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The Privilege Of Watching God’s Word At Work (via John Chester)

In this post about preachers and preaching, John Chester remarks about one incredible privilege that preachers have, particularly those who are blessed to preach to congregations where they can pretty much see everyone, and who are able to be free from a manuscript long enough to observe how people are reacting to God’s Word:

There is one other profound blessing that the pastor receives because he is looking into the faces of the congregation. The living and active nature of the Word of God is impressed on him as never before. [Of course this only applies to pastors who actually preach the bible!] From behind the pulpit I have seen people burst in to tears, tears of joy at the thought of heaven and the hope we have in Christ, and tears of conviction in response to a powerful truth of Scripture. I have seen the look cross a visitors face the split second they become offended by the gospel, and I have seen someone sitting with their arms defiantly crossed melt and soften as the Word of God washes over them. It is a unique blessing to be able to see how people respond to the preaching of the Word of God.

Read the whole post here.


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Hallowed Be Your Name (preparing for MGPC 17/2/19)

Song: From The Day
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: No Other Name
Prayer Of Confession
Song: Take My Life And Let It Be
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 7
Song: Worship, Honour, Glory, Blessing
Bible Reading: Zechariah 7 – Two years after the visions of Chapters 1–6, Zechariah is asked about continuing a fast established on the anniversary of the destruction of the temple. Zechariah points to obedience, not fasting, as the means of gaining, and disobedience as the means of forfeiting, the favour of God that they seek (verse 2).
Bible Memorisation: The Lord’s Prayer
Song: Holy, Holy, Holy
Bible Reading: Revelation 4: 1-11
Sermon: Hallowed Be Your Name
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Blessed Be Your Name


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Our Father In Heaven (preparing for MGPC 10/2/19)

Song: The Love Of The Father
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: This I Believe – (The Creed)
Prayer Of Confession
Song: Lord, Be My Vision
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 6
Song: Worship, Honour, Glory, Blessing
Bible Reading: Zechariah 6: 1-15 – Zechariah’s eighth vision, of four chariots which patrol the earth as emissaries of God’s judgment; priesthood and kingship are united in Joshua the high priest, who is a type of the Messiah to come.
Bible Memorisation: The Lord’s Prayer
Song: God Has Spoken
Bible Reading: Romans 8: 12-17
Sermon: Our Father In Heaven
Welcome To Membership
The Lord’s Supper (gf bread)
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: One True God


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Preaching Hopeful Realism (via Joel Beeke)

In writing that good sermons need to preached realistically, idealistically, and optimistically, Joel Beeke writes why optimism is essential.
If you’re listening to a sermon tomorrow may it contain this element:

A Hopeful Realism
The believer also needs to hear from the pulpit the optimistic preaching of the Christian life: that one day I will be as holy as Jesus is holy and I’ll be married to him forever. I’ll be his bride and there will be a utopian marriage between me and him and in heaven this glorious idealism will be perfected in eternal optimism.
If that truth isn’t taught, then we can sort of stay settled in this life. We put our tent stakes in the soil too deeply and think this earth is all there is. Whereas optimistic preaching about the future teaches us that this life here is just like an introduction to a book and eternity is the whole book and we’re always living with one eye on eternity.
I need that optimistic view of the eternal destiny of the believer—that God will make amends for everything on that great day and I will enter the joy of the Lord.

Read the rest of the post here.


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Heaven’s Accent (preparing for MGPC 27/1/19)

Song: My Lighthouse
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: This I Believe – (The Creed)
Prayer Of Confession
Song: Rock Of Ages
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 4
Song: Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow
Bible Reading: Zechariah 4: 1-14 – Zechariah’s fifth vision is of a golden lampstand and of two olive trees, the latter representing Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua the priest, through which by the power of the Spirit of God the work of rebuilding shall be accomplished.
Bible Memorisation: Matthew 6:6
Song: Sweet Hour Of Prayer
Bible Reading: Luke 11: 1-13
Sermon: Heaven’s Accent
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Behold Our God


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Sometimes You Can Get The Necessary Information, But Lack Essential Context

Sometimes sermons can be all push and no pull.
The facts are communicated as information – perhaps all imperatives, but preaching illustrates and seeks to draw – something of a winsome invitation.
Bible preaching does both: instructs and invites.
This is when news becomes good news.
Saw this précis of movie that reminded me of the principle.
It tells you what the movie is about, but doesn’t really tell you what the movie is like.


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Renewed Humanity (preparing for MGPC 20/1/2019)

Song: Never Alone
Welcome:
Call to Worship
Song: Saviour Of The World
Prayer Of Confession
Song: Search Me, O God
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 3
Song: Now To The King Of Heaven
Bible Reading: Zechariah 3: 1-10 – Zechariah’s fourth vision is of Joshua the high priest facing Satan’s accusations of uncleanliness, and hence unworthiness.
Bible Memorisation: Matthew 6:6
Song: Jesus Shall Reign
Bible Reading: Titus 3:1-15
Sermon: Renewed Humanity
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Saved My Soul