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Lord’s Day 39, 2017

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”


Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 3:12–14

Thou Believest? What Then?
Horatius Bonar (1808–1889)


Art thou a saint? And doth
Thy God thee own?
Call thee a child, an heir, a chosen one,
One with himself and his beloved Son,
Heir of his crown?

Hast thou the love of Christ
Thy Saviour known?—
The love that passeth knowledge, the rich grace
That stooped to poverty and death, to place
Thee on his throne?

Know’st thou the Christ of God?
His cross and love?
Then art thou severed from this drossy earth,
Linked to the city of thy better birth,
The land above!

Dead, yet alive, thou art;
Alive yet dead;
Thy old life buried in thy Surety’s tomb,
Thy new life hid in God ’bove death and doom,
With Christ thy Head!

Thy life is not below;
’Tis all on high!
The Living One now lives for thee above,
The Loving One now pleads for thee in love,
Thou canst not die!

Live then the life of faith!
The life divine;
Live in and on this ever-living One,
Who bears thee on his heart before the throne,
His life is thine!

Pass on from strength to strength,
Faint not nor yield;
With girded loins press on, the goal is near,
With ready sword fight God’s great battle here,
Win thou the field!

No rest nor slumber now,
Watch and be strong!
Love is the smoother of the rugged way,
And Hope, at midnight, as in brightest day,
Breaks forth in song!

Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878).

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation
if you can possibly help it.
But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these.

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Glorious Is Thy Name, Most Holy

Glorious Is Thy Name, Most Holy And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16 Glorious is Thy name, Most Holy, God and Father of us all; We Thy servants bow before Thee, Strive to answer ev’ry call. Thou with life’s great good hast blest us, Cared for us from earliest years; Unto Thee our thanks we render; Thy deep love o’ercomes all fears. For our world of need and anguish We would lift to Thee our prayer. Faithful stewards of Thy bounty May we with our brothers share. In the name of Christ our Savior, Who redeems and sets us free, Gifts we bring of heart and treasure, That our lives may worthier be. In the midst of time we journey, From Thy hand comes each new day; We would use it in Thy service, Humbly, wisely, while we may. So to Thee, Lord and Creator, Praise and honor we accord; Thine the earth and Thine the heavens, Thro’ all the Eternal Word. —The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Word Music).

Les Misérables, 2017

Some days, it’s best not to read the news. “First lady Melania Trump became a victim of cyberbullies,” reports Anna Giaritelli of the Washington Examiner. The details of the attack are so shocking that I hesitate to describe them here—my hands are shaking even as I type this—but here it is: Mean people made fun of Mrs Trump’s dress. Giaritelli describes the horrifying incident with disturbingly graphic language, even reproducing some of the devastatingly cruel remarks. “It made me think of the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka,” wrote one big old meanie. “It looks like an old oversized ‘duster’ my grandma used to wear to clean house,” sneared another. I don’t know how Mrs Trump has reacted, but I imagine myself taking to my bed with a big ol’ box of chocolates and crying myself to sleep. My worst fear is that ignorant jerks might come along, deny my victim status, and tell me to just ignore my critics and get on with my life like an adult should. They might tell me that there are unpleasant people in the world who will do unkind things, and that this will never change, so I’d better accept it, learn to tough it out, and keep moving forward. Or they might say that, sometimes, a criticism is just a harmless joke, and I should grow a sense of humor. Can you imagine? They might even tell me that there are others who are suffering from “real” assaults—beatings, torture, rape, murder, hip-hop music—as if my trials are not just as real. As if! Life is hard. The least you can do is exaggerate my misery and encourage me to wallow in it. Many thanks to Ms Giaritelli and the Washington Examiner for setting a good example. Thoughts and prayers go out to Melania Trump. May you find your Safe Space.

Willing to Hear

He was willing, resolved, determined to hear, before you were willing to ask. He decreed it from eternity; he was willing before you had a will, a being. Nay, he was not only willing before, but he was the cause why you are willing. You must not think that your prayers move God to be willing; his will is the same for ever, not subject to the least motion or alteration. Prayers are rather a sign than a cause that God is willing. He is not made willing because we pray, but because he is willing he stirs up our hearts to pray: Ps. x. 17, ‘Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.’ He is first desirous to do us good, and then makes us desire it, and pray for it, that we may have them in his own way,—a clear evidence he is more desirous than we, because he makes us, so our desires spring from this. . . . He that prescribes the only course whereby prayer may get audience without fail, and commands us to follow that course, is more willing prayer shall be heard than those that are negligent in observing that only fallible way. But so it is, the Lord has commanded and prescribed such a course, which punctually followed, prayer can never return without the answer desired. But the best of men are more or less negligent in observing this prescript; therefore he is more willing our prayers should be heard than we ourselves. Now, since the Lord is willing, and so willing, to hear, why should we not believe that he will hear? What strong encouragement is here to pray in faith! There is as much reason to believe that God will hear as there is to believe that you are willing to be heard. —David Clarkson, Faith in Prayer, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:203–204.

