A Thankful Heart is a Regenerate Heart – CRC Sunday Sermon

December 1, 2019
(links to sermon and hymns are in blue font)

Pastoral Reading
Matthew 1:18-25
First Advent: Expectation and Hope
 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed[b] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Opening Hymn
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (Trinity Hymn #196)

Prayer
Focus this week: Mack

Congregational Hymns
Joy to the World (Trinity Hymn #195)
Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates (Trinity Hymn #198)

Offering Hymn
Glorious Light (HMA #36)

Scripture Reading
Psalm 118
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let Israel say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.”
3 Let the house of Aaron say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.”
4 Let those who fear the Lord say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.”
5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
    the Lord answered me and set me free.
6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
    What can man do to me?
7 The Lord is on my side as my helper;
    I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.
10 All nations surrounded me;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
12 They surrounded me like bees;
    they went out like a fire among thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,
    but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation
    are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,
16     the right hand of the Lord exalts,
    the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”
17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
    and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has disciplined me severely,
    but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
    that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
    the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
    and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
    it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!
    O Lord, we pray, give us success!
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
    We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
    and he has made his light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
    up to the horns of the altar!
28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!

The Lord’s Table
Christ Our Righteousness

Preaching the Word
A Thankful Heart is a Regenerate Heart (Romans 1)
YouTube link

Closing Hymn
Give Praise to God, CRC Hymnal #1

Signs of the Dark Kingdom

I have often, as you have guessed if you have read many articles on this blog, thought that abuse is demonic to one extent or another, varying most likely from case to case.  Thinking about this brought to mind the following Scripture.  Let’s read it and then see what characteristics we can find here that point to the kingdom of darkness being involved:

Mark 5:1-9, They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. (2) And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. (3) He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, (4) for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. (5) Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. (6) And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. (7) And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” (8) For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” (9) And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.”

Luke adds –

Luke 8:26-29, “Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. (27) When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. (28) When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” (29) For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.)”

Ok, let’s see what we can derive from this account (other than the fact that this, as you may know, was the origin of deviled ham.  Really!  My old Sunday School teacher told me so.  The pigs, you know).   What are the evidences here of the devil being involved –

Continue reading “Signs of the Dark Kingdom”

It’s All of Grace – CRC Sunday Sermon

November 24, 2019
(links to hymns and sermon are in blue font)

Pastoral Reading
Psalm 16 
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
    in whom is all my delight.
4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
    or take their names on my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
    in the night also my heart instructs me
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
    my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
    or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Opening Hymn
Give Praise to God (CRC #1)

Prayer
Focus this week:  Rite

Congregational Hymns

Continue reading “It’s All of Grace – CRC Sunday Sermon”