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: Our restoration

Read Romans 6:1-4: “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we may live a new life.”

(The Bible is available online at www.biblegateway.com)
Repentance means to turn around and go in the opposite direction.
When seen in the light of Scripture, the believer who has been restored has turned his/her back on sin and turned to God.
Romans 6 tells us that repentance is two-fold: The dying of the old self and the rising of the new in fellowship with Christ.
Die dying of the old is when the believer turns away from sin by increasingly choosing against sin.
The raising of the new is an increasing will and desire to live according to God’s will. It is to persevere in the new direction taken.
Prayer: Lord, we praise You that we know what it is to repent. We pray that our lives may be turned around, away from sin to You. Amen

Philip Hattingh
+6178 126-7339
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Today’s theme: True repentance begins with God

Read Lamentations 5:1-22 (v. 21): “Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may return.”

(Bible online available at www.biblegateway.com)
The first four chapters of Lamentations describe the moaning and wailing over the misery and loss that exile, war and oppression caused. This final lamentation, in which the people complain about the awful misery in which they find themselves, reflects a sense of absolute defeat and despondency.
The people do not only feel totally defeated over their loss and the misery they endured, but also forsaken by God.
Sin after all makes us want to hide from God - Adam and Eve also tried it.
What does the people do? They pray to God for the restoration of their relationship with Him. They’re no longer turning (away) from God, but turning (to) Him.
What do they pray for? They pray that God restore them to Him that they may return to Him. There is once again a yearning for the presence of God they used to have. The Lord must restore it.
How must the Lord do so? He must change the heart of the people that they are and seek to be God’s people once again who live close to Him. This the Lord does through the Holy Spirit.
What does this passage ask of us? How do we experience circumstances that leave us defeated and alone. What has this pandemic resulted in: poverty, job loss, death, isolation from family, closed church doors, etc.
Has this state of affairs awakened the sense that we need healing from sin and its consequences in our life? In order to be true children of God who know, love and serve Him we must turn with our broken lives to the Lord again.
We must pray to God to work inside us through His Spirit that we may change and grab onto Him in faith to live in His presence every day.
Our circumstances are a gift of restoration from God. Let us seek God. He will hear us and not leave our hearts unchanged.
Prayer: Loving Father, help me through Your Spirit to repent. Amen

Braam van der Walt
braamvdwalt61@gmail.com
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Today’s theme: Take heart, hardship doesn’t last forever

Read Lamentations 4:1-22 (v. 22): “O Daughter of Zion, your punishment will end; he will not prolong your exile. But, O Daughter of Edom, he will punish your sin and expose your wickedness.”

(Bible online available at www.biblegateway.com)
While the people complained over the misery that befell them, they hear the Lord’s message of peace: “your punishment will end; he will not prolong your exile.”
What wonderful news: The Lord will once again have compassion on His people.
Your punishment will end is a message New Testament believers know so well. It is after all the heart of the gospel. Jesus Christ suffered and died for our sins and because of this, we are free from the punishment of sin.
It does not however mean that pain and suffering and trials will never befall the believer. They will, but it will end.
Sometimes this suffering only ends on the deathbed. What is however of cardinal importance is that suffering and sorrow are no longer part of judgement, they are no longer punishment. Jesus bore the punishment for sin in our stead on Golgotha.
We need to rejoice therein then that God will never leave us. Suffering and sorrow may well still be part of our life, but the gospel of Jesus Christ who bore the punishment for our sin is just as much a part of our life. Yes, He will bear us until we receive the eternal joy and peace Jesus brought about.
After the earthly battle, God’s children are taken up into eternal glory.
Prayer: Thank You Lord that You will bear us until we receive the eternal joy and peace Jesus brought about. Amen

Braam van der Walt
braamvdwalt61@gmail.com
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Today’s theme: The difficult puzzle of hardship

Read Lamentations 3:1-66 (v. 31-33): “For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”

(Bible online available at www.biblegateway.com)
Everybody struggles and agonises over the question of injustice or tragedy they face in life and it doesn’t help to tell them that they aren’t permitted to ask “why”.
We need to keep in mind that we life in a sinful and broken world and that brokenness is often part of life. I realise that the mere fact of brokenness is not a satisfactory answer to this issue, but the truth is that we will never really get answers to our questions about the mystery of need and suffering.
Repentance to God is not necessarily the solution to adversity. Repentance should be a natural part of the daily life of the believer.
It may however never be repentance so that the Lord will bless me. It must be repentance because He is God and because He redeemed me in Jesus Christ.
Where do we then find rest from this struggle over tragedy and hardship?
We find rest in the simple knowledge that nothing occurs outside of God’s will. Although it is everything but a satisfactory answer, it does give us as believers the assurance that our God and Father works everything that befalls us as His children for the good for Christ’s sake. We confess it in question 1 of Sunday 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism. Psalm 103 tells us that we have a Father who in His grace has compassion on His children in need. Yes, regardless of how difficult, believe that He works it our benefit and God does not make mistakes.
Prayer: Faithful God, thank You for the knowledge that nothing occurs outside of Your will. Help us to trust in You alone in these uncertain times! You are our Rock. Amen

