Announcements for December 17.

  • There will be no classes after the morning service today.
  • The Christmas Day collection is for the Christian Education Fund.
  • There is no prayer meeting for the month of December.
  • The December mission collection is for the Sumba Mission. Recently two members of the Sumba Mission Board met with our consistory to thank our church for our past support and to encourage future collaboration regarding the Sumba Mission. The Sumba Mission is supported by the local Burgessville HRC, but is not financially supported by the HRC denomination. The mission was receiving support from Word and Deed, but that recently has ended. We agreed the Lord willing, to continue periodic collections, organize a fundraiser in 2018 with the help of the Titus 2 Women’s Group, work to establish a website for USA donations, and to remember the mission in corporate prayer on a regular basis. Please remember the Sumba Mission with your prayers and offerings.
  • Please join us for caroling at hope Network Homes on Saturday, December 23. Meet at River Valley, 1450 Leonard St NE, at 3:45 pm. A pizza supper will be provided afterward at the church.

Meditation for Sunday, December 17.

“The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.” John 5:25.

O Believer, when you want sensible quickenings, yet you may live well enough, by listening to the voice of Christ, and giving credit to what he says. He is not always the strongest believer who hath most of sensible presence; weak faith may need these stilts and supports, while strong faith can stand without a staff, and walk without crutches. Indeed the life of the best saints, in this world, is but a falling and a rising; but they stand most firm who stand by faith upon the promise of life they have in Christ Jesus, even when they want the feeling of life, or liveliness; they live nobly who have even a feeling of death in themselves, and yet a faith of life in Christ, “We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead,” (2 Cor. 1:9). Many never think they have sensible joys and comforts, but if that were all their life that they have, what a little, short, transient, passing life is it? But they that live by faith, they live upon the fullness of grace and life they have in Christ, and upon his word that endureth forever. They live more upon what they hear, than what they feel; yea, most upon what they hear, for, as “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” so faith lives by hearing the voice of the Son of God; and therefore it lives in the sight of death, and in spite of death, “For the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and live.” Therefore, when the shadows of death surround you, the shortest cut to a new reviving, is to hear the voice of Christ, and to listen to what he says, That the dead shall hear, and live. Look not into yourselves, or your own heart or frame, to seek for life there; that is but a seeking the living among the dead; it is to seek life in the house of death, but listen believingly to the voice of Christ, who says, “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” He can speak you to life in a moment, therefore, still remember who he is that speaketh to you from heaven; that he is the Son of God, who hath all the grace of God, the fullness of God, the wisdom of God, the power of God, and the life of God. This hearing of him, as the Son of God, and the Sent of God, to give life to the dead, is God’s mean and ordinance for quickening the dead; the hope of life is begotten in a moment this way; and, I hope, some are conscious this day that it is so. Ralph Erskine

Service information for 12/13/17

7:00 p.m.
Title: God hath found out the iniquity
1. The healing of a family
2. The testing of the brothers
3. The change of the hearts

Psalter 70:1-5
Genesis 44:1-17 (16)
Psalter 446:2-4
Psalter 297:1-3

Announcements for Sunday, December 10.

  • There will be no classes after the morning service for the next three Sundays. The next classes to be held after the morning service will be Sunday, January 7, 2018, the Lord willing.
  • The consistory has transferred the membership of Jenny Van Gemert (nee Kwekel)to the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Kalamazoo per her request.
  • We would like to start the potluck supper at 5:30 pm on Saturday evening. Families, pleasebring one main dish and one side dis Youth group members, please bring a snack for the refreshments afterward.

Meditation for Sunday, December 10

“The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.” John 5:25.

(1.) The voice of a man strikes the ear with an external sound; but the voice of the Son of God strikes the heart with an internal efficacy and energy. To hear the voice of the Son of God, then, is not only a hearing with the ear, but a believing with the heart: “The dead shall hear; and they that hear shall live.”

(2.) All that hear shall live; but, indeed, all that are dead will not hear: for, many have ears, and hear not; and hearing, they do not hear in the sense I have explained; but, “All that the Father hath given me (says Christ), shall come unto me;” all whose ears God bores and opens, to take up the voice of his Son Jesus Christ, which quickens them.

(3.) Yea, Christ here distinctly commends and extols a twofold grace and virtue of his voice; the dead shall hear the voice; and, it being heard, they shall live. It is no less preternatural for the dead to hear, than it is for the dead to live; it is equally above nature to effectuate the one as the other; but it points out the method of the application of divine grace, and the order of the Spirit’s operation. Sovereign efficacious grace makes first the dead to hear the voice of the Son of God, and then the hearer shall live: the almighty hand of God first bores the ear of the soul, and then, by the bored ear, lets in life to it.

(4.) But these are the secret effects of divine power; the Lord speaks as he did to Isaiah: “with a strong hand,” (Isa. 7:11) making the voice sound to the center of the soul. What is spoken only to the ear dies in the ear; but this still voice of the Spirit makes its entrance by secret passages into the heart, on which it leaves a stamp and impress of God. Others bear the sound of words and syllables as well as they; but they do not bear the voice of the Son of God, touching and reaching, catching, quickening, and captivating their whole soul.

(5.) It is no delusive oracular voice, sounding into the natural ear, and giving an imaginary idea and representation of Christ, as a man, so and so glorious and comely: no, no; may God deliver his people from such Satanical delusions, too much supported by some in our day; but here there is no sound of human voices, no sight of human shapes, but a spiritual view of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, as he is the wisdom of God and the power of God; and a spiritual hearing of his quickening word of grace in the gospel, coming not in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and much assurance, (1 Thess. 1:5).

