Call to Worship
Receive God’s gracious call to worship.
One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)
Offer this praise to God:
Glorious Lord God, our inmost hearts worship You; for You are high above the heavens, and yet You humble Yourself to behold the things that are in heaven and that are on earth.
And in Your condescension You have regard to the very lowest of mankind. Many of us can sing “He has regarded my low estate;” for You do raise the poor out of the dust, and the needy out of the dunghill, that You may set them among princes, even the princes of the people.
Who is a God like unto You: Hallelujah!
our praises shall never cease from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, and all through the night watches, the Lord’s name is to be praised.
Our Father, for that is the sweetest title by which we can address You, we pray You save us entirely from sin. There are many in Your presence who are resting in the peace which comes of justification by faith.
We know that we are righteous through the righteousness of another, even Jesus Christ; but we pant and pine for personal likeness to Yourself. If You be our Father, then upon every child of Yours should be the Father’s image impressed: so let it be.
Hear God’s perfect requirements.
For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. (Titus 3:3)
Confession of Sin
Confess and repent of sins before God.
We beseech You, Lord, to enable us to recognize our death to sin; and when it tempts us may we be deaf to the voice of the charmer with the deafness of death; and when it would use our members as instruments of unrighteousness, may we be quite incapable thereof with the incapacity of death.
O God, deliver us we pray You from the invasion of sin, as well as from the dominion of it. Grant us to walk as Christ walked; in His newness of life may we live — may the life in the flesh be a life of faith upon the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us; and may it be a life of love, and consecration of burning zeal for God; a life of pure holiness; such a life as the incarnate God Himself has lived among the sons of men.
We lament that in the body of this death there is much that we abhor.We are tempted to indolence at times, and though busy in the world we become spiritually idle. We are tempted to envy others because they excel us, and we mourn to confess the meanness of our spirit in this matter; and also we have to lament our pride. We have nothing to be proud of; the lowest place is ours; but Lord, we often conceive ourselves to be something when we are nothing.
We pray You forgive all these vices of our nature; but at the same time kill them, for we hate…to think we should fall into such evils. …have mercy upon us for our unbelief. You have given us proof of Your existence, and of Your love to us, and of Your care over us especially have You given us Your only begotten Son, best pledge of love. And yet we acknowledge that we do doubt. Unbelief comes into the soul. We are…ashamed of this. We could lie in the very dust to think it should be so.
Lord, have mercy upon us; but also help us to be strong in faith in the future, giving glory to God.We must sorrowfully also lament our hearts, how they wander. If You give us a blessing we begin to idolize it. How often do we set our hearts upon children, upon some beloved object, or upon wealth, or upon honor.
Somehow or other, this spiritual adultery too often comes upon us, and the chastity of our hearts towards our God is violated. Be pleased to forgive us in this thing also.
Assurance of Pardon
Hear the promise of grace:
Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18–19)
Offer this praise to God:
You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)
Testify what you believe of Christian truth:
The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it. Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness. And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment. “After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus—after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.’ “Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’ Therefore He also says in another Psalm: ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’ “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: ‘Behold, you despisers, Marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, A work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you.’ ” (Acts 13:17–41)
Learn from Spurgeon’s catechism.
52. Which is the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment is, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
53. What is required in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment requires the preserving the honour, and performing the duties belonging to every one in their various positions and relationships as superiors (Eph 5:21-22; Eph 6:1, 5; Rom 13:1), inferiors (Eph 6:9), or equals (Rom 12:10).
54. What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?
A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is, a promise of long life and prosperity—as far as it shall serve for God’s glory, and their own good—to all such as keep this commandment (Eph 6:2-3).
Prayer for Illumination
Ask for spiritual understanding before reading God’s Word:
And gracious God, we pray You, work in us… such a holy love to You, that we may render to You all that we have. We have sometimes said in our soul “Take not tithe, but take You all.” Keep us true to this. May we feel that we are “not our own but bought with a price,” and let this be…a real force which constrains us, because “we thus judge that if one died for all, then all died, and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him that died for them and rose again.”
Read Scripture with dependence and a desire to obey.
Day 21: Psalm 139:23-24 (Search Me, O God)
Prayer of Intercession
Make your requests with thanksgiving, and pray this prayer.
And at this hour, which is an hour of grace, we would ask You to help any of Your children who are under bondage. If they have lost their hope, if their faith has become weak, if their love burns low, Lord renew the faith of Your people like that of the eagles; and let them mount up with eagles and rise above their doubts, their deadness, and their care.
Should any of Your servants be in deep trouble, will You grant them grace to glory in tribulation also, because it works patience, experience, and hope.
And may the Lord grant to all his tried and troubled ones, beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
Prosper Your universal church. Send the preaching of the pure gospel again to the world. Silence the voices of those that are spreading infidelity and superstition and may the day come when every pulpit Shall resound with the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, and His people shall again return to their allegiance to the faith — the faith once delivered to the saints, never to swerve again.
O God, suffer us to intercede with You a moment for our unconverted ones. Give us to feel great sorrow and heaviness of heart for those who, as yet, are far off from God Lord, bring them in.
O God, awaken the careless and frivolous — there may be such here this morning, who have never given any solemn consideration to the matters of their soul.
May they be awakened and aroused today; and while we set forth the way of salvation by grace, may they feel their need of it and be willing to accept it; and may the Lord save them this day.
May any that are anxious, but are missing the mark, looking to themselves instead of to Christ, learn the way of life and run in it. Save them, O God; yea, save this people. Let all within these…walls today be within the Temple gates above at the last.
May every congregation of the faithful everywhere be under the Divine blessing.
Bless our country, we pray You and we lift up again the voice of earnest prayer that peace may not be broken. Oh, let not bloodshed break forth in the midst of the continent; but may it please You to send wisdom to the councilors of all nations, that by some means such a dreadful calamity may be avoided; and may He come who will end all danger of war, even the Prince of Peace Himself, in whose days shall the righteous flourish and abundance of peace so long as the sun and moon endure.
The Lord hear us now; and forgive, and answer, and bless, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus and unto Israel’s one God revealed to us in the Trinity of Mystic Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be glory by Christ Jesus. Amen, and Amen.
Close with the blessing of God.
The Lord bless you out of Zion, And may you see the good of Jerusalem All the days of your life. (Psalm 128:5)