September 30, 2018
Before We Worship
This week’s call to worship brings us to Psalm 150. And with it, we have finally reached the end of the Psalter. Many weeks ago we began with Psalm 1, with the words, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” In many was, all the psalms that follow have put these words to the test.
Throughout the Psalms we have seen the wicked who have conformed to the world in progressive worsening ways, who “walks in the counsel of the wicked (accepts the world’s advice)…stands in the way of sinners (being party to world’s ways)…sits in the seat of scoffers (adopting the most fatal attitude of sinners, removing them far from repentance)”. Yet, in so many ways, things seemed to go well with them. They are the powerful and the wealthy ones who oppress God’s people throughout the Psalms. They enjoy the good things of life and live a long, trouble-free life. Even their death seems painless.
On the other hand, it was often so inexplicable why those who “delight in the law of the LORD”, who were supposed to be fruitful and prosper, suffered so much. They would cry out to God for help in their need. Sometimes God would deliver. At other times he would not. Sometimes we heard praises of thanks. At other times we saw the saints desperately holding on to hope, because hope (and that often weak and fading) was all they had. Thus the entire book of Psalms tests our hearts, and forces us to examine our notion of blessing. What, after all, does it mean to be blessed?
As we have wrestled with these important questions, the book of Psalms has gradually shaped our hearts. We now understand what it means to be blessed. It is not necessarily to live a trouble-free life. Rather, it means living in such a way that God’s glory and goodness are displayed in our weakness. It means to be brought to the place where we praise the LORD with all sincerity, to acknowledge that he is truly good. Praise to God is the fruit we bear. And true blessing is to rest and delight in God.
So we end with Psalm 150. “Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!” This psalm is all the more beautiful for following all the difficult and the inexplicable reality of suffering and tears. For they are not the naive words of someone who does not know the harsh realities of life. Rather, they are the words of one who has conquered in the LORD, who has tested and seen the goodness of his God. He sees, indeed, that while life made him often feel withered and barren, the LORD was with him always. And now the winter is past. The leaves are coming back. Flowers bloom with their beautiful fragrance. And his fruitfulness lasts for eternity. Praise the LORD!
Call to Worship
‡ Psalm 150 (Trinity Hymnal p. 841)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #295 “Crown Him with Many Crowns”
‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
Exodus 20:8–11 (p. 61)
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 38
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.” (Psalms 103:15–18 ESV)
9 “Thy Will Be Done”
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Luke 15:1–10 (p. 874)
Midway This Way of Life We’re Bound Upon
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 #466 “I Sought the Lord, and Afterward I Knew”
Family Devotion for the Week
The September 23, 2018 sermon, Acts 1:8. “Permission to Share the Gospel” is available on our church website. You can also catch up on older sermons from our Sermon page and subscribe to sermon podcast here.
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 38.
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.
Join us for “12 for 18” as we read 12 great books in the year 2018. For September we are reading John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” For October we are reading Robert Godfrey’s “Learning to Love the Psalms.” Please let Janny Ligtenberg know if you would like to order a copy of the book.
TODAY: Please join us as we discuss John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress.”
TODAY: The children’s catechism lesson (Qs. 114–117) will meet.
October 7 (Lord’s Day): The children’s catechism lesson and the adult Shorter Catechism lesson will meet after the worship service.
October 14 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for the monthly fellowship potluck meal.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
September 30: Liza Beede
October 7: Liza Beede