Saturday, December 02, 2023

Walking with God [2023.12.02 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald]

Hopewell Herald – December 2, 2023

Dear Congregation,

In last week’s Sabbath School class, we considered “Occasional Biblical Meditation.” The Bible teaches us to take occasions from God’s providence to meditate upon Scripture that is illustrated by that providence, or applies to that providence.

Christ and His gospel are the main message of the Bible. Biblical meditation that takes proper advantage of these occasions will dwell largely upon Him.

In my own spiritual life, it was having children that especially taught me to do this. Even carrying around a days-old infant, the daddy who had charge of her little soul didn’t want to waste a moment that could be improved for Bible instruction—specifically, gospel instruction.

We’d look in the mirror, and I’d tell her about the mirror of God’s Word. How it shows us ourselves rightly and shows us the Lord rightly.

We’d wash our hands, and I’d tell her about the cleansing of our guilt and of our remaining sin… and how washing the heart is even more important than washing the hands.

We’d prepare food, and I’d tell her about the bread of life that God gave from heaven, and also about preparing my Bible reading and thoughts to give her good food at family worship times.

We’d see and feel brilliant sunlight, and I’d tell her about the shining of God’s face upon us to give us light and life.

We’d see a bird and remember how God feeds it but treasures us much more.

We’d look at flowers and talk about how God clothes them, and how soon they would be dead, and how soon we also would be dead.

There wasn’t a moment of the day when there wouldn’t be some ready connection to a Scripture. And, of course, that Scripture would connect to another and then another.

It was a very pleasant way to live. How odd that the Lord decided to use my infant child to teach me this, when a full seminary education hadn’t quite taught me in the same way.

But sometimes the Lord does things this way, doesn’t he? In Genesis 5:21, God describes Enoch’s first 65 years as “Enoch lived.” But in Genesis 5:22, God describes the next 300 years as “Enoch walked with God.” What was the hinge upon which this turned? “He begot Methuselah.”

There is a good description of what it’s like to live life always thinking upon one Scripture or another: “walking with God.” It’s the way that families are supposed to walk together in our external conversation (Deu 6:7). And it’s the way that we are supposed to carry our hearts in our internal conversation before the Lord (Deu 6:6).

Is your life a walking with Him in this way?

Looking forward to our fellowship in the worship by His Word,



Audio lessons to help you prepare for the Lord’s Day:

▪Theology Simply Explained — WSC8, How All Things Happen 
▪Psalm 105, “The Chief End of Redemption
▪Isaiah 30, “Severe Mercy, Subduing Mercy, Superlative Mercy
▪Titus 3:12–15, “Opportunities for Fruit and Fellowship
▪Matthew 5:6, “Hunger: Formed, Fed, & Filled
▪Leviticus 18, “The Difference the Lord Makes

LORD'S DAY – December 3, 2023 

9:50 a.m. Breakfast Line Opens

10 a.m. Sabbath School
Elder Mangum will lead us in considering chapter 5 of the book Battleplan for the Mind—considering deliberate biblical meditation.

11 a.m. Public Worship

Children’s Catechism for December 3
Q69. Why do you need Christ as a prophet? Because I am ignorant.

Shorter Catechism for December 3
Q8. How doth God execute His decrees? God executeth His decrees in the works of creation and providence.
[WSC 8 Simply Explained: “
How All Things Happen”]

Songs for December 3 morning service: 
TPH105C “O Praise the Lord, His Deeds Make Known” [mp3]
ARP40A “I Waited for the LORD” [mp3]
ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” [mp3]

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service
Psalm 105

Scripture Readings and basis for confession of sin and petition for help
Isaiah 30
Titus 3:12–15

Sermon Scripture text and topic

We will be hearing the sermon from Matthew 5:6 on “Filled with Righteousness

Lord’s Supper! (Please see the section at the end of the Worship Booklet on how rightly to prepare for and take it).

1 p.m. Coffee Fellowship and Catechism Class

1:30 p.m. Fellowship Lunch
Memory Verse for November 26, Matthew 5:6, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

3:00 p.m Evening Praise and Preaching
We will be singing at least ten Psalm selections and hearing the sermon from Leviticus 18 on “Holy People, Purified from Perversion

Hopewell this Month

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for December
Lincoln Memorial ARP in Fayetteville, TN

December Psalm of the Month
ARP40A I Waited for the Lord

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