Braam van der Walt
braamvdwalt61@gmail.com
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Today’s theme: False trust unmasked

Read Lamentations 2:1-22 (v. 8): “The Lord determined to tear down the wall around the Daughter of Zion. He stretched out a measuring line and did not withhold his hand from destroying. He made ramparts and walls lament; together they wasted away.”

(Bible online available at www.biblegateway.com)
The people were complaining, because with the invasion of Jerusalem and the exile of His people the Lord didn’t even spare the temple from destruction.
They just couldn’t understand it? How could God allow the temple where He, according to their perceptions, dwelt be destroyed? It meant to them that the glorious presence of the Lord was no longer with His people.
Somewhere at the back of their minds they deemed the temple the house of God and believe that since God’s house was in Jerusalem, the Lord would never allow harm to befall Jerusalem and by implication them.
They in other words placed their trust in the HOUSE of God and not in the GOD of the house of God. They were completely disillusioned in their faith.
Verses 18-19 point out to the people that it is never too late to take refuge in the Lord. Repentance is the road that must be followed. As a number of times in the past, the Lord would also this time not give them the cold shoulder! They just had to take action!
The question we need to answer with all honesty is whether we truly trust in God and His grace in Jesus Christ. There are so many ways of false trust: your own experience (knowledge), skills (what you are capable of) and preferences.
We need to know God as He reveals Himself in His Word and not as we understand Him to reveal Himself. We must love Him will all our heart, unconditionally. We must serve Him in all we do as He has commanded us to do.
We must trust in God alone. Trust in false gods unfortunately easily gains a foothold in our life and we must therefore always strive to only follow ONE path and that is: back to God’s Word!
As children of God (who live in His presence), we have the great comfort: In the new Jerusalem there will be no temple, because God Himself will be there and there will be no sun, because the glory of God will light the city (Rev. 21:22). Yes, we will forever be in His glorious presence!
Prayer: Lord, help us by Your Spirit to know You for Who You truly are, to love You and in all sincerity serve and honour You. Amen

Braam van der Walt
braamvdwalt61@gmail.com
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
Langwarrin Christian Reformed Church
THE LORD'S MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Today’s theme: Not widow, but bride of Christ

Read Lamentations 1:1-22 (v. 7a): “In the days of her affliction and wandering Jerusalem remembers all the treasures that were hers in days of old.”

(Bible online available at www.biblegateway.com)
In the ancient East it was custom to loudly express grief. They, for example, loudly cried out their grief over the loss of a loved-one.
Here in Lamentations the sorrow over rape, famine and the shedding of blood suffered during the besieging of Jerusalem is cried out in song.
Verse 1 likens Jerusalem to a widow. A woman who has lost her husband to death. The chosen people were also considered in the Old Testament the woman of the Lord. She was unfortunately often presented negatively as unfaithful. In the New Testament we know the church to be the bride of the Lord.
The people experience, in Lamentations, the siege and destruction of Jerusalem as though the Lord is dead to them. They no longer enjoy the protection of their Man.
Now that they have lost everything they become nostalgic about the precious things of the past: The famine reminds them of the time they had food. Their desolation reminds them of times of celebration. The dilapidation reminds them of the time when Jerusalem was beautiful. NOW IT WAS ALL IN THE PAST!
On the cross on Golgotha Jesus cried out: “My God…why have you forsaken me?” Our Lord’s Supper form states that Jesus was forsaken by God that “God might never forsake us”.
What a glorious assurance for us to treasure. Yes, to know that we will never be like a widow who thinks back too late on the precious things of yesterday. Jesus tells us after all in Matthew 28:20: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The Lord also assures us, His sheep, in John 10:28: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” Psalm 37 says if the righteous fall, he will not remain down, because the Lord helps him up.
We must however see the precious grace of God today and every day and thank and worship Him for it, even when He disciplines us for not always acting like His bride!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for always being our God. You will guide and bear us until we stand in Zion. Amen

Braam van der Walt
braamvdwalt61@gmail.com