Ralph Erskine

Service information for 12/10/17

9:15 a.m. (Preparatory)
Title: Christ rejected and received
1. Christ coming unto his own
2. Rejection and reception
3. Born of God

Psalter 94:1-6
John 1:1-18 (11-13)
Psalter 384:1-5
Psalter 120:1-4
Psalter 448:3-4

6:00 p.m.
Title: Sorrow and faith

Psalter 112:1-4
Luke 7:36-50 (37-38) HC LD30 qa81
Psalter 419:1-3
Psalter 53:1-5
Psalter 83:1-3

Meditation for Sunday, December 3.

“Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live;” Ezekiel 37:5

We often, in our common language about things of this nature, speak of a principle of grace. I suppose there is no other principle of grace in the soul than the very Holy Ghost dwelling in the soul and acting there as a vital principle. To speak of a habit of grace as a natural disposition to act grace, as begotten in the soul by the first communication of Divine light, and as the natural and necessary consequence of the first light, it seems in some respects to carry a wrong idea with it. Indeed the first exercise of grace in the first light has a tendency to future acts, as from an abiding principle, by grace and by the covenant of God; but not by any natural force. The giving one gracious discovery or act of grace, or a thousand, has no proper natural tendency to cause an abiding habit of grace for the future; nor any otherwise than by Divine constitution and covenant. But all succeeding acts of grace must be as immediately, and, to all intents and purposes, as much from the immediate acting of the Spirit of God on the soul, as the first; and if God should take away His Spirit out of the soul– all habits and acts of grace would of themselves cease as immediately as light ceases in a room when a candle is carried out. And no man has a habit of grace dwelling in him any otherwise than as he has the Holy Spirit dwelling in him in his temple, and acting in union with his natural faculties, after the manner of a vital principle. So that when they act grace, ’tis, in the language of the apostle, “not they, but Christ living in them.” Indeed the Spirit of God, united to human faculties, acts very much after the manner of a natural principle or habit. So that one act makes way for another, and so it now settles the soul in a disposition to holy acts; but that it does, so as by grace and covenant, and not from any natural necessity.

Jonathan Edwards

Announcements for Sunday, December 3.

  • Dear congregation,

I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Richard Slingerland, and I was born and raised in Gouda, The Netherlands. My wife, Marjolein, and I have been blessed with three wonderful children. Shortly after the Lord called me out of darkness into His marvelous light, the call to the ministry captivated my heart. I have given up my career in the Oil & Gas industry, and now I study at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids. As soon as I have finished my Master of Divinity, I hope to be sent forth into the harvest of the Lord. I am very grateful for the opportunity to do an internship at Providence Reformed Church, and I look forward to getting to know you and worshiping with you all. It is my prayer that our time together will be blessed by the Lord who gathers, protects, and preserves His church.

With Kind Regards,  Richard Slingerland

  • Collections for November are as follows:

General $8,698.02

CEF $1,025.00

Building $8,260.00

Benevolent $   600.50

Come Over and Help $1,700.00

Service information for 12/3/17

9:15 a.m.
Title: The sin of unbelief
1. A righteous priest
2. A message from heaven
3. Unbelief and chastisement

Psalter 391:1-4
Luke 1:5-25 (18-20)
Psalter 332:1-4
Psalter 202:1-3
Psalter 422:5-6

6:00 p.m.
Title: Stephen seeing Jesus in heaven

Psalter 228:1-3
Acts 7:37-60 (55) HC LD30 qa80
Psalter 290:5-11
Psalter 308:1-5
Psalter 415:6-7

Meditation for Sunday, November 26.

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father.Eph. 5:20

We are to give thanks for the dark things, the cutting things, the things which plague and vex us and disquiet our spirits—for these are among the “all things” for which we ought to praise and bless God. Doubtless, if our eyes were opened, like those of Elijah’s servant, we should see our trials to be among our choicest treasures! If we exercise the farseeing eyes of faith and not the dim eyes of sense, we shall discover that nothing can be more fatal to us than to be without affliction and that nothing is more beneficial to us than to be tried as with fire. Therefore we will glory in tribulations! We will bless and magnify the name of the Lord that He leads us through the wilderness that He may prove us and that He may fit us for dwelling by-and-by in the Promised Land. “Giving thanks always for all things.”

I should like to be towards God of the mind that John Bradford was towards Queen Mary. When reviled as a rebel, that saint and martyr said, “I have no quarrel with the queen. If she releases me I will thank her. If she imprison me I will thank her. If she burns me I will thank her.” We should say of the Lord, “Let Him do what seems good to Him. If He will give us health we will thank Him. If He will send us sickness we will thank Him. If He indulges us with prosperity or if He tries us with affliction, if the Holy Spirit will but enable us, we will never cease to praise the Lord as long as we live.”

Augustine tells us that the early saints, when they met each other would never separate without saying, “Deo gratias! Thanks be to God.” Frequently their conversation would be about the persecutions which raged against them, but they finished their conversation with, “Deo gratias!” Sometimes they had to tell of dear Brothers and Sisters devoured by the beasts in the amphitheatre, but even then they said, “Deo gratias!” Frequently they mourned the uprise of heresy, but this did not make them rob the Lord of His, “Deo gratias.” So should it be with us all the day long. The motto of the Christian should be, “Deo gratias!” “Giving thanks always for all things.”

Charles Spurgeon