Opening Prayer Thoughts
Praise and confession.
- Praise God for how the Lord Jesus lived His life in complete obedience to the Father, and then gave full satisfaction to the justice of God at the cross for man's sin.
- Confess the sin of not thanking God for your salvation as frequently as you could.
Doctrine for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 56 – What is the reason attached to the third commandment?
Answer – The reason attached to the third commandment is that though the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the LORD your God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgement.
Proof Texts – Deuteronomy 28:58-59, 1 Samuel 3:13, 1 Samuel 4:11
Comment – No one can escape the judgement of God.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Verse to memorise.
Philippians 3:13,14. “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Pray and ask for the Holy Spirit's help as you read God's Word.
Please read Philippians 3:12-16.
Notes written by Rev. Philip Dunwoody (Dervock, RPCI), with slight amendments.
Ch 3:12-16. Press On With Joy.
Healthy beings grow and mature. Parents will look for markers, every few weeks or months, that young children are growing; farmers look for it in their livestock; entrepreneurs look for it in their profit margins. The Christian life is no different: it is not about standing still, but about pressing forward, seeing growth. Paul is eager to see the Philippian believers mature, grow, press forward in their faith. But how do we know if this is happening in our Christian lives?
First of all, Paul says that maturing believers know we're not "there" yet – that is, we know we're not as mature as we will someday be. Paul said in chapter 3:10 that he wants to "know" Christ and to "become like him" in every way – but he says in verse 12 that he knows he's not there yet.
And so, secondly, Paul presses on, verse 14. Maybe you've seen the sprinters at the Olympics lean and stretch out at the end of the race in an effort to finish first. Paul is telling us that he presses on in his faith with every fibre of his being – it takes effort.
It is not "unspiritual" to say that the Christian life is often just about getting on with things: dishes need to be washed, rubbish bins need to be emptied, homework needs to be done. But as Christians we have the great assurance that our faithful plodding and pressing on is taking us somewhere: closer and closer to "the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (verse 14). We're going to be with our Saviour! We're going to be glorified in heaven with Him and all his people! Does this not motivate us to stretch and strain, a little bit more, day by ordinary day?
Paul says in verse 15 that this mindset is a mark of maturity. If we don't have it, Paul says God can change us – or "reveal" our faulty thinking. God reveals things in his Word. If we don't find ourselves motivated to "press on", perhaps we should turn to the Scriptures, consider Christ in all His glory, and remind ourselves of the wonderful promises He has made for our glorious future with Him.
Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 108A. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
Thank God for the blessing of pressing on in a new life in Jesus Christ. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for help to grow in your faith and maturity.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC