Trust in the Lord, Don’t Lean on Yourself – CRC Sunday Sermon

October 6, 2019
(links to hymns and the sermon are in blue font)

Pastoral Reading
Isaiah 37:14-20

Opening Hymn
All Praise to God, Who Reigns Above (Trinity Hymnal #4)

Focus this week:  Abraham Christensen

Congregational Hymns
Alas and Did my Savior Bleed (HMA #3)
Alas, and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
Was it for sins that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity, grace unknown
And love beyond degree

My God, why would You shed Your blood
So pure and undefiled
To make a sinful one like me
Your chosen, precious child?

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut His glories in
When Christ, the mighty Maker, died
For man, the creature’s, sin
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness
And melt my eyes to tears

Offering Hymn
Blessed Jesus, at Your Word (Trinity Hymnal #303)

Scripture Reading
Proverbs 3

The Lord’s Table
Christ Our Righteousness

Preaching the Word
Proverbs 3:5-6
YouTube link 

Closing Hymn
Day by Day, Trinity Hymnal #676

Abuse Counseling: How Long is “Forbearing”?

Ephesians 4:2 ESV  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

As I read the stories told by Christians, most often women, who have been the victims of abuse, I am dismayed to hear over and over again how their pastors and churches told them that they must give their abuser opportunity to repent, to go to counseling, to try to reform himself, etc.  Many victims are even condemned by their fellow Christians if they want to initiate divorce proceedings.  They are told that they must be patient and forbearing, and verses such as that quoted above are recited to them.

In abuse cases this is nonsense, and it is dangerous.  Furthermore, such counsel most often totally ignores the context of the victim’s relationship with the abuser.  Simply put, typically the victim has been enduring the abuse for years – 20, 30 or more years!  And now she is told that she must “try” being patient, such patience being a mark of real faith and pleasing to God.  I really hope that our readers can quickly see that this is ignorant lunacy.

Continue reading “Abuse Counseling: How Long is “Forbearing”?”

The Joys of the Righteous – CRC Sunday Sermon

September 29, 2019
(links to hymns and the sermon are in blue font)

Pastoral Reading

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice  goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Opening Hymn
Give Praise to God (CRC #1)

Focus this week:  Miriam Christensen

Congregational Hymns
10,000 Reasons Bless the Lord (CRC #82)
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us (CRC #71)

Offering Hymn
The Risen Christ (HMA #117)

Scripture Reading
2 Corinthians 4

Preaching the Word
The Joys of the Righteous – sermon audio link
YouTube link

Closing Hymn
When this Passing World is Done, #545 Trinity Hymnal