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Trusting in the LORD

This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.

Trusting in the LORD

Meditation on Psalm 125: 1,2

They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.”

There are two beautiful comparisons made in these two verses. Believers are compared to Mount Zion and the mountains round about Jerusalem are compared to the LORD surrounding his people. Both pictures reveal the unshakeable and unmovable status of the trust of believers and the security of believers. What comfort that gives us in these times of agitation, distress, dread, and fear. Are you distressed over your sin? Perhaps you have heard evil news about your or a loved one’s health. Are you going through trouble with a family member, co-worker, or fellow saint? Then there is always also the attacks brought against believers by the devil and the ungodly world around us. But, unlike Peter who looked at the storm-tossed sea, we fix our eye upon the LORD.

Verse one deals with the conscious activity of faith. Believers trust in the LORD. That trust is worked in us by God. That trust comes from a true knowledge of God. How can you trust a doctor unless you know that he is competent to treat your specific ailment? Likewise one cannot trust God without knowledge of Him. God reveals Himself to us in nature, in the Scriptures, and in His Son, Jesus Christ. The activity of true faith, as we know from Lord’s Day 7, is a sure knowledge of what God reveals in His Word and a hearty confidence, assurance, and trust.

The object of our trust is not in ourselves, doctors, politics, or anything but “in the LORD.” We know Him in His names, His virtues, and His wonderful works.

The word, “LORD”, in all capital letters is Jehovah. He is all powerful. He is all wise. He is all sufficient. He does not change, unlike the circumstances in our lives. He is always present, unlike Baal who appears to be sleeping or on a vacation as Elijah suggests to the false prophets. Jehovah is the name of our covenant God in Jesus Christ. Believers were given by God to Christ in eternity. Christ was given by God to us in His incarnation, suffering and death on the cross. It is by the work of the Holy Spirit that we are united to Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who works and strengthens faith in us.

Believers who trust in the LORD are stable and unmovable right now, (not “shall be” as the italicized words in our text). The picture drawn for us is that of a mountain in all of its grandeur, height, and steadfastness. The rain and snow fall upon it and the winds blow, but the mountain stands, nothing threatens it. How unlike they are than the sand dunes of Michigan which are threatened by strong winds and high lake levels. The dunes are blown or washed away. As boys and girls sing, “The foolish man built his house upon the sand…The wise man built his house upon the rock…So build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ.” It is not just any mountain. There were larger mountains. But Mount Zion was where Jerusalem (the church) was established. In Jerusalem was the temple with the Ark of the Covenant and the mercy seat. God dwelt there in fellowship with His people!

Oh, at times we might be shaken by doubt or fear. But nothing in this world or even death itself can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. He works in us to draw us back in faith and trust to Himself. The stability of the believer is not in himself but in the LORD. Those words, “in the LORD” are the key to this text. It is the Lord who establishes our hearts as He established the mountains. It is the LORD who surrounds us as the mountains surrounded Jerusalem. The believer cannot be moved, not so much because his trust is so great, but rather, Jehovah is ever present and all powerful. He always surrounds His people like As the three friends of Daniel were not touched by the flames in the fiery furnace because of a fourth individual that appeared with them, so God surrounds His people. The object of believer’s trust is in the LORD alone! Can you put your name in the text and say, “I, trusting in the LORD, am like Mt. Zion!

The psalm ends with the blessed serenity of the believer: “but peace shall be upon Israel.” God will give peace to those who trust in him. There is inner peace, calmness of heart, and confidence. The true believer is unmovable, for ever abiding in the love of God.

