Meditation for Sunday, March 29.

But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and your children. Luke 23:28.

Jesus wished them not so much to look at His outward sufferings as at the secret inward cause of that outward sorrow, namely, the transgression and the iniquity of His people which had laid the Cross upon His shoulders and surrounded Him with enemies! Consider these words of Isaac Watts—

“’Twas you, my sins, my cruel sins, His chief tormentors were!

Each of my crimes became a nail, And unbelief the spear.

‘Twas you that pulled the vengeance down Upon His guiltless head:

Break, break, my heart, oh burst my eyes! And let my sorrows bleed.

Strike, mighty Grace, my flinty soul, Till melting waters flow,

And deep repentance drowns my eyes In sorrow and in woe.”

We now pass on from, “Weep not,” to, “WEEP.” May God the Holy Spirit help us to dwell upon that for a while with profit to our souls. Though Jesus stops one channel for tears, he opens another and a wider one. Let us look at it. First, when He said, “Weep for yourselves,” He meant that they were to lament and bewail the sin which had brought Him where He was, seeing He had come to suffer for it. And He would have them weep because that sin would bring them and their children into yet deeper woe.

You know that just before He uttered this remarkable saying, the husbands, the fathers and the sons of those women had been crying with loud voices, “Let Him be crucified,” and when Pilate had taken water and washed his hands to show that he was innocent of the blood of Jesus, they had imprecated upon their nation, and upon their unborn sons, the curse which follows from such a deed. “Then answered all the people, His blood be on us and on our children.” And though these women lamented and mourned, yet over their heads, the men who had spoken for the nation had gathered the thunder cloud of Divine Wrath! Jesus points to it and says, “Weep for the national sin, weep for the national curse which will surely come upon you, because you are putting the Just One to death.”

Yes, deeper, still, was His meaning, for all those about Him were, in a sense, guilty of His death. And you, and I, and all the rest of mankind have been, in our measure, the cause of the Savior’s Crucifixion. Oh, Brothers and Sisters, this is the reason why we should weep—because we have broken the Divine Law and rendered it impossible that we should be saved except Jesus Christ should die! If we have not believed in Jesus Christ, we have this cause for lamentation—that our sin abides upon us at this present moment! That curse which crushed the Savior down till He cried, Eloi, Eloi, lama Sa-bachthani, is resting upon some who are here this morning!

Souls, you need not pity the dying Christ, but pity yourselves! On your own selves, your sin is resting! And your children growing up unconverted, hardened in rebellion against God by your example—their sin is resting upon them, too, and this is the overflowing cause why you should weep! And you Believers, you from whom sin has been lifted, who are forgiven for His name’s sake—yet lament that you should have sinned—and with your joy for pardoned guilt mourn that Christ had to carry the burden which you heaped together and to bear the penalty which you deserved! All round, Brothers and Sisters, there is abounding cause for sorrow for sin—a sweet sorrow from the Lord’s people and a bitter sorrow from those who have no part nor lot in the result of Christ’s passion as yet, but who, nevertheless, are partakers in the crime which slew the Son of God!   By Charles Spurgeon

Announcements for Sunday, March 29.

  • Please continue to pray for Dan Sweetman’s mother whose health improved enough that she could be moved to a rehabilitation center.
  • Samuel Boerkoel has appeared before the consistory and expressed his desire to make confession of faith and join Providence Reformed Church. The consistory accepted him and we plan to have a confession of faith service as soon as possible.
  • The elders plan to check in with each of you during the coming week to ask how you are doing in this difficult economic and social time.

Prayer meeting

The consistory decided that we will continue with the prayer meeting tomorrow evening, but we plan to have the meeting online using the Zoom app. If you would like to join us, please click on this link at 7 pm and you will be joined to the meeting.

https://zoom.us/j/279482654

Mr. Chris Engelsma will lead the prayer meeting. Everyone will enter the meeting with their audio on, and the camera and microphone turned off. Chris will be able to help us as we learn how to do this together. Please join us even if you feel awkward about technology.

