Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 13 July, 2014
“But our God is in the heavens: he hath done
whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psalm 115:3)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM - Rev. McGeown
Jehovah’s Precious Thoughts of Me
Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 29:1-19
Text: Psalm 139:17-18
I. Jehovah’s Thoughts
II. Their Preciousness
III. Our Response
Psalms: 33:8-11; 76:1-6; 40:1-5; 139:17-24
Evening Service - 6:00 PM - Rev. McGeown
The Strength of Them Who Wait Upon Jehovah
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 40:1-31
Text: Isaiah 40:30-31
I. Their Natural Weakness
II. Their Waiting Upon Jehovah
III. The Renewal of their Strength
Psalms: 27:7-14; 76:7-12; 137:1-6; 37:3-9
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services,
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
Charles Spurgeon on Psalm 139: “Thoughts such as are natural
to the Creator, the Preserver, the Redeemer, the Father, the
Friend are evermore flowing from the heart of the Lord.
Thoughts of our pardon, renewal, upholding, supplying,
educating, perfecting and a thousand more kinds perpetually
well up in the mind of the Most High” (The Treasury of David,
vol. 3, p. 264).
Homer Hoeksema on Isaiah 40: “Zion’s way unavoidably leads
through Babylon. This means that the way of Zion is an
extremely difficult way of battle and struggle. Probably due
to the times in which we live, I sometimes think that we are
not aware of this as much as we ought to be. Sometimes we
think of this world as a playground rather than a
battlefield ... The battle is inevitable. Why? Because God’s
people, the citizens of Jerusalem, are of the light; they
are spiritual, and here on earth, in Babylon, they are
called to live a spiritual, heavenly life. The calling of
God’s people, whether in the old or in the new dispensation,
is, ‘Come out of her, my people! Be ye separate! Be not
unequally yoked together with unbelievers!’ Babylon is from
below. Babylon is of the darkness; there is no light in it,
not even a little common grace light. This means there is
always a clash between Israel and Babylon and that the way
of God’s people is inevitably a way of strife and suffering”
(Redeemed With Judgment, vol. 2, pp. 38-39).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
We welcome Rev. McGeown who will be preaching for us today.
Rev. Stewart is preaching for the Limerick Reformed
The Covenant Reformed News for July is on the back table
today. British Reformed Journals are also available for
subscribers. New subscriptions are always welcome (£10 for 4
The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to look at the
theological framework of justification in the gospels.
Children’s Bible Club will be held this Tuesday, 15 July, at
11 AM and for two weeks in August. Daniel and his 3 friends
will be the topic for the younger children and the older
children will be covering some parables. Talk to Susan and
Janet for more details.
Men’s Bible Study meets this week Saturday, 19 July, at 8 PM
at the Kennedys to study Malachi 3:7-12, “Will a Man Rob
God?” (Lesson 7).
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) is entitled “The God Who Would Not Let Go”
Those going on the coach going to the BRF Conference in
Scotland should be at the church car park at 9:15 AM on
Saturday, 26 July.
Offerings: General Fund - £834.45 (29 June), £712.85 (6
July). Building Fund - £233.50. Donation: £200 (DVDs).
Honour the Lord With Thy Substance
Brian D. Dykstra
Proverbs 3:9-10: “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and
with the first-fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy
barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out
with new wine.”
Solomon in his book of wisdom now gives us some economic
advice. Imagine, money-making advice from one of the most
successful businessmen of his age! What size crowd would be
drawn by Donald Trump were he to give a lecture in a large
convention hall, especially if admission were free? I’ve
read that he has a popular television series based on his
business. He also is on the radio giving business tips.
People who have the ability to make money are listened to
very attentively. There are times when even the most
disinterested of our students perk up their ears if they
believe they will soon learn something which would help them
to make money. No, I do not feel bad that I do not have a
different audience because none of you strike me as possible
attendees for the next how-to-make-money seminar.
Verse ten certainly presents to us a beautiful picture. We
see a barn filled with plenty. Remember the teachers’
convention in Iowa? The fields were either ready for harvest
or had been harvested already. Fields of corn and soybeans
reached to the horizon. There were large trucks beginning to
haul some of the harvest to grain elevators. It was hard to
believe that there could be anyone in the entire world who
would have to go to bed hungry.
Old Testament farmers would gather their harvest into barns.
Barns gave protection as well as a storage area. A farmer
whose barn contained heaped piles of the fruit of his labour
would be joyful. Here was the product of all his diligent
labour during the past growing season. He toiled through
long days of back- breaking work to see his barn in this
condition. The fullness of his barn would give him great
joy. Here was the means to provide for his family!
We think of barns as holding the essentials of life, the
grain which would be used to make bread. Solomon also speaks
of the luxury and happiness of wine. A husbandman would be
thrilled to see his presses to full with new wine that they
were bursting. Perhaps he could already see the smiles on
the faces of his loved ones as they drank wine with him.
Solomon instructs us on how to have such plenty. There seems
to be a catch, though, because Solomon does not write about
the proper methods of fertilizing, ploughing, pruning or
rotating crops. There is nothing here about irrigation
systems or what to do to care for the crops if they receive
too much or too little rain or sunshine.
Solomon speaks of honouring God with our substance as the
way to gain such prosperity. Those who had gathered in
Solomon’s business seminar might now feel tricked out of
their admission fee were they to hear such a business plan
as that. There is similar advice in other places of the
Bible. Jesus says to seek first the kingdom of God and all
our earthly needs will be added to us (Matt. 6:33). In the
days of Haggai, when the people said they could not give for
the purpose of building the temple because they did not even
have enough for their families, God told them to build the
temple first, then watch as God opened the windows of heaven
for them so that their barns were not able to hold all their
increase. God also instructs us that the way to reap
bountifully is to sow bountifully. The increase is in what
goes out of the hand, not in what we strive to keep in it.
We give God the first-fruits of our increase. This is a
reference to Old Testament history. God purchased for
Himself the people of Israel in the night He slew all the
firstborn men and cattle of Egypt. Israel’s first-born were
now His. It was representative of the fact that He really
had purchased them all, setting them free from the cruel
bondage of Egypt. Israel then gave the first-fruits to God
in appreciation and remembrance of all that God had done for
them. Where would they be without His delivering arm? How
much of the increase of their labour would be theirs if they
were still slaves in Egypt?
How much should we give of our increase to Him? We have not
been delivered from mere physical slavery. We have been set
free from the bondage of sin and the prospect of continual
death in hell. What will a man give in exchange for his
physical life, let alone his soul?
Who can truly honour God with their substance? Would God be
able to discern those who gave to Him only as a way to grow
rich? What of all those who recently were so happy to learn
about the prayer of Jabez as the way to have God prosper
their work? What is first in their hearts? Is serving God
their highest good or is serving Him only the means to
obtain something which they believe is better still?
We might not be able to make the financial contributions
which others can, yet may God be pleased with the lives of
service we sacrifice to Him in the cause of the instruction
of His covenant seed.