Read - Matthew 16v13-20
Message - Scott Woodburn
Perhaps the most famous of the Apostles is Simon Peter. When we first meet Simon he is engaged as a fisherman alongside his brother Andrew (Matthew 4v18), sons of their father John (John 1v40). Simon Peter is a married man (Matthew 8v14) and he and his brother had been followers of John the Baptist before they followed the call of Christ.
A library of books have been written about Simon Peter and we could speak about his walking on water, his denial of Christ, his restoration or his argument with Paul but instead we turn to Matthew’s Gospel where we find Simon Peter’s extraordinary declaration of Christ. Many people were speaking about Jesus and asking who exactly he was. Some thought he might have been John the Baptist. Others wondered if Elijah had returned. Others thought Jesus was Jeremiah or another one of the prophets (v14).
“But who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked His disciples. As was so often the case, Simon Peter jumped in first. “You are the Christ” he said “the Son of the living God.” (v16). Simon hit the nail squarely on the head. He had made mistakes and he would again but in that moment he confessed the truth about Jesus. Peter declared that Jesus is the Messiah, the One that he and others have been waiting on. Additionally Jesus is divine. He is the Son of the living God.
Peter is the first of the Apostles to declare such truth and later in his life he will be the first to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. He has received this revelation from God Himself (v17) and in the days after the Ascension Peter would become a primary leader as the church grew beyond Jerusalem. Jesus plays on Peter’s name (which means rock) as He states “you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church.” (v18)
Was Jesus making Peter the ruler of the church to come? Roman Catholics would say yes. Here, they argue, Peter was installed as the first of the Popes and every Pope since is in the line of Peter. In response I would argue that Rome have got this wrong. Peter is given recognition here and we certainly see that soon he becomes a key figure in the church, but to argue that this moment gives him authority over the other Apostles and indeed over the whole church is a stretch.
Instead Peter and the other Apostles would together be rocks in their ministry, Paul later tells us the church is built on the foundation of the prophets and apostles. The confession made by Peter would be the rock of the Apostles’ testimony. They would preach that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God and they would have Christ given authority in the keys of the kingdom (v19). They would preach the Gospel and see the church built by the sacraments and they would exercise discipline within the church of Christ.
Peter’s confession remains solid rock. Jesus is the Messiah, all who trust in Him will be saved and He promises to build His church which not even the gates of hell will be able to destroy (v18). Today we are thankful for Peter’s ministry. He wasn’t perfect but he would be used by the Lord to establish His church across the world. But today we do not look to Peter, instead we look to Christ. In Jesus we will never be put to shame and in Jesus our feet are planted on a rock that will not move.
Q44 What doth the preface to the ten commandments teach us? The preface to the ten commandments teacheth us, that because God is the Lord, and our God, and Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all his commandments.
Year 2 Day 156
Read — 1 John 1:8-10
Message Alan Burke
“First posted Year 1 Day 171 - 11 September 20”
Some years ago now I remember sitting in a morning midweek having a wee cuppa with some of the older members of the congregation. I had joined them because one of the ladies arrived down to tell me that today wasn’t pavlova or a myriad of different traybakes, today they had home made sausage rolls. The minister I worked with at the time lead us in prayer and took us though a passage, asking questions along the way. I can’t remember how it came up but in conversation I had called myself a sinner and said that they were sinners too. For most of those gathered I had said nothing wrong, but for one lady it was is I had thrown what was left of my cold cup of tea in her face, the rage, it was something akin to the transformation that happened to Dr. Bruce Banner in the incredible Hulk.
I want you to know as you read this that you are a sinner just as I am, and if you don’t like it, you don’t believe it, then you are deceiving yourself and the truth is not in you (8, Rom 3:23). But here is the paradox, if you admit it, face up to the reality that you are a sinner, if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom 10:9). If we do this then we will be saved, that sin no longer stands against us, it has been dealt with. If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from unrighteousness (9).
