Some links and resources for 21/3/20

I recently read Thomas Charles on the Sabbath, it’s a short letter addressed to his wife,  in 1782,  it’s a remarkably helpful piece of writing – I think for all us putting some time in to think how are we  use our Sunday’s over the next few weeks would be really helpful in the longer term
Ligonier have made all their teaching series available – there are wonderful courses, I’d particularly recommend – Sinclair Ferguson’s courses on the Holy Spirit and the means of grace but all the material I’ve looked on there is excellent, The videos are 20 minutes would be really helpful in seeing us grow as Christians.
Mel Lacy has written a nice piece for parents in communicating with their children about Corona Virus

 

The Little’s have recommended to me these videos for children – Superbook –  and we’ve watched these on the lives of Christians. – Torchlighters

 

My friend Jeremy Walker has written a piece on a way to pray, his points on what to pray for at this time are particularly helpful
Richard Coekin has written helpfully on praying the Lord’s Prayer at this time

The Sabbath – Thomas Charles

A letter written to his wife in 1782…….

 

The Sabbath is approaching; and on the Sabbath day night this will come into your hand. I hope we shall find it a precious day of rest to our souls. It commemorates the accomplishment of that stupendous work which brings deliverance to guilty sinners, by the resurrection of Christ from the dead. It is an emblem of that rest which sinners find in Christ for their weary souls, in consequence of his having finished the glorious work he had undertaken. This is also a pledge of that rest that yet remaineth for the people of God. As sure as we are now enjoying the one, we shall soon enjoy the other, if indeed we are pilgrims and sojourners here on earth.

The Jewish Sabbath, being the seventh day , was to them a commemoration of their glorious deliverance from their Egyptian bondage, a sign between God and them, and a pledge of the promised deliverance. It looked backward and forward, it reminded them of their slavery and deliverance from it, whilst by faith they were looking forward to the land of promise, where they should rest from their wanderings in a barren and dangerous wilderness. Our Sabbath also speaks the same language, – it reminds us of a bondage infinitely dreadful, and a deliverance infinitely complete and glorious, and also of a rest eternal in the heavens. It directly looks to Christ as the glorious author of this deliverance, and in whom only we can find rest to our souls. The rest is his purchase and gift – “I will give you rest.” When we consider what this rest cost him, can we help admiring his love and his kindness? “The travail of his soul” is our rest. “With his stripes we are healed – He hath borne our sorrows and carried our griefs,” – what words are these. His sorrow is our joy, his travail our rest, his stripes are our medicine, and his death is our life. How strange the mystery!

You see my dear, where we are to go for rest, when weary and burdened –  Jesus gives it. And if we have it not, the reason is, because we go not to him for it. The sabbath reminds us both of a duty and of a privilege in this view. It preaches to us, whilst our bodies rest from worldly toil, that we should seek rest also for our weary souls in Jesus Christ hath “ceased from his work,” having gloriously finished it. God the Father looks upon every thing which Christ has done on our behalf and said “Behold it is very good,” that is , comely, glorious, satisfactory and sufficient, bringing glory to God in the highest, and peace, and happiness on earth. May the Lord open our eyes to behold also the glory of the stupendous work. In the light of the Spirit it will appear to us to be very good. We shall with astonishment, admire and rejoice  in it, as the means of our present and eternal rest.

There is rest now in Christ; but the apostle  saith “there remaineth a rest for the people of God.” They have rest for their souls  now by faith in Christ; but there remaineth a rest, both for body and soul, eternal in the heavens. Our rest now in Christ is the firstfruits; the harvest will soon follow. The sabbath is a sign of the one, and a pledge of the other. Let us therefore be not weary in well doing, but be steadfast and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Let us with cheerfulness bear the cross. It is for but a little while. If the road is rough, let us not complain, for it leads to a glorious rest which nothing shall ever disturb. Let every returning sabbath revive our drooping spirits with this glorious hope, and assure our faith with increasing confidence, that whilst we are now by faith resting in Jesus, all our toils, crosses and troubles will soon be for ever at an end.