The consistory proposes that we meet together online each Wednesday from 7pm – 8pm while we’re in this time of being restricted from meeting together on Sunday. The elders will take turns leading the meetings (after this prayer meeting) and provide an opportunity for people to share concerns and joys.

Please try to join us for this first online meeting tomorrow evening at 7 pm. It’s for young and old.

Announcements for Sunday, March 22.

  • Please continue to pray for Dan Sweetman’s mother as she remains in critical condition in the hospital.
  • Dear congregation. It has become difficult to maintain our normal schedule for the church services and activities. We have a consistory meeting planned for tomorrow evening. We will try to put together a plan that can guide us regarding the schedule for the coming weeks and months.

Meditation for Sunday, March 22.

Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts. Zach. 13:7.

Why did He made the sword of justice to awake and smite his Shepherd, the man that is his Fellow? That thus he might get all his divine attributes glorified in the highest. “Glory to God in the highest,” was the song of angels when he appeared in our nature, to receive this awful stroke. God’s honour was not more impaired and embezzled by the sin of man, than it was restored and repaired by the death of Christ. If all mankind, and all the angels with them, had fallen a sacrifice to the sword of divine justice, it could not have repaired the honor of God for one sin: though they had all been offered up in one whole burnt offering, it could not have satisfied infinite justice; yea, though they had all been damned in hell, to all eternity, justice could never have got full satisfaction. But here is justice glorified to the highest; “By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified;” and at the same time vindicated the spotless holiness and righteousness of God, that it may be known that God is holy and just, who will needs avenge sin in his own Son, the holy and innocent cautioner, when he interposes in the sinner’s room. This is the declared design of God’s awakening the sword of justice against Christ; “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus,” (Rom. 3:25). If God had exacted the satisfaction of the sinners themselves, by sending them to hell, it might have declared his justice and righteousness much but here it is more gloriously declared, and glorified to the highest; for, if we consider Christ in himself, and the elect in themselves, his death and sufferings are more than if all the elect had suffered eternally in hell. Here is mercy also and free grace glorified to the highest, while the sinner is liberated and not put to pay the debt in his own person. Here is divine power glorified to the highest; in the crucifying Christ, whom the power of God supported under that load of wrath that would have crushed ten thousand worlds. Here is wisdom glorified to the highest; “The manifold wisdom of God,” that there should be two natures, yet but one person; that mercy should be fully magnified, and yet justice fully satisfied; that sin should be punished, and yet the sinner unpunished: that the sinner should escape, and yet God should take vengeance upon sin. O the wisdom of God in a mystery!

It was even for the honor of the Shepherd, and the glory of the man his fellow. God designed that for his suffering of death, he should be crowned with glory and honor, (Heb. 2:9). That for his humbling himself, and becoming obedient to the death, he should be highly exalted above all, and have a name above every name, (Phil. 2:9). That for drinking of the brook in the way, he should lift up his head; that after he had drunk of the brook of divine wrath in our room, he should lift up his head above all principalities and powers, and have all power in heaven and earth given to him, and a number of elect to praise him forever. O it is a wonderful thing to think, what he gave, and what he got! What gave he? His body, his soul, his blood, his life: What got he? Even some of the black, ugly race of Adam to embrace him? he makes his soul an offering for sin, and then he sees his seed, he sees the travail of his soul, and is satisfied. He thinks all his pains well bestowed, when he gets his bride in his arms. O here is love! behold incarnate love! bleeding love! dying love! Shall not this glorious lover be exalted of God forever, and exalted by all the Redeemed with the highest praises, for opening his breast to receive the wound of the awakened sword of justice! yea, more, the song will be, “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain. Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.”

By Ralph Erskine

Announcements for Sunday, March 15

  • Pastor K. Veldman was not able to serve us today with the preaching of the word due to the poor health of his wife. Please pray that she may regain her strength.
  • Please pray for Mrs. Elizabeth Rozeboom and her family. The results of the EMG test she received last Thursday show that she has ALS. She will begin attending an ALS clinic next Tuesday, but there is no cure.
  • Please sign Adam Bazen’s wedding card. It’s on a table in lower level. They plan to be married soon. Their wedding date has been postponed due to military exercises.
  • Please plan to attend Allison Boerkoel‘s wedding shower on Saturday, March 21 at 9:30 AM.A gift donation box for her shower will be on the table downstairs until March 15th.

