:32a), it’s when God gives spiritual life to the dead, and brings them to Himself in repentance and reconciliation (verse 32b).

Retrieving the lost is worth effort. This is a main feature of the first two parables. The man with the lost sheep and the woman with the lost coin both exert themselves significantly (Luke 15:4Luke 15:8)—and this out of self-interest (though perhaps there is compassion for the sheep, certainly not for the coin). In the third parable, we see the father running out of compassion. 

Jesus is showing us something here about Himself and how sinners come to repentance. It’s not like it’s primarily their idea or their effort. If we notice the relationship of Luke 14:35 to Luke 15:1, we’ll see that the reason that tax-collectors and sinners drew near to hear was because the Lord had given them ears to do so.

Retrieving those whose hearts have been made receptive to hear the gospel is worth the effort not only because of the value of an eternal soul (and how great is that value!) but because it’s an effort that the Lord Himself is spearheading. It is worth it, because He is worth it. It succeeds because He is doing it.

Retrieving the lost is worth rejoicing over. In bringing sinners to repentance, in bringing sinners to Himself, the Lord is aiming at His own gladness. He does the work because it pleases Him, and when the work is done it both pleases and praises Him. “Rejoice with me!” says the man in Luke 15:6. “Rejoice with me!” says the woman in Luke 15:9. “Let us eat and be merry” says that father in Luke 15:23.

If we are “to rejoice with those who rejoice” as touches our brothers and sisters—and even those among them who are persecuting us (cf. Romans 12:10–16), then how much more are we to rejoice in God’s rejoicing?! Yet, if we don’t value the Lord Himself, then what pleases Him will make little difference to us.

At the beginning of the third parable, it seems that just the younger son fails to value his father and being with him (Luke 15:12-13). But later we find out that the older son considered it a burden to slave for his father (Luke 15:29a, more literally translated), or to obey his father (verse 29b). And that he cared more to make friends with other friends than with his father (verse 29c). He didn’t value either being with his father (Luke 15:31a) or jointly possessing, as an heir, all that his father had (verse 31b). This is why he lacked the capacity to be merry and glad with his father in his father’s merriness and gladness (Luke 15:32).

The marvelous thing about Jesus is that this is exactly the kind of lost sheep that He is going after in Luke 15! He turns away from the “99” tax-collectors and sinners who are making merry and glad with Him, and He comes away as it were—like the father leaving the party to plead with the older son. This Man even seeks and receives Pharisees and scribes to eat with them (cf. Luke 15:2)!

Accurately seeing and valuing God is the path to joy-enabling repentance. At its bottom, sin is an attempt to enjoy the created thing without the Creator. A desire to have the inheritance without Him in Whom alone it is truly ours. When we live for ourselves, we may have the illusion of responsibility like the older son, or may be allowed to suffer more immediately visible consequence and lost like younger son (cf. Luke 15:13-16). 

But in either case what is needed is to have our minds enlightened and hearts awakened to: 

the goodness of our God (even his hired servants are well-cared for, Luke 15:17!), 

our guiltiness against Him (we have sinned against heaven, before Him, Luke 15:18!) 

and our unworthiness to be His (we are not worthy to be called His children, Luke 15:19!) 

This ability to see God and come to Him was given to the younger son in the parable and to the tax-collectors and sinners in Luke 15:1. But if we find ourselves unable to rejoice over others’ coming to Christ, the problem may well be that we lack the very life and repentance that they have been given. May God make us value above all things to be with Him and belong to Him!

How glad are you to be with/belong to God? What does your response to sinners’ conversion tell you about this?

Suggested Songs: ARP45B “Daughter, Incline Your Ear” or TPH187 “I Belong to Jesus”


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Participating in God's Infinitely Better Plan (Family Worship in 2Samuel 7:1–17)

Who is going to build whom a house? Pastor leads his family in today’s “Hopewell @Home” passage. 2Samuel 7:1–17 prepares us for the serial reading that we have been doing in that book in the public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these seventeen verses, we learn that God’s plan isn’t David’s plan, because God is the giving God, Whose infinitely better plan is Christ!

