Almighty God, do thou touch our ear and it shall hear wisely and justly, and shall lose nothing of all the music of thy voice. Our ear is already filled with vulgar noise, so that we cannot hear the goings of the Almighty, and much of the tenderness of thy tone do we lose, because of the uproar which engages our attention. O that our ear might be touched, even circumcised, and blest, and prepared to hear every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Call us now to attention; may every man here listen for his soul’s good; if any have come to listen for aught else may the change take place in the view this moment, and may the supreme inquiry of every heart be, ” What saith the Lord?” and may every soul go out to him saying, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.” Yea, let a spirit of hearing fall upon the whole congregation, an earnest desire to listen, so that nothing may be lost of all the message which thou dost this night give unto us. We bless thee for thy gospel, so full of tenderness, glowing with light and love, the very utterance of thine heart, the one way to the living God and his everlasting heaven. Help us to listen to it gratefully, with ecstasy of delight and passion of thankfulness, without indifference of heart, but with all ardour and intensity of love. Regard every one of us as each most particularly needs. If any man here is praying his first true prayer, let this be the time of a great answer to his soul. If any man here is vowing to lead a better life, Lord, turn over the page for him on which he means to write his better writing; establish him in the goodness of his oath; may nothing occur to imperil the constancy of his holy resolution, but may he watch unto prayer, and succeed in the great work. If any man is in peculiar circumstances of perplexity and strangeness, blind so that he cannot see, weak so that he cannot stand, dazed and confounded by the infinite rush of life, the Lord himself send his angel or his prophet to give sight, and strength, and comfort, and guidance to such. If any of us are fat of heart, having waxed prosperous and forgotten our early love, the Lord judge us not with his lightning and thunder, but speak to us with rebukes that shall awaken, and not with judgments that shall destroy. If any man is planning the wrong trick and about to play the foul game, and to do the thing which is hateful in the sight of God, the Lord turn his counsel upside down, and cause all the lines of his life to tremble in confusion. And if any man is endeavouring now to serve the Lord with his whole might, to live a complete and unbroken life in Christ, send more than twelve legions of angels to help him to carry out his purpose. We want the spirit of hearing now, we want the prepared ear, we want our hearts to be at peace, and our whole attention to be on the alert. Blessed Christ, come to us, speak thine own word to our quickened ear. We bless thee for thy life, thy teaching, thy atoning sacrificial blood, thy whole priesthood, thy mighty, prevalent mediation. O, if thou dost open thy wounds again, may it be to give us room in thine heart. Amen.
Pastor Brad’s Notebook
Good morning from Harlem, GA! I hope your Saturday is off to a great start and you are already making plans to be in your spot for Sunday School and Worship tomorrow. While you’re doing that, thanks for taking a look at this week’s list of posts I thought were helpful for a Christian who is seeking to live for Jesus, share Him with a lost world, and make a difference in the lives of those around them. This week’s posts is a bit of a hodgepodge in that there isn’t an overarching theme as there are many weeks. I do hope that you’ll carefully read and consider the first and last posts as they affect us in very personal ways. Again, thanks for taking the time to stop by. Remember, just because a post is found here doesn’t mean that I endorse all or any part of it. I may vehemently disagree with it, but want you to know what others who don’t share my world-view are writing or saying. Enjoy, and I hope you’ll be in church bright and early tomorrow morning!
