Monday, September 5, 2011

Lord's day in Tennessee....

Engagement Ring and BibleI was blessed this Lord's day with three good sermons and fellowship with family and friends. The Es and I went with my sister to visit her church in Chattanooga and it was encouraging to spend time with other believers who sing the Psalms. I felt right at home when during the scripture reading the elder brought up Matthew Henry's commentary several times:-). I  also loved the word picture Pastor Roop gave us in the sermon of how Christ giving us the Holy Spirit is sort of like being given an engagement ring as a promise of what is to come for the Christian.

On the drive home from church we took advantage of GPC's conference call and listened in to the sermon on 1 Samuel 13. I was so thankful to hear it - it was very helpful to me when Pastor talked about what true obedience is......and spoke against giving into and nursing pragmatic thoughts about what we can see of our circumstances, but instead trusting in the Lord. When has He ever failed us? We need to cling to Christ, obey Him, and trust that He will take care of us. Unlike Saul who did not - and lost his kingdom.

Lastly once we got home and had a little down time, we all gathered to listen to GPC's morning sermon on these verses from Luke 22:
 "And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation."

This one was very helpful to me. First of all just in the reminder of all Jesus did for me, then the practical applications for living as a Christian. The importance of absolute dependance on Christ. Of praying before going into situations before I know I'm going to be tried. That I feel is something the Lord has been teaching me lately already -praying before I go into a situation that I know is going to be hard - or even asking close friends to pray for me. Also the need for submission to the Lord in prayer, and the reminder that if the Lord doesn't give me what I want, He will give strength and grace to keep going without it. The last is hard and it made me think of this quote from yesterday's Matthew Henry reading:

"In the day when I cried. Note, Those that trade with heaven by prayer grow rich by quick returns. While we are yet speaking God hears...It was a spiritual answer. God gave him strength in his soul, and that is a real and valuable answer to the prayer of faith in the day of affliction. If God give us strength in our souls to bear the burdens, resist the temptations, and do the duties of an afflicted state, if he strengthen us to keep hold of himself by faith, to maintain the peace of our own minds and to wait with patience for the issue, we must own that he has answered us, and we are bound to be thankful."
Matthew Henry

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1