Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church ... a Light to the Nation

Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church

Our Name: As a CHRISTIAN Church: We believe that the entire Bible is the authoritative and inspired Word of God. We hold that the historic Creeds shared by all Christian Churches, (the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed), the Reformed Confessions, (the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt) and the Westminster Confession as an accurate summary of the teachings of God's Word. The Church is Presbyterial in its form of Government, being governed by the Church Council, comprising the Minister(s), the Elders and the Deacons, as elected by the Church Membership. As a REFORMED Church: We are in the tradition of the historic Protestant Reformation. We believe the Bible to be our rule for faith and life. We believe that God saves us from our sin by Grave Alone. We believe that we receive the gift of eternal life only by faith in His only Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. As a CHURCH: We believe that we belong to Christ, as members of His body. We believe that He is our King, the Head and Saviour of His Church. We believe that He has called us to be His People, living out our faith in His Church and in His Kingdom. OUR VISION: We are a Christian Church that Loves God and others, Grows together in Christ, and Reaches the Lost
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Today’s theme: Let your thankfulness be a pleasing aroma

Read Genesis 8:1-22 (v. 15-20): “Then God said to Noah, ‘Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you…Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives…Then Noah built an altar to the Lord...”

(Bible online available at www.biblegateway.com)
Noah believed and that is why he obeyed the Lord’s command. First he was to build the ark, then lead the animals into the ark and then he and his family were to enter.
Then the Lord closed up the ark and opened up the heavens to bring down the rain. Everything died in the flood. In this way God washed away the foul stench of sin from the earth.
Finally the day dawns on which He opens the ark again and tells them all to come out. What is the first thing Noah does? He builds an altar for the Lord and then sacrifices burnt offerings from all the clean animals and birds on the altar (vs. 20).
What a wonderful and precious offering? There may have only been 7 pairs of every species of clean animal left on earth, but that didn’t stop Noah from taking some of them and sacrificing burnt offerings for the Lord in thankfulness for God saving them from the great cleansing of the earth. In grateful obedience a pleasing aroma rises to the God of their salvation.
Yet God knew that the pleasant aroma wouldn’t last forever, for man is too full of sin. God would however not eradicate the foul odour of sin the same way, because then God would have to keep on sending floods. God gives, in His own time, His own Son as sacrifice to eradicate the foul stench of sin forever. Jesus does this by paying for our sin with His blood.
The Holy Spirit furthermore gives us new hearts that our thankful obedience may rise to God like a pleasing aroma.
Then God also takes care of us in the most tender way, as His children, on a path that most assuredly leads to eternal peace.
We find ourselves in a worldwide pandemic, we face so many challenges every day. Know this: God is with us every step of the way, because we are His precious possessions.
The big question is: Is our daily life a pleasant aroma that reflects our thankfulness and obedience to God? Every day brings an abundance of reasons to be truly grateful to God.
Prayer: Lord, my God, help me that my life may be a pleasant aroma of thankfulness and obedience devoted to You. Amen

Braam van der Walt
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Theme this week: Jesus is King of His church

Today’s theme: Pray earnestly to the Lord who rescues

Read Acts 12:5: “So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.”

(Bible online available at www.biblegateway.com)
Up to Acts 12, the church had been on a streak of successes, experiencing one conversion after another. First there was Saul, then the Gentile centurion Cornelius and then the highly successful work among Gentiles (and Jews) in Antioch. In Acts 12, however, the ugly opposition inspired by Satan again raised its head.
King Herod persecuted the Christians in Jerusalem, threw them in prison and killed the Apostle James, the brother of John. This Herod was Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod the Great, who ruled in the days of Jesus’ birth (Matt. 2:1-16).
No doubt, this was done because it was politically popular for Herod. It pleased many of his citizens who did not like Christians. Many political figures are ready to persecute Christians if it will make them politically popular.
When he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword it was a new development in the history of the church. When he saw that the Jews were pleased about James’s murder, he also proceeded to arrest Peter.
While Peter was in prison, however, earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church and Peter was rescued. Herod had his soldiers handcuffed to Peter, but the church earnestly prayed to the Lord. Can you see the contest, but can you also see the answer to resist the devil and its earthly forces and what we should do as a church?
Prayer is still the answer for the persecution and the Christians who are persecuted and imprisoned, but it is also the answer for us with the temptations of the devil. Our victory over Satan starts by surrendering ourselves fully to God in a sincere faith and in earnest prayer that God can save and deliver us from every trial in my life.
Prayer: Lord, we thank You that we can call to You in prayer!

Lourens Nel
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Theme this week: Jesus is King of His church

Today’s theme: A new beginning is not always easy, but glorious

Read Acts 9:5: “And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.’”

