Summary: We must be in the Word of the Lord regularly to renew our joy.
Long Branch Baptist Church
Halfway, Virginia; est. 1786
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Enter to Worship
Prelude David Witt
Meditation Psalm 30:1 – 5
Invocation Michael Hollinger
*Opening Hymn #705
“It is Well with My Soul”
Welcome & Announcements
Morning Prayer [See Insert]
“The Joy of the Lord is My Strength”
*Responsive Lesson [See Right]
“How Firm a Foundation”
Offertory Mr. Witt
Praise God from whom all blessings flow / Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise him above, ye heavenly host / Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
*Scripture Nehemiah 8:9 – 12
“My Sediments Exactly”
Invitation Hymn #737
“Like A River Glorious”
May the grace of Christ our Savior / And the Father’s boundless love
With the Holy Spirit’s favor / Rest upon us from above. Amen.
* Congregation, please stand.
Depart To Serve
My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him;
For the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.
For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted in every way—disputes without and fears within.
But God, who consoles the downcast, consoled us.
Titus told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.
For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it.
(though I did regret it, for I see that I grieved you with that letter, though only briefly).
Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance;
For you felt a godly grief, so that you were not harmed in any way by us.
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death.
For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what punishment!
At every point you have proved yourselves guiltless in the matter.
So although I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong, nor on account of the one who was wronged, but in order that your zeal for us might be made known to you before God.
In this we find comfort. Our heart goes out all the more to you, as he remembers the obedience of all of you, and how you welcomed him with fear and trembling. I rejoice, because I have complete confidence in you.
Heb 12:5-6; 2 Cor 7:5-13, 16
Title: My Sediments Exactly
Text: Neh 8:9-12
MP: We must be in the Word of the Lord regularly to renew our joy.
- James Eads dredging the Mississippi
I think it’s safe to say that whoever came up with the expression “Ignorance is bliss,” didn’t grow up in Pennsylvania around 1889.
A bit to the southwest of Altoona, the South Fork dam held back a lake called Lake Conemaugh. The rich and wealthy of the day – everybody from Andrew Mellon to Andrew Carnegie – used to escape the hustle and bustle of Pittsburgh by going to their private club – the South Fork Hunting and Fishing Club. It was a nice enough lake – about 2 miles long and a mile across, 60 feet deep. At the far end of the River, there was an earthen dam that was more than 70 years old.
When that dam was constructed, they had actually done their job quite well. The engineers even created a spillway over to the right hand side for flood control, so that when the rains came, water would go around the dam instead of over top. The dam was thick, but the engineers knew how powerfully corrosive water can be. If water went over the top of the dam, it would begin to erode, eat it away, and the dam would fail. That’s why it was so imperative that the spillway be kept functional.
But if I know one thing about my condition and the human condition in general, it’s this. In the spectacular, I’m ready. I don’t easily fall into obvious and splashy sins by choice. Regular maintenance is my problem. It’s the little things. I have never cheated on Susan and don’t intend to start. But do you know how easy it is just let that relationship wither? To take her for granted? And don’t even get me started on my relationship with the Lord. No, regular maintenance is much harder to keep up with. It’s far easier to do the massive spring cleaning than it is to do the daily chores.
And so it was at the South Fork Hunting and Fishing Club. It was such a small job – but it kept not getting done. Slowly, over the course of many years, that spillway just kept getting silted up – every year, a little layer of dirt, a few leaves, and eventually, the spillway was as high as the dam.