Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 31 August, 2014
“But our God is in the heavens: he hath done
whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psalm 115:3)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
Thou Shalt Not Steal!
Scripture Reading: Psalm 50
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 42
I. Its Grounds
II. Its Prohibitions
III. Its Requirements
Psalms: 24:1-6; 78:22-29; 89:11-16; 50:7-14
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Christ’s Seven Words From the Cross (2)
Christ’s Promise to the Penitent Thief
Scripture Reading: Luke 23:13-43
Text: Luke 23:43
I. The Amazing Request That Elicited This Promise
II. The Profound Self-Consciousness That Is Revealed in This
III. The Everlasting Blessedness That Is Pledged in This
Psalms: 147:1-8; 78:30-35; 24:5-10; 73:23-28
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services,
contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart
or the elders
CPRC Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube: www.youtube.com/cprcni
CPRC Facebook: www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
Quote to Consider
John Flavel: “Are believers immediately with God after their
dissolution? Then how surprisingly glorious will heaven be to
believers! Not that they are in it before they think of it,
or are fitted for it; no, they have spent many thoughts upon
it before, and been long preparing for it; but the
suddenness and greatness of the change is amazing to our
thoughts. For a soul to be now here in the body, conversing
with men, living among sensible objects, and within a few
moments to be with the Lord; this hour on earth, the next in
the third heaven; now viewing this world, and anon standing
among an innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of
the just made perfect: O what a change is this! What! but
wink, and see God! Commend thy soul to Christ, and be
transferred in the arms of angels into the invisible world,
the world of spirits! ... To be lifted up from a bed of
sickness to a throne of glory! To leave a sinful,
troublesome world, a sick and pained body, and be in a
moment perfectly cured, and feel thyself perfectly well, and
free from all troubles and distempers!” (The Works of
John Flavel, vol. 1, pp. 400-401).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
The CR News for August is available on the back table.
Beacon Lights (the PR magazine for young people and others)
subscriptions are due. To renew or subscribe for the first
time, please give £10 to Susan
A brief meeting to vote to elect office-bearers will be held
after this evening’s worship service. The Council presents
the following for the vote of male confessing members: 1)
approval for Ivan Reid for another 3-year term as elder, 2)
vote for either Julian Kennedy or David Crossett for a
3-year term as deacon.
Taylor, Josh, Corey, Bradley & Samuel (Beginners OT, book 1)
Alex, Nathan, Jacob & Joseph (Seniors NT) - 6:15PM
Timothy & Chris (Essentials of Reformed Doctrine, Lesson 13)
The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study the kingdom
The Belgic Confession Class begins again this Wednesday,
studying Article 24 on the great truth of sanctification.
Ladies’ Bible Study resumes this Friday at 10:30 AM at
church, studying lesson 1 of Studies in Philippians by Rev. Haak. All ladies are welcome. See Beth, if you have any
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) is entitled “A Sinful Response to
Sovereign Mercy” (Jonah 4:1-5).
Rev. McGeown will be preaching for the CPRC next Lord’s Day
while Rev. Stewart leads the worship services in the LRF.
Offerings: General Fund - £769.42. Donations: £200 (Building
Fund), £200 (DVDs).
PRC News: Seminarian Josh Engelsma accepted the call to Doon
Happiness Is ...
Brian D. Dykstra
Proverbs 3:13-15: “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and
the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of
it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain
thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies:
and the all the things thou canst desire are not to be
compared unto her.”
People want to be happy. The possibility of being happy is a
major determining factor in decision making. Young people
consider whether or not to continue their education on their
future happiness. Advertisements promote products by
presenting the happiness they will bring to one’s life. The
market of self-help books is popular because of the
happiness they bring to the readers’ lives. We marry or seek
employment based on the happiness we hope to find. We often
do what we can to make those around us happy.
Solomon tells us that a man is happy in finding wisdom.
Solomon was a man who lived in splendour. He was King of
Israel during a time of peace and great prosperity. When we
read the biblical account of the money he made through trade
and business, and see the luxury in which he lived, we are
amazed. What must it have been like to enjoy such a
lifestyle? Solomon was a man who should know something about
happiness! To many, riches and honour are key components in
being happy. Who wouldn’t be happy, if he could live in the
manner of Solomon?
The way to find wisdom is surprising. The preceding verses
tell us about the finding of wisdom. There are times when
the book of Proverbs seems to be a collection of thoughts
which are somewhat haphazardly put together. Here, however,
the context speaks of the Father’s chastening and
correction. God’s chastening comes in the affliction of our
souls when we walk in ways of sin. At times, God causes His
people to suffer the consequences of their sins. God’s
correction is given in His ten commandments.
The psalmist in Psalm 119:67 and 71 speaks of affliction
being for his profit. Through affliction, he learned to walk
according to his Father’s precepts. King Manasseh led Judah
into some of the worst idolatry recorded in Scripture, even
setting up an idol in God’s temple. Yet, when he was taken
as a chained prisoner to Babylon and afflicted, suffering
the results of his sin, he made his prayer to God. God heard
him and Manasseh knew Jehovah was his God. In his
affliction, Manasseh had found wisdom.
The gain, the profit, of wisdom is great. Businessmen are
happy when their companies show a profit. A good profit is
the reward of many hours of work and the application of
ability. Yet, God says the profit of wisdom is better than
the gains one could register through silver and gold. Silver
and gold are very precious and valuable. Some people are
able to make attractive sums of money in gold and silver
markets. Yet, we are told wisdom is more profitable? We are
tempted to question this and claim it’s easy for Solomon to
say wisdom is better than silver and gold because he was
fantastically rich! Give me such riches and I could extol
the virtues of wisdom too! However, who would be in a better
position to understand the relative values of wisdom and
gold than Solomon? He knew the fleeting value of gold and
the lasting value of the wisdom of God.
The happiness of the man who finds wisdom is great because
he has something which is more precious than rubies. Rubies
are precious because they are rare. The harder something is
to find, the greater the cost of it will be. A merchant who
possessed a ruby knew he had something of great value. He
could keep possession of the ruby, waiting for its value to
increase, or he could convert the ruby into a good amount of
cash. Is wisdom really more precious than rubies? Wisdom’s
value is that it draws us to God and makes us fear Him.
Walking with God and experiencing covenant fellowship with
Him are of greater value than rubies. Such an ornament of
God’s favour is far greater than a precious stone which
glitters upon a crown, necklace or ring.
Solomon, the man who had everything his heart could desire,
states whatever we could possibly want cannot be compared to
wisdom. Did he learn from experience that getting things did
not really bring him happiness? Perhaps it takes an
incredibly wealthy man to tell us that God’s wisdom is
better than anything this earth has to offer.
Among all the things which we can desire, nothing compares
with wisdom. That is easier to see with some of our desires
than with others. Some desires are glorified toys which
might help our recreation. We can just as easily live
without them as with them. Some of the things we desire are
basic needs. We desire food, clothing, shelter, health and
work. These things do not merely make our lives easier.
Still, we are to desire wisdom more.
May God grant us the happiness of finding His wisdom in
Jesus Christ and His cross, so we are aware of His goodness
to us and members of His church.