Call to Worship
Receive God’s gracious call to worship.
Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth. Why should the Gentiles say, “So where is their God?” But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases. (Psalm 115:1–3)
Offer this praise to God:
O God, our God, we would praise You this morning, not only with the voice of song, but with the heart. Sometimes our praise takes the form of thankfulness; and, indeed, we have good reason to thank You for mercies more numerous than the sand. “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” Sometimes we praise You by believing in the teeth of appearances. We would learn also to thank You when Your hand is heavy and Your ways are dark. “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord.”
We are persuaded that the sweetest praise that ever comes to You comes from Your tried children when, under a smarting rod, they kiss the rod, and Him that hath appointed it. Help Your dear children who are much afflicted, to praise You by a cheerful submission to Your will. It must be right, for God hath done it; it must be for the best, for God is love. Father, when You stagger us, when we seem at our wits’ end, and know not what to do or what to say, may we still hold to You, and feel it is the Lord. Let Him do what seems to Him good.
Here, in Your presence, we would each one render that form of praise which is suitable for the hour. The healthy and the happy praise You with exultant voice. The sick and the sorry praise You with a living hope. Those who are suffering and bowed down, praise You with a willing acquiescence, desiring that even from the loosened string some music may come to the Most High.
Our Father, when we shall get up to see You; when Your unveiled face shall appear unto Your perfected ones, we shall willingly have nothing to do but to praise. There will be no regrets, no remembrances of any hard words from You, or rough stroke from Your rod. It will be praise and only praise; as it will be so, as it ought to be so. Let it be so now.
And here, with heavenly minds, may we be unanimous in praise; may there be no child of God that refuses to praise God this morning. If any have left their harps so long upon the willows that they almost forget the songs of Zion, teach them over again. Let a new flash, a new light arouse the hallowed instincts of their inner life, and may they begin with double zest to praise God who has brought them out of their captivity.
Hear God’s perfect requirements.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43–48)
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.
Oh, that You would have mercy upon us and blot out all our sins. Father, we do not love these things, our souls strive against them; and though we do not fight with the powers of darkness as we ought, neither are we adversaries as we should be, yet there is a something within us which pants after holiness. The divine spark which we have within us cannot be content till it has burned up sin. You have been pleased to quicken us by Your grace, and to make us Your children; and nothing ever will content our spirits till we are wholly given up to Your service; till the very being and power of sin shall be cut out root and branch, and we shall be made in all things like unto Yourself. This is our longing desire; and we feel that we shall never have any rest till we attain to it; and since we know we shall never attain to it on earth, we are convinced that there remains a rest for the people of God, and towards that rest we would push forward with earnestness of desire.
Assurance of Pardon
Hear the promise of grace:
“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. 2 “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the Lord’s hand Double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:1–2)
Offer this praise to God:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, (2 Corinthians 1:3)
Testify what you believe of Christian truth:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only-begotten Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary;
suffered under Pontius Pilate;
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Learn from Spurgeon’s catechism.
81. What is the Lord’s Supper?
A. The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the New Testament, instituted by Jesus Christ; wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to his appointment, his death is shown forth (1Cr 11:23-26), and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporeal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace (1Cr 10:16).
82. What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord’s Supper?
A. It is required of them who would worthily partake of the Lord’s Supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body (1Cr 11:28-29), of their faith to feed upon him (2Cr 13:5), of their repentance (1Cr 11:31), love (1Cr 11:18-20), and new obedience, (1Cr 5:8) lest coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves (1Cr 11:27-29).
83. What is meant by the words, “until he come,” which are used by the apostle Paul in reference to the Lord’s Supper?
A. They plainly teach us that our Lord Jesus Christ will come a second time; which is the joy and hope of all believers (Act 1:11; 1Th 4:16).
Prayer for Illumination
Ask for spiritual understanding before reading God’s Word:
Father, we want to feel this day that we are in the Spirit. We are afraid that too often we sing, and it is but a form; that we pray and it is but an utterance of words. Bring every one of us into the Spirit today. Let us be over-shadowed by Him, baptized in Him, till there shall be no room for any thought or emotion but concerning things divine. Let us feel as we have sometimes felt: “Surely God is in this place and I knew it not.” Oh come now and spread the skirts of Your convenant love over us, and You shall have the glory.
Read Scripture with dependence and a desire to obey.
Day 31: Psalm 150 (Praise the Lord!)
Prayer of Intercession
Make your requests with thanksgiving, and pray this prayer.
But we want Your power upon the unconverted. Oh come, sweet Spirit, to take away the heart of stone out of men’s flesh, and give them the heart of flesh. Now the stone to flesh convert! Let the obdurate accept their Lord, the prejudiced, the willful, be subdued to the sweet scepter of divine love. We want to see the churches built up and increased with the increase of God. Multiply us with men as with a flock, and let every scatterer of the good seed reap an hundredfold harvest.
We want for ourselves, also, that we may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We long to be confirmed and established in the truth, and in the life of God. We wish to rise higher and higher in the likeness to our Lord, and in the possession of His Spirit. Oh bring us up out of our grave, out of our sins, out of the world, and everything that drags us down. Bring us up into the higher regions of spirituality, and of divine light and power. Oh, be with us our God; give us all the blessings of the Covenant without stint.
Take care of all sick ones very graciously, and may such as are appointed unto death feel a sweet agreement with the appointment, and find heaven begun in their hearts while yet they linger here below. The Lord prosper His own cause throughout the earth. Let the heathen be brought to Christ by myriads. May men that now sit in darkness behold great light.
Remember our country. May there be a quickening of trade! May there be more work for the poor and the needy. May there be less complaining in our streets. May there come better and brighter days for this country. We pray the same for all lands, for we feel that there is a touch of grace which has made us one with all the saints in every nation. We forget nationality in our being all citizens of the New Jerusalem. The Lord send a blessing upon all saints everywhere; and chiefly this blessing, that He Himself may come. Come quickly, even so; come quickly, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Close with the blessing of God.
And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (Romans 16:20)