The Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 8
24. Question: How are these articles divided?
Answer: Into three parts: the first is about God the Father and our creation; the second about God the Son and our redemption; the third about God the Holy Spirit and our sanctification.
25. Question: Since there is only one God, why do you speak of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
Answer: Because God has so revealed Himself in His Word that these three distinct persons are the one, true, eternal God.
 Deut. 6:4; Is. 44:6; 45:5; I Cor. 8:4, 6.  Gen. 1:2, 3; Is. 61:1; 63:8-10; Matt. 3:16, 17; 28:18, 19; Luke 4:18; John 14:26; 15:26; II Cor. 13:14; Gal. 4:6; Tit. 3:5, 6.
“Be not afraid to pray; to pray is right; Pray if thou canst with hope, but ever pray, Though hope be weak or sick with long delay; Pray in the darkness if there be no light.” (E.M. Bounds)
This Week’s Scripture
137 Righteous are you, O Lord,
and right are your rules.
138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness
and in all faithfulness.
How Great Thou Art (verse 1)
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
consider all thy worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my souls, my Savior God to thee;
how great thou art, how great thou art!
Take time now to offer God your praise and worship.
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:5-10)
“I confess that thou hast not been in all my thoughts, that the knowledge of thyself as the end of my being has been strangely overlooked, that I have never seriously considered my heart-need. …Let me not delay to come to thee; Break the fatal enchantment that binds my evil affections, and bring me to a happy mind that rests in thee, for thou hast made me and canst not forget me. Let thy Spirit teach me the vital lessons of Christ, for I am slow to learn; And hear thou my broken cries. Amen.” (The Valley of Vision)
As David did in Psalm 139, ask the Lord to search you and know you through and through. Confess the sins God brings to mind, knowing you are forgiven and that He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Gracious Lord and God of peace, I give thanks to you for all Christians everywhere who are growing in their faith. I offer you praise that where these Christians are assembled as local churches, so too is their love increasing. The Lord Jesus taught us that the world will know we are his disciples as we love one another as he loves us. Make that truth an increasing reality in our lives O Lord. I thank you for the faithfulness of the churches around the world who are afflicted by persecution. Please increase their faith more and more, that your glory will shine, even in the midst of their hardship and suffering. I ask this in the name of the One who suffered on our behalf, Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. (based on 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4)
Ask the Spirit to search your heart and mind and then spend some time thanking God for who he is and the many ways he has poured out his goodness and grace in your life.
Supplication (Petition – prayers for yourself)
Supplication (Intercession – prayers for others)
Matthew 28:18 - And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Compartmentalized Living Won't Do
I remember when I first started using the phrase, “faith for every sphere of life.” It began as I started studying the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It just made sense that if Jesus Christ is the Lord of heaven and earth, then he is Lord of everything. And if he is the Lord of all there is, then I must submit to him in every sphere of my life, or else I should stop calling him Lord. Jesus said as much in Luke 6:46,
Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you? (NRSV)
This notion is in marked contrast to the way many people think and live, including myself in the early days of my faith. I, like plenty of other folks, had long been an adherent of a compartmentalized faith. Men, you know the drill: the Christian faith is fine for Sunday mornings, but it has nothing to do with the rest of your life. It’s embarrassing to admit, but that’s where I was.
Personal, Not Private
Instead, the Christian faith should be understood as a comprehensive view of life. The secular world around us, however, still prefers the church to remain silent about anything not having to do with personal prayers and worship on Sunday mornings. Faith, they say, is private. Sure, you can practice it at home, or even with other Christians on Sunday mornings, but don’t you dare bring it into the public square. Jesus, however, doesn't give us that option. The Christian faith certainly ought to be personal, but it should never be private. To paraphrase the Dutch theologian and statesman, Abraham Kuyper, "there is not a square inch in all the universe about which the Lord Jesus Christ does not declare his own.”
As a United Methodist, I have rejoiced that John Wesley took just such a view of the Christian faith. He called it Scriptural Holiness and said it was his purpose in life to spread such Scriptural Holiness over the land. For Wesley, holiness was inward but also outward. It was personal and it was social. There was no picking and choosing. Faith must permeate every aspect of a Christian’s life – prayer, personal devotions, worship, marriage, parenting, work, economics, politics, education, the arts, personal morality, relationships, civic duty, and serving the community, just to name a few spheres of life.
This Includes Your Life
I encourage you to prayerfully ask yourself what it would mean for you to understand there is not even the smallest corner of your life about which Jesus Christ, as Lord, is unconcerned. How would acknowledging and submitting to that truth change your life? How would it bless your relationship with your family and friends? What consequences would it have for you in your workplace? Can you imagine the possibilities? Brothers, Christ is calling you to follow him in every sphere of your lives. Do you hear his voice? Will you follow him?
Lord of heaven and earth, remind me this day that there is not a square inch in all the universe about which you are unconcerned. While I rejoice that I have seen changes in my life through the gracious work of your Spirit, please show me those areas I am attempting to keep from you. Convict me of my sin and rebellion in those areas and turn my hard heart to flesh and joyful obedience. Please let my life faithfully bear witness to you as I serve as your ambassador to other men who are struggling with handing you the reigns in their lives. Together, may we extend your glorious Kingdom into every sphere of life here on earth, as it already is in heaven. In the name of the King of kings and Lord of lords I pray. Amen.
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