Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 27 March, 2016
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind ...” (Rom. 12:2)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM - Rev. M. McGeown
Administration of the Lord’s Supper
Knowing Jehovah’s Secret
Scripture Reading: Psalm 25
Text: Psalm 25:14
I. The Beautiful Relationship
II. The Intimate Secret
III. The Favoured Recipients
Psalms: 23:1-6; 135:15-21; 55:12-19; 25:10-14
Evening Service - 6:00 PM - Rev. M. McGeown
Rejoicing With Unspeakable Joy
Scripture Reading: I Peter 1
Text: I Peter 1:8
II. In Whom?
Psalms: 5:7-11; 136:1-8; 21:1-6; 98:1-6
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
A. W. Pink: “’Rejoice evermore’ (1 Thess. 5:16). It
surely cannot be unsafe to do what God has commanded us. The
Lord has placed no embargo on rejoicing. No, it is Satan who
strives to make us hang up our harps. There is no precept in
Scripture bidding us ‘Grieve in the Lord always: and again I
say, Grieve;’ but there is an exhortation which bids us,
‘Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous: for praise is comely
for the upright’ (Ps. 33:1). Reader, if you are a real
Christian … then Christ is yours, all that is in Him is
yours. He bids you ‘Eat, O friends; drink, yes, drink
abundantly, O beloved’ (Song of Sol. 5:1): the only sin you
may commit against His banquet of love is to stint yourself.
‘Let your soul delight itself in fatness’ (Isa. 55:2) is
spoken not to those already in heaven but to saints still on
earth…. ‘Joy in the Holy Spirit’ is altogether different
from a natural buoyancy of Spirit. It is the product of the
Comforter dwelling in our hearts and bodies, revealing
Christ to us, answering all our need for pardon and
cleansing, and so setting us at peace with God; and forming
Christ in us, so that He reigns in our souls, subduing us to
His control. There are no circumstances of trial and
temptation in which we may refrain from it, for the command
is, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always.’ He who gave this command
knows all about the dark side of our lives, the sins and
sorrows which beset us, the ‘much tribulation’ through which
we must enter the kingdom of God. Natural hilarity leaves
the woes of our earthly lot out of its reckoning. It soon
relaxes in the presence of life’s hard-ships: it cannot
survive the loss of friends or health. But the joy to which
we are exhorted is not limited to any set of circumstances
or type of temperament; nor does it fluctuate with our
varying moods and fortunes” (Profiting from the Word, pp.
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
After a week of self-examination, confessing members in good
standing are called to partake of the sacrament of the
Lord’s Supper. Your participation in the Lord’s Supper is in
part a witness that you repent of your sins, believe that
Jesus Christ is your righteousness, and desire to live a new
and godly life. As this heavenly food can be taken to one’s
judgment (I Cor. 11:28-30) and as the common reception of
this food is a confession of doctrinal unity (Acts 2:42),
the elders supervise the partaking of the sacrament.
Visitors who are members of other denominations must request
permission from the Council.
We welcome Rev. McGeown who will be taking both services
today, while Rev. Stewart preaches for the LRF.
On the back table are free CDs and DVDs of the lecture, “Our
Identity in Christ.”
There will be no catechism classes tomorrow night but all
three classes will meet the following Monday, 4 April, with
end of year tests for the first two classes.
The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study Hosea’s
teaching on the law of God.
Belgic Confession Class will meet this Wednesday at 7:45
PM to look at the election of the church (in connection with
Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. R. Kleyn is entitled “The Great
Falling Away” (II Thess. 2:3).
The Council’s next meeting is Monday, 4 April at 8 PM.
S. Wales, Thursday, 7 April, 7:15 PM, Rev. Stewart on “Who
Is in the Image of God?”
Offerings: General Fund: £680.26. Donation: £200.
Website Additions: 1 Czech and 1 Indonesian (Prof.
Engelsma’s pamphlet, “As a Father Pitieth His Children:
Reformed Child-Rearing”) translations.
PRC News: Rev. Dan Holstege (Holland, MI) accepted the call
to be the second missionary to the Philippines.
Mutiny on the Sunfish
Brian D. Dykstra
“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have
set” (Proverbs 22:28).
At the end of the driveway which led to my uncle’s cottage
was a sign which said, “Even Rusten.” I had no clue. My
curiosity finally got the better of me, so I asked my father
what the sign meant. He told me it was Dutch for “Rest
awhile.” Now, I suppose such a name makes sense for a
cottage, yet it did not seem to fit.