2021.03.17 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 7:1–17

Read 2 Samuel 7:1–17

Questions from the Scripture text: Where was the king dwelling (2 Samuel 7:1)? What had Yahweh given Him? To whom did the king speak (2 Samuel 7:2)? What comparison did he make? What did Nathan say to do (2 Samuel 7:3)? Who did he say would be with him? What comes to Nathan in 2 Samuel 7:4? When? For whom was this word (2 Samuel 7:5)? What did He ask? What point does He make in 2 Samuel 7:6? What had He never spoken about (2 Samuel 7:7)? What does He call David in 2 Samuel 7:8? Who chose whom? From where? To be what? What three things does Yahweh point out that He has done for David (2 Samuel 7:9)? What does He call Israel in 2 Samuel 7:10? What will He do for them (2 Samuel 7:10-11)? What does Yahweh declare that He will make for David (verse 11)? When will this happen (2 Samuel 7:12)? Whom will Yahweh set up? From where will the Seed come? What will Yahweh establish? What will the Seed King do (2 Samuel 7:13)? What will Yahweh establish? For how long? What relationship will Yahweh have with Him (2 Samuel 7:14a)? What will happen if He bears guilt/sin (verse 14b)? What will never happen (2 Samuel 7:15)? What will the establishing of the Kingdom of the Seed do for David—what two things will be established forever (2 Samuel 7:16)? How did Nathan respond to this message from Yahweh (2 Samuel 7:17)?

The king already has a house (2 Samuel 7:1), so why is Yahweh promising to build him a house (2 Samuel 7:11) as the main theme of this passage? Because it will be a forever-house (2 Samuel 7:16) that constitutes a forever kingdom under a forever King (2 Samuel 7:12-13).

God’s plans are almost never our plans. David is grateful (for good reason, 2 Samuel 7:1), and tells Nathan that he thinks that he ought to do something in return for God (2 Samuel 7:2). Nathan—doesn’t even have to pray about it—thinks that this is a good idea (2 Samuel 7:3). 

But since Nathan doesn’t come to God, God comes to Nathan and points out that He has no need of a house (2 Samuel 7:5-7). It’s not particularly less humbling to God to make His presence known in a tent than in a cedar structure. He makes His dwelling among His people because He is pleased to do so. 

He doesn’t need nicer accommodations, or any accommodations at all. BUT, His plan is to make that dwelling among His people in One Whose name is Immanuel. And one of the last things the Scripture will end up saying is that the dwelling place of God is among men (cf. Revelation 21:3, Revelation 21:22, Revelation 22:3). That’s where all of this is headed, because…

God is the giving God. Yahweh proceeds to remind David that He gave David the kingship because He was giving His people a prince (2 Samuel 7:8), peace (2 Samuel 7:9) and a place (2 Samuel 7:10). Yes, we owe Him obedience and service, but what can we give unto God? We are simply to honor Him and to trust that He is honoring Himself. 

God’s plan is to raise up a seed (2 Samuel 7:12) who will build a house for His own name (2 Samuel 7:13). Does David want to build God a house? Here, Yahweh promises that from David will come the Lord Jesus Himself, in Whom the fullness of God dwells bodily (cf. John 2:21, Colossians 1:18–19, Colossians 2:9)! 

This is far more than David bargained for. He thought he would be giving back to God, but God was adding an infinite upgrade to what He had already given to David. Whatever the Lord assigns to us, we can do with the knowledge that God is giving to Himself all glory, even as He gives us the astonishing privilege of participating in His plan for that glory.

God’s great plan is Christ. The language of the seed in 2 Samuel 7:12 obviously reminds us of the Seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 and the Seed of Abraham in Genesis 12:7 (cf. Galatians 3:16). Here is the One Who will be king forever (2 Samuel 7:13). Yes, Solomon comes from David’s body, and Solomon builds a great temple. But Solomon’s reign ends, and his temple is destroyed. 

What reign, what temple, what throne can last forever? Everything in this world is bound to corruption and decay since the Fall (cf. Romans 8:20–22). But there is One coming who can not only bear our iniquity but eliminate it (2 Samuel 7:14, cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17–21, Romans 3:25).

David thought that God had completed his blessing (2 Samuel 7:1), but it turned out that God was just getting started. His plan is to glorify Himself in Christ, by giving Himself for us in Christ, that He might give Himself to us in Christ. Forever and ever. 

We dream of accomplishing great things for God, but when we realize what God is doing for Himself and for us, we learn that there is nothing that we can “accomplish” that could add to that. Whatever roles and duties He has assigned to us already participate in that marvelous plan. So, let us pursue regular faithfulness with all the zeal that we would have if we were building the very temple of God!