Here’s the but, but if we fail to see that we are sinners, if we deny that we are sinful and deny our sin, then we deny the ability of Christ to save us. For it is only those who are sinners need a saviour. For those who persist in saying that they have not sinned, that they are not sinners, then the word of God is not in them (10). Sadly there are many even in the church today that say that they are not sinners, that they are not sinful, their attitude their behaviour and it is especially seen when it comes to sexual ethics. And if you think that this problem is just out there, its not in here lets not kid ourselves, sadly this attitude infects the church too, we no longer call sin sin, adultery has become an affair, we don’t steal copyrighted material we just stream it, selfishness is seen as standing up for my rights, and then there is greed, jealously, envy, malice, bitterness, how we can be critical of other believers and show such little forgiveness towards our brothers and sisters the last thing we want to admit is that our attitudes are sinful and that we are sinful.
What we need to remember is that although we are sinners, God in his grace forgives sins, let our old self be crucified with Christ, let us turn from sin and live in that resurrected life, so that we become more like the God whose fellowship we are learning to daily enjoy. Let us live in the light (5,7), live in this way just as Jesus told us to as disciples.
Q43 What is the preface to the ten commandments?
The preface to the ten commandments is in these words, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (Exod. 20:2)
Year 2 Day 155
Read - Matthew 10v1-4
Message - Scott Woodburn
As the book of Acts comes to a close we remind ourselves that the “Acts” in question are the acts of the Apostles. Luke’s second book therefore concerns itself with what the Apostles of Jesus Christ did after the Lord’s Ascension. The Apostles are named in four places, Matthew 10v2-4, Mark 3v16-19, Luke 6v14-16 & Acts 1v13. The lists mention the Apostles that everyone remembers and those who we know little about. They are Simon Peter, Andrew, James son of Zebedee, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot.
But who were these men? Most of us know John and certainly Peter but have little idea about Bartholomew or Thaddeus. In Acts we are told that the church was devoted to the teaching of the Apostles and Paul would write in Ephesians that the church was built on the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles. But why are the Apostles so important in the history of the church? Why should we listen to them?
Understanding the office of the Apostle helps us to understand its importance. There are no Apostles today. Their ministry was foundational and therefore they only existed for a limited period of time in the history of Christ’s church. Some may argue otherwise, but Scripture is clear that the modern day “apostles” do not and cannot meet the Biblical requirements for the office.
The Apostles were those men who had been an eyewitness of the resurrected Christ (Acts 1v22; Acts 10v39-41; 1 Corinthians 9v1; 1 Corinthians 15v7-8) As the Apostles moved to replace Judas Iscariot, Peter said “So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” (Acts 1v21-22)
The Apostles were those men directly appointed by Jesus (Mark 3v14; Luke 6v13; Acts 1v1,24; Acts 10v41; Galatians 1v1) Mark tells is that Jesus “appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons.” (Mark 3v14-15)
Finally, the Apostles were men able to confirm their office and the Gospel with miraculous signs, called “the signs of the Apostles” (Matthew 10v1-2; Acts 1v5-8; Acts 2v43; Acts 4v33; Acts 5v12; Acts 8v14; 2 Corinthians 12v12; Hebrews 2v3-4) Paul reminded his opponents in Corinth that “the signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.” Apostles could speak in other languages. They could raise the dead. They could heal the sick.
Two thousand years later we can be incredibly thankful for the ministry of the Apostles. They lived troubled lives and most died in horrific ways. Yet their ministry was not a failure. They went as Christ’s representatives into a hostile world and the church grew as thousands called upon the Saviour. We have considered their Acts and over the next few weeks we will consider the men themselves. Today we are thankful for their witness, from Matthew to Revelation we have the God inspired and preserved testimony of the eyewitnesses to the resurrection. The Apostles preached Christ crucified and truly the world was not worthy of such men.
Q42 What is the sum of the ten commandments? The sum of the ten commandments is, to love the Lord our God, with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbor as ourselves.
Year 2 Day 154
Read — Psalm 102:1-11
Message Alan Burke
“First posted Year 1 Day 134 - 3 Aug 20”
Cries of anguish can come both from physical as well as emotional pain, I have seen both. There are two such cries that will stay with me as long as I live, first the cry of physical anguish coming from a man who was in severe physical pain as he reached the end of his life. The other was that cry of emotional pain as a wife buried her her husband of many years. Both these cries portrayed to all who heard, some of that which was felt by them. What has struck me at the time was that the man was able to smile with his wife and children who were with him in his last hours even in the midst of his pain, whereas that wife who had buried her husband for a long time after did not smile, for she only felt grief and anguish, the pain of her loss still gripped her.