Almighty God, we come to thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Saviour, and not ours only, but the Saviour of the whole world, who by his precious blood answered all the accusation of thy law. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and there is none other, and we now accept him as thy gift, the very utterance and expression of thine own infinite love. We rejoice to know that there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus; we come therefore to thee, through him alone: in him is our worthiness, in him is our strength, and if we are dumb before thee, it is that he himself may pray for us. We thank thee that we still have an interest in the affairs of thy kingdom. Time doth not charm us, and all the earth with its fulness and all the sea with its music cannot content us. We declare plainly that we seek a country; our eyes are lifted up, and we seek a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Thou hast stirred us by a Divine ambition, thou art moving us by heavenly impulses, the unrest which disturbs our heart is itself a blessing, calling upon us to arise and work and serve and wait and suffer until the end, which is full of light, shall come. Wherein we have done wrong in thy sight do thou now exercise thy mercy, that the miracle of thy forgiveness may exceed the marvel of our guilt. Thou hast an answer to us in Christ Jesus: he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. Lo, this is thy gospel, to our heart when it smites itself with accusation, and to our conscience when it rises threateningly and demands our life. Help us to find rest in Christ, refuge in the cross, and peace in the holy blood—then let thy word dwell in us richly as a new life and a new light, the very glory of Heaven, the very peace of God. So shall we have an answer to every tempter, a refuge in the time of every tempest, and our peace shall be complete, because it is of the nature of the tranquillity of God. Help us to use our time well: may no talent be wrapped up and laid aside, may we be living at every point of our character, yea, may there be no death in us at all; even now may we lay hold upon our immortality and bring to bear upon the things of the dying day the power of an endless life. Where there is sorrow of heart this day, surprise the sorrowful with new joys: where there is a sense of blankness and emptiness because of the visitations of thy bereaving providence, do thou fill up such blankness with thy presence more fully than ever thou hast yet done. When the tears are in the eyes and the sob is suppressed in the heart, bring thy gospel in all its tender solaces and infinite consolations to bear upon the bruised and heavy laden. Interpret unto us the meaning of the grave that is dug under our own hearthstone—show us why death is a continual guest at our table, and do thou thus interpret unto us the mystery of life and give unto us the piety which sees the bright view, the far and celestial outlook, that anticipates the resurrection, the utter and lasting destruction of death. Then shall our voices mingle with the sweet hymn in thy house that gives thee praise for all thy dispensation, and the psalm that adores thee shall have in it the utterance of our love.
– Sunday Morning Prayer by Dr. Joseph Parker
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Almighty God, we come to thee through Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, for he alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and there is none other: he is sent of God to bring us unto the Father, and no man cometh unto Christ except the Father draw him. Herein are wonderful mysteries, which we cannot penetrate, but where we cannot understand we fall down and adore. What are we that we should know aught? We are of yesterday and know nothing: our breath is in our nostrils, and whilst we talk of life, behold we are thrown down and are dead men. It well becometh us, therefore, to hold our peace in thy house, and to listen attentively, with the whole hearing of our heart, lest we miss any tone of thy gracious and living voice. Jesus Christ our Saviour loved us: he gave himself for us; his head, his hands, his heart, his feet, his side, bled for us: it was holy blood—the blood of atonement. Thou art always careful of us, as if we were worth much in thy sight. We cannot understand thy care. We could understand thy crushing us because of the provocation of our sins, but why thou shouldst save us and spare us and love us and mightily redeem us with blood, every day in the year, lo, this is a mystery of love which baffles our mind. Deep is thy design, gracious is thy purpose, immeasurable is thine intent, unknown in its beginning and uncomprehended in its issues—it is enough for us to know that thou doest all things in wisdom and in love. Today is the battle, and tomorrow the mystery, and on the third day dost thou perfect the issue. Help us to fight, to wait, to worship, to suffer, to endure with noble courage and unmurmuring patience, knowing that the end will come as a great surprise of hidden love, a revelation of infinite tenderness. We bless thee for thy word; it is good reading in sandy places, and in wildernesses full of stones and wild beasts: it makes the very wind, when loudest and coldest, music in our hearing. It shows us where the tree is, the branches of which will sweeten the bitter pool; it is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Help us to understand it by our modesty, humility, self-renunciation, utter, child-like, unquestioning trust. Thou dost speak wonderful things to the child-heart—may ours evermore be such. Save us from our own imaginings, deliver us from the temptations of our own sagacity and learning, and help us in all simpleness, with complete trust and love of heart, and with the openness of soul which receives all heaven’s gifts, to wait upon the Lord, yea, to wait patiently for him. Every heart has its own story—of joy, of sorrow, of baffled hope, of dead ambitions, of frustrated purposes and trusts—send a gospel to each soul, that none may feel itself left out on the day of benediction and rest. Speak comfortably unto Jerusalem: send thine angel to cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, yea, let this be the day of jubilee, when silver trumpets shall announce the glad reprieve, the great and universal amnesty and release. Give us a nail in thy sanctuary, give us a standing on the threshold of thy house, bring us quite within the sacred enclosure of the holy temple, and give us rest and peace within its hallowed defences. Amen.
– Sunday Morning Prayer by Dr. Joseph Parker
Good Saturday morning to you! I pray you’ve had a great week. Saturdays should be a day of rest and preparation for worship on Sunday. I know that’s not normally the way it works, but I think it should. Along those lines I’ve collected several posts dealing with naps, sleep and what times leaders should wake up in the morning. They’re interesting. There are a few more posts dealing with leadership and pastoring and an important post from AllPro Dad on the devastating effects of pornography on our sons and daughters. Take some time to read these posts. Even though I don’t endorse everything in them, they’ll sure to benefit you as you seek to live and lead in this fallen world in which we live. Shine for Jesus today!