What do you want to “accomplish” for God? What roles & duties has He assigned you? What is He accomplishing?

Suggested songs: ARP72ABC “God, Give Your Judgments to the King” or TPH434 “A Debtor to Mercy Alone”


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Mission, Message, and Means of a Perfect Church (Family Worship in Revelation 7:9–17)

What is a perfect church like? Pastor leads his family in today’s “Hopewell @Home” passage. Revelation 7:9–17 prepares us for the first reading, prayer, and song of the public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these nine verses, we learn that the perfect church’s mission is the glory of God, message is that salvation belongs entirely to God, and means is Christ Who is the fountain of all her cleansing and life.

2021.03.16 Hopewell @Home ▫ Revelation 7:9–17

Read Revelation 7:9–17

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom did the apostle see in Revelation 7:9? In what were they clothed? What were they crying out in Revelation 7:10? With what kind of voice? Who respond to this in Revelation 7:11? What do they do? What do they say in Revelation 7:12? Who asks John a question in Revelation 7:13? How does John answer in Revelation 7:14? Whom does the elder say they are? In what have they washed their robes? Where are they (Revelation 7:15)? What do they do? When? What does “He who sits on the throne” do? What two things won’t they do anymore (Revelation 7:16)? What two things won’t strike them? Who is in the midst of the throne (Revelation 7:17)? What will He do to them? Where will He lead them? What will God do to them?   

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Prayer of Confession all come from Revelation 7:9–17, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me

We will be joining the great assembly of vv9–12 this coming Lord’s Day (cf. Hebrews 12:22–29). For what will they be worshiping our God?

They will be praising Him that He must save and He alone. “Salvation belongs to God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:11)! Salvation is the Lord’s proprietary work. Not the labors of our hands. Not the intensity of our zeal. Not the depth of our emotions. Salvation is His alone.

They will be praising Him that “Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and power and might” are His forever and ever (Revelation 7:12). The One who has saved them is the all-glorious, all-powerful God. The Rock of Ages, as it were, from Whom fountains of living waters flow (Revelation 7:17; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:4, Exodus 17:5–7).

They will be praising Him that they have been washed clean in His blood (Revelation 7:13-14). The blood which flowed from the side of Christ has cleansed them now, not only from the guilt of sin, but even from the power and the presence of sin!

They will be praising Him for His enthroned glory, where they behold Him and worship Him and He dwells among them (Revelation 7:15). They will be praising Him for removing every trouble: hunger, thirst, the striking of sun or heat, even every last tear (Revelation 7:16-17).

And though we see that victory only from afar at the moment, when we join them on the coming Lord’s Day, we will praise Him for the same, as it touches the situation of our soul and life in this world. Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee!

How can you be saved? How can you be cleansed? What are you looking forward to in glory? How can you do it now? 

Suggested songs: ARP18A “I Love You Lord” or TPH452 “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me”


Monday, March 15, 2021

The Significance of Christian Burial (Family Worship in Genesis 47:27–31)

What was so important to Jacob to have Joseph swear to him before his death? Pastor leads his family in today’s “Hopewell @Home” passage. Genesis 47:27–31 reviews for us yesterday’s morning sermon. In these five verses, we learn that even with all its blessings, this life is a short, hard sojourn by comparison to what we will have in the resurrection; that it should be important to us to be buried and that it be with believers; and that we ought to testify to the importance of this both before men and also in worship unto God.

2021.03.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 47:27–31

Read Genesis 47:27–31

Questions from the Scripture text: How long did Jacob live where (Genesis 47:28)? How long was his life? What time drew near (Genesis 47:29)? Whom did Jacob call? What did he tell Joseph to do? What did he want Joseph to promise? What does he call his prospectively dead body in Genesis 47:30? With whom does he wish to lie? What does he want Joseph to do with him? Where does he want Joseph to bury him? What does Joseph promise? But what does Jacob ask him to do in Genesis 47:31? And what does Joseph do? How does Israel conclude the conversation?

God had surely gone down to Egypt with Israel (cf. Genesis 47:27a, cf. Genesis 46:4a) and made of him a great nation there (Genesis 47:27b, cf. Genesis 46:3b). Yet for all of this blessing, Genesis 47:28’s tacking seventeen happy years onto the 130 of Genesis 47:9 hasn’t changed that these are the days of the years of a short, hard pilgrimage by comparison to what God has promised. 

