MVOPC 31 August 2014
Call to Worship: Psalm 96:1-3
Opening Hymn: 38 “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”
Confession of Sin
Most holy and merciful Father; We acknowledge and confess before You; Our sinful nature prone to evil and slothful in good; And all our shortcomings and offenses. You alone know how often we have sinned; In wandering from Your ways; In wasting Your gifts; In forgetting Your love. But You, O Lord, have pity upon us; Who are ashamed and sorry for all wherein we have displeased You. Teach us to hate our errors; Cleanse us from our secret faults; And forgive our sins for the sake of Your dear Son. And O most holy and loving Father; Help us we beseech You; To live in Your light and walk in Your ways; According to the commandments of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: Romans 8:1-4
Old Covenant Reading: Proverbs 11:1-9
New Covenant Reading: Romans 4:1-25
Hymn of Preparation: 162 “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”
Sermon Text: Leviticus 26:14-46
Sermon: Rebellion and Judgment
Hymn of Response: 167 “When Morning Gilds the Skies”
Confession of Faith: Apostles Creed (p. 845)
Doxology (Hymn 732)
Closing Hymn: 562 “All to Jesus I Surrender”
PM Worship: 1 Samuel 30:1-31 – Disaster Averted
Adult Sunday School: Understanding the Book of Revelation
CATECHISM Q/A FOR THE WEEK: Shorter Catechism # 62
Q. 62.What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments, his challenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his blessing the sabbath day.
Monday (8/25) Read and discuss Leviticus 26:14-46. John Currid writes:
On account of the sin of Adam and the continuing depravity of every human being, all humanity stands in a broken covenant relationship with God. Every human being is deserving of God’s wrath, which is given some detail in the passage before us. None of us can stand before God and say that we are righteous and that we have kept the covenant. We are by nature children of wrath. But thanks be to God, who has taken away the wrath from coming on his people! As the apostle Paul so eloquently states, ‘Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us – for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” – in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith’ (Gal. 3:13-14). In other words, the way that God’s people receive the many blessings of the covenant is by being in Christ. It is his work, indeed his death, on the cross that has taken away the curse and brought blessing to the people of God. Apart from him, nothing but curse awaits. Will you turn to him this very day?
Read or sing Hymn: 38 “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” Prayer: Please lift up the President of the United States, and other world leaders, as they try to grapple with the best way to respond to the wicked behavior of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq.
Tuesday (8/26) Read and discuss Read Leviticus 26:1-13. In today’s passage, the LORD promises a rather comprehensive series of blessings to Israel if they will trust Him and walk in His ways. This means that it is critical for us to understand what faith and faithfulness actually look like lest we miss out on these blessings. The marks of faith and faithfulness are unfolded for us in verses 1 and 2. Negatively, the people are not to make idols or images that they bow down to. Positively, they are to reverence the LORD’s Sabbaths and His Sanctuary. The critical thing for us to see is that these commands are not so much about being good they are about being His. They are about trusting God alone with an undivided heart. This is what Jesus means in the New Testament when He says: “Blessed are the pure in heart.” To be pure in heart means to not be divided in ultimate loyalties between God and other lesser things. To reverence the Sabbath means that we trust the LORD to be a good father who will provide for all our needs so that we don’t have to endlessly be striving on the treadmill of life. It has been wisely said that: “Even if you win the rat-race you are still a rat.” So what’s the point? Who aspires to simply be the #1 rat? The LORD calls us to something better. He wants us to learn to trust Him and to rest in His provision. Finally, delighting in the sanctuary means that we are seeking to know God rather than use Him for our own agendas. To reverence His sanctuary is to say with David in Psalm 27:
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. 3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. 4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.
This is a prayer that the LORD answers. This is a prayer that should be regularly on our lips and a desire that should regularly be in our hearts. Prayer: Please pray for the special meeting of Presbytery which is being held this afternoon at Second Parish in Portland, Maine.
Wednesday (8/27) Read and discuss Proverbs 11:1-9. Anthony Selvaggio writes:
Throughout the mid-to-late 1990s, Enron Corporation was an apparent paragon of business excellence. Once a simple and stodgy natural-gas company, Enron had transformed itself into a high-tech powerhouse engaging in such trendy businesses as Internet bandwidth and electronic energy trading. As a result of this stunning transformation, Enron’s stock price soared, and the company soon became a darling of Wall Street.
Just one problem, Enron’s riches were built on a foundation of deceit. Essentially, the company’s top executives had begun keeping two sets of books. Through a variety of “creative” accounting strategies, they were able to defraud Enron’s workers, customers, and investors by making the company appear vastly more profitable than it really was. When the fraud was finally revealed it resulted in one of the largest bankruptcies in American history. Thousands of people lost their jobs and their life savings. How ironic that Enron’s corporate logo was a crooked “E,” for it was the crookedness of upper management that ultimately led to the company’s collapse. Due to a lack of business ethics, Enron had imploded.
