Call to Worship
Receive God’s gracious call to worship.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28–29)
Offer this praise to God:
Glorious God, there are many of us who can bless You that we know You. There was a time when we lived in Your world but had never known the Creator. We were partakers of Your providence, but we did not know the Provider. We went up and down in the sunlight, but we were blind.
There were voices all around us, but we were deaf to all things spiritual. And some of us lived in this way for years. It was a happy day for us when, in the infinite sovereignty of Your love, You looked upon us, and call us by Your grace. Then did the dead heart begin to beat. Then light entered the darkened eye, and then we turned to You.
It was the best discovery we had ever made when we found that there was, after all, a God, ready to hear us, willing to listen to our cries. But, Lord, at the first this great discovery caused us much pain, for we found in our hearts an enmity to You, a natural alienation; and we found that we had grieved You, that we had vexed Your spirit by sin. We admire You all the more for this, for we would not care for a God who did not hate sin. Oh, with what reverence we fell at Your feet even when we heard You speak in tones of thunder, and say, “The soul that sins, it shall die.”
When Your Grace had really made us to know You, Your justice, terrible as it was, had our submissive reverence. We felt that, if our souls were sent to hell, righteousness and justice would approve it well. O God, we remember how we lay at Your feet. Our thoughts were as a case of knives cutting our hearts; and then You came to us, and You made known Your love. O blessed day in which You revealed Yourself dressed in the silken robes of love! When we saw that Jesus died that we might live, that the cross was the best proof of divine affection, then we looked to Jesus suffering in our stead. We trusted in the great atonement, and we found a peace.
O, what shall we say of it? Our very soul sings at the remembrance of the peace which has never been taken from us. Many days have passed since first we knew it, and many changes we have seen, but we have never lost our hold on Christ; nor has He ever lost His hold of us; and here we are still, to weep to the praise of the mercy that we have found, and to tell to others, as we have breath to speak, that the Lord is a great sin-pardoning God.
There is none like Him, passing by transgression, iniquity, and sin, and, for Jesus’ sake, receiving the vilest of the vile to His bosom, and casting out none that come unto Him; taking up even the blasphemer and the drunkard, yea, the very worst, and washing even these from their crimson sins and making them whiter than newly fallen snow.
O Lord, we sometimes wish that we could sing like cherubim and seraphim. Then would we praise You better. But as it is, human voices are all we have, but they shall be used to the praise of “free grace and dying love,” to which we owe all that we have, and all we ever hope to have.
Hear God’s perfect requirements.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9–10)
Confession of Sin
Confess and repent of sins before God.
Father, we now desire You to have pity upon us, Your children; who have of late erred and strayed, even as we have done aforetime. You have washed us,—in that Fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins, we have found perfect cleansing. But as the priests needed to wash their feet in the laver every day, so do we. Oh wash us clean again; and as before the judgment seat we are clean, so now before our Father’s face, let us, too, be clean.
O You that dwells in Zion, rid us of corruptions within. Drive out the Canaanites. Some of our besetting sins are like those that have chariots of iron; but do You drive them out before us by the irresistible power of Your grace, till the whole land of Mansoul in its uttermost lengths shall belong unto God alone.
Assurance of Pardon
Hear the promise of grace:
“Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. (Joel 2:12–13)
Offer this praise to God:
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33–36)
Testify what you believe of Christian truth:
But it is necessary for eternal salvation
that one also believe in the incarnation
of our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully.
Now this is the true faith:
That we believe and confess
that our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son,
is both God and human, equally.
He is God from the essence of the Father,
begotten before time;
and he is human from the essence of his mother,
born in time;
completely God, completely human,
with a rational soul and human flesh;
equal to the Father as regards divinity,
less than the Father as regards humanity.
Although he is God and human,
yet Christ is not two, but one.
He is one, however,
not by his divinity being turned into flesh,
but by God’s taking humanity to himself.
He is one,
certainly not by the blending of his essence,
but by the unity of his person.
For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh,
so too the one Christ is both God and human.
He suffered for our salvation;
he descended to hell;
he arose from the dead;
he ascended to heaven;
he is seated at the Father’s right hand;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people will arise bodily
and give an accounting of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
and those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith:
one cannot be saved without believing it firmly and faithfully.
