Monday, October 31, 2016

A Prayer for the Church on Reformation Day



I offered this prayer yesterday morning during our worship service- 


Heavenly Father, we come to You praising Your greatness and power.  We worship You as the only true and living God who has reached out to save us to the uttermost through the blood of Your beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  You have sent Your Spirit to make us alive together with Christ and have saved us by Your grace through faith in Jesus so we might be living declarations of Your gracious salvation and the unstoppable power of the gospel.  We thank You for this pause before the beginning of a new week- this day of rest and gladness.  Refresh us with Your Word by sending Your Spirit to give us hunger and thirst for Your righteousness, something we only understand by the revelation of Your Holy Scriptures.

Today we remember the Reformation-that blessed epoch in the history of Your Church when You prompted a revival. You revived a hunger for Your Word. You restored a conviction about the preservation of Your glory alone. You revived conviction about sin. You raised up and equipped people with an incredible bravery to stand against idolatry, institutional corruption, and spiritual deception.  You unleashed the power of Your Word.  You freed Your church from the slavery of darkness, ignorance, and delusion.  With Luther’s hammer falling on the nails that held the 95 theses to the castle door at Wittenburg, a new era had dawned. The Light of Your Word began to shine again. Darkness was exposed, and demons scattered.  Hearts were unchained. Lives were transformed and a movement that could not be stopped had begun.  We are truly thankful for Your work of Reformation through men like Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, and Zwingli. For Calvin and Knox. The French Huguenots, the English Puritans, The Dutch Calvinists, The German Lutherans, and the Swiss Reformed Church.  We praise You for the legacy of doctrinal clarity left by the great creeds and confessions of the Reformation. For the Augsburg, Belgic, and Westminster Confessions. For the Canons of Dort and the Heidelberg Catechism.  Lord, grant that we would never take for granted the importance of right doctrine as it relates to the health and mission of Your Church.  At the same time, as we celebrate a resurgence in the care for biblical clarity, also grant to us a deepened love for You that translates to a loving graciousness toward our neighbors.  In our zeal for right doctrine and biblical clarity, please make us to be gracious, loving, patient, kind, and humble with all.  

Lord, we live in country about to elect a new president as well as other leaders.  Give Your people wisdom and conviction about how they cast their votes in just over a week’s time.  Give Your people a calm sobriety about the outcome- showing Your Church to be a people resting in Your sovereign rule no matter what earthly rulers are on the throne.  At the same time, we ask for a revival in the churches of this land.  Indeed, we pray for a modern reformation. I pray that where the Word of God has been disbelieved or abandoned, that You would bring revival or impose silence.  Allow no person who has been called a pastor to mislead Your people or bring dishonor to Your name by denying Your Word and the one true Gospel.  I pray that You would bring a sweeping conviction and belief about Your Holy Word’s authority and sufficiency.  Make pastors faithful to preach Your Gospel and congregations hungry to feed upon Your Word.  More than good presidents, governors, legislators, and judges- this country needs good and faithful churches.  Please grant revival, reformation, and spiritual vitality to all those places that call upon the name of Jesus so the declaration of the gospel of Your salvation through faith in Christ alone would ring forth everywhere.  

We pray for the Church the world over. Please send Your protective grace to our persecuted brothers and sisters in Syria, Iraq, North Korea, China, Sudan, Yemen, and many countries were Islam dominates. Even this month we learned of a pastor in the Philippines who was murdered by two Muslim crusaders. During this day your people are suffering the world over for the sake of Jesus. They are not arguing over whether Your Word is true, they are dying for it. They are gathering to worship in secret at risk of their safety and life.  Prompt us regularly to pray for our suffering brothers and sisters and give us ways to send help whenever and however we can. In light of the difficult reality for so many of Your people, make us all the more thankful and ready for the ministry of Your Word. 

Please bless the preaching of the Word this morning.  Give our guest preacher clarity of mind, accuracy with the text, and boldness with the message so that Your people may be fed and strengthened.  


Lord God, our heavenly Father, You are so good to us and we thank You. May Jesus Christ be honored through the transformed lives of Your people.  I pray this in the name of Christ, Amen. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

If God is turned against a nation...


It was 1755 when Samuel Davies preached this sermon in Virginia while it was still part of Great Britain.. 

Notice the contemporary relevance. 

And if God is turned against a nation, if he is resolved to punish them, how helpless is their condition! Who can defend them—if the Ruler of the universe is their enemy? Now, it is guilt alone, which can incur his displeasure—it is guilt alone, which can remove a nation from off its only sure basis—the protection of God. Guilt, therefore, is poison in the veins of a nation, and will cast it into dreadful convulsions, if not remedied in time by a speedy repentance.

And, if this is the case, how may we tremble for our country, and fear the divine displeasure? We have enjoyed a long, uninterrupted peace in this land. We have not been alarmed with the sound of the war trumpet, nor seen garments rolled in blood. But what a wretched improvement have we made of this, and many other inestimable blessings? What a torrent of vice, irreligion, and luxury has broken in, and overwhelmed the land? What ignorance of God and divine things; what carelessness about the concerns of religion and a future state? What a neglect of Christ and his precious gospel—has spread, like a subtle poison, among all ranks and characters!

How daring are the immoralities of some, their profane oaths, their drunkenness, immorality, and many other monstrous vices under which our land groans? What luxury and extravagance in eating and drinking, and especially in diversions and amusements, (if they deserve so soft a name,) may we see among us, especially among people in high life?

How few are the penitent, affectionate, dutiful servants of God among us! How little is the Ruler of the universe regarded by his own creatures—in his own world! Creatures supported by his constant bounties, and protected by his guardian care. Alas! my friends, what shall I say? Most willingly would I draw a veil over the shame of my country; but, alas! it cannot be hidden! While such glaring crimes are rampant among us; while such a stupid carelessness about the concerns of eternity prevails among us—it is impossible for the most benevolent charity to avoid the discovery.

And may we not fear that the measure of our iniquity is full? May we not fear that the righteous Judge of the earth will visit us for these things? Under the present happy government, we have enjoyed our liberty, our property, and our religion, and everything dear to us; but we have abused them all! And may we not fear that these blessings shall be exchanged for the tyranny of a French government, and the superstitions and cruelties of the church of Rome? I hope and pray that this may not be our doom; but I think it is the part of stupid presumption, and not of rational courage, to be quite fearless about it. We are, indeed, so happy as to be closely connected with our mother country, and under its protection. But, alas! vice and luxury have spread like a deadly contagion, there, as well as here: and Great Britain is worthy of divine vengeance, just as well as ourselves!


Now what shall we do in this dreadful case? Shall we put our trust in our military forces? Alas! what can an arm of flesh do for us, if the Lord Almighty deserts us? Though our army was ever so powerful, how sad would be our case, had we reason to say, like Saul, "The French are upon us—and God is departed from us!" Who can bear the thought?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Carl Trueman coming to Redeemer in November


I always enjoy Reading Dr. Trueman's posts. You will find many of them linked here on my blog.

The church I serve is hosting an evening with Carl Trueman on November 19 at 6pm. See the info on the flyer above.  Dr. Trueman is also preaching at the morning worship services on November 20.