 

Thomas Charles – Spiritual Counsels – Banner of Truth Trust, 1993 – page 207/8

Confession of Sin & Assurance of Pardon

Have mercy on us, O God, according to your unfailing love. According to your great compassion, blot out our transgressions. Wash away all our iniquity, and cleanse us from our sin. Against you, you only, have we sinned and done what is evil in your sight. Wash us, that we may be whiter than snow, for a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Restore us to fellowship with you, that we may walk in the full assurance of your promises, and in the freedom of knowing that you care for us and have brought us to yourself by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose strong name we pray. Amen.

Romans 8 : 1-2 (ESV)

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

W/C 2 September

I’ve realised I’ve done 2 years on the blog and so I think I’ll go to a weekly update which will probably peter out!  if there’s anything interesting I’ll fill you in

W/c 2 September – I caught up with an old friend from growing up in Swansea first thing on Monday, I’m hoping he might turn up to ours on a Sunday evening once we’re in the new building at least that’s his intention.  Good elders meeting in the evening and decisions made that I think will be helpful to the ministry of the church. Lourens joined us from Oak Hill and it was good to have him there. I gave the first of 2 talks at ELT on 1 Corinthians 15. We then headed off to Northern Ireland as the kids are off for an extra week owing to the building project at the school. Normally I try not to be away during September but with the wedding and a trip to Poland with my dad it feels all very disjointed. I worked a couple of days in NI and then we had a terrific day out at W5 – this interactive play/ science place. Oli and Rachel’s wedding on the Saturday was magnificent – a real witness and all the speeches were brilliant. I spoke on 1 John 4 and I’d found it hard going in prep and didn’t feel I spoke well – we love because of.. who God is/ What God has done/ What God is doing but an all round great day with terrific food.

finishing off year 2

Tuesday 28 Aug- The hunt for the wallet continues to no avail. I studied in the morning and took Noah and Ellie to ELT, the buses were a nightmare going home so in the end we turned back to go to the party later that afternoon, only to discover I’d got the wrong day. The kids weren’t best pleased with me. In the evening I had a remarkable pastoral visit with a new couple to the church who were asking wonderful questions. I then popped in to one of the congregation’s 40th birthday party it was good to see so many church folk there.
Wed 29 Aug – I’m working on a new sermon from Acts 16 in the morning , then had a lengthy pastoral visit with one of our members, a phone call on zoom for presbytery, followed by a bit more study. I had tea and went to pick the kids up from the party only to be force fed curry again. I would argue some training should be given to seminary students on the capacity to eat 2 dinners in close succession. We had a lovely prayer meeting, it feels like people are trickling back from holiday.
Thu 30 Aug – Another day in the study and I managed to get some visiting done to a family in our church that have just moved. We long to see more of them in worship and then visited one of my elders Chuck who has been unwell.
Fri 31 Aug – I took a day reading and finished off Acts 8, I’ve been nervous in using the word conversion, partly because of the connotations in our culture but saw it more clearly today that we have to use the phrase and talk more about regeneration. In the afternoon I met with Israel to talk about ministry and preaching, he’s an able fella.
Sat 1 Sept – Wallet found in the Park Run bag from last Saturday. Park Run was good Noah got a PB I was back under 30. There was a brilliant birthday party in the park in glorious sunshine which Phoebe enjoyed the rest of the day was preparing for Sunday
Sun 2 Sept – It was good to be back preaching in the morning and we had a large congregation, lots of outsiders again which was thrilling. God is gracious in that he often brings people through no connection with anyone which stops us getting proud. I preached on Conversion from Acts 8 and people were responsive. We had folk back for the afternoon and then Israel preached in the evening on Jacob.  He’d worked hard in preparation, He did well and for a beginner he’s got gifts that will be honed by Seminary.