What time I am afraid I put my trust in Thee; In God I rest, and praise his word, so rich and free. In God I put my trust, I neither doubt nor fear, for man can never harm with God my helper near. In God, the Lord, I rest, his word of grace I praise, his promise stands secure, nor fear nor foe dismays.”  ~ Uzziah C. Burnap 1895

Never a trial that he is not there, never a burden that he doth not bear; never a sorrow that he doth not share, moment by moment, I am under his care. Moment by moment I’m kept in his love, moment by moment I’ve life from above; Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine, moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine.”  ~ May Whittle Moody 1870-1963

Be still, my soul, the Lord is on thy side! Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to thy God to order and provide, In every change He faithfully will remain. Bew still , my soul, thy best, thy heavenly friend thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”  ~ Jean Sibelius 1865- 1957

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Reformed News Asia - June 2020

Issue 60
Pamphlets

We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
NEWPamphlet!

Please click the picture to get the online copy of the pamphlet.
Questions in the Bible - Exodus, Ruth, 1 Samuel
By Prof Hermon Hanko

This project was inspired by 'Pastoral Voice' written by Rev. Andy Lanning for CERC in Oct 13-Jan 14 which covered 6 questions in Genesis.

There are many questions within the Bible, 2,540 to be exact.

The Christian Literature Ministry has shortlisted and compiled a list of them based on certain criteria:

i) Can be linked to Christ
ii) Significant in history of church
iii) Spiritual lesson for us
iv) A question we may also ask

After 6 years of effort, 12 books of the bible have been completed. In addition to the 6 meditations from Rev. Lanning, the writers are: Prof. Herman Hanko, Rev. Richard Smit and Rev. Cory Griess. We are grateful for their labour of love.

May you benefit spiritually from the meditations, and pray with us that gradually we may compile more meditations from questions in other books of the Bible.


Click here to view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.
 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
Unfolding Covenant History: From Samuel to Solomon - Volume 6
by David J. Engelsma

From the RFPA website:

After a fifteen-year hiatus, and fourteen other published titles, Prof. David J. Engelsma continues the Unfolding Covenant History series, a covenantal exposition of the Old Testament.

The Old Testament history covered in this volume is extensive, covering the account of the life and significance for the covenant of Samuel, Saul, David, and Solomon. This is the history recorded in 1 and 2 Samuel; 1 Kings 1–11; 1 Chronicles 10–29; and 2 Chronicles 1–9. In addition, the volume takes into consideration other passages in scripture (Psalms) that reflect on this history.

This history is also rich in significance with regard to the development of God’s covenant and covenant dealings with his people. It includes the institution and early functioning of the office of the prophet; the institution of the office of king; the stark contrast between the people’s choice as king, in the charismatic, but reprobate, Saul, and God’s elect, David; and the realization of the fellowship of the covenant in the Old Testament in the temple. Among the fascinating and controversial events of the history on which the volume sheds light is the appearance to Saul of the “witch of Endor.”

 
Audio Recordings
Over the past 2 months, we were glad to have Bro Josiah Tan back with us. He was able to give us a series of exhortation on the Feasts in Leviticus.

Click to listen to them:

The Passover of the LORD
The Feast Of Unleavened Bread
The Feasts of First Fruits
The Feast of Pentecost
The Feast of The Trumpets
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Save the date!

21 24 Dec 2020 - Church Camp 2020
 
 
Past Events...
 
CERC 33rd Annual Congregation Meeting

CERC concluded our 33rd Annual Congregation Meeting on 27 June via an online platform. We thank God for keeping us and for providing for our needs over the past 33 years. We are thankful to God for providing us Office bearers, namely 2 Elders and 1 Deacon who have been elected at the ACM. We pray for all the Office bearers that God will grant them the grace, strength and wisodom in their calling. 
 
CERC Activities (May - June)

Due to the current situation, most Church activities for these months have been cancelled or postponed. Worship services, bible studies and meet-ups have been brought online.However, with the relaxing of the restrictions, we might be able to conduct congregational worship in smaller numbers. We thank God and let us continue to pray for God's guidance and His will for the days ahead. 
 
CERC Kolkata 

We continue to remember our brothers and sisters in CERC Kolkata Fellowship who have been affected by the pandemic and the disastrous trail of the Super Cyclone. Let us pray for our Missionary Pastor as he cares for the saints in Kolkata. Do pray that the Lord will protect and preserve them.

