February 25, 2018
Before We Worship
It is always a good idea to read the Bible slowly. Turning the pages quickly should not be our aim. Rather, our aim should be to read the Bible in such a way that the words have time to sink into our hearts and our souls. This is especially true of Psalm 119, where the seeming repetition of the theme tempts us to quickly scan the words. If we were to take the time to think over the words, we will notice a few striking things in Ps 119:89–112.
First, God’s word is eternal. 119:89 says, “Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.” The immediate aim of this verse is to teach us the utter reliability of God’s character, for the very next verse tells us, “Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.” God’s faithfulness is unchanging. Even though ages and millennia may come and go, his faithfulness does not change. We are able, therefore, to have utmost confidence in God’s promises. In addition, there lies beyond this immediate implication a larger reality. God’s word endures. After all, how many things actually last? Cultures, nations, and kingdoms will pass away. There are ultimately only three things that last: God, God’s word, and people’s souls. To the extent our lives are not serving these things that will endure, we live futile lives.
Second, note the role God’s word plays in our affliction. “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction” (v. 92). “I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word!” (v. 107) God’s word relieves the pain of suffering people. It does that, in part, by showing us God’s transcendent greatness. Once we gain a glimpse of God’s greatness, then our troubles, no matter how big they may have seemed, will be seen in their proper proportions. Our troubles seem overwhelming when God is too small in our hearts. Scripture fixes that for us.
Third, the word is “caught” more than it is “taught.” “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. (vss. 99, 100)” Here the psalmist has grown deeper in the understanding of God’s word than his teachers and the aged, because we grow in understanding through obedience. God rewards those who obey his word with a deeper understanding. As for those who study the word without obedience, their knowledge will seem deep, but only to themselves. There is nothing deep underneath the shallow veneer of trite phrases, loud posturing, and loquacious babbling. They may fool themselves and the shallow. But God is not fooled.
Read slowly. Read deeply. Let these words sink in. Obey what you have learned. And see how this psalm leads us to our Savior. Jesus visited the temple as a 12 year old and surprised the learned and aged with the depth of his understanding. Surely it is because of vss. 99–100. “I have more understanding than all my teachers…I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.” Jesus obeyed. Shouldn’t you?
Call to Worship
Psalm 119:33–56 (reading responsively from TH p. 829)
Trinity Hymnal #148 “How Shall the Young Direct Their Way”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
1 Timothy 4:11–12 (p. 992)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16)
Trinity Hymnal #507 “Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat”
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 9
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Galatians 4:21–31 (p. 974)
Mothers and Sons
Rev. Ken Han
The Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper
We participate in the Lord’s Supper weekly. We welcome to the Lord’s Table all baptized believers who have sincere faith in Jesus Christ, and regularly worship in a Reformed or evangelical church.
The Lord’s Supper is a sign and a seal of the new covenant blessings. When we participate in the Lord’s Supper with faith, it strengthens our bond with our covenant Lord, Jesus Christ. Thus we participate properly when we come to our Savior with faith and repentance as we renew our resolve to forsake sin and live for his glory.
The Lord’s Supper also renews our bonds with God’s covenant community, the body of believers in the local church. As we receive the Lord’s Supper, we renew our pledge to give ourselves away in loving service.
During the distribution of the bread we will sing Trinity Hymnal #647 “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #520 “Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 34.
We have some new resources for you at the information table, including several new CCEF mini books, as well as other edifying books. Be sure to check them out!
Upcoming Events and Notices
Every Lord’s Day 10:15 AM: Please join us for Hymnsing, a time of preparing our hearts for worship in praise, and for learning new hymns for worship.
The Catechism lessons for children and adult will resume on January 21, 2018.
Join us for “12 for 18” as we read 12 great books in the year 2018. For March we are reading “Liturgy of the Ordinary” by Tish Harrison Warren. Please let Janny Ligtenberg know if you would like to order a copy of the book.
February 25 (Lord’s Day): The children’s catechism lesson (Qs. 80–81).
February 25 (Lord’s Day): Join us as we discuss 12 for 18: February book, R. C. Sproul’s “The Holiness of God.”
March 25 (Lord’s Day): The Session requests all communicant members to attend our annual congregational meeting for the purpose of adopting a new budget for the fiscal year 2018–19.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
February 25: Michelle Kay
March 4: Yoori Han