Here the psalmist cries out to the Lord, a cry of desperation (1), we do not know what he as facing but the title of this psalm paints a vivid picture of how this is a; “Prayer of an afflicted man. When he is faint and pours out his lament before the LORD”. He feels that the Lord has turned his face from him, desiring that the Lord would in his mercy respond, that he would release him from the abandonment that he faces (2). In the midst of it all the psalmist describes what he feels amid his distress, he leaves out the specifics and instead focusing on the deep sense of affliction that he feels . His bones burn (3), his heart is struck down, he forgets to eat (4), he groans loudly because of the anguish he faces (5), his bones clinging to his flesh loosing his appetite (7), sleeplessness and uncontrolled weeping (9), for he faces the taunt of his enemy. This vivid imagery portrays a terrible sense of being alone, this is how the psalmist feels, consumed by sorrow and tempted to despair, the whole of his person has been effected by these things. There is no escape and as the psalmist comes to terms with the suffering he faces he begins to understand his own mortality. Just like the psalmist when we face such things we own mortality like never before. Here the psalmist explains that our days or like smoke (3), they are like an evening shadow (11) which like the grass are soon gone (11).
I hope that you never feel anguish like this, I hope that you never have to cry out either with physical or emotional anguish but if you do, know that the Lord God will not forget those who are his, and you can come to him with your troubles with confidence, knowing that God can use our weakness in the midst of what ever we face (1 Cor 1:27). Also before the living God, even in our weakness, even when we know not what to pray the Spirit of God is at work in us answering our prayers (Rom 8:26-27). In this life, God is our only refuge the psalmist knew that hence he came before him, bringing his cries of anguish. Knowing that God is our refuge should give us confidence even though Covid-19 has reminded of the fragility of it all, how our days or like smoke (3), they are like an evening shadow (11) which like the grass are soon gone (11). One day this earthly journey will come to an end, for we are but sojourners traveling though. Through faith, as the psalmist, even in darkness we can have hope through Jesus Christ, it is the only for all who believe (1 Jn 5:13-14, 1 Pet 1:3-6, Eph 2:8-10).
Q41 Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?
The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments. (Deut. 10:4, Matt. 19:17)
Year 2 Day 152
Read - Acts 28v17-31
Message - Scott Woodburn
It may seem to you that Acts ends quite abruptly. We have journeyed with Paul to Rome where we expect to see him standing before Nero but while such an event certainly took place, we have no record of it here in Acts. Instead Paul is visited by the local Jewish leaders (v17) who haven’t heard any negative report about him (v21) but are keen to hear what he has to say (v22).
Paul kindly obliges them and they spend a whole day together, with the Apostle preaching Christ from the books of Moses and the prophets (v23). We can look back and rejoice at this meeting because some were convinced by Paul’s testimony (v24) yet tragically others were not so sure (v24b).
As the meeting ends Paul speaks a word of judgement against those who refuse to acknowledge Christ. He quotes Isaiah 6v9-10 against those who hear about Christ but will never accept Him. If such individuals would turn to the Lord He would certainly save them, but their hearts are dull, their ears are deaf and their eyes are closed.
Paul declares to the doubters that the Gospel of salvation has now been sent to the Gentile world and a great multitude of them are listening (v28). Luke then tells us that Paul would spend the next two years welcoming anyone who came to him and proclaiming the Gospel with boldness and without hindrance.
I love history and would certainly have appreciated an account of Paul’s meeting with Caesar. Yet what we have in these final verses highlight the future for the church of Christ. Since Paul’s time in Rome until this very day the Gospel has marched forward. Paul could only have dreamed of the lands that the Gospel would finally reach. He travelled the length and breadth of the known world and years later the Gospel would go even further. Today there are Christians throughout the Americas. Today the Gospel rings from north to south Africa. Asians have heard and believed the Gospel and to this very day an ever growing number of ethnic Jews have and are turning to Christ.
So the final verses of Luke’s second book do not give us an account of Nero who was in Paul’s day the most powerful man alive. Instead they show us the work of the church until Christ comes. Brothers and sisters we continue to preach Christ from all of the Scriptures. The Gospel does not begin in Matthew, instead we see it birthed in Genesis. It is the ancient story of good news for all who will believe and it centres around and is focused upon Jesus Christ our Lord.
