Thursday, December 03, 2009

Tales of the Visit of a Reformed Pastor to Limerick: Part III

On the first Saturday of their visit we braved the cold weather and went on a trip to the Clare Glens with the Stewarts. But we were walking for a couple of hours, and I don't have the time now to relate all we spoke about there. Afterwards we visited a brother who had an operation recently (who was in top form!) and we finished the day with some excellent cooking and more Bible study and devotions on the book of Judges.

That Lord's Day began with a worship service in which we listened to a sermon on Romans 11:6, which I would agree is one of the clearest statements in Scripture that our election is entirely gracious and nothing at all of ourselves (cf. Eph. 2:8; I Cor. 4:7). We are much in need of such humbling doctrine - precisely because we are so very sinful. In the evening the sermon was about Stephen the Martyr which was a great encouragement to spur us on, especially considering how God used this very evil hatred of the false church to promote the Gospel even further and gather even more of His people from the Gentiles. Of course all things work for our good, as the curses David received from Shimei were so many showers of blessings upon his head. We had been going through a sermon series from Numbers 22-25 about God's "uncursable" church, and so this fitted in very well.

I think that day Rev. Stewart made a suggestion about whether there was any possibility of me helping to put the Calvin Conference DVDs on Youtube. So, after some experimenting and figuring out on Monday, I finished putting them all online by Saturday. We had another Bible study on Wednesday and on I Peter 3:7-12, although we barely finished the first verse! Again it was a very enriching time, everyone present loved it. It was very sad, because some were asking me about the possibility of future Bible studies, but it will be rare that Rev. Stewart will be in Limerick to lead them. However, we are praying and hoping to have a full-time missionary working here with us soon.

After the study we were about to leave and someone remembered the match against France (which we had to win one-nil to qualify - I think) and wondered aloud about the score - and lo and behold, it was fifteen minutes into extra time and Henri had just performed his now notorious unchecked double-handball goal after Ireland having been in the lead for most of the match (and after a brief but valiant attack for the last fifteen minutes we lost). So the guys at our house were pretty distraught and upset (almost weeping, I could say) when we arrived back at our house.

Anyway, that week the lecture was on Thursday which in the unsearchable (yet good and perfect) providence of God, meant that many people couldn't make it. It was on “The Glory of God”, and though the attendance was much lower (think seven less or so), we remember that God's word does not go out in vain - it was a weighty and meaty lecture, for which I am very thankful. One application of the passage (Exo. 33:18-34:7) was made to popular Revival meetings (in which people pray for God to show His glory, yet reject those who preach sovereign election and reprobation) and was very apt - since if God shows Moses His glory by the saying, "I will show mercy on whom I show mercy", then these same fervent (yet hypocritical) "prayer-warriors" are actually commonly engaged in burying God's glory.

More soon...

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