As we come to yet another Lord’s Day where we must practice a social distancing from each other in an effort to obey the fifth and sixth commandments, to promote good health and physical blessings, and while we wish we could to gather as a church family for corporate worship, we have an opportunity to strengthen our private and family devotional practices. Yes, we wait and pray and trust God that He will bring that day to us very soon, yet, in the meantime, don’t miss out on how God has blessings and lessons for us here.
I also have attached the liturgy as a word document if you want to download it and/or print it out.
Here are the Bible and Catechism Readings for this Week:
Sun April 19 Judges 18-19; Luke 24:1-35 WCF 9.3
Mon April 20 Judges 20-21; Luke 24:36-51 WCF 9.4
Tues April 21 Ruth 1-2; John 1:1-28 WCF 9.5
Wed April 22 Ruth 3-4; John 1:29-51 WLC 57
Thur April 23 1 Sam 1-2; John 2 WLC 58; WSC 29
Fri April 24 1 Sam 3-4; John 3:1-21 WLC 59; WSC 30
Sat April 25 1 Sam 5-6; John 3:22-36 WCF 10.1
I have uploaded a devotional message from Colossians 3:1-4. You are most welcomed to watch it on either YouTube or Facebook.
Remember, you are free to also use other resources in your devotions today and throughout the week! Here are some suggestions:
Ligonier If you have never watched R.C. Sproul’s lectures on God’s holiness, I highly recommend that. 6 Lessons, but these launched his career.
Also, here is a devotional on their website that I think is very helpful, although it is only audio Public Worship IS Christian Discipleship
Sermon Audio has literally thousands of sermons from just about any passage of the Scriptures you want to study. It can be overwhelming, so here is a particular sermon I think you will enjoy from one of my professors, Dr. Ed Clowney (who is now in glory). It is a sermon on Philippians 1:12-21, When Life Means Christ
Here is the suggested liturgy for today:
Call to Family Worship
Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Prayer of Invocation
We give praise to You for You are great and Your mercies are ever new. Compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and truth, keeping lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin. We are glad that You did forsake us but in love You gave Your only begotten Son that we who believe in Him might not perish. Truly we love You because You have first loved us. O great and holy God, show us glory, and let us taste and see that You are good. We praise Your unfailing love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
Sing the Gloria Patri
Reading of God’s Law
Galatians 3:13-24, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Meditation on the Law:
God redeemed us that we might obey Him. His Law is summarized as loving God and loving others. If we are saved, if we have the Spirit of God, then we must reflect that love He showed us by loving God and loving others.
Confession of Sin
O Merciful God, forgive the many sins that we have committed as we have not only transgressed Your holy Law, but we have failed to live up to all You have called us to. We know that Your are gracious and abounding in loving-kindness, and therefore we look unto You in hope and faith, believing Jesus’ blood is sufficient to cleans all our sins and remove all our guilt. Turn us away from wickedness and shed Your grace in our hearts that we might sing of Your salvation. Fill us with Your most Holy Spirit that we would then be enabled to give ourselves to You as living sacrifices, and enter deeply and joyfully into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings and share in His resurrected life. Amen.
Word of Comfort
The Good News of Jesus Christ is that our God does not retain His anger forever, and because He delights in unchanging love. Micah 7:9 declares to all those whose trust is in Christ for salvation: “He will again have compassion on you; He will tread your iniquities under foot. Yes, He will cast all your sins into the depths of the sea.” Amen.
Prayer of Supplication
Proverbs 15:8, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.”
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we do give You most humble and hearty thanks for all Your goodness and loving-kindness to us. Truly, it is a joy and blessing to know Your deep and great and strong love. No one else can love us as You do. We also come to You today knowing that our prayers are a delight to You and that You hear our prayers wherever and whenever we cry out to You. We trust in Your goodness and wisdom, believeing that ] You will bless us with what is best for our souls and what will advance the cause of Your kingdom and the glory of Your Name. Therefore, O God, receive our prayers.
We pray for all the magistrates in this country. You have given them to us that we might have an ordered and regulated society, where the evils of the Fall are restrained, and business can take place in peace and safety. Protect and aid these people in the exercise of their duties. Bless those that serve well, for in serving their constituents, they are serving You. We pray that You would give our rulers and leaders wisdom to govern and guide this land in the way it should go. May they be granted wisdom as they face great and hard decisions concerning the economy and the health issues surrounding this virus. Have mercy, O God, and cause this virus to be arrested and destroyed soon. Protect doctors, nurses, and other health care givers from the virus so that they can be a comfort to their patients. And through this time, we pray that You would use it for good to bring all men to an understanding of their mortality and the judgement to come. May we all come to see how frail and uncertain our life is so that we may have a heart of wisdom that leads to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
May the gospel go forth with great power through the mouths of all Your people as we point to what is our one, true, and living hope in Christ. To that end, O Lord, we pray that doors would be opened wide for the preaching of the gospel in all places. Please, bless our brethren in every land. Strengthen and sustain them through every danger they face and cause all Your people to grow in grace. We humbly ask You, also, that this shutdown of life would cause Your people to become more and more devoted to You through the Church. May lazy spirits and halfhearted, careless attitudes be brought into submission to Christ that we all would seek You and Your kingdom above everything else in life. May we grow out of our apathy and grow in our loving fervor to serve You all the more since the days we are in are evil. Grant a mighty revival, O Lord.
We also ask that You teach us greater humility and patience, and reveal to us many things about ourselves. Indeed, we pray as did David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” Tear down the idols which we have erected in our hearts and may Your truth pierce us deeply as it should. Build us up in faith, hope, and holiness, that we may be Your witnesses on earth and may our lives be a testimony of Your love. We build up idols because we don’t trust that You are sufficient for our needs. We quickly turn to created things to fill in the hole in our heart that was meant for You. In these days, teach us to see that You, the infinite and eternal God, are more than enough, to satisfy our souls! Help the families in our church to show forth the power of Your grace and to love with humble and sincere hearts. Help our single members to know the peace and joy that comes from knowing Christ and being more fully devoted to Him.
O Lord, as we pray for our congregation, so we pray for all the churches of our presbytery. Father, please bless the congregation in Bonita and use Pastor Puglia to bring Your word and the comfort of Your grace to bear upon the hearts of Your people. Bless our missionaries and mission works. We pray that none would fail during these difficult economic times. Please grant them health, physically and prosper their spirits. Grant Your power to David Robbins as He ministers among the Karamajong in Uganda. Bless his work, and draw in a great number of people as he preaches the gospel. Also bless James Folkerts as he and his wife Esther also labors alongside the Robbins. And hear us as we pray the words our Savior taught us, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Reading of God’s Word:
Colossians 3:1-4, “Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”