Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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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!  [download]  [youtube]
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  [download]  [youtube]

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 Promise
III. The Everlasting Blessedness That Is Pledged in This Promise
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: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

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.

Monday Catechism:
Taylor, Josh, Corey, Bradley & Samuel (Beginners OT, book 1) - 5:30PM
Alex, Nathan, Jacob & Joseph (Seniors NT) - 6:15PM
Timothy & Chris (Essentials of Reformed Doctrine, Lesson 13) - 7:00PM

The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study the kingdom of God.

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 questions.

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 PRC.

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.