 
Notes
 
Salt Shakers

Salt Shakers is a bi-monthly magazine published by the youth in Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC). Included in each issue are writings pertaining to bothReformed doctrine and practical theology. Contributors to Salt Shakers include our pastor, youth and members of CERC, and pastors and professors from the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Salt Shakers also features articles from the Standard Bearer and other Reformed publications. Click here to access.

 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord’s Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm • 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 • www.cerc.org.sg 
 
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The Great Escape!

This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.

The Great Escape!

Meditation on Psalm 124: 6,7,8

Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

The title of this meditation might sound like the escape of a person out of a prison or a soldier escaping from the clutches of the enemy army.  I think of my father’s imprisonment by the German army when they invaded the Netherlands in World War II. He and several of the prisoners were able to escape the prison before they would have been taken away to one the German work (death) camps. The Holy Spirit led David to write this psalm, probably after his son Absalom with many followers pursued him over the Jordan River, and the LORD gave David a great victory over his enemies.

The church in this world is surrounded by enemies. There is first of all our own sinful flesh, which we have to fight against every day. Second, there is the world that is not a friend to grace, but hates and pursues the followers of Jesus. Third, our “adversary the devil, like a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.” Apart from divine support, the church of Christ would quickly fall before its raging enemies. Several examples are given in this psalm. The enemies are like a hungry animal, ready to eat us up like a little morsel of meat. The wicked are like the undertow of Lake Michigan, which would suck the swimmer under and away from shore, or like a tsunami wave that wipes out complete villages. The last example in the psalm is that of a professional trapper in the woods who snares his prey in his net.

What kinds of snares are set before you to catch you unawares? Great are the temptations of our sinful  flesh: sexual lust, greed, pride, worldliness, drunkenness, bitterness, anger, and revenge. There are the snares of the world with flattery, pleasure, attention, or the threat of violence, ridicule, persecution, and death. Satan has a whole legion of demons with him who has had 6000 years of practice at seducing, tempting, and deceiving God’s saints. How can the church stand up to such power? How are you and I able individually to withstand them? The only reason the people of God continue in this world is the almighty power of their God. His strength is all sufficient. What would the people of God have been like if the Lord was not on their side?

Enoch, prophesying against the wickedness in his day, would have been killed if God had not translated him up to heaven. Noah and his family were the lone survivors when God saved him and his family with a flood. Israel would have been left under Pharaoh’s cruel slavery and the death of all their male infants in the time of Moses except for the Lord’s ten plagues against Egypt.. Unless the LORD fought for Israel against the Canaanites, the thick walls of the cities and the giants of the land would not have been conquered. The Midianites swarmed the land of Israel in the time of Gideon, but with the Lord on their side, Gideon with  only 300 Israelites won a decisive battle and routed the enemy. So we can continue to go through the history of the church. Over against the cruelty of the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestants were imprisoned, tortured, and put to death. But nothing was able to stop God’s reformation of His church!

The LORD changes not, nor does His compassion fail. He is on our side. We might despair when we see the world that we live in grow increasingly wicked and ferocious, and in the church we see great apostasy, slander, and schism. But our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. His purpose is to save us alive.  We must confess, “If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say; If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when wicked men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick.” This is the believers’ confidence.  God is on His throne. If God is for us, who can be against us? Believers can rejoice in the promise of Jesus Christ, “ I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. All authority belongs to our Christ. We are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. All the power of our sinful flesh, the world, and Satan and his host cannot destroy the church because the infinite strength of the Creator defends and helps us. “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” This verse is used in many Reformed churches to open their worship services.

Looking at the unrest today in the world and even in the church, what comfort to say, “Our help in in the name of Jehovah who made heaven and earth.” He is on our side! We are escaped from the hands and plots of our enemies.

Now Israel may say, and that in truth, If that the Lord had not our right maintained, If that the Lord had not with us remained, Wen cruel men against us rose to strive, We surely had been swallowed up alive.”