So we preach Christ in the face of opposition and we rejoice when many receive the Gospel. We pass the truth of Christ to the next generation and to the one after that. We stand firm in the midst of this harlot world and we refuse to bend to Babylon. Rome did not stop the Gospel and it will not end due to Covid, global warming or the powers of this evil age. Acts does not record the birth of the church, rather in Acts we see the Gospel smashing through borders and boundaries and a gathering of one people from every tribe and tongue. Our time in Acts has come to an end but Christ the King continues! He offers salvation for all who will believe and we realise once more that Paul’s day was just like our day - the Gospel cannot be stopped!
Q40 What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience? The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience, was the moral law.
Year 2 Day 151
Read — Matthew 27:45-50 and Psalm 88
Message Alan Burke
“First posted Year 1 Day 120 - 19 July 20”
There are times that I cannot even begin to imagine what the person I pastor is going through, I do not try to give the answers, I do not try to give advice, all I do is listen. When there is opportunity to do so I take them to the one who can sympathise with all our weakness Jesus Christ our Lord (Heb. 4:15). He can sympathise with our weakness because he lived as one of us, experienced the things that we experience. In all the hardships that befall on us, whatever our weakness, we know the compassion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who will accompany us through it all. Not only that, in whatever we face he has concern for us and he can relieve our sufferings, helping us through all that we face. Knowing this should be an encouragement to us all, that God incarnate, Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man can sympathise with our weakness.
What is more Jesus experienced the wrath of God so that we may escape it. We read from Matthew 27:45-50, a passage that is normally used at Good Friday services and more often than not the focus is on how he was spat on (Mt 26:67), flogged, received a crown of thorns (Jn 19:1-2) and was mocked (Mt 27:31) and nailed to a cross (Mt 27:35). As awful as these things were, they were nothing in comparison to what happened on the cross, for after several hours, when the end was near, Jesus cried out …“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) (Mt 27:46). There he experienced something worse than we can even begin to imagine, he was forsaken, for there he bore upon himself our sin so that we can have his righteousness, he suffered in our place, the wrath of God. He who knew no sin became sin for us ( 2 Cor 5:21), he bore the curse for us (Gal 3:13). We cannot fully grasp this cry, how the trine God suffered separation, yet in it we know that we have a saviour who knew what it was to be forsaken, who can sympathise with our weakness.
I do not know what you face this day but I know that in what ever we face we have a Saviour who is compassionate towards us, is concerned for us, who is with us through it all. If you feel forsaken at times then know if you have trusted in the saviour your are not forsaken, he will never leave us nor forsake us. Man of sorrows what a name, for the Son of God, who came, ruined sinners to reclaim: Hallelujah, what a Saviour!
Q39 What is the duty which God requireth of man?
The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will. (Mic. 6:8, 1 Sam. 15:22)
Year 2 Day 150
Read - Acts 28v11-16
Message - Scott Woodburn
Paul’s journey to Rome has been nothing short of an ordeal. He has faced another shipwreck and just as he is warming his bones in Malta a snake jumped out and bit him. But finally after spending the winter on Malta, he sets sail again on a ship with the twin gods as a figurehead. These false gods are Castor and Pollux the twin sons of Zeus and it was believed that they brought good fortune on the sea. Paul didn’t trust tin these false idols, instead his hope was fixed on Christ and it was by the hand of the Lord that he finally arrived in Puteoli which is just a few miles away from the city of Naples.
After a long journey what is it that you long for? Perhaps a hot bath? A night spent in your own bed? Ten minutes to yourself to catch up with the mail? Paul sought none of these and instead he was sought out by his fellow Christians. He is blessed with fellowship in Puteoli where his fellow believers allow him to stay with them for a week (v14) and when he finally enters Rome, Christians come from far and wide to great the Apostle (v15).
Paul’s road has been incredibly difficult but Luke tells us that the fellowship he enjoyed caused him to thank God and to take courage (v15). Once more in the book of Acts we see the beauty and the power of the local church. A harassed and bruised and beaten Apostle is embraced by the church and takes great comfort from the fellowship.
It should always be this way! We are speaking the truth when we say that the church on earth is not a perfect body. She is divided by inside and outside forces. Often she is a place where we experience great hurt. On occasion she is a place where forgiveness and love and grace is in short supply. These things may all be true but once more let us remember that the local church is God’s plan to bring the Gospel to the world around us.