Meditation for Sunday, March 15.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1.

Here the Psalmist begins with a general expression or sentiment, before he comes to speak of the more particular deliverance. He begins by premising that God is sufficiently able to protect his own people, and that he gives them sufficient ground to expect it. In the second clause of the verse the verb he is found, which we translate in the present, is in the past tense, he has been found; and, indeed, there would be no impropriety in limiting the language to some particular deliverance which had already been experienced, just as others also have rendered it in the past tense. But as the prophet adds the term tribulations in the plural number, I prefer explaining it of a continued act, That God comes seasonably to our aid, and is never wanting in the time of need, as often as any afflictions press upon his people. If the prophet were speaking of the experience of God’s favor, it would answer much better to render the verb in the past tense. It is, however, obvious that his design is to extol the power of God and his goodness towards his people, and to show how ready God is to afford them assistance, that they may not in the time of their adversities gaze around them on every side, but rest satisfied with his protection alone. He therefore says expressly that God acts in such a manner towards them, to let the Church know that he exercises a special care in preserving and defending her.

There can be no doubt that by this expression he means to draw a distinction between the chosen people of God and other heathen nations, and in this way to commend the privilege of adoption which God of his goodness had vouchsafed to the posterity of Abraham. Accordingly, when I said before that it was a general expression, my intention was not to extend it to all manner of persons, but only to all times; for the object of the prophet is to teach us after what manner God is wont to act towards those who are his people. He next concludes, by way of inference, that the faithful nave no reason to be afraid, since God is always ready to deliver them, nay, is also armed with invincible power. He shows in this that the true and proper proof of our hope consists in this, that, when things are so confused, that the heavens seem as it were to fall with great violence, the earth to remove out of its place, and the mountains to be torn up from their very foundations, we nevertheless continue to preserve and maintain calmness and tranquility of heart. It is an easy matter to manifest the appearance of great confidence, so long as we are not placed in imminent danger: but if, in the midst of a general crash of the whole world, our minds continue undisturbed and free of trouble, this is an evident proof that we attribute to the power of God the honor which belongs to him. When, however, the sacred poet says, We will not fear, he is not to be understood as meaning that the minds of the godly are exempt from all fear, as if they were destitute of feeling, for there is a great difference between insensibility and the confidence of faith. He only shows that whatever may happen they are never overwhelmed with terror, but rather gather strength and courage sufficient to allay all fear. By John Calvin

Service Information for Prayer Day

Service Information for Prayer Day, 9:30am:  Student Chris Engelsma

Title:  Prayers for the Shepherd

Text:  Micah 7:14

  1. A prayer for shepherding
  2. A prayer for the defeat of the enemies
  3. A prayer to see God in His mercy
  4. A prayer to see God’s covenant faithfulness
Songs:
Psalter 53
Psalter 275
Psalter 441

Service Information for Prayer Day, 7pm:  Student Richard Slingerland

Title:  Daniel’s Supplication

Text:  Dan. 9: 1-19

  1. Adoration,
  2. Confession,
  3. Pleading)

Songs:
Psalter 415 1,3,10
Psalter 244
Psalter 351

 

Announcements for Sunday, March 8.

  • The Prayer Day collections will be for Plymouth Christian Schools.
  • The Foundation Brass Band will hold a concert at 7:00 pm on Saturday, March 14 at Providence Reformed Church. There will be a collection during the concert for Alpha Family Center of Lowell.
  • Dear Church Family. Please sign Adam Bazen’s wedding card. It’s on a table in lower level. They plan to be married on April 4.
  • Please plan to attend Allison Boerkoel‘s wedding shower on Saturday, March 21 at 9:30 AM.A gift donation box for her shower will be on the table downstairs until March 15th.
  • Save the Date: Youth group trip to Montreal. July 13 – July 18.