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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Reformed Man Scolds Wife For Going Into Labor On Lord’s Day

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SANTEE, CA—Local Reformed man David Kesler has been excited to welcome his new daughter into the world, anxiously anticipating her arrival on an expected Monday due date. A member in good standing of a United Reformed Church, Kesler was horrified when his wife Sarah began going into labor right in the middle of Lord’s Day […]


The post Reformed Man Scolds Wife For Going Into Labor On Lord’s Day appeared first on The Babylon Bee.





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    • Features of Reformed Worship

      Worship is the expression of praise, glory, thanks, honor, submission and devotion and is to be given to God alone. All else is idolatry. Therefore, Reformed worship is intentionally God-ward, celebrating all that He is and all that He has done in creation and redemption. Worship is not about our feelings or ‘worship experience’ and therefore is not devised according to what will attract or satisfy the sinner. God alone is our target audience in worship. It is for God,about God, and focused solely upon God. We recognize that if God is pleased it does not matter who is displeased, and if He is displeased, it does not matter who is pleased. Triune in Orientation
      God has revealed Himself in creation and especially in the Bible. Biblical worship recognizes we worship the one true God who is eternally existent in three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All of our worship is shaped by this revelation. Covenantal
      Biblical worship is based upon a covenant relationship. Not everyone can legitimately call Him ‘Father’ but only those in covenant relationship with Him. We also recognize that this relationship is made possible only by the sin bearing, atoning cross-work of the Lord Jesus Christ in His death for us, and the perfect obedience and righteousness He achieved for us in His life. Based on the sure foundation of Scripture alone, justification is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. Regulated by Scripture
      God determines how He will be worshiped and He has not left us to guess what that involves. The Regulative Principle of Worship acknowledges that we are to do only those things in worship which God has commanded in His Word. We are not free to innovate, revise, or supplement the elements of worship commanded by God in Scripture. We are to be careful to do according to the mandates laid out for us. Sober, Yet Joyful
      The Bible makes it clear that worshiping God is a highly serious matter and yet Christians ought to do so with reverent and overflowing joy. Worship is not a concert for man’s enjoyment. Preaching is not a public speech to dispense information or to entertain. Preaching is a central component of our worship. God addresses His people through the reading and proclamation of His word, and His people respond in faith, thanksgiving, and praise. A Holy Dialogue
      Worship in the Bible was a dialogue between God and His covenant people, and so should it be in churches today. Our service begins with God addressing His gathered people in His solemn call to worship. Hearing His call, we respond with joy.God reveals His holy Law and we recognize our guilt and confess our sins. God, through the preacher, makes proclamation of His word, and we believe and renew our commitment to Him. He serves His people a family, covenant meal at His Table and we believe His gospel promise and feast on Him. As we turn from sin and trust the finished and perfect work of the perfect Savior alone, He assures us of His full pardon. We respond with thanksgiving and praise. Our worship ends with God addressing His children with words of benediction. This dialogue between God and His assembled covenant people is the rhythm of worship in Scripture, and it shapes the structure of our liturgy every Lord’s Day. - John Samson
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    • When You Open Your Bible, Labor to Listen

      Since the beginning, God has blessed his people by speaking to them. Humanity was only moments out of the dust of the earth when our Creator communicated with us: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them . . .” (Gen. 1:27–28). Immediately after creating us, God came near to us. Near enough that we could hear him speak, learn his voice. We often read those words in Genesis without blinking an eye. We read the conversations God had with Abraham, Jacob, and Moses, fully believing the Lord personally spoke to each of them. But often our faith begins to waver when it comes to us. He spoke to them, but do we believe he speaks to us? Answering that question requires gut-level honesty from each of us. Amid all the trials and troubles this life brings, we can begin to believe God is far-off, distant, unconcerned, or silent. Yet this is far from true. God is speaking. To you. Right now. The only question is: Are you listening? God speaks through the Scriptures. Knowing his Word is a necessary component to hearing his voice. As you read, here are five ways to posture and position yourself to better hear God’s voice. 1. Read with Humility Humility opens our ears to hear God speak. As we read his Word, we humble ourselves in submission under his authority. We allow it to shape us, not demanding it change to fit cultural norms or our own perceived needs and desires. We approach God’s Word with plenty of room to ask questions and seek understanding. As we do, though, we must not be arrogant, critical, or casual. We must acknowledge our own need to “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). 2. Read with Diligence Each of us is capable of reading and understanding Scripture, but it requires considerable effort. We learn to hear God’s voice as we gain insight into his will through consistent and careful examination of his Word. The learning curve is steep, but there’s a cumulative effect to the study of God’s Word. So keep at it. Patiently persist. Don’t “grow weary of doing good,” because “in due season we will reap” (Gal. 6:9). The more you read and study, the more you will understand and hopefully love. 3. Read with Expectation When we read the Bible, our first assumption must be that it speaks. More pointedly, we must assume God speaks to us exactly where we are. Through the determined study of his Word, expect God to teach, comfort, confront, strengthen, and transform you. “Without faith it is impossible to please him,” the author of Hebrews writes, “for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb. 11:6). We faithfully read God’s Word when we expect him to speak. 4. Read to Listen You can’t hear if you don’t listen. Listening is required in the formation and maintenance of every human relationship. It’s equally important in forming and maintaining our relationship with God. When he created us as relational beings, he opened communication between us and himself as a mutual endeavor. Like any worthy pursuit, listening to God requires time, intentionality, and purpose. We must tune our ears to hear his voice in the pages of his Word (Mark 4:9). 5. Read with Prayer Hearing God speak is a spiritual endeavor. Any difficulty we have in hearing God’s voice, then, is much more a spiritual matter than an intellectual one. As we open our Bibles, we should pray over our time and efforts, knowing we can only hear by him by his grace and mercy. Like the Ephesian Christians, we need the help of the Holy Spirit: “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:16–17). In the Bible, God makes himself known, presently speaking to each of us. Open his Word with humility and diligence, eagerly listening to his voice. Pray for a willing, pliable, attentive heart—and then expect to hear him speak. View the full article

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