Canceled Service Update
***Due to inclement weather, 10 AM SERVICE IS CANCELED Sunday, January 24th, 2016***
I pray this finds you warm and enjoying this blizzard! As the notification above indicates, TJC’s worship service is canceled tomorrow due to the inclement weather. I want to gather with you all so desperately. Indeed, I really do relish the opportunity to gather and worship the risen Christ with you weekly. So, it pains me to miss your fellowship. But, we believe that it is in the best interest of our people to defer our celebration of Christ’s death-defying resurrection this week. The amount of snow may render travel unsafe and parking in the borough will be worse than horrendous since there is less than nowhere for snow-removers to put the snow in the tight corridors of West Chester’s city limits.
But, in reverence of the Lord’s Day, we're providing two songs—Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) and Before the Throne of God Above—as well as a short devotional from Isaiah 12 for you. It is my prayer this would assist you and your families in a brief time of worship tomorrow. If you’re able and willing, I’d encourage you to sit down during our normal meeting time (around 10am) to work through this passage and these songs. Scattered across Chester County and Delaware County, we will worship together.
Read Isaiah 12:1-6:
1 Then you will say on that day,
“I will give thanks to You, O LORD;
For although You were angry with me,
Your anger is turned away,
And You comfort me.
2 “Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the LORD GOD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.”
3 Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.
4 And in that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.”
5 Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things;
Let this be known throughout the earth.
6 Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Is 12:1–6). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
The people of God in Christ give thanks to the Lord, the Triune God, because His righteous anger toward sin and sinners has been averted through the cross-work of Jesus. His wrath, the Scripture tells us, has turned away from those who follow him by grace through faith (Isa 12:1). The psalmist says it like this:
You forgave the iniquity of your people; you covered all their sin.
You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger (Ps 85:2-3).
Those in Jesus’ faith-family gather with the church weekly to rejoice that His indignation no longer burns against them (individually and corporately), if they're in Christ by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9). Rather than pummeling them with His wrath, the prophet says, God comforts them (Isa 12:1). And notice how personal His comfort is, according to the prophet—“You comfort me.” Similarly, Paul tells us that God meets us in our personal affliction (2 Cor 1:3-11). In the midst of our personal pain, He is there. In our personal brokenness, He reigns supreme. Despite our personal sinfulness, He forgives, if we approach Him in Christ.
His divine comfort incites hope, according to the prophet (Isa 12:2). His divine comfort is the reason His people do not fear. For, in Christ, our hope is sure—“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid” (Isa 12:2; Heb 9:28). The divine comfort He gives to His chosen overflows into a song of joy, “For the Lord God is my strength and my song” (Isa 12:2). As God’s people, we sing of His redemption; we laud Him for His decisive intervention on our behalf. Indeed, brothers and sisters, Jesus’ cross-work was for us and for our salvation. He saved us because we cannot save ourselves.
According to Isaiah 12, in response to God’s salvation, God’s elect do three things. Firstly, they herald His salvation—“Make known His deeds among the people” (Isa 12:4). As Jesus’ brothers and sisters, we preach the gospel so that others may draw from the "springs of salvation" with us (Isa 12:3). Secondly, they worship through song; they encounter Christ (Isa 12:5). We sing personally; we sing corporately. When we sing, we reminisce over what God has done on our behalf; when we sing, we remind each other that His name, and His name alone, is exalted in our midst (Isa 12:4). Thirdly, they go on mission (Isa 12:6). We exist for others so that His name may be hallowed on planet earth in the lives of people made in His image (Gen 1:26-27).
Notice that “joy" is mentioned in Isa 12:3 and Isa 12:6. “Joy” weds these three responses together. The favor of the Holy One of Israel (Isa 12:6); the magnitude of what He has provided for us in Christ Jesus incites this prophetically announced joy. Christic joy inspires our heralding, our worship, our mission.
Pray that God would give you gospel opportunities to speak a good word for Jesus Christ this week. Pray that God would cause your love for Christ to overflow into song as you worship individually and corporately. Pray that God would give you a heart for the nations, a burden for the salvation of those you’ll never meet, who do not yet know Christ Jesus a saving way.
I love you all dearly. I pray for you often. I’ll anxiously look forward to our gathering on Sunday, January 31.
Email Pastor Brodie for any further questions.
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