I urge you my brothers and sisters to take your place in your local church. Covid has robbed us of so much fellowship and it has even instilled in us a streak of independence. We haven’t been to church in 18 months and perhaps we now feel like we don’t need to go back. Child of God, please do not forsake the local church. Paul would later write that we are not to neglect meeting together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10v25)
What does life look like while we wait for Christ? Meeting together and taking courage and comfort from the fellowship. Church life is needlessly busy with endless running around. I hope that when Covid lifts we don’t start the running again but instead may we replace it with beautiful sweet fellowship. When you nearly drown in the shipwreck and when the serpent bites you unexpectedly, where do you go? Where do you turn? Go to the place of encouragement. Go home. Go to the body for whom Christ died. Go to the local church.
Q38 What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection? At the resurrection, believers, being raised up to glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.
Year 2 Day 149
Read — Psalm 64:1-6
Message Alan Burke
“First posted Year 1 Day 106 - 5 July 20”
There are millions across this world who live in constant fear. It’s not the fear of Covid-19 but that of a totalitarian regime, of the army or the police bursting through the doors of their homes all because they are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. For others it is the fear of rejection, abandonment, attack, torture that is constant, unceasing, that from a human perspective inescapable and insurmountable. For believers across this world, who live in countries like Iran, India, Egypt, Vietnam, China, North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, and the list goes on and on, they know what it is to fear. This psalm echoes their cry and of many believers thought the ages who likewise have lived in terror.
As it begins, it does so with the emphatic plea of David, ‘Hear me, O God’. He comes to the Lord in prayer appealing that his complaint would be heard, for he fears that those against him would take his life and he asks for protection, that the Lord himself would preserve him in what he faces (1). Praying that the Lord would ‘Hide’ him, from the secret schemes and pots of the wicked (2), as they conspire together, like they are preparing for war against him (3-6). From a human point of view, the psalmist has every reason to be consumed with anxiety and dread. I don’t know about you but if it was me facing what he was facing I’d likely be in pieces. We may not be facing the fear of a totalitarian regime, we may not have fear of the doors busting open, persecution, we may not as the psalmist fears the threat of the enemy (1), the conspiracy of the wicked the crowd of the evildoers (2), but there is something we learn that should be a comfort to us in what ever we face.
What is that, well we wherever we are facing, what ever we have done if we know God in faith (Matt 21:22, Jam 1:6) through Jesus Christ, then we can come before him with confidence knowing that he hears our prayers. Whether it is a complaint, a lament, confession of sin, praise, supplication, adoration, we can confidently come before him. We also know that he hears us in what we ask (1 Jn 5:15). We may not receive all the things that we ask for but in the midst of it all, we can know that in all that we face we are forgiven though Christ Jesus (Heb 9:15-22) and that in all that we face, death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38-39).
Secondly there are those who live as there are no consequences for their actions, they believe that the unseen things will go unseen, but know this, nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Heb 4:13). Do not fool yourself into thinking like those who plotted against David that no one sees, for God sees all. For those who live without fear of the consequences, fear of the Lord (4), one day all will have to stand and give account before the Lord (Rom 14:12). When that day happens they will receive the judgement that their sins deserve. The only escape from the wrath of God is through trusting in him, for the Lord is merciful to those who fear him through Jesus Christ (Lk 1:50). If you haven’t really turn to him, trust in him, trust in the Saviour and know that there is no condemnation through Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1)
Q37 What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?
The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, (Heb. 12:23) and do immediately pass into glory; (2 Cor. 5:1,6,8, Phil. 1:23, Luke 23:43) and their bodies, being still united to Christ, (1 Thess. 4:14) do rest in their graves, (Isa. 57:2) till the resurrection. (Job 19:26–27)
Year 2 Day 148
Read - Acts 28v1-10
Message - Scott Woodburn
By the grace of God, Paul and the rest of the passengers find themselves washed up on the island of Malta. It remains an attractive destination for holiday makers but for those who had just been shipwrecked it was a refuge and solid ground.
Paul and his companions were cold and wet but the kind Maltese people soon kindled a fire to warm their unexpected guests. Things couldn’t have been more traumatic for the Apostle and yet before he has dried out, a viper responds to the heat and bites Paul’s hand (v3).
