"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:20-21).
As we embark upon another time of worship, consider these words which a pastor of many years ago spoke to his congregation. May we sincerely make the same request. "O Lord God, help us now really to worship Thee. We thank Thee for this occasion. Lord, wilt Thou help us to forget our cares, to shut out the world, to get rid of all down-dragging tendencies and the attraction of grosser things that we may see Christ and worship Him as earnestly as we should."
GRANT THY SALVATION TUNE "TAKE MY LIFE" 188.8.131.52. WORDS BY JIM BYRD
1. Come Jehovah with us meet, As we worship at Thy feet; Here we are assembled now, Prostrate Lord we humbly bow, Prostrate Lord we humbly bow.
2. Thou art God and Thou alone, Reigning on Thy sovereign throne; Thou the Potter, we the clay, Grant salvation, Lord we pray, Grant salvation, Lord we pray.
3. Show us mercy is our plea, Grace and kindness are with Thee: Speak the Word that we may live, All our sinfulness forgive, All our sinfulness forgive.
4. May Thy mercy fill this place, Grant to us Thy sovereign grace; Thine the glory, Lord shall be, Now and for eternity, Now and for eternity.
SCRIPTURE READINGS: MORNING: PROVERBS 3:1-10 EVENING: LUKE 24:1-12
"WHEREFORE DOTH A LIVING MAN COMPLAIN?" (Lamentations 3:39) I do not know who wrote this but here are twelve good reasons not to murmur or complain.
1. God commands me never to complain (Philippians 2:14).
2. God commands me to give thanks in every circumstance (1ă€€Thessalonians 5:18).
3. God commands me to rejoice always, especially in trials (1ă€€Thessalonians 5:16; James 1:2).
4. I always deserve much worse than what I am suffering now, in fact, I deserve hell (Lamentations 3:39; Luke 13:2-3).
5. In light of the eternal happiness and glory I will experience in heaven, this present trial is brief and insignificant, even if it were to last a lifetime (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 5:19).
6. My suffering is far less than that which Christ suffered, and He did not complain (1 Peter 2:23).
7. To complain is to say God is not just (Genesis 18:25).
8. Faith and prayer exclude complaining (Psalm 34:4).
9. This difficulty is being used by God for my good, and it is foolish for me to complain against it (Romans 8:28).
10. Those more faithful than I have suffered far worse than I, and did so without complaint (Hebrews 11:35-39).
11. Complaining denies that Godâ€™s grace is entirely sufficient (2ă€€Corinthians 12:9).
12. The greatest suffering, the worst trial or difficulty, can never rob me of that which is of greatest value to me and my greatest joy, namely the love of Christ for me (Romans 8:35-39).
KEEP ME "Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of Thy wings" (Psalm 17:8). Is this not the prayer of all Godâ€™s children? Knowing something of our sinfulness, weaknesses, fickleness, unbelief and tendency to roam, we constantly pray, Lord keep me. "Keep" means watch over, preserve, guard and protect. Keep me at all times. Keep me when You lead me into the valley of trial lest I be filled with hopelessness. Keep me when I ascend to successes in life lest I be filled with pride. Keep me in the time of sickness lest I be overcome with despair. Keep me in the time of health lest I be presumptuous. Keep me in the days of youth lest I waste my life in frivolity. Keep me in the days of old age when I grow weak and feeble. Keep me when I am sick. Keep me when I am well. Keep me when I rejoice. Keep me when I am sad. Keep me when I am awake. Keep me when I am asleep. Keep me when I remember Thee. Keep me when I forget Thee. Keep me when my faith is strong. Keep me when my faith is weak. Keep me when I seem to have no faith at all. Keep me no matter where I go. Keep me throughout my pilgrim journey. Keep me "looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith." Keep me while You give me breath, and keep me when You take it away. O Lord, keep me forevermore.
Now, hear the words of the Lord to Jacob and know that, if you are a child of God, they are for you as well. "And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest" (Genesis 28:15). â€“Pastor Jim Byrd