Indeed, Jacob has need of that precious hand that will close his eyes (cf. Genesis 46:4c)—but in this case for swearing an action (Genesis 47:29) in keeping with God’s own steadfast love and faithfulness in the greatest of the promises: that He would still be with Jacob to bring him up again, even after he dies (cf. Genesis 46:4b). 

However God has blessed Jacob in this life (and, indeed, it has been great!), it still pales in comparison to the blessing to which he looks forward in the resurrection. There are bodies laying in a cave in Canaan awaiting that resurrection. And Jacob’s body, which will still belong to him but more importantly to the Lord, must be carried up to lay down and wait along with them (Genesis 47:30).

That’s why when he calls Joseph to him, to talk about arrangements, he isn’t focusing on the management of this massive wealth or multiplied family—surely logistical challenges and real concerns! No, his focus is upon what to do with his body, because it is his final testimony to his family and to the world about what he values and where his hope lies (cp. Genesis 49:29–33). 

This solemn, swearing ceremony (Genesis 47:31a) is about making sure that they bow their head and worship (verse 31b) in response far more to what is going to happen with their bodies after they die than all of the good that they enjoyed before it.

God is with you to bless you now. Surely that is a great promise. But how you think about what to do with your body when you die should be a testimony that you consider it an even greater promise that He will be with you to resurrect you unto everlasting glory. More than any amount of wealth or position, this is the legacy that a believer should leave to his children and his church!

When you worship, to what blessings do you respond? What do your plans for your dead body say about this?

Suggested songs: ARP116AB “How Fervently I Love the Lord” or TPH159 “Abide with Me”


Sunday, March 14, 2021

Why Believers Are Still Alive (2021.03.14 Evening Sermon in Philippians 1:22–26)

If a believer is still alive, it is for fruitful labor—an assignment from Jesus to participate in the growth of the church in Christ and the joy of the church in Christ.

What to Do with Me When I'm Dead: Burial and the Hope of the Resurrection (2021.03.14 Morning Sermon in Genesis 47:27–31)


God is with believers to bless them now. But how you think and speak about what to do with your body when you die should be a testimony that you consider it an even greater promise that He will be with you to resurrect you unto everlasting glory.

Faith Ordinarily Wrought by the Ministry of the Word, WCF 14.1.3 (2021.03.14 Sabbath School Lesson in Romans 10:6–17)

Faith is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word

Saturday, March 13, 2021

When Do You Begin Preparing for the Lord's Day? (2021.03.13 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald)

Hopewell Herald – March 13, 2021

Dear Congregation,

An ARP pastor friend wrote to his congregation yesterday morning encouraging them to be forward-thinking about preparing for the Lord’s Day—not only by logistical things like setting out clothes Saturday night, but also by a mental and spiritual preparation throughout the weekend (he was writing on Friday morning).

This combined well for me with recent reading through Leviticus and into Numbers about all that Israelites had to pay attention to in order to be ready for worship. Thankfully, Christ is our worthiness and cleanliness. But that doesn’t mean that we have no preparing to do!

Indeed, as Jeremiah Burroughs discusses several times in his wonderfully helpful Gospel Worship, the keeping of the heart is something constant: we should continuously be thinking and feeling and living in such a way that takes into account that on the coming Lord’s Day we must come again into the public assembly and even to the Lord’s table.

This is some of the logic the Spirit employs in Deuteronomy 6 and Ephesians 5–6. Why should we have the Word of God on our hearts and on our lips? Why should we be discussing it with our children going out and coming in, and rising up and laying down? Why be continually bathing our wives with the Word? Why bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord? Why daily family worship? In part, because we are a people set apart to God for worship in that holy assembly in which we are filled with the Spirit and address one another with the Word in song.

For some years now, it has been my privilege to serve you in preparing household/individual devotional helps that have exactly this in mind as we worship God throughout the week. This used to be entirely following up upon previous texts (as we move sequentially in each part of the service) until one father’s suggestion that moving from review to preview would emphasize this preparation even more.

So, on the Monday, we redigest the passage from the Lord’s Day morning sermon. On the Tuesday, we prepare in the passage for the first portion from the coming Lord’s Day service. On the Wednesday, we prepare in the passage from the first serial reading. On the Thursday, we prepare in the passage from the second serial reading. On the Friday, we prepare in the passage for Lord’s Day afternoon. And on the Saturday, we prepare in the passage for the next day’s Lord’s Day morning sermon.