“Blest be the Lord who made us not their prey; As from the snare a bird escapeth free, Their net is rent and so escaped are we. Our only help is in Jehovah’s name, Who made the earth and all the heavenly frame. Louis Bourgeois, 1551

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Help for the Weary Pilgrim

This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.

Help for the Weary Pilgrim

Meditation on Psalm 121: 1,2,8

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth…The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Psalm 121 is the second of fifteen Songs of Ascent. These are songs that were sung by the Israelites as they travelled to Jerusalem for the three yearly festivals. Some of God’s people had to travel over one hundred miles. As they went up to the temple, they would see the hills or mountains around Jerusalem. Mt. Zion was the mountain on which the temple was built. What great anticipation there was! They could see the temple there! The hills or mountains around Jerusalem were a great place to build the city. These hills served as natural protection from enemies around.

The psalmist expresses his confidence in God’s protecting providence. “I will lift up mine eyes.” This is a gesture of prayerful dependence. “From whence cometh my help?” This is a question, “where does my help come from?” Do we look to the hills for help? No, our dependence is not upon earthly things. The answer to the question asked in vs. 1 is found in vs. 2. “My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” He, who created the hills and everything else, is able and willing to help me. There on Mt. Zion is the temple, with the holy of holies, the Ark of the Covenant, and the mercy seat. This was the place for worship of Jehovah. There the Lord dwelt in the midst of His people.

Many troubles come to the pilgrims in their lives and travels. Often we are fearful and despairing. Is Jehovah still gracious? We have sinned against Him time and time again. But the temple is before us with the altar of burnt-offerings. The temple before us tells us that our God is still there. The LORD is Jehovah God. He is the “I AM”; the self-sufficient, self- existent God who has no needs and changes not. His relationship with His people does not change, no matter how many sins they commit. He is their God who loves them, Yes, He will chastise those whom He loves. But can you smell the smoke of the sacrifices? There is the forgiveness of sins through the blood that is shed in our place. This all pointed forward to the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus on Calvary’s cross. Oh, what a day when Jerusalem the holy city comes down from heaven (Rev. 21). Then there will be no more sin!

We are weary spiritual pilgrims to that city. We must still wrestle against principalities and powers of darkness as well as our own sinful nature. But Jehovah is our help, someone who comes to our aid by surrounding and embracing us. “He will not suffer thy foot to be moved.” He gives us stability in our lives. He will keep us. That word, “keep” or “keeper” is used three times. But that same Hebrew word is used another three times, translated as “preserve”. The psalmist tells us six times in this short psalm that God guards, watches over, and protects us. Why does he mention it six times? There is so much repetition so that it soaks into our consciousness. What anxiety can survive these repeated promises? “Day and night”, “our going out and coming in”: these opposites designate totality. The Lord’s protection is continuous, without interruption, against all kinds of dangers. This does not mean that believers will never suffer, but that God’s providence will guard them from anything that would truly do them harm. He will work all things for their good (Rom 8:28).

Today, as believers, we are the temple of God. He is in you and me. In your pilgrimage in this world, look up and see how precious you are to Him. He is shaping us to prepare us for that city that has foundations whose builder and maker is God. Look ahead as the weary Israelites did in their travels to Jerusalem. Look up! Know who your helper is! Trust him. Love Him. Serve Him.

One of our greatest comforts is to know that God is always the guardian of His people. Even in the greatest trouble, God’s people have no reason to fear. Faith assures the Christian that all will be well. God is always there for us; He never slumbers or sleeps. If God did not spare His Son, but gave Him up for us, then surely He will give us all that we stand in need of. Look ahead! There is the city that has foundations. Look up. Jehovah God is our help and keeper for Jesus’ sake!

Jerusalem the golden, with milk and honey blest, Beneath thy contemplation sink heart and voice oppressed. I know not, O I know not what joys await us there, What radiancy of glory, what bliss beyond compare!”

There is the throne of David; and there, from care released, The song of them that triumph, the shout of them that feast; And they who with their Leader have conquered in the fight, forever and forever are clad in robes of white. (Bernard of Cluny, 12th century)

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"Great Is Thy Faithfulness"

This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.

