Opening Prayer Thoughts
Praise and confession.
- Praise God that He has given you physical life, and new life in Christ if you profess faith. Praise God that He has not left us in ignorance as to how we are to worship Him and use the material blessings He gives to us.
- Confess and repent of the sin of not always worshiping God in the manner He requires, with all your heart.
Doctrine for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 52 – What are the reasons attached to the second commandment?
Answer – The reasons attached to the second commandment are God’s authority as our lawgiver, the fact that we belong to him, and the zeal he has for his own worship.
Comment – We are to worship God as he decrees because of who He is as our Creator and sustainer. We are to worship God as he decrees because He is the only who has the right to tell us how we are to live. We are to worship God as He decrees because He does know how He wants to be worshipped; and who are we to do otherwise.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Verse to memorise.
James 1:17 - "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
Pray and ask for the Holy Spirit's help as you read God's Word.
Please read Nehemiah 13:10-14.
Notes previously prepared by Rev. Dr. Tim Donachie, with slight amendments.
Ch 13:10-14 - Withholding Tithes
In chapter 10:39, in all the excitement and enthusiasm of the dedication of the wall, the people had solemnly promised that they would not forsake the house of their God, and yet when Nehemiah returned he found that the Levites and the singers had been forced to go back to working in the fields because of the lack of provision made for them by the people.
There was a very stern challenge made to them by Nehemiah, 'why is the house of the Lord forsaken?' By neglecting to make provision for those who had been called to serve in the full-time ministry of the temple, the people were guilty of breaking the covenant they had sworn. It is not just by committing breaches of the law that people break their covenant with God, but also by neglect! There are sins of omission as well as commission.
The particular sin of omission that Nehemiah highlighted here had to do with giving to support the work of the Lord. It is the very same thing that was highlighted by the Lord through the prophecy of Malachi. God accused his people of robbing him and when they challenged Him to tell how they had robbed Him, He responds by pointing to their failure in giving tithes and offerings, chapter 3:8-10. What a tragedy it is when the work of the Lord suffers because the people of God will not fulfil the responsibilities laid upon them to provide for those who minister the Word. Sadly, this is a pattern so often seen in the life of the church. James Philip asks a very pertinent question when he says: 'Is this an inevitable experience? Are we to expect this, as a matter of course? Is Christian life also to be nothing more than a series of comings and goings? Surely not, if the testimony of the early Church is to be taken seriously! The power of the indwelling Spirit is more than sufficient, and we must not allow ourselves the luxury of acquiescing in the 'backwards and forwards pattern', as if it were inevitable. It is not!'
Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 105A. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
Thank God that He commands us to return a portion of all that he blesses us with materially, to remind us of the fact that we only have what we have through His mercy and grace to us. Pray that we may never see this command as something we can take up or leave as we please, for the consequences upon us and our families will be significant.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC