Today I'm doing something a little different. For over a year now every Lord's day morning I've posted a Psalm, but yesterday when I read this in my Matthew Henry reading I thought, "what perfect thoughts for the Lord's day!" So today we're taking a break, and Lord willing next week will go back to the Psalms.
I love the reminder in these quote of what a blessing God's word, our churches and ministers are. It's a long story, but for years I didn't have the privilege of being able to worship in church every Lord's day. I remember when the Lord answered my prayers and placed me in a church, often feeling overwhelmed by thankfulness when driving to church every week. I don't want to ever take this blessing for granted! So if you have your health and the ability to join with the Lord's people today - give thanks! (and if you aren't able to, go here for information on calling in and listening live to our worship service. It's almost as good as being there).
"The sabbath is a market day for our souls, but not for our bodies."
"To have the holy scriptures with us, and helps to understand them, is a very great mercy, which we have abundant reason to rejoice in. Bibles and ministers are the joy of God's Israel. The better we understand the word of God the more comfort we shall find in it; for the darkness of trouble arises from the darkness of ignorance and mistake."
"Masters of families should bring their families with them to the public worship of God. Women and children have souls to save, and are therefore concerned to acquaint themselves with the word of God and attend on the means of knowledge and grace. Little ones, as they come to the exercise of reason, must be trained up in the exercises of religion."
"Let us learn to address ourselves to the services of religion with solemn stops and pauses, and not to go about them rashly; let us consider what we are doing when we take God's book into our hands, and open it, and so also when we bow our knees in prayer; and what we do let us do deliberately."
"The ears of all the people were unto the book of the law, were even chained to it; they heard readily, and minded every word. The word of God commands attention and deserves it. If through carelessness we let much slip in hearing, there is danger that through forgetfulness we shall let all slip after hearing."
"They were healed and comforted with the words of peace that were spoken to them. It was well that they were so much affected with the word of God, and received the impressions of it; but they must not yield unduly to their mourning, especially at this time, because the day was holy to the Lord; it was one of the solemn feasts, on which it was their duty to rejoice; and even sorrow for sin must not hinder our joy in God, but rather lead us to it and prepare us for it."
"The joy of the Lord is your strength. Let it not be a carnal sensual joy, but holy and spiritual, the joy of the Lord, joy in the goodness of God, under the direction and government of the grace of God, joy arising from our interest in the love and favor of God and the tokens of his favor. "This joy will be your strength, therefore encourage it; it will be your strength, First, For the performance of the other duties of the feast." The more cheerful we are in our religious exercises the more we shall abound in them. Secondly, "For all that which you have to do in conformity to the law of God which has been read to you." Holy joy will be oil to the wheels of our obedience."
~ Matthew Henry