Call to Worship
Receive God’s gracious call to worship.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3–5)
Offer this praise to God:
Glory be unto the Father. We feel the love of children within our hearts; we can say Abba, Father. Oh, how we love You, our God. Father of Jesus, Father of all that are in Jesus, our Father—sweeter word than Abraham could use. You have given us more light and introduced us to a nearer and dearer place than the patriarch knew: shall we not worship? Inconceivably glorious: we are awe-struck. Inconceivably good: we are quickened into boldness. Our God, our Father—we mingle the two words and we feel it to be very sweet to be in the immediate presence of such an One.
With equal honour and depth of love do we adore the Son of God, not only God but also Man, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. We have not seen You and still must rest in faith alone; but we believe that You did come to earth, did live and die, that You were buried, and on the third day did rise again from the dead; and You are gone up into glory, and You shall shortly come again to take Your people from among men to dwell with You. Our heart expects You, we long for You; even so, come quickly Lord Jesus. Meanwhile, our spirit bows in lowliest and most loving reverence. With all the shining ranks above of cherubim and seraphim, we adore the Lamb in the midst of the Throne as God over all, blessed for ever.
And You, too, O Sacred Spirit, the Holy Spirit, we reverence and love You, for You are our Comforter. You are now the power of this dispensation. You are with us, and You will abide with us. You dwell in our hearts; we worship You and bless the condescending love that deigns to dwell in such poor tenements as our nature.
Hear God’s perfect requirements.
Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28–31)
Confession of Sin
Confess and repent of sins before God.
Our Father which are in heaven: here at Your footstool we confess that our hearts are full of evil. We are always going astray from You; and though we have tasted of Your love, and know something of its constraining power, yet is our soul as full of vanity as a cage that is crowded with unclean birds. Even when we would pray, our distracted thoughts are flying hither and thither. How little of our time do we spend in Your service. How few are the words that we speak about You, or for You. How little is the savor of Christ upon our garments. How seldom do we rise to God, or taste of joy above! We are of the earth, earthy; and though we hope that in some degree we are spiritual, yet alas, we are compelled to feel that we are carnal. We acknowledge, O God, our sins of omission. We have all of us forgotten You and forsaken You, times without number. Nor are we without sins of commission too, for we have erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep. We have done those things which we ought not to have done, as well as left undone those things which we ought to have done.
Assurance of Pardon
Hear the promise of grace:
Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6–7)
Offer this praise to God:
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Testify what you believe of Christian truth:
Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold to the universal faith.
Anyone who does not keep it whole and unbroken will doubtless perish eternally.
Now this is the universal faith:
That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity,
neither blending their persons
nor dividing their essence.
For the person of the Father is a distinct person,
the person of the Son is another,
and that of the Holy Spirit still another.
But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one,
their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.
What quality the Father has, the Son has, and the Holy Spirit has.
The Father is uncreated,
the Son is uncreated,
the Holy Spirit is uncreated.
The Father is immeasurable,
the Son is immeasurable,
the Holy Spirit is immeasurable.
The Father is eternal,
the Son is eternal,
the Holy Spirit is eternal.
And yet there are not three eternal beings;
there is but one eternal being.
So too there are not three uncreated or immeasurable beings;
there is but one uncreated and immeasurable being.
(Athanasian Creed – part 1)
Learn from Spurgeon’s catechism.
10. How did God create man?
God created man, male and female, after his own image (Gen 1:27), in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness (Col 3:10; Eph 4:24) with dominion over the creatures (Gen 1:28).
11. What are God’s works of providence?
God’s works of providence are his most holy (Psa 145:17), wise, (Isa 28:29) and powerful (Hbr 1:3), preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions (Psa 103:19; Mat 10:29).
12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the state wherein he was created?
When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; (Gal 3:12) forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death. (Gen 2:17)
Prayer for Illumination
Ask for spiritual understanding before reading God’s Word:
But, Lord, we next would pray that Your own people should know somewhat of the quickening of the Spirit of God.
Lord, we thank You for the very least life to God, for the feeblest ray of faith and glimmering of hope. We are glad to see anything of Christ in any man; but You have come, O Savior, not only that we might have life, but that we might have it more abundantly, so our prayer is that there may be abundance of life.
O make Your people strong in the Lord, in the power of His might. Lord, we find when we walk close with God that we have no desire for the world.
When we get away altogether from the things that are seen and temporal, and live upon the invisible and eternal, then we shall have angels’ food; nay, better than that, the food of Christ Himself, for his flesh is meat indeed, and His blood is drink indeed.
Read Scripture with dependence and a desire to obey.
Day 4: Romans 8:28-39 (God’s Unfailing Love)
Prayer of Intercession
Make your requests with thanksgiving, and pray this prayer.
God, our Father, while we pray for the whole Church, we would not forget any one of Your saints. There is not a lamb among Your flock we would disdain to feed. Bless the tired ones! There are those that have dear ones very sick and ill: the Lord comfort and sustain them under great trouble of seeing others suffer. Remember any that are in temporal difficulties, and those who are themselves ill. But especially help those who are depressed in spirit. There are among Your own people plants that grow in the shade. Remember the man of a sorrowful spirit, and the woman of a sad heart. Lift up the light of Your countenance upon Your people and let them be no more sad. Send, we pray You, seasonable weather for the in gathering of the fruits of the earth; but above all send a time of in gathering to Your Church. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done. Fulfill that promise of the Father which You have made to Your Son “They shall call them a people which was not a people, and a beloved which was not a beloved. Nations which knew not You shall run unto You.” Oh draw them today; save them today. May this be a day in which many fruits shall ripen for Christ. Lord save the people; save the whole of this people. We ask it in the name, the mighty Sovereign name, of Jesus. Amen.
Close with the blessing of God.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. (2 Thess. 2:16-17)