"Remember, O LORD, Thy tender mercies and Thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to Thy mercy remember Thou me for Thy goodnessâ€™ sake, O LORD." (Psalm 25:6-7)
WE GATHER FOR WORSHIP Tune to: AM I A SOLDIER OF THE CROSS CM Words by JIM BYRD
1. Eternal, faithful, gracious Lord, We bow before Thy throne; Come as we gather in Thy Name, And make Thy glories known.
2. O send Thy Spirit from above, To touch these lips of ours; That we would praise and honor Thee, With all our earthly powâ€™rs.
3. When we shall hear Thy word proclaimed, Lord send it deep within; And fill each heart with love and grace, And cleanse us from our sin.
4. May all who gather in this house, By faith to Jesus flee; He is the Lord our Righteousness, Who made our peace with Thee.
5. O give us grace to bless Thy name As one to raise our voice; To honor and adore our God, To worship and rejoice.
CONGREGATIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS: MORNING: HEBREWS 13:1-8 EVENING: LUKE 22:47-62
Daily Readings: Jan. 6-12 Sunday - Gen. 16-18 Monday - Gen. 19-21 Tuesday - Gen. 22-24 Wednesday- Gen. 25-27 Thursday - Gen. 28-30 Friday - Gen. 31-33 Saturday - Gen. 34-36
THE EVERLASTING GOD All of Godâ€™s gracious dealings with His chosen people are from everlasting because He is "the everlasting God" (Genesis 21:33) whose "mercy is from everlasting to everlasting" (Psalm 103:17). Indeed, since it is written that Christ is "the everlasting Father" (Isaiah 9:6), then He must have everlasting children for whom He has everlasting affection. "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee" (Jeremiah 31:3). Here is love without beginning, ending or cause. It is evident that the everlasting Lord loved His everlasting children with an everlasting love for He chose us unto an "everlasting salvation" (Isaiah 45:17) in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). View the "everlasting covenant" (Hebrews 13:20) of grace and see in that blessed contract Godâ€™s everlasting concern, care and provision for His beloved people. He set apart His Son to be the Mediator and Surety of that very covenant and committed His elect and all of their concerns into "the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27) of their almighty Savior. Behold the Son of God dying on the cross, enduring infinite wrath so that God could save sinners, not at the expense of His justice, but with its full blessing. The message of the good news of His glorious person and finished work is therefore called, with good reason, "the everlasting gospel" (Revelation 14:6). According to Godâ€™s everlasting purpose, Christ died and arose to enable God to be both just and Justifier. We are assured that by His justice-satisfying, guilt-removing, transgression-finishing death, He saved His people from their sins and brought in "everlasting righteousness" (Daniel 9:24). In time, the Lordâ€™s redeemed, reconciled and justified people are regenerated by the Spirit and brought to believe on Christ, and they are assured that in Him they already have "everlasting life" (John 5:24). Though we are still a sinful people, yet the Lord has given us an "everlasting consolation and good hope through grace" (2 Thessalonians 2:16). We are comforted in knowing that our everlasting salvation was conditioned solely upon Christ and His faithfulness to do the work committed to Him. When the Lord calls us home to glory, we will then realize the fulfillment of that glorious promise, "And so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:11). â€“Pastor Jim Byrd
CONVENIENCE CHRISTIANITY "We live in a day of â€˜convenience Christianity.â€™ So-called churches are being marketed like restaurants or stores in an attempt to attract more customers. Pastors flock to seminars that share methods on how to attract â€˜unchurchedâ€™ people. "Donâ€™t preach against sin, because that offends and threatens people. They want to feel good about themselves. They donâ€™t bring Bibles to church, so donâ€™t get into in-depth Bible study. Give them something positive and uplifting. And, theyâ€™re used to watching TV, so use a lot of drama and visuals. Keep the sermon short â€“ 15 to 20 minutes maximum. Make it entertaining. Provide programs for the children and keep them busy. Always have a building program for the future so that people will give." Pastors who use these techniques testify how their churches rapidly grow into thousands of attendees. The problems are obvious â€“ Where is the preaching of Christ and the Word of God? Where is true worship in spirit and in truth? Where do sinners hear the Gospel, the good news of salvation by Godâ€™s free and sovereign grace in Christ? Where do they find any salvation from sin when sin is minimized, ignored, or denied? People are deceived by "convenience Christianity" because it is more deadly to their souls than an open denial of true Christianity. It is one of Satanâ€™s counterfeits. Donâ€™t be fooled by it. Look to Godâ€™s Word and pray that the Holy Spirit will show you the reality and seriousness of sin and lead you to Christ for all salvation from sin. â€“copied