Announcements for January 19.

  • M.C. Schreur, from Hervormde Gemeente of Harskamp, the Netherlands, hopes to serve us with preaching for two Sundays in February. He reminded me in an email that he paid a visit to Rev. C. van den Berg and his family in 1997, when the van den Bergs were in the USA preparing to move to China. If my memory is correct, he was himself living in China at that time. He served in China many years before returning to be a pastor in the Netherlands. His daughter, Gerjane, may travel with him.
  • The mission collection this month is for the Prison Book Ministry. This fund pays for the purchase of theological books for men in prison.  These books are purchased and shipped from ReformationHeritage B  Please speak with Chris Engelsma if you have additional questions.
  • Please remember in prayer those who cannot join with us in public worship today, especially those experiencing the weakness of old age.

Meditation for Sunday, January 19.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 5:3

A truly humble person, having such a mean opinion of his righteousness and holiness, is poor in spirit. For a person to be poor in spirit, is to be in his own sense and apprehension poor, as to what is in him, and to be of an answerable disposition. Therefore a truly humble person, especially one eminently humble, naturally behaves himself in many respects as a poor man. “The poor useth entreaties, but the rich answereth roughly.” A poor man is not disposed to quick and high resentment when he is among the rich: he is apt to yield to others, for he knows others are above him; he is not stiff and self-willed; he is patient with hard fare; he expects no other than to be despised, and takes it patently; he does not take it heinously that he is overlooked and but little regarded; he is prepared to be in a low place; he readily honors his superiors; he takes reproofs quietly; he readily honors others as above him; he easily yields to be taught, and does not claim much to his understanding and judgment; he is not over nice or humorsome, and has his spirit subdued to hard things, he is not assuming, nor apt to take much upon him, but it is natural for him to be subject to others. Thus it is with the humble Christian.

A man that is very poor is a beggar; so is he that is poor in spirit. There is a great difference between those affections that are gracious, and those that are false: under the former, the person continues still a poor beggar at God’s gates, exceeding empty and needy; but the latter make men appear to themselves rich, and increased with goods, and not very necessitous; they have a great stock in their own imagination for their subsistence.

Thus I have endeavored to describe the heart and behavior of one that is governed by a truly gracious humility, as exactly agreeable to the Scriptures as I am able.

Now, it is out of such a heart as this, that all truly holy affections do flow. Christian affections are like Mary’s precious ointment that she poured on Christ’s head, that filled the whole house with a sweet odor. That was poured out of an alabaster box; so gracious affections flow out to Christ out of a pure heart. That was poured out of a broken box; until the box was broken, the ointment could not flow, nor diffuse its odor; so gracious affections flow out of a broken heart. Gracious affections are also like those of Mary Magdalene, who also pours precious ointment on Christ, out of an alabaster broken box, anointing therewith the feet of Jesus, when she had washed them with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head. All gracious affections that are a sweet odor to Christ, and that fill the soul of a Christian with a heavenly sweetness and fragrance, are broken hearted affections. A truly Christian love, either to God or men, is a humble broken hearted love. The desires of the saints, however earnest, are humble desires. Their hope is a humble hope; and their joy, even when it is unspeakable, and full of glory, is a humble broken hearted joy, and leaves the Christian more poor in spirit; and more like a little child, and more disposed to a universal lowliness of behavior.

From Religious Affections by Johnathan Edwards

Meditation for Sunday, January 12.

When this passing world is done,
When has sunk yon glaring sun,
When we stand with Christ in glory,
Looking o’er life’s finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know –
Not till then – how much I owe.

When I hear the wicked call
On the rocks and hills to fall,
When I see them start and shrink
On the fiery deluge brink, –
Then, Lord, shall I fully know –
Not till then – how much I owe.

When I stand before the throne,
Dressed in beauty not my own,
When I see thee as thou art,
Love thee with un-sinning heart,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know –
Not till then – how much I owe.

When the praise of heav’n I hear,
Loud as thunder to the ear,
Loud as many water’s noise,
Sweet as harp’s melodious voice,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know –
Not till then – how much I owe.

Even on earth, as through a glass
Darkly, let Thy glory pass,
Make forgiveness feel so sweet,
Make Thy Spirit’s help so meet,
Even on earth, Lord, make me know
Something of how much I owe.

Chosen not for good in me,
Wakened up from wrath to flee,
Hidden in the Savior’s side,
By the Spirit sanctified,
Teach me, Lord, on earth to show,
By my love, how much I owe.

Oft I walk beneath the cloud,
Dark, as midnight’s gloomy shroud;
But, when fear is at the height,
Jesus comes, and all is light;
Blessed Jesus! bid me show
Doubting saints how much I owe.

When in flowery paths I tread,
Oft by sin I’m captive led;
Oft I fall – but still arise –
The Spirit comes – the tempter flies;
Blessed Spirit! bid me show
Weary sinners all I owe.
Robert Murray McCheyne. May 1837.

Announcements for Sunday, January 12.

  • There will be no Christian education classes today.
  • The offerings for December 2019 are as follows:

General $25,387.72

Benevolent   $3,187.01

CEF   $6,412.36

Building   $2,505.36

Sumba Mission   $2,818.00

  • The Lord’s Supper will be served this morning. Church members or others who have received permission from the consistory may attend.

Meditation for Sunday, January 5, 2020.

Therefore doth my Father love me because I lay down my life’. John 10:17

The free obedience of Christ. ‘I lay down my life. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.’ Brethren, there is nothing more certain than that no man can lay down his life for another. But you will observe, there were two things that made it right in Christ to lay down his life: (a) he is the Lord of all; (b) the Father gave him a commandment to lay it down. ‘I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’
And you will notice from this that in laying down his life, he was not forced to do it. This is brought out in the example of Isaac. You remember that God commanded Abraham to take Isaac his son, and to go into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt-offering; but you will notice that Isaac was a young man, and his father an old man, so that, had he wanted, he could have resisted his being bound – Genesis 22:1-19. Now, brethren, this was intended to be a type of Christ. It is true that men bound him, but it is also true that he laid down his life himself

Dear brethren, from this let us learn the justice of this act. There are many persons who say that it is not just for an innocent person to die for the wicked; but this is an extraordinary case. The Father was willing to take Christ as the substitute, so it is in perfect accordance with law and justice.
‘Therefore doth my Father love me because I lay down my life’ I do not know any word in the Bible that is more sweet to meditate on than the love of the Father to the Son. There are many things that induce the Father to love the Son. He loved him for his Godhead. But here is another reason why the Father loves the Son – he loves him for his holy manhood. ‘He was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners’ – Hebrews 7:26. God never saw anything so like himself. When God made Adam, he said, ‘It is very good’; but oh! when he saw Jesus, he saw a loveliness in him such as he never saw in any created thing.
But here is another reason why the Father loves him: ‘Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life.’ We are told that he grew in favour both with God and man – Luke 2:52. He was every day fulfilling a part of his holy obedience, until he came to the last, and then the Father saw obedience as he had never seen it before. Oh, brethren! it was love that was never seen before, that he should die for the lowest for the vilest. And that appears to be another reason why Jesus died: it is, that the Father got a vent for his love to flow out to sinners: ‘Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life.                   From all this, dear brethren, learn:
(a) Though a child of God carries the cross, he may be under the love of God. Never did God love Christ so much as when he was heaping wrath upon him – ‘Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life.’ And, oh, brethren! so it often is with a saint. Often God puts a cross upon a child of God, and then takes it off, and lets us sing, ‘I will yet praise him who is the health of my countenance and my God’ – Psalm 42:11.
(b) Learn how sinners are to come into the love of God. Dear friends, I have often pleaded with you to come into the love and peace of God; but you may say, I do not know how to come; then, listen – the Father loves you because Jesus has finished the work. Come! O believe on him, and you will be brought into the love of God! Amen. Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Announcements for Sunday, January 5, 2020.

  • Christian education classes resume today.
  • There will be a preparatory service during this morning’s service for the Lord’s Supper which we plan to celebrate next week, the Lord willing.
  • J. Pronk has accepted the pastoral call to be the pastor of Providence Reformed Church. The consistory has begun the immigration  process to bring Pastor Pronk and his family to the United States. Please pray that the Lord would guide this process in his favor.

Service Information for January 5

AM Worship: 9:15am Student Chris Engelsma

Scripture: Jeremiah 7:1-28
Title: Presumption

  1. What presumption is;
  2. How we commit this sin;
  3. How we can avoid this sin.

Psalter 9
Psalter 428 vs3-6
Psalter 138
Psalter 387

PM Worship: 6pm Student Chris Engelsma

Scripture: Exodus 10
Title: A Word for the New Year

  1. The Contest
  2. A theological word
  3. An experiential word
  4. A rebuking word
  5. A gospel word
  6. A comforting word

Psalter: Song of Mary
Psalter: 388
Psalter: 210
Psalter: 416 vs5,6,7

New Years 2020

New Years Service, 7pm;  student Jacob-Jan Matze

Scripture: Psalm 1

Theme: The Blessed Man
1. His Biblical Walk
2. His Lasting Impact
3. His Glorious Future

Psalter 383
Psalter 1  vs 1-3
Psalter 1  vs 4-5
Psalter 378

Old Years 2019

Old Years Service, 7pm;   Student Jacob-Jan Matze

Scripture:   1Tim. 6
Title: Closing with Contentment
1. A Sobering Call
2. A Confronting Reason
3. A Compelling Motivation

Psalter 187
Psalter 105 4-6
Psalter 31 6,7
Psalter 366


Announcements for Sunday December 29, 2019.

  • There will not be Christian education classes today. Classes resume next week.
  • Dear church family, sincere appreciation for the cards and tokens of love shown  at this special advent season but also for the many tokens of love expressed throughout the year. “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.” Gary Kwekel
  • The pastoral call to Rev. J. Pronk was approved by the Great Lakes City Classis officials last Thursday. The pastoral call letter was sent to Pastor Pronk on Thursday via email.
  • Please pray for traveling mercies for those who are traveling in these weeks.
  • Please be aware that once we begin our worship services, we lock all the entrance doors to the building. There is a ‘door bell’ on the door frame of the lower front door off of Coit Ave. A bell does not ring, but a light flashes on the sound board and notifies the sound attendant that someone is at the door. Please be patient as the sound attendant may also be involved in something before they can come to the door. There is also a camera at the door but when it’s dark you will need to stand close to the door to be seen.