My uncle, who was a teacher, still worked many hours and
would return each evening with flakes of paint in his hair
and speckles of colour on his overalls. In fact, the summer
I spent with my cousins was the year I decided not to become
a teacher. There was no way I was going to take a job which
would require me to paint houses for three months of the
year. I had helped just enough on some painting projects to
learn I could not stand painting. My aunt also worked just
as many hours when we stayed at the cottage. Mothers do not
ever really go on vacation. They just do most of the same
things in a different location. About the only “resting” I
witnessed was done by the washing machine. When all us kids
spent the major part of each day in swimsuits, there was not
as much washing to be done.
One part of beach life which interested me was how far out
on Lake Michigan would one have to sail until land could not
be seen. My cousin had a little Sunfish sailboat, which was
not much more than today’s sailboards. One day the wind was
from the north so the water was too cold even for us
youngsters. I did not know much about sailing but I did know
you could sail west, and then back east, with a north wind.
I made my desire known to my cousin. As usual, he was
willing to participate in an adventure. He was the captain
and I could ably perform my responsibility of ducking
whenever he changed course, causing the boom to swing across
Being fifth and seventh graders, my cousin and I carefully
made our plans, thoroughly considered every need and
conscientiously contemplated everything which could cause
calamity. Okay, I admit it. Actually, we just draped two
life jackets on the mast, threw the boat in the water and
Finding our way back, of course, would not be a problem. I
could recognize “our beach.” Each morning, we would go to
the beach to check the water. We would then put on our
swimsuits, go to the beach and play until lunch. Having
eaten, we would go to the beach and swim until dinner. After
dinner, we would go to the beach to check the sunset. There
was no way I could not recognize the beach after all these
visits. Our beach had the landmarks of a sandy path to the
shore; an A-frame cottage, including red steps, to the
south; a white cottage with white steps to the north and
large oak trees at the top of the bluff. These landmarks
would be easy to recognize.
Our voyage began well enough. The land, and our beach,
quickly took up less of the horizon. After a while, however,
we could sail quite some time with no discernible change in
the view. I became concerned. Also, I began to realize our
beach was not as unique as I had imagined. It was all
beginning to look disconcertingly the same but mostly I
could tell this voyage was going to take much more time than
I had thought. “Let’s go back. This is gonna take forever,”
My statement was met with expected disbelief as my cousin
replied, “What? We can still see land!” We successfully
picked out the correct section of the shore and went back.
As I recall, we were not even late for dinner. My curiosity
about sailing out of the sight of land remained unsatisfied.
Landmarks are important in life’s journey. In biblical days,
landmarks were used to establish boundaries. In Deuteronomy,
the moving of a landmark is forbidden. The temptation was to
move a landmark to gain more property from a neighbour. That
is stealing. Landmarks also picture the law. The law marks
off the boundary between what is good and what is evil.
Moving landmarks then means declaring what was evil is now
good. God is robbed of the obedient service due to Him.
We and our children need landmarks. A boundary establishes
what land is ours, the land where we can live safely and the
place where we belong. God’s law also establishes a
boundary. At times, we feel the commandments are limiting,
too constrictive and narrow. Actually, God’s law establishes
where we can dwell in spiritual safety.
By nature, we would live carelessly and feel we can be at
ease on this earth. Of ourselves, we lack the spiritual
discretion needed to recognize temptation and sin’s
consequences. To how many people does the world appear fun,
a harmless place which provides pleasure? Many in the world
do not recognize God’s established landmark. They have no
spiritual bearings as they make their way through life. The
result is the dreadful confusion we see in society. The
lives of the wicked become shipwrecks.
For us, even as we make our way through life under God’s
grace, landmarks are essential. Has God changed the course
of your life or the lives of those whom you know from what
you calculated? As God turns the pages of our lives, does
the story always read the way we would foresee? How often
does not God direct the course of our lives in ways which we
would never have anticipated? During such times, we must
submit to the guidance of God’s landmark.
There are times when we are tempted to move the landmark.
From our point of view, changing God’s law to suit an
unexpected situation might allow us to pass through waters
less stormy than those His law delineates. Removing
landmarks is the way of much of today’s church. Stormy seas
might have been avoided, yet one cannot help but wonder what
will be the final port of call.
Our children must learn of God’s landmark by our instruction
at home and school. Especially we must teach by example. May
God be pleased to use our efforts to give His covenant seed
a landmark for their daily living.