Meditation on Lamentations 3: 21-24

“ This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” (Lamentations 3: 21-24)

On Sunday morning and evening, many of our churches have the pleasant task of trying to seat all of our members in the sanctuary for worship. Pleasant, I say; what a nice problem. In an age when many churches have a problem of trying to fill their seats, we have the opposite problem of crowded sanctuaries!  That is said with all humility. God has been, and is, so good. He has blessed us with faithful members who desire to worship and hear the gospel preached!

What is the cause of all of this? It is God’s great faithfulness to us; His mercies are new every morning. This is where the above text comes  and fills us with humility. We do not deserve this blessing.” It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not!”

We as Protestant Reformed Churches do not deserve this. We are sinners who deserve God’s wrath and condemnation.  It is all of His mercy to us in our Lord Jesus Christ! We are Christ’s church. Christ Jesus is continuing to gather and build His church.  By His Word and Spirit we continue to be preserved, so that our church is able to be a light in the midst of great darkness.

We are able to pass on to the rising generations the beauty and greatness of our God and His marvelous works. We are able to reach out to others in our community and share with them the rich and precious heritage that has been given to us.   We are sinners, but listen to the rest of the story: we are redeemed sinners, forgiven all of our sins through the spilled blood of our Lord Jesus. Imputed to us is Christ’s righteousness. We are new creatures, sons and daughters of God by adoption, filled with Christ’s Spirit. And we have a glorious hope! Jesus is coming again. As members of His kingdom, we  will one day be with Him in the new heavens and new earth. Yes, as Jeremiah says in the above text, “therefore we have hope.”

Listen then also to what God says in His Word through Jeremiah (Lam. 3:24- 26): “ The LORD is my portion. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” God is good to His church.

With this glorious truth we press on in our service to Christ. Filled with humility, love, trust, and dependence we serve the Lord with gladness, making known His mercies and faithfulness to the rising generations. To God is the glory both now and forever!

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Covenant PRC, N. Ireland Newsletter - June 2020

CPRC News Header

Dear saints,

Attached is the latest letter from the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Ballymena, N. Ireland.

It contains 5 sections:

  • End of Our Mission Field
  • Coronavirus Lockdown
  • Redirected Labours
  • Main Website Developments
  • Slowly Returning to Normality

Some highlights:

Regarding the number of translations in our top languages, we have 1 in the 500s (552 Italian), 1 in the 400s (483 Portuguese), 1 in the 300s (301 Hun-garian), 1 in the 200s (222 Spanish) and 4 in the 100s (169 German, 161 Burmese, 150 Indonesian and 138 Afrikaans). Especially to help new transla-tors, we created this webpage, “Translating for the CPRC Website: Questions and Answers” (https://cprc.co.uk/articles/translatingforwebsite). This would be a good link to send to anyone you think might be both willing and able to assist us with this project.

We designed, printed, collated and stapled 1,000 copies of a new CPRC Book catalogue (https://cprc. co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Book-Catalogue-2020.pdf).

After a lot of time because of red tape, we man-aged to prove to PayPal that the CPRC is indeed a charity, so that we could qualify for lower charges for using their services on our website. First, Mary enabled people in the UK to pay for our books and box sets of CDs or DVDs on-line by PayPal or bank transfer, and it has been working well (https://cprc.co.uk/bookstore). Second, she set up a donation page, both for people in the UK (who can also contribute Gift Aid) and all the nations of the world by PayPal or bank transfer (https://cprc. co.uk/product/donations). Over the years, many people have asked us to set up such a webpage and several have used this service already. Third, saints from any country outside the UK (except America and Canada, for we do not want to “compete” with the RFPA) can now buy the products in our bookstore through PayPal or bank transfer, with the former being most convenient and least expensive for most people (https://cprc.co.uk/ordering-information). Our first international customer who used PayPal was a brother from France.

May the Lord be with you all,

Pastor Angus Stewart

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