Week 16. 2019

Week 16:

 

Weekly Hymn: Hail The Day That Sees Him Rise

 

Heidelberg Catechism–

  • Q39 Does it have a special meaning that Christ was crucified and did not die in a different way? /
Answer: Thereby I am assured that he took upon himself the curse which lay on me, for a crucified one was cursed by God.

 

  • Q40 Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even unto death? /

Answer: Because of the justice and truth of God satisfaction for our sins could be made in no other way than by the death of the Son of God.

   

Bible Reading:

Mon – 4/22 – Matthew 11-13 & Psalm 63

Tue – 4/23 – Matthew 14-16 & Psalm 64

Wed – 4/24 – Matthew 17-19 & Psalm 65

Thurs – 4/25 – Matthew 20-22 & Psalm 66

Fri – 4/26 – Matthew 23-25 & Psalm 67

Sat – 4/27 – Matthew 26-28 & Psalm 68

Sun – 4/21 – Catch Up Day


Week 15, 2019

Week 15:

 

Weekly Hymn: Psalm 24

 

Heidelberg Catechism–

  • Q36 What benefit do you receive from the holy conception and birth of Christ? /
Answer: He is our Mediator, and with his innocence and perfect holiness covers, in the sight of God, my sin, in which I was conceived and born.

 

  • Q37 What do you confess when you say that he suffered? /

Answer: During all the time he lived on earth, but especially at the end, Christ bore in body and soul the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race. Thus, by his suffering, as the only atoning sacrifice, he has redeemed our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtained for us the grace of God, righteousness, and eternal life.

 

  • Q38 Why did he suffer under Pontius Pilate as judge? /

Answer: Though innocent, Christ was condemned by an earthly judge, and so he freed us from the severe judgment of God that was to fall on us.

 

Bible Reading:

Mon – 4/15 – Joshua 16-18 & Psalm 57

Tue – 4/16 – Joshua 19-21 & Psalm 58

Wed – 4/17 – Joshua 22-24 & Psalm 59

Thurs – 4/18 – Matthew 1-4 & Psalm 60

Fri – 4/19 – Matthew 5-7 & Psalm 61

Sat – 4/20 – Matthew 8-10 & Psalm 62

Sun – 4/21 – Catch Up Day



Week 14, 2019

Week 14:

 

Weekly Hymn: Sweet Hour of Prayer

 

Heidelberg Catechism–

  • Q34 Why do you call him our Lord? /
Answer: Because he has ransomed us, body and soul, from all our sins, not with silver or gold but with his precious blood, and has freed us from all the power of the devil to make us his own possession.

 

  • Q35 What do you confess when you say: He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary? /

Answer: The eternal Son of God, who is and remains true and eternal God, took upon himself true human nature from the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary, through the working of the Holy Spirit. Thus he is also the true seed of David, and like his brothers in every respect, yet without sin.

   

Bible Reading:

Mon – 4/8 – James 3-5 & Psalm 51

Tue – 4/9 – Joshua 1-3 & Psalm 52

Wed – 4/10 – Joshua 4-6 & Psalm 53

Thurs – 4/11 – Joshua 7-9 & Psalm 54

Fri – 4/12 – Joshua 10-12 & Psalm 55

Sat – 4/13 – Joshua 13-15 & Psalm 56

Sun – 4/14 – Catch Up Day



Pastor’s Ponderings: April 2019

by John Armstrong
 
Spring is officially here, we are past the Equinox and even though the mornings are still cold, the temperatures are slowly beginning to creep up. This is the time of year when I begin to realize that once again I’m behind on getting my garden beds prepared. This year, I need to do some extensive soil enrichment work to get them ready. I’m late getting started, but, I’m not discouraged because no matter what I do, the final-results are as always in the hands of the Lord. I do need to be faithful to provide good soil (which He created) and water, etc., but He is the one who makes things grow. One of the things I love about gardening, which I’ve mentioned before, is the spiritual aspects of it. When I’m down on my knees pulling weeds, I never fail to see how that relates so readily to my own life. My life has weeds that need to be pulled and thrown away. No matter how diligently I work at clearing them all out, sure enough tomorrow there will be new ones springing up. Not only do you have to contend with the weeds, which I see as representative of sin in our lives, you also have bugs to deal with which I see as temptations and attacks from outside that threaten to ruin and destroy. Primarily, there is the soil, which we often tend to take for granted and I liken that to the spiritual condition of our heart. Spiritual growth is a lot like gardening, there are always challenges, but the benefits of participating in the process of bringing forth fresh fruits and vegetables is worth it to me. Spiritually speaking, we are participating in bringing forth spiritual fruit. So, why am I writing this to you now? I’m wanting to encourage you in your Christian walk and using the metaphor of gardening is a way of doing that which will connect with some of you. I’m currently preaching through Matthew 5 which contains the first parts of the Sermon on the Mount and one of the main themes you find there is all about religion being a matter of the heart. External religion is of no value if it does not originate in and flow from a heart that is right before the Lord. How is your heart? Is it ready for seed? Will it nourish the plant that brings forth the fruit? Is your heart hard? Is it crusted over and drained of nutrients that have been leeched out over the years? Is it hungering and thirsting for Jesus? Does it need to be tilled and fertilized? The answers to these questions are mostly left up to you, but I can say to a couple of them that the answer is yes! We all need our hearts continually tilled and fertilized by the Holy Spirit, we need the great Gardener of our souls to do His mighty work in us day by day. Our hearts need the softening and filling of the Holy Spirit and they need on-going protection of the Lord against sin and temptations. Our growth in grace is the work of the Lord and we are called to be intentional about availing ourselves of His work and living in light of that work. He has redeemed us from our sins, once for all. He has saved us from judgment, condemnation, death, hell, and the grave. Let us pray that the Lord would bear the fruit of the Spirit in our lives as a testimony to His grace and glory and may we be quick to bear testimony with our words as well as our lives that we have a great Savior, Jesus Christ.


Week 13, 2019

Week 13:

 

Weekly Hymn: To God Be the Glory

 

Heidelberg Catechism–

  • Q31 Why is he called Christ, that is, Anointed? /
Answer: Because he has been ordained by God the Father, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, to be our chief Prophet and Teacher, who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; our only High Priest, who by the one sacrifice of his body has redeemed us, and who continually intercedes for us before the Father; and our eternal King, who governs us by his Word and Spirit, and who defends and preserves us in the redemption obtained for us.

 

  • Q32 Why are you called a Christian? /

Answer: Because I am a member of Christ by faith and thus share in his anointing, so that I may as prophet confess his name, as priest present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to him, and as king fight with a free and good conscience against sin and the devil in this life, and hereafter reign with him eternally over all creatures.

 

  • Q33 Why is he called God’s only-begotten Son, since we also are children of God? /

Answer: Because Christ alone is the eternal, natural Son of God. We, however, are children of God by adoption, through grace, for Christ’s sake.

 

Bible Reading:

Mon – 4/1 – Deuteronomy 17-19 & Psalm 45

Tue – 4/2 – Deuteronomy 20-22 & Psalm 46

Wed – 4/3 – Deuteronomy 23-26 & Psalm 47

Thurs – 4/4 – Deuteronomy 27-30 & Psalm 48

Fri – 4/5 – Deuteronomy 31-34 & Psalm 49

Sat – 4/6 – James 1-2 & Psalm 50

Sun – 4/7 – Catch Up Day



Week 12, 2019

Week 12:  

Weekly Hymn: By Faith

 

Heidelberg Catechism–

  • Q29 Why is the Son of God called Jesus, that is, Saviour? /
Answer: Because he saves us from all our sins, and because salvation is not to be sought or found in anyone else.

 

  • Q30 Do those who seek their salvation or well-being in saints, in themselves, or anywhere else, also believe in the only Saviour Jesus? /

Answer: No. Though they boast of him in words, they in fact deny the only Saviour Jesus. For one of two things must be true: either Jesus is not a complete Saviour, or those who by true faith accept this Saviour must find in him all that is necessary for their salvation.

 

Bible Reading:

Mon – 3/25 – Galatians 4-6 & Psalm 39

Tue – 3/26 – Deuteronomy 1-4 & Psalm 40

Wed – 3/27 – Deuteronomy 5-7 & Psalm 41

Thurs – 3/28 – Deuteronomy 8-10 & Psalm 42

Fri – 3/29 – Deuteronomy 11-13 & Psalm 43

Sat – 3/30 – Deuteronomy 14-16 & Psalm 44

Sun – 3/31 – Catch Up Day



Week 11, 2019

Week 11:

 

Weekly Hymn: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

 

Heidelberg Catechism–

  • Q26 What do you believe when you say: I believe in God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth? /
Answer: That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and all that is in them, and who still upholds and governs them by his eternal counsel and providence, is, for the sake of Christ his Son, my God and my Father. In him I trust so completely as to have no doubt that he will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul, and will also turn to my good whatever adversity he sends me in this life of sorrow. He is able to do so as almighty God, and willing also as a faithful Father.
  • Q27 What do you understand by the providence of God? /

Answer: God’s providence is his almighty and ever present power, whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures, and so governs them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, indeed, all things, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand.

  • Q28 What does it benefit us to know that God has created all things and still upholds them by his providence? /

Answer: We can be patient in adversity, thankful in prosperity, and with a view to the future we can have a firm confidence in our faithful God and Father that no creature shall separate us from his love; for all creatures are so completely in his hand that without his will they cannot so much as move.