(Bible online available at www.biblegateway.com)
Saul was a Jew and a Pharisee in bone and marrow, a pupil of the famous and very strict Gamaliel. For Saul this was a religious war and thus a very personal matter. It was his God, his people and his faith that were in jeopardy!! He therefore made it his personal responsibility to eradicate Christianity roots and all.
Saul was on the warpath. He hated Christianity with a passion and so, with a heart full of murder and destruction, he took on the 240km journey from Jerusalem to Damascus. There it happened, suddenly, without any prior warning. Near the gates of Damascus, the heavens tore open and radiated a blinding bright white light on the travel company. So great was his bewilderment that Saul fell face down on the ground and then came the voice, loud and clear in his native language, Aramaic: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4) Surprised Saul asked: “Who are you Lord?” Then the risen and glorified Christ revealed Himself: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting...”
It is particularly Saul's words, the words in verse 5, which begs our attention: “Who are you Lord?” Something had changed in Saul. Saul, we may now call him Paul, was pressed on the ground in grace and love that afternoon. There on the ground our Lord Jesus Christ, ripped out this man's hardened, let us call it a stoned heart, and gave him a heart of flesh, a heart full of love, a heart full of sincere repentance, a heart full of faith, willingness, service, and obedience.
Listen how he confessed and asked: “Who are you Lord?’’ With these words, Paul confessed openly: “Lord, I declare myself willing”, “How do You want to use me?”, “Where should I go”, “What must I do", “What shall I say?" and “What is Your plan with me?”
We should always ask: “Lord, what do You want me to do? I declare myself willing and will go wherever You want me to go and will follow wherever You lead me in 2021, even if it will be difficult!
Prayer: Lord, make us willing to go wherever You want us to go and do whatever You want us to do. Amen

Lourens Nel
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Theme this week: Jesus is King of His church

Today’s theme: Lord, do not hold this sin against them

Read Acts 7:60: “And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

(Bible online available at www.biblegateway.com)
Stephen had hope in even the most humanly fearing moment. He was about to be stoned and martyred, but he shared with and preached the hope and gospel in Christ to his persecutors!
Stephen was not defending himself, he had no interested in defending himself. He simply wanted to proclaim the truth about Jesus in a way people could understand. He directed them to Jesus. Stephen followed His Redeemer’s example even though the outcome could be the same.
We can have all hope, because we also see the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, like Stephen could see in faith with his persecutors rushing towards him. We should not be surprised at the extreme reaction of the crowd, it is typical of those who reject God and are lost in spiritual insanity.
For Stephen there was grace! Stephen’s life ended in the same way it had been lived: in complete trust in God, believing that Jesus would take care of him in the life to come. “And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’”
Stephen prayed the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ and displayed the same forgiving attitude that Jesus had on the cross (Luke 23:34).
Then Stephen fell asleep, he went to his Father, but the church woke up. With the persecution of Stephen, the gospel grew all over the world!
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for the hope in Christ that we have received. Give us the strength to be obedient in all circumstances. Amen

Lourens Nel
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Theme this week: A living community of faith!

Read Acts 2:46-47: “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts...and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

(The Bible is available online at www.biblegateway.com)

Whatever unbelievers know and see of God they see, hear and experience from you and me - our fellowship.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if on our way to church on Sundays… or sometime in the week after a faith gathering in the neighbourhood…, (non-believing) people look upon us with acceptance and favour - even with a yearning to join us?
It is possible - but only if God’s Word in our church is shared and lived by our community of faith!
And... if this Word reflects a hearty joy and extolling of thankfulness to God in our life!
The manner in which God saves people and makes His church grow
is not through tricks and soft-soaping people,
but through a living community of faith!
Prayer: Our Father, we pray that You will make us dedicated to living in the community of faith You have placed us… that others may thereby be drawn to You and Your saving grace. Amen

Charl van Rooy
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Theme this week: A living community of faith!

Read Acts 2:42d: “They devoted themselves to…prayer.”

(The Bible is available online at www.biblegateway.com)

The first church was all too aware of their vulnerability: that they may face pressure and opposition and the danger of their koinonia faltering.
They realised - they need God!
This is why they regularly prayed together.
What to do when we lose our enthusiasm over God and His Word, when we no longer value the spiritual and each other, when our fellowship loses its energy?
Then we must (once again) pray for the Holy Spirit to stir us anew - our Father promises to answer this prayer!
” (Luke 11:13)“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
Our Father knows it is the most important part of our spiritual life!
Will you and I pray more... and complain less over all the imperfections of our church?
Prayer: Our Father, we pray that You will change us through Your Spirit to hear the wonder of Your words of grace anew! We pray for Your Holy Spirit to work inside us that we may live. Amen

Charl van Rooy