December 9, 2012
Sundays 7:30 am Channel 27 WKYT
It is requested that all children under the age of five stay in our nursery
so there will be no distractions during the preaching of the Gospel.


HYMN OF THE DAY
Precious Saviour, friend of sinners
We as such to Thee draw near
Let Thy Spirit dwell within us
With that love that casts out fear.

Matchless Saviour, let us know Thee
As the Lord our Righteousness
Cause our hearts to cleave unto Thee
Come, and with Thy presence bless.

Come and claim us as Thy portion
Let us all find rest in Thee
Leave us not to empty notions
We would find our hope in Thee!

(Tune: “Jesus Calls Us” p. 374)


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We rejoice with John Parker who will be baptized this evening. If anyone else desires to confess Christ in believer’s baptism please let me know.

All adults are invited to attend the Christmas party this Friday night at 7:00 at the Hartland Clubhouse. Bring an appetizer or dessert.

Birthdays
9th – Chuck Mohr 9th – Ben Small
13th – Joey Borders 14th – Christie Small


“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” - Proverbs 27:6


SOME THOUGHTS ON CRITICISM
We have all been guilty of being too critical toward others and we have all experienced the fires of criticism leveled against us. Here are some thoughts concerning being critical and being criticized. Regarding being critical, may we always remember that what we criticize others for we are guilty of ourselves! (Romans 2:1) Also remember, “With the same measure you mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38)…you will be criticized in the same proportion that you criticize. Even if we have a good reason to be critical, there is a desire in our criticism to make our own candle shine brighter by exposing the dimness of others. I wonder how much criticism would escape our lips if we thought of these things. Regarding being criticized, there is an element of truth in all criticisms leveled against us (and sometimes they are grossly understated.) May God give us grace to receive the criticism and improve our character. Yes criticism hurts, but do not be too hurt. Remember, all that matters is what God sees. In the grand scheme of things, it does not matter all that much what men think of you. Paul said to the Corinthians, “It is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment” (I Corinthians 4:3). And do not hold a grudge against the one who has criticized you. “Take heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: For often times also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.” (Ecc. 7:21-22) May we be harder on ourselves than we are on others, and may we profit from the criticism that is made toward us. Criticism can be constructive!

WHAT FREE WILL DENIES
Before we can see what free will denies, we first have to know what is meant by free will. Free will says that a man’s destiny is dependent upon the choice he makes. His will is free to choose to allow God to save him, or reject God’s offer of salvation. His eternal destiny is determined by his free will.
If I believe my will is free, there are three things I deny. (1) I deny that God is sovereign. I say His sovereignty does not extend to my will. That is a complete denial of His sovereignty. (2) I deny that I am a sinner in the biblical definition of the word. According to the Bible, men are dead in sins (Ephesians 2:1). That means they are completely unable to do anything to save themselves. Free will is a denial of that. (3) Free will is a denial of free grace. You cannot believe in salvation by grace and free will. Free will is nothing less than salvation by works. The teaching of free will is a denial of the Gospel!

PLAYING IT SAFE
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could have played it safe and bowed when they heard the music. After all, they had a lot of positive influence with their positions in government. That would all be gone if they were thrown into a fiery furnace. Daniel could have played it safe by not praying before an opened window. John the Baptist could have played it safe by keeping his mouth shut regarding Herod and his wife. But in serving the Lord, we are not to “play it safe.” Serving the Lord is not safe! It is dangerous. “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” We are to do what He tells us to do regardless of cost or consequence, knowing that is all in His hands. Only the grace of God can enable us to do that. Remember the words of the Lord, “He that saveth his life shall lose it.” May the Lord deliver us from a safe religion.

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A Far-reaching, All-inclusive Work
The salvation of a single sinner is a far-reaching, all-inclusive work of the Triune God. To single out any particular part fails to do justice to the whole miraculous work of grace. For example, there is no salvation without election, redemption, calling, hearing, conversion and perseverance. Sovereign grace is God providentially working all things together for good to those who love God. Someone asked, “What does it take to bring a sinner to Christ?” The answer is, everything. Absolutely everything in time and in eternity is what it takes to bring one soul to Christ. Every action, every word, every previous event has been directed towards that one precise instant of time. It is a greater work than perhaps any of us yet realize (John 14:12). The work of the Holy Spirit in accomplishing the elective purpose of the Father, and applying the redemption blessings of the Son ought not to be overlooked. Salvation, daily deliverance from sin and security in Christ, is the work of the Holy Spirit just as surely as it is the work of the Father and the Son. – Pastor Peter Meney