Opening Prayer Thoughts
Praise and confession.
- Praise God that He will not allow us to blindly follow the sinful inclinations of our hearts. Praise God for His commands that both constrain us from sin, and encourage us to delight in, and enjoy, Him.
- Confess the sin of straying too often from a heart love for God, His being, character, and works.
Doctrine for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 50 – What are the duties required in the second commandment?
Answer – The second commandment requires us to receive, observe, and keep pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances as God has appointed in his Word.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Comment – Our worship of God is to be as He has commanded, not as we 'like' or get a good feeling from. The reason is simple – our sinful hearts are always seeking out idols to invest in and God desires that we will only seek after Him. So, this command is to guard us against the inclinations of our own hearts.
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 13:4-5.
Notes previously prepared by Rev. Dr. Tim Donachie, with slight amendments.
Nehemiah 13:4-5 – Becoming Lazy
There had been a very high standard set at the dedication of the wall and there was probably every intention in the minds of the people to adhere to the commitments they had made and to uphold the terms of the solemn covenant they had signed. It is, however, sadly true that it is so easy to fall away even from solemn promises made in the presence of the Holy God. To live consistently for God and in obedience to his Word requires constant vigilance and effort, otherwise we will slip back into previous patterns of behaviour.
That is quite clearly what had happened to the people here. It seems as though Nehemiah had left Jerusalem and gone back to his position in the king's palace; he had, after all, only been given a leave of absence. It is not clear just how long he was away from Jerusalem, but it could have been as much as ten or twelve years. However long it was, it was evidently long enough for the leaders of the people to become lax and to allow things to take place that would never have been tolerated if Nehemiah had still been present.
In the matter of the purity of the church and of the individual believer, the price of security and safety is eternal vigilance. When Christian believers become complacent and think that there is no longer any need to 'put to death the deeds of the flesh', there is great danger. It was for that reason that the apostle Paul in writing to the young man Timothy, urges him to be especially careful in watching his own life and doctrine, 1 Timothy 4:16. It is especially important for ministers and elders to be careful about their own spiritual relationships and their understanding of, and obedience to, the teaching of the Word of God as they seek to shepherd the flock of God.
Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 105A. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
Thank God that He requires proven godly men to lead the Bride. Pray for our leaders that they would be men of gracious courage, fearing God as they lovingly call members of the church to be what they have vowed before God to be.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC