Advent Series at Adoration

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With our traditional celebration of Christmas quickly approaching, we will be devoting time to a special series of Advent sermons. While we are not obliged to follow a set pattern of Advent preparations, there are many blessings to be found in meditating on God's Word in connection with the wondrous news of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the Word of God, we meet Him "who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8 ESV)

If you would like to read the passages for our sermon series in advance (and read surrounding texts to learn something of their context) we will be hearing from:

KING: November 27th: 1 Chronicles 17
WARRIOR KING: December 4th: Isaiah 7 & 9 & 59:16-17
SHEPHERD KING: Jeremiah 23 (esp. vs 5-6); Psalm 110
KING OF PEACE: Micah 5 (esp. vs 4-5)
KING OF ZION: Psalm 2 & Matthew 1:1-25

Gifts

Did you know that by faith in Jesus Christ, you have received the richest outpouring of gifts from God?

He has freely given you the Son of Righteousness to free you from condemnation and grant you eternal life!

And He has freely given you the Spirit of Holiness to sanctify you and make you grow in holiness in this life!

Your Rock and Redeemer has acted, He’s told you about it in the Word, and He’s told you what you can do in thankfulness for such a great salvation!

All Things Considered...

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What's going on at Adoration these days? We have seen the Lord blessing our congregation in so many little ways and in particular we can thank him for the blessing of church bible studies that are going well, the tight-knit cadet and Kingdom Seekers programs, and the resumption of our monthly potluck dinners. We have a congregational meeting coming up at which we can talk together about the financial aspects of maintaining a distinct presence as a Christian congregation in our community. We'll be having a Christmas program (you're welcome to attend!) in December and it will be yet another opportunity to see the many gifts that the Lord has given to our congregants in terms of music, poetry, and the public reading of Scripture.

If you're reading this and not yet a member of a Christian church or struggling to find a church where the Bible is sincerely believed and faithfully taught - or if you are seeking relationships with others because loneliness is a constant guest - please seek us out and join us on Sundays for worship services and through the week for various other activities!

Our Greatest Need has Been Met in Jesus Christ!

“If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior. ” D.A. Carson

The Wisdom of the Proverbs

The book of Proverbs, nestled within the series of books we call the 'Wisdom Literature' found in the Scriptures, is the most straightforward of the five books of Wisdom Literature. It is the 'beginning' of the study of the fear of the Lord, a theme that is built upon and amplified in the course of the Book of Job, the 150 Psalms, and particularly thematic in the book of Ecclesiastes!

So as you go about your day today, perhaps it's fitting to ponder and apply the Word of God as we find it in Proverbs 25-26. Enjoy!

It is not good to eat much honey,
nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.

A man without self-control is like a city broken into
and left without walls.

Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
so honor is not fitting for a fool.
— Proverbs 25:27-26:1

Learning more about who God is...

At Adoration we are striving to learn and grow in our understanding of God and His ways!

Gerhardus Vos, a biblical scholar from a century ago, helpfully explains why we are interested in learning more about God:
“So long as the intellect retained its legitimate place among the functions of the religious subject, so long as to know God was felt to be an essential part of glorifying God, the natural tendency was to make this knowledge as comprehensive and as many-sided as possible – to have it mirror the full content of the divine nature, and not merely a single one of its perfections [ie. love].” 
“... the music of [a well balanced theology] may not always please modern ears, because it seems lacking in sweetness; but it ranged over a wider scale and made better harmonies than the popular strains today.” 
- Gerhardus Vos, Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation, p. 425
 

(photo from unsplash: Anders Jildén)

(photo from unsplash: Anders Jildén)

The Great Commission: For Parents?

Paul Tripp, a writer and teacher of scripture, offers some really insightful comments on the relationship between the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the day to day work of parenting. 

If you have young children (or older ones) or if you are thinking about one day serving as a parent, do check out his blog post below if you have time! It's well worth it :) 

http://www.paultripp.com/wednesdays-word/posts/the-number-1-parenting-passage-in-the-bible

Basil the Great on Psalm 116

Recently we had a sermon on Psalm 116 and it focused on a question which we should be asking, namely, "what shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?" On this text, Basil the Great, a 4th century Church Father, wrote the following powerful statement: 

"What reward shall we give unto the Lord for all the benefits He hath bestowed? From the cheerless gloom of non-existence, He waked us into being; He ennobled us with understanding; He taught us arts to promote the means of life; He commanded the prolific earth to yield its nurture; He bade the animals to own us as their lords. 

 

"For us the rains descend; for us the sun sheddeth abroad its creative beams; the mountains rise, the valleys bloom, affording us grateful habitation and a sheltering retreat. For us the rivers flow; for us the fountains murmur; the sea opens its bosom to admit our commerce; all nature pouring her treasures at our feet, through the bounteous grace of Him who wills that all be ours." (Basil of Ceasarea, in Spurgeon's Psalms Commentary)

Sunday Preview (July 10th edition)

Good afternoon!

As we get ready for the start of a new week, we do so knowing that God has made us alive and raised us up with Christ "so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:7) Already now we enjoy the grace and kindness of our God and in the coming ages we will enjoy it even more! 

There are many reasons why we need this encouragement with each passing day. I'm not sure about you, but I've felt that there has been a shocking stream of horrible news stories coming to us from all parts of the globe, both near and far, with reports of devastation, crime, brutality, and unchecked violence. Some of this is due, certainly, to the reality that our news streams are constantly focused in on violent acts in society while ignoring the widespread practices of ordinary people who are going about their days without violence or gross injustice. Still, though, we can be very discouraged by the things that are happening. It's in these times that we grieve at the injustices we witness around us, we plead for healing and restoration for those affected by the violence, and we commit to loving the neighbours that we know and see on a daily basis as servants of Jesus Christ. We aren't able to change the streets of Damascus or Istanbul but we can touch our neighbourhoods while praying for all who are suffering in other parts of our world. 

In Ephesians 2, Paul speaks of "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2) and we will be examining the conduct of one of those sons of disobedience in our morning sermon, as Pharaoh declares to Moses, "I am Pharaoh, and I will not". In turn, we'll examine God's response in our afternoon sermon as God declares to Moses and the people, "I AM and I will". There is an awesome parallellism on display in our texts and I would encourage you to read through Exodus 5 & 6 in preparation along with Hebrews 11:23-29. 

May the Lord bless us with His Word and Spirit!