Hymn of the Day
(tune: "How Firm a Foundation"p.268)
A refuge for sinners the gospel makes known,
'Tis found in the merits of Jesus alone;
The weary the tempted, the burdened by sin,
Are never exempted from entering in.
This refuge for sinners His love did ordain,
In Jesus the Lamb from eternity slain;
And if God the Spirit reveals this to you,
Take refuge in Jesus though hell should pursue.
Should conscience accuse us, as often it may,
The blood of our savior has put sin away;
In Jesus, the Savior, the sinner can view,
A city of refuge and righteousness too!
Hallelujah, What a Savior – 127
Nothing But the Blood of Jesus – 212
Amazing Grace – 236
Asher Vlastuin – 18
Katelyn Sandbulte – 19
Aiden Koedam - 19
Bonnie Terrell – 19
Jason and Kari Vlastuin - 19
Olivia Koedam – 20
Diane Scholten - 21
Our sins can never come into God's presence, inasmuch as Christ, who bore them all and put them away is there instead. But if we sin, conscience will feel it, must feel it. Even the Holy Spirit will make us feel it. He will not allow so much as a single light thought to pass unjudged. What then? Has our sin made its way into the presence of God? No, the Advocate is there, "Jesus Christ the Righteous," to maintain an unbroken integrity and relationship in which we stand. Though sin cannot affect God's thoughts in reference to us, it can and does affect our thoughts in reference to Him. what are we to do? "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." By confession, we get our conscience cleared and the sweet sense of fellowship restored. The black cloud is dispersed and removed, and our thoughts of God set straight. This is the Divine method! -Scott Richardson
You are come ...to the church of the Firstborn,
whose names are written in heaven.
We delight to see churches grow and are grieved when they diminish. Visitors are always a delight, and we are overjoyed when God is pleased in His grace to save those He brings here. Conversely, we are saddened when our numbers decrease for whatever reason. But, let this truth moderate all our emotions regarding numbers: the membership of local assemblies may go up and down, but the church of the Lord Jesus Christ has known neither growth nor diminishing from eternity when all its members were chosen and given to Christ.
Our Lord said that of all that the Father had given to Him, He had lost none. It is our privilege to be a part of that church if we are in Christ. The roll of that church was written in eternity and shall never change.
What a pastor she has! "The LORD is my Shepherd" In the Greek NT, pastor and Shepherd are the same word.
What a membership she has! "…from every kindred, tribe, tongue, and nation."
What fellowship she has! "our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ."
What worship services she enjoys! "Let us come boldly to the throne of grace," "we have boldness to enter into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus."
Beloved, let us always rejoice in this. We may hope for a larger congregation here (and I do) but I rejoice to be a part of a congregation whose membership is beyond numbering and whose blessings are beyond telling. -Joe
Reading Someone Else’s Mail
Two women receive their mail in the same mailbox. One of them excitedly says to the other, “I received today in the mail the best letter I ever received! Let me read it to you. ‘My Dearest, I love only you, and I love you with all my heart. I will soon come to you. I will then take you to the new home I have prepared for us. We will there live happily forever. [Signed] Your beloved.’” She then exclaims, “This letter has made me happier than I have ever been!”
Her friend asks, “From whom is the letter?”
She replies, “I do not know. He did not put his signature below the letter.”
Her friend says, “Let me see the envelope in which the letter came.”
She hands the envelope to her friend, who examines it and then says to her: “This envelope is from my husband. It is addressed to me – not you. It is me whom he loves – not you. It is me for whom he is coming – not you. It is me who will live happily forever with him in his house – not you. You were reading someone else’s mail!”
So it is with many unbelievers who read God’s Word. They read expressions like “I have loved you with an eternal love” (Jeremiah 31:3). They read His promises to come for His people and take them to the home He prepared for them, where they will live happily forever with Him (John 14:1-3). They appropriate to themselves all this good news. But they fail to realize that God wrote all these words to His people alone. Being unbelievers, they are reading someone else’s mail! -Daniel Parks