Those who have used these devotionals have found that reviewing/preparing throughout the week has been a great help to participating well in the public worship and profiting much from the means of grace in it. Then also, the connection between the two has increased the various families’ participation in and profit from their own family worship.

Whether or not you make use of what is furnished to help you, the responsibility remains: both in how you live throughout the week, and how you worship throughout the week, remember that come the next Lord’s Day, you will be a participant in the Lord’s holy assembly on the Lord’s holy day.

When He says “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” He emphasizes the holiness of that day. But the holiness of that day is observed not only in the glorious privileges of the day itself, but in carefully living out the rest of the week in a way that enriches the holiness of the holy day.

Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work. And six days shalt thou have individual worship and family worship in a way that anticipates and flows from public worship. Looking forward to that public worship with you,

Pastor

2021.03.13 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 47:28–31

Read Genesis 47:28–31

Questions from the Scripture text: How long did Jacob live where (Genesis 47:28)? How long was his life? What time drew near (Genesis 47:29)? Whom did Jacob call? What did he tell Joseph to do? What did he want Joseph to promise? What does he call his prospectively dead body in Genesis 47:30? With whom does he wish to lie? What does he want Joseph to do with him? Where does he want Joseph to bury him? What does Joseph promise? But what does Jacob ask him to do in Genesis 47:31? And what does Joseph do? How does Israel conclude the conversation? 

Compared to that to which Jacob was looking forward, even 147 years were few. Even those 17 years dwelling comfortably (Genesis 47:27) in proximity to those precious hands that would close his eyes (cf. Genesis 46:4, Genesis 46:30) was far less pleasant. They were, after all, the days of the years of a pilgrimage (Genesis 47:9)—a passing-through, not his permanent home.

Think from an eternal, resurrection perspective led Jacob to care very much what happened with his body at death. It’s an important thing for all believers to think about, as we wish for Christ to be magnified in our bodies both in our lives and in our deaths (cf. Philippians 1:20). 

So when Jacob can tell that the time is actually drawing near (Genesis 47:29a), he summons Joseph. He asks him to deal with him kindly and truly (verse 29b, literally according to ḳessed and emmet—that steadfast love and faithfulness that are the favorite-ly displayed attributes of his covenant God). A promise (end of Genesis 47:30) isn’t good enough; he demands a swearing (Genesis 47:31a) and concludes the whole with solemn worship (verse 31b).

What is Jacob so serious about? His body. God had kept His promise to go down with Jacob to Egypt (Genesis 46:4a), and God would keep His promise to surely bring him up again (verse 46:4b). God had promised that Joseph would be there at his death (verse 46:4c), which meant both that Joseph’s presence had freed Jacob to go (cf. Genesis 46:30) and that when the time came, it was Joseph whom he personally called apart from the rest of his sons to make this promise (Genesis 47:29), even though he would later charge them all about his burial (cf. Genesis 49:29–33).

Notice that Jacob prospectively refers to his corpse as “me” in Genesis 47:29 (“do not bury me” in Egypt) and Genesis 47:30a (“let me lie with my fathers) and verse 30b (“carry me out of Egypt”) and verse 30c (“bury me in their burial place”). It was Jacob who would be buried. It was Jacob who would lie down (and it was his fathers with whom he would lie!). It was Jacob who would be carried out of Egypt.

Jesus also makes much of this point when rebuking the Sadducees for their failure to believe in the resurrection (cf. Mark 12:26–27). At the bush with Moses, God would identify Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and, He is not God of the dead but of the living. God was still their God, body and soul, and that meant that those bodies lying in that cave of Machpelah were not done yet: they would rise again and were to be treated as still especially set apart to God.

Jacob knew this about his body, which was soon to be dead. And would one day be resurrected. And it mattered to him not only that it would be treated rightly (buried), but that in the intervening time until the resurrection that he would lie with his fathers. And on the day of resurrection, he will come up with Abraham and Isaac, in a glorious body that has been conformed unto Christ’s (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:35–58).

Dear believer, what would Jesus say your thoughts about your forthcoming corpse reveal about your priorities for it?

To whom is your body currently set apart? To whom will it be set apart when you die? What would you like done with it? Where would you like that done? With whom would you like to lie down until the resurrection?

Suggested songs: ARP116AB “How Fervently I Love the LORD” or TPH116A “I Love the LORD, for He Has Heard My Voice”