For the Maltese this was a sure sign that Paul was a wicked man. He may have escaped a shipwreck but “Justice” wasn’t going to allow him to live (v4). The Greeks believed “Justice” to be the daughter of Zeus and Themis. She was obviously directing this whole event and therefore Paul would soon die (v6).
Yet Paul didn’t swell up or suddenly fall down dead. He shook the viper from his hand into the fire and suffered no ill effects (v5). Later he healed the father of Publius (v8) and soon people from all over the island visited Paul and their diseases were cured (v9). Was Paul a god like the Maltese believed (v6)? No. He was an Apostle, able to heal those on the island, but notice he wasn’t immune from shipwrecks, snake bites or even physical ailments (Galatians 4v13-15 & 6v11).
At every step of his journey Paul knew tremendous difficulty. He would outline his troubles in 2 Corinthians 11 and perhaps when we read his account we might agree with the Maltese - it seems that Paul was under judgement. What other explanation could account for his constant troubles?
The Christian understands that we do not live under the judgement and wrath of God. We have received Christ by faith and therefore God’s wrath no longer abides upon us. We do not worship a bitter and spiteful God who sends shipwrecks to harm us. Instead we realise that in this world we will have trouble just as Christ told us (John 16v33). In this fallen world difficulties trouble both the righteous and the wicked (Matthew 5v45). Additionally, sometimes, God disciplines us because He loves us (Hebrews 12v6).
So how do we respond to shipwrecks and snake bites? The Apostle urges us to consider Jesus in such moments. “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” (Hebrews 12v3) As we consider Christ we remember that He is the author and perfecter of our faith. He suffered more than we can possibly comprehend and yet all without sin.
When you walk from a shipwreck straight into a snake bite do not give up. You will know hard and difficult days but the Lord will strengthen you to endure and He will ensure you cross the finish line. Wounded and sore child of God, He is for you, do not give up and above all, consider Jesus.
Q36 What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification? The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.
Year 2 Day 147
Read — Psalm 62:1-4
Message Alan Burke
“First posted Year 1 Day 99 - 28 June 20”
When things in life are a mess, when we are having to deal with things that are just hard, when it’s all got on top of you, I wonder how you respond? In truth when life gives us a curve ball, when the unexpected comes our way, when things are hard, if we are honest most of us don’t deal with it very well. It may not be clear for everyone else to see but for those closest too us they can see it, the broken sleep, not being able to sit still for any length of time, our every waking hour seems to be tormented, we either comfort eat or we loose our appetite, get headaches, feel fatigued, feel anxious, we lack of motivation, the list goes on an on.
Well here in this psalm David is facing calamity, he’s facing great adversity, really his life is a shambles and he’s on the run from those who would pursue him. But look to how it begins; depending on what translation you use you will either read in verse one my soul ‘finds rest’ or my soul 'waits on’ (1). The idea here being conveyed is that David in the midst of it all is able to have silent rest from everything that is going on, he is able to have confident assurance not in himself, what he can achieve in his strength, by his hand, but in the LORD. The contentment that David has is true contentment that can be found only in a right relationship with God. There are many things that we will face, trail adversity, sometimes caused by our own sin, at other times it is because of the sin of others or circumstances beyond our control but if we know the Lord as our salvation then we can have true contentment in the midst of it all.
How do we know the Lord’s salvation through Jesus Christ, for he is the way the truth and the life, if we want to know salvation it is through faith in Him (Jn 14:6, Acts 4:12). Knowing the Lord as your salvation means knowing Jesus, knowing that eternal safety comes from him just as David did. He knew God has his place of security (2), a mighty fortress is our God that cannot be moved, and no matter what we face in this life (Rom 8:35-39) nothing can separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Even though David continued to know opposition, even though he was being kicked when he was down (leaning wall, a tottering fence) (3-4), his life was still a shambles, he was able to know that inspire of what he faced he could trust in God (1-2). Trust in God this day with what ever you face, all in this life, resign in him requires waiting and patients for all other things will let you down. What ever we face, we through faith in Christ can know this confident assurance that David himself experienced, silent rest, confident assurance in God.
Q35 What is sanctification?
Sanctification is the work of God’ s free grace, (2 Thess. 2:13) whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, (Eph. 4:23–24) and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness. (Rom. 6:4,6, Rom. 8:1)