Believers Can Pray Believing

One of the many great promises given to God’s children is that of answered prayer. If we know we are his, we know he will hear. Get assurance of your interest in the covenant; that Christ has loved you, and washed you from your sins in his blood; that he has given you his Spirit; that you are reconciled and in favour. If you be sure you are his favourites, you may be sure to have his ear. As acceptance of persons goes before acceptance of services, so assurance of that is the ground of confidence in this: 1 John v. 13–15, ‘These things have I written, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.’ First, assurance that ye have eternal life, and then confidence that he will hear. If ye know that ye have right to eternal life by faith, the first fruits of it, then ye may be sure he will hear and grant; not hear in vain, but make sweet returns to the petitions he hears, ver. 15.: John xv. 7, ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ First assure your union, and then doubt not of your audience. Union goes before audience, so assurance of one goes before assurance of the other. —David Clarkson, Faith in Prayer, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:202.

When Prayer Is Sin

Years ago, I recorded my objection to the “unspoken” prayer request, but I neglected one very important reason I won’t pray for your unspoken request. As David Clarkson writes, The thing asked for must be an object of faith; such things as you may upon good grounds believe that God will grant. There must be a belief, a persuasion, that the things desired are lawful according to his will: 1 John v. 14, ‘And this is the assurance that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.’ No assurance he will hear, without assurance that what we ask is according to his will; now that is according to his will for which we have command or promise . . . If there be no persuasion, or none upon these grounds, the prayer is not of faith, and so it is sin; for whatever is not of faith is sin, and sin can expect no comfortable return from God. He that cannot behold it will not hear it, or hear it so as to reward it but with punishment. A fervent prayer for a thing unlawful is a crying sin. —David Clarkson, Faith in Prayer, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:198. In short, if your request is kept secret, how can I know if it’s biblical? I really do need to know.

Lord’s Day 38, 2017

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” How can we sing the Lord’s song In a foreign land? —Psalm 137:4 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. —Revelation 22:20 A Song of Praise for the Hope of Glory John Mason (1645–1694) I sojourn in a vale of tears; Alas, how can I sing? My harp doth on the willows hang, Distuned in every string. My music is a captive’s chains, Harsh sounds my ears do fill; How shall I sing sweet Zion’s song On this side Zion’s hill? Yet lo, I hear a joyful sound, “Surely I quickly come”; Each word much sweetness doth distill, Like a full honeycomb. And dost Thou come, my dearest Lord? And dost Thou surely come? And dost Thou surely quickly come? Methinks I am at home. Come then, my dearest, dearest Lord, My sweetest, surest Friend; Come, for I loathe these Kedar tents, Thy fiery chariots send. What have I here? My Thoughts and joys Are all packed up and gone; My eager soul would follow them To Thine eternal throne. What have I in this barren land? My Jesus is not here; Mine eyes will never be blessed until My Jesus doth appear. My Jesus is gone up to heaven, To get a place for me; For ’tis His will that where he is, There should His servants be. Canaan I view from Pisgah’s top, Of Canaan’s grapes I taste; My Lord who sends unto me here, Will send for me at last. I have a God that changeth not, Why should I be perplexed? My God that owns me in this world, Will own me in the next. Go fearless, then, my soul, with God, Into another room; Thou who hast walked with Him here, Go see thy God at home. View death with a believing eye, It hath an angels face; And this kind angel will prefer Thee to an angels place. The grave is but a fining pot Unto believing eyes; For there the flesh shall lose its dross, And like the sun shall rise. The world, which I have known too well, Hath mocked me with its lies; How gladly could I leave behind Its vexing vanities? My dearest friends they dwell above, Them will I go to see; And all my friends in Christ below Will soon come after me. Fear not the trump’s earth-rending sound, Dread not the day of doom; For He that is to be thy Judge, Thy Saviour is become. Blessed be my God that gives me light, Who in the dark did grope; Blest be my God, the God of love, Who causeth me to hope. Here’s the Word’s signets, comfort’s staff, And here is grace’s chain; But these Thy pledges, Lord, I know My hopes are not in vain. —Worthy Is the Lamb (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Abide with Me
A Right to the Promises
His Saying Is Doing
Faith and the Offices of Christ
Faith and the Attributes of God (3)
Faith and the Attributes of God (2)
Lord’s Day 37, 2017

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: He Giveth More Grace
Faith Is Humble
Relying upon Christ Alone
Cling to Christ
The Essence of Saving Faith
A Little Learning
Lord’s Day 35, 2017

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Come, Ye Disconsolate
Faith and the Attributes of God (1)
By Hearing
The Unpardonable Sin
If You Are Unworthy
As for the Lord
Lord’s Day 36, 2017


Who Is Jesus?

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What I Believe

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