One might say that the book of Proverbs effectively predicted the collapse of Enron. “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out. He who winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin” (Proverbs 10:9-10). This describes well what happened at Enron. The company’s top leadership walked a crooked path and were found out. … Enron had built its house upon the sand, and great was its fall. The executives were eventually divested of their ill-gotten wealth and convicted of criminal offenses – chattering fools, come to ruin.
One final thought: It is vital that we remember to use Proverbs 11 to instruct us and not as a measuring rod to evaluate others. These truths were written down for our instruction. Read or sing Hymn 162 “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” Prayer: Ask the LORD to cause you to engage in all your business affairs with transparent integrity.
Thursday (8/28) Read and discuss Romans 4:1-25. R.C. Sproul writes:
Abraham was one hundred years old, and his wife was barren, but God said that Sarah would have a child. Eliezer of Damascus would not be Abraham’s heir; one from Abraham’s loins would be his heir (see Gen. 15:2). Abraham looked at himself and his wife and saw a hopeless situation. “How can I possibly believe that promise?”Then he looked at the One who made the promise and realized instantly that there was nothing hopeless about it. The only thing hopeless was the idea that the promise would not come to pass, because it is impossible for God to lie. It is impossible for God to break a promise.
In our sin, we project onto the character of God our own character. We break promises, and we live in the midst of people who break promises routinely. Therefore, we question how, since we are so accustomed to broken promises, we can trust this One who promises us things against all earthly evidence. How could Mary believe the announcement of the angel Gabriel, who told her that she would bring forth a child? She asked, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” Gabriel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God”. The angel was not talking about the power of men here. He was talking about the author of the universe. With Him all things in this world are possible, and Mary said, “Let it be to me according to your word.”
Satan has never performed a miracle in his life. He does not have the power to perform miracles. All his attempts at miracles are counterfeits because he does not have the power that God alone possesses. The one whom Abraham believed is the God who can create ex nihilo, who can bring something out of nothing, who can bring life out of death. Satan could have gone to the tomb of Lazarus and cried, “Come forth” until he lost his voice, but not a grain of life would have stirred in that corpse because Satan does not have the power to bring life out of death. Satan could speak into the void and with all his energy say, “Let there be light,” but not a candle-watt of light would appear. He cannot bring something out of nothing.
These words make it clear that the key to a growing and vibrant faith is to focus on the One in whom our faith is rightly placed. To know Him is to trust Him. Read or Sing Hymn: 167 “When Morning Gilds the Skies” Prayer: Please pray for our missionary work in the troubled country of Haiti.
Friday (8/29) Read and discuss 1 Samuel 30:1-31. Dale Ralph Davies writes:
Because hordes of Amalekites are not on our list of most feared phenomena we are apt to consider David’s victory a minor episode. The text, however, will not allow us to do this, for it stresses that David’s victory is central and complete. … We must … deal with the way verses 18-22 emphatically insist on David’s total recovery of all that had been lost: David delivered all Amalek had taken, including his two wives, nothing was missing, whether young or old, sons or daughters, plunder – whatever. In case we missed the point, the writer summarizes: “David recovered all” (v. 19b, emphasis in Hebrew; our colloquialism, ‘the whole shooting match,’ catches the idea). The writer pounds the point home in order to highlight the fidelity of Yahweh to his previous word, “You will certainly deliver” (v. 8). And he did – fully and totally (vv. 18-19).
Yet David himself catches the importance of the victory in a single line, his greeting to the various elders of Judah “Here’s a gift for you from the plunder of Yahweh’s enemies” (v. 26). We are prone to regard the Amalekites as only Israel’s enemies. … But because they are Israel’s enemies they are Yahweh’s enemies; and because they have mangled his flock they must deal with it Shepherd. We do not merely have an ancient altercation here between Israel and Amalek. Rather this conflict is symptomatic of the greater war. There are Yahweh’s people and there are Yahweh’s enemies; there are two kingdoms, the kingdom of Yahweh and the kingdom of this world; there are two humanities, the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. And here in 1 Samuel 30 Yahweh’s enemies have been trounced! This victory then is not an episode but a promise, a scale-model scenario of how it will be when Yahweh makes the Davidic Messiah’s enemies his footstool (Ps. 110:1).
Prayer: Give thanks that Christ’s absolute victory over His enemies has already been accomplished and will one day be fully visible for everyone to see.
Saturday (8/30) Read and discuss Leviticus 26:14-46. Philip Eveson writes:
The prophets were not only biblical in presenting the curses to the people, they were also biblical in presenting a message of hope to a humbled and subdued people. A future is held out to them after the final curse of total defeat and exile. Just as the LORD remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and acted to deliver Israel from the Egyptian bondage, so he promises to act again (26:42, 45). AS there are conditions that relate to the series of blessings and curses, so a condition is set at the commencement of this passage of hope. They are urged to confess the sinfulness of their own treacherous disloyalty and that of their ancestors in living so contrary to God’s standards, to acknowledge that God has rightly punished them by removing them to the land of their enemies and to turn to God in humbleness of heart. If they show these marks.
Read or Sing Hymn 562 “All to Jesus I Surrender” Prayer: Please lift up tomorrow’s morning and evening worship services.