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

Theme this week: The “new normal” anchored in die old!

Read Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

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

Living with hope has always been “normal” (read: part of) for believers.
Hope in the Lord has also always pointed to what we can’t see (yet), to that which lies in the future - the same as “earthly” hope.
Different to “earthly” (that points to an uncertain future), Christian hope speaks of absolute assurance in terms of that which still lies in the future.
Hebrews 11:1 says: it’s to be sure... and certain.
Faith and hope is two sides of the same coin! There is no hope without faith in God!
Faith is taking God (in present time) at His (promise)-word.
Hope is the assurance that He - in future - will fulfil this promise-word!
Faith is knowing (and confessing) that God is our gracious Father!
Hope is the certain expectation that He will indeed show Himself to be our merciful Father!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, light my faith eyes to see, also and especially the unseen, because it is sure in You. Amen

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

Theme this week: The “new normal” anchored in die old!

Read Psalm 18:29-30: “You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.”

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

Biblical hope in the Lord takes account thereof that life can grow “dark”, but it fixes its eyes (and heart) on the Lord whose (inner) light shines brightly!
The Lord can give light... This has always been “normal” (read: true) for us...
because the “bright Morning Star”, Jesus Christ, has already “risen” and announced a new day of salvation and life (Luke 1:78; Rev. 22:16);
because He is the “sun of righteousness” (Mal. 4:2) who in principle drove away the darkness (evil, the brokenness of life)… and who will eventually take it away completely!
This knowledge brings hope... and a total turnaround in David’s life (please read Ps. 18:33-35 tonight).
God gives him the strength - when he faces a troop - to scale the cliffs of life.
He makes his road prosperous - no obstacle derails him!
He makes his feet like those of a deer that is not (de)pressed by the heavy burden of life, but traverses it light-footedly and yet steadily.
Prayer: Lord, let the light of Jesus’ coming and salvation light my life. Amen

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

Theme this week: The “new normal” anchored in die old!

Read Psalm 18:28-29: “You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.”

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

The so-called “new normal” has become a common expression these days… How it relates to our spiritual and emotional life is perhaps not so new.
People have always tended to react to their (difficult) circumstances in one of two ways:
The first is with pessimism which only sees the dark side of life, usually expecting the worst possible scenario, which leads to anxiety, depression and despair.
The second reaction is optimism, which only sees the positive in life and deals with crises with the attitude: It will all work out, just stay positive.
Both lead to misery:
The pessimist doesn’t see the light side of life.
The optimist in turn forgets that life is not perfect (yet), it is still very broken, evil and difficult.
The answer is not found somewhere in between pessimism and optimism - the proverbial “hoping for the best”.
It is (still!) found in the Biblical hope, as David confesses above!
(Tomorrow we continue this conversation.)

Prayer: Lord, sometimes I come to the end of my rope. Fill me with Biblical hope. Amen

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

Week’s theme: See God’s light shining on our life questions.

Today’s theme: How do I keep from deceiving myself?

Read James 1:19-27: “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, het rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the world but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does. If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself form being polluted by the world.”

(The Bible is available online at www.biblegateway.com)
If you regularly hear God’s Word but fail to do what it says, you are deceiving yourself. How so?
We are not believers just because we attend church every Sunday and listen to the Word.
Believing is about what we do and that is why James writes in the next chapter: “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead” (Jam. 2:26).
Faith without deeds is self-deception... it is not faith!
Faith is about your words and deeds. How you behave is guided by the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit works through the Word. If you hear the Word, you act in accordance thereto guided by the Spirit.
As our Lord Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21).
Prayer: Father, guide me with Your Spirit to not deceive myself, but to serve You in obedience. Amen

Danie de Kock Emeritus
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Week’s theme: See God’s light shining on our life questions.

Today’s theme: How do I keep from fooling myself?

Read James 1:12-18: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. The, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”

(The Bible is available online at www.biblegateway.com)
James warns here against self-deception. What would that be? How can you fool yourself?
Self-deception is when you summarily attribute your circumstances to the Lord, as though He would lead you into sin. Have you ever heard the excuse: The Lord had me fall in love with this other woman and now I’ll have to divorce my wife... Really?
No, James says, God doesn’t tempt anyone. Man is led astray by his own desires and when those desires take root, it produces sin.
God, in contrast, only gives what is good. He has brought us through the Word from truth to life!
Christ, as Saviour, proclaims His Word of truth. He has also given us His Spirit to lead us in truth. Do not grieve God’s Spirit with self-deception.
Prayer: Father, guide me by Your Spirit to not mislead myself. Amen

Danie de Kock Emeritus
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Week’s theme: See God’s light shining on our life questions.

Today’s theme: How do I go about my finances?

Read James 1:9-11: “The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.”

(The Bible is available online at www.biblegateway.com)
Every church has it affluent and poor members. Unfortunately, the sinful world would have us believe that wealth is always better than poverty.
In the church, amongst believers, however there is balance: The poor who is perceived as humble must know that the Lord lifts him or her up. The rich in contrast who is held in high regard must realise his or her insignificance before the Lord.
Yes, we are equal before the Lord, because we all stand together on the foundation of the redemption of our Lord Jesus Christ. God looks beyond the clothes were wear or the house we live in. He sees the heart, the heart of flesh that He planted into each of His chosen children through the Holy Spirit.
Hearts full of faith and love are equal and therefore also united before God.
Prayer: Father, thank You for seeing our hearts – hearts purified by the blood of our Lord Jesus. Amen

Danie de Kock Emeritus