(Athanasian Creed – part 3)
Learn from Spurgeon’s catechism.
74. How do Baptism and the Lord’s Supper become spiritually helpful?
A. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper become spiritually helpful, not from any virtue in them, or in him who does administer them (1Cr 3:7; 1Pe 3:21), but only by the blessing of Christ (1Cr 3:6), and the working of the Spirit in those who by faith receive them (1Cr 12:13).
75. What is Baptism?
A. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, instituted by Jesus Christ (Mat 28:19), to be to the person baptised a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death, and burial, and resurrection (Rom 6:3; Col 2:12), of his being ingrafted into him (Gal 3:27), of remission of sins (Mar 1:4; Act 22:16), and of his giving up himself to God through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4-5).
76. To whom is Baptism to be administered?
A. Baptism is to be administered to all those who actually profess repentance towards God (Act 2:38; Mat 3:6; Mar 16:16; Act 8:12, 36-37; Act 10:47-48), and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and to none other.
Prayer for Illumination
Ask for spiritual understanding before reading God’s Word:
Our Father, delight Your children with Your presence. Indulge us with Your smile. For a little longer we are spared in this vale of tears; but soon we hope to see Your face behind the curtain, in the land of the blessed, in the home of Your people. Till then, refresh our waiting spirits. Give us drops of heaven’s glory before we come to bathe our souls in it. Refresh us with heaven’s manna before we sit at the heavenly table. Let us have the clusters of Eshcol before we go up to take possession of this goodly land, and may Your people, despite the weakness of the flesh and the infirmities of nature, be so filled with grace that like Moses they may climb to the top of Nebo and have a vision across the stream. Our Father, which are in heaven, we are persuaded that our great request is none too great for You. Bring us up to heaven now. Illuminate our eyes that we may behold You in Your own light, through Jesus Christ. For Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
Read Scripture with dependence and a desire to obey.
Day 29: Psalm 34 (Taste and See that the Lord is Good)
Prayer of Intercession
Make your requests with thanksgiving, and pray this prayer.
Remember some who have lately been bereaved. They lately had the sentence of death in themselves by reason of sore disease of body. Help, strengthen, comfort, deliver.
The widow and the fatherless are always Your care. Look, most tender and compassionate Lord, upon all such as are in any trouble of mind, or body, or estate; and let the rich comforts of the Comforter Himself be dispensed to them.
And, Lord, will You keep those that are not troubled. Let them rejoice with trembling. Will You preserve us all from any of the intoxication that comes of prosperity, and when our heart is glad, if it be not with the high joy that comes of God, let us always look to You to sober us in such moments.
The Lord lead us safely on to His eternal kingdom. We will not ask whether the road will be rough or smooth. We leave that with You; only bring us to behold the face of Him we love.
If You will give us bread to eat and raiment to put on, and bring us to our Father’s house in peace, it is all we ask below. Whatsoever Your will ordains, only do bring us to our Father’s house in peace. Grant us this.
Father, one other prayer it is that You would bless those that do not know You.
We pray You that we may have in our own hearts much of the heaviness that Paul knew, when we think of the many ungodly ones, especially of those that are of our own acquaintances and relatives, such as have heard the gospel from their very childhood, in whose father’s house there was a prophet’s chamber, whose mother died with the name of Jesus on her lips, whose father, grown gray with age, is on the road to glory, and they are still unconverted.
Oh, bring them in! Dear Father, there are many of us praying now from the bottom of our hearts that all our children may be Your children, and that all related to us may be of the family of Christ.
Then, Lord, we thank You for that blessed word, “The promise is unto you and to your children;” but You did not stop there, for You have said, “and to them that are afar off, even to as many as; the Lord our God shall call.”
Lord, bring in the far-off ones. Save poor fallen women save the equally fallen men. Oh God, have mercy upon heathen lands; upon Popish countries; upon those that sit in the Mahometan moon-darkness.
The Lord be pleased to let His light shine over all the sons of men, and accomplish the number of His redeemed, to the praise of the glory of His grace wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
And to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be glory, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
Close with the blessing of God.
May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. (1 Kings 8:57–58)