 

Bible Reading:

Mon – 3/18 – Numbers 22-24 & Psalm 34

Tue – 3/19 – Numbers 25-27 & Psalm 35

Wed – 3/20 – Numbers 28-30 & Psalm 36

Thurs – 3/21 – Numbers 31-33 & Psalm 37:1-22

Fri – 3/22 – Numbers 34-36 & Psalm 37:23-40

Sat – 3/23 – Galatians 1-3 & Psalm 38

Sun – 3/24 – Catch Up Day



Week 10, 2019

Week 10:

 

Weekly Hymn: Days of Elijah

 

Heidelberg Catechism–

  • Q24 How are these articles divided? /
Answer: Into three parts: the first is about God the Father and our creation; the second about God the Son and our redemption; the third about God the Holy Spirit and our sanctification.

 

  • Q25 Since there is only one God, why do you speak of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? /

Answer: Because God has so revealed himself in his Word that these three distinct persons are the one, true, eternal God.

 

Bible Reading:

Mon – 3/11 – Numbers 1-3 & Psalm 28

Tue – 3/12 – Numbers 4-7 & Psalm 29

Wed – 3/13 – Numbers 8-10 & Psalm 30

Thurs – 3/14 – Numbers 11-14 & Psalm 31

Fri – 3/15 – Numbers 15-17 & Psalm 32

Sat – 3/16 – Numbers 18-21 & Psalm 33

Sun – 3/17 – Catch Up Day



Week 9, 2019

Week 9:

 

Weekly Hymn: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

 

Heidelberg Catechism–

  • Q21 What is true faith? /
Answer: True faith is not only a sure knowledge by which I hold as true all that God has revealed to us in Scripture; it is also a wholehearted trust, which the Holy Spirit creates in me by the gospel, that God has freely granted, not only to others but to me also, forgiveness of sins, eternal righteousness, and salvation. These are gifts of sheer grace, granted solely by Christ’s merit.

 

  • Q22 What then must a Christian believe? /

Answer: All that is promised us in the gospel, a summary of which is taught us in the articles of our universal and undisputed Christian faith.

 

  • Q23 What are these articles? /

Answer: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

 

Bible Reading:

Mon – 3/4 – Leviticus 22-24 & Proverbs 17:1-14

Tue – 3/5 – Leviticus 25-27 & Proverbs 17:15-28

Wed – 3/6 – Hebrews 1-3 & Psalm 24

Thurs – 3/7 – Hebrews 4-6 & Psalm 25

Fri – 3/8 – Hebrews 7-10 & Psalm 26

Sat – 3/9 – Hebrews 11-13 & Psalm 27

Sun – 3/10 – Catch Up Day



Pastor’s Ponderings: March 2019

by John Armstrong
 
The phone rang early this morning; it was before the hour that proper etiquette would allow for regular phone calls, so I sprang from my bed to see who was calling. As a pastor, I’m not unused to getting calls at odd hours and usually those calls are to alert me to some problem or situation that requires my immediate attention. That is not a problem for me, it comes with the work, I don’t mind it at all. That is the nature of being a shepherd, the sheep don’t have tragedies and needs that always line up with regular working hours. It is my sincere privilege and honor to be there to help in those times. There are times however, when people do cross the line by reaching out for help for problems that are not there, or for problems that are not emergencies. In those cases, I often ask myself, why is this person reaching out to me first and not to God? Maybe they have prayed about it, but they are looking for support from someone they can trust. I’m glad they think they can trust me, that is no small thing. Then I have to ask myself, if I do the same kind of thing. The answer is usually yes, if I’m honest and look deeply enough I do the very same kinds of things. Why is that? Why am I looking for someone to help me and comfort me, before I’ve taken my problem to the One who really can do something about it? We are tangible creatures looking for tangible answers to our problems whatever they may be. We tend to forget that we are spiritual creatures that need spiritual answers too. If we find our spiritual answers first, they often put our tangible problems in a new light. When we are trusting our sovereign God, who loves us more than we can fully grasp, then we can know rest in the midst of trials and troubles of any kind. Now, understand, we need to be taking our concerns to our heavenly Father that is the first best place to go, right to the throne of grace. After that, share your concerns, problems, needs, etc. with your brothers and sisters in Christ. That is why we have the church, that is why we are the church. We are to be as Paul so aptly put it, “bearing one another’s burdens…” (Gal. 6:2). Jesus tells us we are supposed to be salt and light in this world. That begins in the household of faith, with Christians loving one another and having enough relationship with each other that we do know and trust each other with our burdens. We encourage each other to growing discipleship, to growing in grace by seeking to walk with Jesus ever more deeply. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are a community of people loving and trusting God and in turn able to love and support one another. The world will see us doing that and will know we are different and God will get the glory. One of the things I learned in my studies for my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, was that professional counseling is really only needed in about 15% of cases. Most of the time, about 85% of the time, the people presenting for counseling really only need someone to really listen to them. Most people have the resources to solve their problems if they know there is someone who cares. As a Christian you have that and more. You have a heavenly Father who wants you to pour out your heart to Him, and you have a community of brothers and sisters who will care for you. That is how it is supposed to be, unfortunately, that is not how it always is. At Faith Church, we want to be a community of rest, where these things are true of us. We are growing, pray that the Lord would continue to grow us into a loving and caring church body.