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God Be Merciful To Me – Sunday Songs

I featured God Be Merciful To Me years ago.
Here’s a retuned version by Keith and Kristyn Getty of this setting of Psalm 51.

The lyrics:
God, be merciful to me,
On thy grace I rest my plea;
Plenteous in compassion Thou,
Blot out my transgressions now;
Wash me, make me pure within,
Cleanse, O cleanse me from my sin.
Wash me, make me pure within,
Cleanse, O cleanse me from my sin.
Broken, humbled to the dust
By thy wrath and judgment just,
Let my contrite heart rejoice
And in gladness hear Thy voice;
From my sins O hide Thy face,
Blot them out in boundless grace.
From my sins O hide Thy face,
Blot them out in boundless grace.
Gracious God, my heart renew,
Make my spirit right and true;
Cast me not away from Thee,
Let thy Spirit dwell in me;
Thy salvation’s joy impart,
Steadfast make my willing heart.
Thy salvation’s joy impart,
Steadfast make my willing heart.
Sinners then shall learn from me
And return, O God, to Thee;
Saviour, all my guilt remove,
And my tongue shall sing thy love;
Touch my silent lips, O Lord,
And my mouth shall praise accord.
Touch my silent lips, O Lord,
And my mouth shall praise accord.

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New City Catechism Question and Answer 20

Question 20
Who is the Redeemer?

The only Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, in whom God became man and bore the penalty for sin himself.


The Attitude We Have About The Church Is The Attitude We Have About Jesus (via Stephen Kneale)

The Church is the body of Christ. Not figuratively. Literally.
The way you’ll treat the Church tomorrow is the way you treat Jesus.

From Stephen Kneale at Church Matters:

If Christ is unified to his people, then what one does to his people is what one is doing to Christ. How one treats his people is how one is treating Christ. This is the clear implication of Jesus’ own words in Matthew 25:40.
Jesus’ words to Paul have far wider-reaching ramifications than how Jesus views the persecution of his people. It has clear implications for how the Lord’s people treat one another. It similarly has implications for how the Lord’s people treat the Lord’s stuff.
If we cannot be bothered to get out of bed to get to church on Sunday morning, we are not just failing to bother spending time with God’s people but we are spurning Christ himself. When we have no interest in serving and caring for the Lord’s people, we are failing to care for the Lord. When we drop the ball on stuff in church and put upon others, we are spurning the Lord and saying there are other things that take precedence over him.
If Jesus’ words to Saul tell us that those who persecute the church are persecuting Christ, it also tells us that how we treat the church is how we treat Christ. If we never go to church, if we constantly go away for the weekend, if we never serve, if we find anything else to do, these are not just holding the church in low esteem, it is treating Christ lightly and a direct reflection on our views of him.
By contrast, a high view of the church is a high view of Christ. If the church becomes a high priority, Christ is a high priority. Serving the people of the church is a measure of our love for Christ. Serving in the ministries of the church is a measure of our love for Christ. Turning up at weekly worship and engaging with the Lord’s people is a measure of our love for Christ.


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The Long Haul (preparing for MGPC 19/5/19)

Song: Saviour Of The World
Call to Worship
Song: This I Believe – (The Creed)
Prayer Of Confession
Song: God Is Our Strength And Refuge
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 20
Song: Now To Him Who Loved Us
Bible Reading: Luke 2: 22-52 – The infant Jesus is presented in the temple, Simeon’s response, known by its Latin title as the Nunc Dimittis (2:29-32), and the account of Jesus’ visit to the temple at age 12.
Bible Memorisation: 1 Kings 18:21b
Song: FCome Now Almighty King
Bible Reading: 1 Kings 19: 1-8
Sermon: The Long Haul
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Your Love So High


A Death Must Truly Be A Death Before There Can Be New Life (via David Zahl)

Popular culture and social media has made failure into a status symbol, but usually presents failing as an egalitarian stepping stone to entail success. Almost like a rite of passage.
David Zahl points out that this cultural tendency to gloss over failure as a stepping stone to success short-changes the suffering of those who fail, and whose failures cannot be stepped from quickly or easily.

The notion that failure is not failure but the first step toward its opposite may be absurd, but it is also suitably and undeniably cult-like. Ironically, such silver-lining-itis buffers us from the very suffering we are theoretically venerating.
Honest failure, on the other hand, hurts. It is painful. It is out of our control. And there’s nothing we like less than that.
Obviously some failures do lead to success. Some dead-ends do herald new beginnings. This is especially true in relationships. But some do not. A biblical truism captures this dynamic: you cannot pole-vault over Good Friday to get to Easter. A death must truly be a death before there can be new life. Christ was not hanging from the cross checking his watch — “another few hours of this and then it’s smooth sailing.” He really suffered and really died. He experienced true separation from God. What happened thereafter was unexpected.
Which is to say, failure in the service of success is not actually failure.

David Zahl, Seculosity, Fortress Press, 2019, pg. 37.


The Resurrection Verifies The Centrality Of The Cross (via Fleming Rutledge)

The resurrection life is central to Christian experience, but the resurrection life derives its meaning in the completed work of the cross.
From Fleming Rutledge:

What then is the resurrection? It is the vindication of the crucified One. The resurrection doesn’t cancel out the crucifixion as if it were only a passing episode to be noted briefly (or not) on the way to Easter. You here today are blessed because you know, or you have suspected, that Good Friday is not optional. You understand, or you are on your way to understanding that the Day of Resurrection finds its meaning from the cross. The resurrection does not reverse the crucifixion. The resurrection vindicates the crucifixion (vindicate, meaning to verify, confirm, authenticate). The work of Jesus is brought to completion on the cross. That’s what “it is finished” means. The Father and the Son together, in the power of the Spirit, are saying to us, the work that the Father gave the Son to accomplish is consummated, completed, finished as he dies. The saying is just one word in Greek: tetelestai. The Latin is particularly good: consummatum est. So you see, the resurrection does not cancel out the cross. It verifies and confirms that the cross was the main event.

Fleming Rutledge, Three Hours, Eerdmans, 2019, pgs 67-68.

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Footy Tipping 2019 – NRL Round 10 / AFL Round 9

Nothing out of the ordinary last weekend, really.
The NRL’s ‘Magic’ round apparently was magic because more people probably watched it live than any other normal round of rugby league in living memory.
Hopefully the teams that sacrificed home ground advantage and lost appreciate the extra money in their bank accounts.
The AFL seems to be settling down, though no one is standing out, and four or five teams would have to like their chances. Brisbane and North Melbourne’s places in the top eight looks soft, but I don’t think there’ll be more than two teams from outside the eight breaking in from this point on.

NRL (last round 7/8; season tally 48/72)
Gold Coast

AFL (last round 6/9; season tally 38/72)
West Coast
North Melbourne
Port Adelaide
Greater Western Sydney