Opening Prayer Thoughts
Praise and confession.
- Praise God for the fact that He has granted citizenship in heaven to an incalculable number of people, based solely on the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus on the cross.
- Confess the sin of failing to comprehend the magnitude of that citizenship and its blessed privileges.
Doctrine for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 54 – What is required in the third commandment?
Answer – The third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God’s name, titles, attributes, ordinances, Word, and works.
Comment – Most Christians understand that we are to use the name of God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit with conscious care. Many Christians however do not understand that that also applies to phrases which speak of God's attributes and works. For example, terms like; 'oh goodness', 'oh gracious me', ‘holy smoke' are misuses of words which speak of God's being and work and therefore should not be used.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Verse to memorise.
Philippians 1:6 - "And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion on the day of Jesus Christ.”
Pray and ask for the Holy Spirit's help as you read God's Word.
Please read Philippians 1:27-30.
Notes written by Rev. Philip Dunwoody (Dervock, RPCI), with slight amendments.
Ch 1:27-30. Citizens of Heaven
Some of our English Bibles have translated verse 27: "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ…" Another way of saying it is: "Only behave as citizens worthy of the gospel of Christ…" The people who lived in the city of Philippi were very proud to be able to say they were Roman citizens. The other towns and cities nearby were Greek: they spoke Greek and had Greek beliefs. Philippi was a Roman city in a Greek world. Whilst they had no problem with their Greek neighbours, the Philippians were proud to be Roman. But Paul is writing to the church in Philippi. He wants them to think of themselves not just as Roman citizens, but as citizens of heaven. He tells them about two traits that citizens of heaven should have.
Firstly, heavenly citizens stand firm together (verse 27). Soldiers on a battlefield are strongest when they stand side by side. Paul is warning the Philippians that they will not survive the temptations of Satan and the pressures of the world as individuals; they need one another. Christians today are no different. God has given us the church, where we encourage each other, pray for each other, and support each other. This is one of the reasons we should commit ourselves to weekly worship and fellowship – so we can help one another to stand firm.
Secondly, heavenly citizens suffer for their Saviour's sake (verse 29). Paul tells us not to be frightened by those who oppose us (verse 28). We should not be at all surprised when people disagree with us or even hate us for our Christian faith (see John 15:18-25). In fact, Paul actually describes this kind of suffering as a gift from God – this is what the word "granted" means in verse 29. It is when we suffer for the sake of Christ that we appreciate a little more the tremendous sacrifice He made for us, through His far greater suffering on the cross. Whether we lose a friend, a reputation, or even a job, suffering for Christ draws us closer to our glorious, suffering Saviour.
Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 106A. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
Thank God for the blessed hope of eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that we would have the courage to stand firm in the times of trials that lie before us.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC