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Maundy Thursday Devotional

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Easter 2020  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  37:48
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Pastor Jude preaches a devotional in light of Maundy Thursday and the approaching celebration of Easter.

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Well, good evening West mountain lions church and its 7 on Thursday April 9th. And normally at this time we would be gathering together for our Maundy Thursday evening service, but we're not doing that tonight or not gathering together here at the building. Anyways, we are virtually gathering together and I'm glad that we're able to do this of the money of the many frustrations of this whole pandemic. There are many blessings and many mercies and one of them is we can continue to do what we're doing and share it together. Not the way we choose to share it but you're in on the last so I'm glad you were able to make it. And I hope it's a edifying time. I certainly intend to be before I get started with when I'm calling a a devotional tonight or short sermon. I do want to make a couple of announcements. First of all, I wanted to give everyone an update on Derek Corliss. This week has been a bit of a rollercoaster. He's had a couple bad days and a couple of good days. One of the reports that we did get is that the doctors are looking for more significant Improvement and so church we need to keep praying for Derek and I'm praying for his healing and that he would continue to improve so I'll let's be faithful and plucked and praying for our brother. We also got News that one of our seniors is now in the hospital and has been diagnosed with covid-19. David Hetherington is in the hospital and as I understand it is doing okay right now, but there's concern there and so we have been asked to pray for him that again God would heal Dave of this disease and God watch over his family. So again, I must be faithful and praying for Derek and Dave as we pray for many other people who are suffering at this time. Let's pray for those who are close to us. And maybe we'll do that right now. Why don't you join me and we'll pray for Derek and Dave that God would be gracious and merciful to them Father God. We thank you for our brothers Derek and Dave and we thank you that you have saved them. You have taken those who are lost or spiritually dad and I have a raised them to life and brought them home and we rejoice in their salvation father God we love them and they are part of our family and so we would ask you father to heal them. Father God you are all-powerful and you are loved and so we know father God you can heal them Father God and we know your desire for them is good and then we don't understand all your purposes and father can't fully discern your will however because of that we come and ask would you heal them? I would you help a Derrick to start improving a significantly that he might come out of this and serve you and father God. Would you maintain Dave's health and father God prevent him from getting worse. I give the doctor's wisdom and give their families. Try to pray this in Jesus name. Amen. One last announcement tomorrow morning when our email goes out in that email is going to be what I am calling our Easter playlist this Easter playlist, you'll see how thick is 11 or 12 songs and we're really going to call the Easter playlist because we want you to listen to this every day of this weekend including Easter Monday. There's 12 songs there maybe make it your goal to listen through once each day and I am particularly tomorrow since most of you know at your Westmont Alliance Church. We generally don't do anything on Good Friday. There's a great day for you to listen to that 11 or 12 song playlist and do it together as a family and and worship together. So that will be coming out tomorrow with the email. Having said that let's get on with our devotional on this Monday Thursday devotional, which I have called let not your heart be troubled this really grew out of something. I've been reading over the last week and a half or so two weeks. And that's this book by Martyn lloyd-jones. Let not your heart be troubled. It's a collection of sermons on that scripture passage, which I'll read for you in a moment and I want to just come mend that book to you particularly for these days. We are living in right now. It is just a a bomb for the mind for the heart and for the soul and so I'm going to talk a little bit about that passage of scripture and some things that were definitely encouraged by that to a group of sermon. Starbucks you was just came out to I didn't yesterday and that's up a book by John Piper called coronavirus and Christ and we linked that in our email today and it's free for download an ebook PDF for mobile or ePub and there's also a free audiobook with John Piper reading coronavirus and Christ. As first time John Piper has ever done that with an audiobook with his voice. And so I want to come in not to you and you'll hear some of that in here. It's just it's just great job Piper sovereignty of God meet for for sustaining you during these time so I commend both of those books to you, but I want to start with a question this evening. How do you find Safety and Security and peace at the Heart level in times like these you see life as we've seen over the past couple weeks life ensures that an untroubled heart is a difficult thing a lord Jones recognize this in in his sermons on this passage and he wrote this or actually preach this when he originally gave the sermon life is full of uncertainty and accidents the Bible always does that it brings us face-to-face with the facts the realism of the Bible in which I Glory does that life is a kind of existence in which you never know. What is going to happen next. Just when we are safest things begin to happen in the tragedy is that we have turned our backs upon the biblical view. You see we really did believe that by political enactments International relationships and things like that. We could make life in this world absolutely secure and certain so we have our pension schemes in our plans for National Health. I'm not detracting from the value of such things. All I am saying is that we have been trying to persuade ourselves that we can make a certainty of life, but we cannot read this book of life the Bible and you will see that is one of its prominent messages. So lloyd-jones brings to our mind brings to our attention the fact that having a untroubled heart is difficult because of the lack of safety in the lack of security. That life throws at us. We cannot make life certain and we cannot make it secure if by certain insecure we mean no danger no accidents and no risk that is not going to happen in this lifetime. There is so much as we have seen in these past months. There is so much about life. That is uncertain, and I'm sure. Now in these days of this coronavirus pandemic many people are trying to find certainty if I'm trying to find security and one of the ways were doing it is through statistics and risk analysis. I'm guilty this myself. I look at the news and I say all of the percentage of population in Canada who contracted disease a small percentage really get sick. And so you look to that maybe for safety and certainty or you look to the fact that this is something that is more difficult on people who are over 60 in his up man who hasn't reached 50 yet getting close but haven't reached 50 yet. I could look to the stats and try to find security certain. Do you know things? Will John Piper in his book coronavirus and Christ says this he says I am moved to write speaking of the book because playing the odds is a fragile place to put your hope. I'd like 3% versus 10% youth versus old age compromised Health versus no history of disease rural vs. Urban self isolated vs. Home meeting with friends playing the odds provides little hope it is not a firm place to stand. There is a better way. There is a better place to stand a rock of certainty rather than the sand of probabilities. See Piper opens our eyes to the Paradox that are facing Christians at a time like this. You see in one sense. There is nothing certain nothing secure. Nothing risk-free. Nothing stable in regards to living our lives. And at the same time for God's people there is a sure and certain and safe place to stand. There is a rock of certainty and tonight's Maundy Thursday devotional is intended to remind all of us of the certain we the certainty we do have in these uncertain times. On the very first Monday Thursday, what I'm about to read to you was part of Jesus's teaching of his Farewell discourse little later on in the evening. He would head to Gethsemane to look at John 14 verses 1 through 6 where we read this phrase let not your hearts be troubled. This is Jesus speaking to his disciples. Let not your hearts be troubled. believe in God believe also in me In my father's house are many rooms if it were not so would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and we'll take you to myself that where I am. You may be also and you know the way to where I'm going, said to him Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way Jesus said to him? I am the way and the truth and the life no one comes to the father except through me. Lloyd Jones comments on these verses he says we have heard these words many times, but I wonder what would happen if we suddenly had to sit down with a paper in front of us and face a question such as state the doctrine contained in those familiar words. What exactly do they say have these words? I wonder come to us merely and that General manner that kind of General constellation that can be done equally well by beautiful music or by any beautiful thoughts or passage of literature or have we derive comfort and consolation from them because we have realized the doctrine that they are announcing. Wow, what a what a great question and those of you who have heard Lloyd Jones preach imagine. You can hear him in the back of your minds with that accent. UC General positive and sentimental feelings and impressions of well-being will not suffice in truly difficult times. Think about the disciples the disciple had just been told that they were going to lose their beloved teacher. This is Maundy Thursday. This is what he is speaking them speaking to them. I'll remind you that Monday Thursday that phrase comes from the Latin word man datum from which we get the word mandate or command Jesus gave this mandate and his teaching to the disciples on the eve of his suffering right before we get to John 14 and let not your heart be troubled. This is what Jesus says this is John 13 31 through 36. When he Judas had gone out. Jesus said now is the son of man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him. God will also glorify him in himself and glorify him at once little children yet a little while I am with you you will seek me and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you where I am going you cannot come. And then he gives the Mandate a new commandment. I give you that you love one another just as I have loved you. You also are to love one another by this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another so Jesus gives them the Mandate. Here's a new commandment I give to you. Simon Peter immediately says to him Lord. Where are you going new commandment right out of his mind. He still stuck on where I am going. You cannot come. He says Lord where you going Jesus answer to where I'm going. You cannot follow me now, but you will follow me afterwards. Peter doesn't seem to hear the Mandate because echoing in his mind I imagine is those words that he heard just before that that Jesus is leaving. Jesus knows his disciples are about to undergo most likely the worst days of their life. They are about to go through a fiery trial which will endanger them physically torture the mentally ravaged them emotionally. And one in which their feelings of Safety and Security are decimated until Jesus says to them let not your heart be troubled. We want to lean not into the sentimental feelings that the phrase let not your heart be troubled lisset, but rather we want to lean into the doctrine of this passage to find a rock on which we can stand in these difficult days. We want and need an untroubled heart in the middle of these troubling events. And we can do that if we consider these words in this teaching of Jesus where we see the doctor that Lloyd Jones was talking about in three obvious points from the text one believe in God to believe in me believe in Jesus and 3 I go to a I go to prepare a place for you. That is Jesus goes to prepare a place for you. He starts with believe in God. No remember we are looking at our hearts not being troubled. We are considering this in light of the difficult days. We are living it and I know it's for some people you are scared and you're worried and you're frustrated. If not from the virus from the effects of the actions. We've had to take a we know there are people in our congregation are sewer sick. We know there are people in our congregation who have lost their jobs and we don't know how long it's going to go and make it much worse. So we're talking about not letting our hearts be troubled. And so Jesus starts believe in God. No, this is not just an intellectual belief in the existence of God. We know the demons believe God exists. We want to believe in the biblical sense. We want to actively trust God with all of our being we want to acknowledge Him in our minds. We want to choose him and submit to him in our will cuz we want to cherish him in our hearts and in our affections. How to believe in God is to believe who he has revealed himself to be and one of the things God has revealed about himself. Is that he is Sovereign no to believe in God is more than just believing in the doctrine of his sovereignty but it is never less than that and let me suggest to you at times like these and days like these the sovereignty of God is a shorter Rock to stand on. And it has the effect of untroubled in our hearts. Leaning into the sovereignty of God is just a great place to start where we can begin down this road that Jesus is teaching to his disciples. Om Piper's new book. He talks about God's General sovereignty over everything Piper rights. In other words. The sovereignty of God is all income passing and all pervasive. He hold absolute sway over this world. He governs in the paper gives us one of his Hyperion list. He governs wind locate lightning job 36 snow Psalm 147 frogs Exodus 8 knots Exodus 8 Exodus 8, Locust Exodus 10 Quail Exodus 16 worms Jonah for fish Unit Two Sparrows, Matthew 10, grass Psalm 147 plants Jonah for salmon Psalm 105. The sun Joshua 10 prison doors ax5. Blindness exit is 4 in 18 daphnis Exodus 4 and Mark 7 paralysis Luke 5 fever Matthew 8 travel plans James for the hearts of Kings Proverbs 21 and Dan two Nations Psalm 33 murderers ax4n spiritual deadness Ephesians 2 and all of these things all of them do his Sovereign will that's at a general description of God's sovereignty over all things but let's get specific. Let us understand from God's word that God is specifically Sovereign over disease. Let me give you two examples 2nd Chronicles 21 verses 16 through 19. Will you read about God judging? Jahura, and we read these words and the Lord's stirred up against Johor on the anger of the Philistines in of the Arabian who are near the Ethiopians and they came up against Judah and invaded and carried away all the possessions. They found that belong to the King's house and also his sons in his wives so that no some was left to him. Except Jehovah has his youngest son and after all this the Lord's struck him. Okay, after all this the Lord struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease in the course of time at the end of two years has bowel. Email because of the disease and he died in great Agony. So God is Sovereign over disease that is he controls that he ordains but it's even more than that. We read Matthew chapter 4 verse 23, and he Jesus went throughout all Galilee teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every Affliction among the people. Let us understand this evening that God is Sovereign over disease. Understand this this evening about the covid-19 pandemic God and no way is blamable for this pandemic, but he ordained it and he controls it. Now that may not be the sentimental platitude you were hoping for this evening. But let me assure you it is a firm place to stand in a sure Foundation from which you can get an untroubled heart. Do not let your hearts be troubled believe in God. Jesus I believe also in me. Let's hear from Lloyd Jones again. He writes let us then continue to consider together. The Bible's method of giving us a quiet heart this the Bible tells us is an actual and practical possibility for us in this world of time. That is what I have to offer. It is my privilege to tell you that it is possible for you, whatever your position whatever your circumstance and condition and problem to be delivered from trouble and distress and pain of mind and heart and know the peace of God which passes all understanding believe in God. Yes, but believe also in me says Jesus Christ to Jesus now encourages his disciples to believe in him. And to believe in Jesus is to believe in who he is and what he has done with all of our being this is the path. to an untroubled heart Who is this Jesus he is the suffering servant who would save God's people. He is the arm of the Lord who would redeem God's children. He is the Messiah the Christ God's anointed savior. He is the Son of God the second person of the Trinity. He's God himself. That's who Jesus is and we need to believe that with all of our being We also need to believe in what Jesus has done in the case of disciples on that first Monday Thursday, it would be to believe and what he was about to do and just ours is suffering would begin.

So what has Jesus done? Go to places in God's wonderful word where we could consider that let me suggest we go to Ephesians chapter 1 and read verses 3 through 14 paying attention to what Jesus has done. That is. How he helps us in the work that he does and what the actual effects of that work are. We read starting in verse 3 blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly places. Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love. He predestined us for adoption to himself as son through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will to the praise of his glorious Grace with which he has blessed us in the Beloved in him. We have Redemption through his blood the Forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace which he lavished Upon Us in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time to unite all things in him things in heaven and things on earth. In him, we have obtained an inheritance. I mean been predestined to clean the purpose of Emily works all things according to the counsel of his will so that we who were the first to Hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory and him you also when you heard the word of Truth The Gospel of yourselves a shin and believed in him, we're sealed with the promise Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it to the praise of his glory. Let's just review what Jesus has done. Jesus says believe in me believe in who I am and believe in what I've done in for the disciples what I'm about to do what we read in Ephesians. What has he done? Well, He has done all of this through his blood goats through his suffering through his death on the cross. But also through his resurrection. He has were told in Ephesians made us holy and blameless before God we're told he is adopted us to himself God has through Jesus Christ in Christ. We have Redemption. We have forgiveness of our trespasses. We have his grace which is lavished upon us. Is made known to us the mystery of his will in him we have obtained and inheritance. We have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. Just that section of verses in Ephesians lays out. So clearly what Jesus has done. Until this evening. I asked are you looking for a certainty? Are you looking for security? Do you need a perspective which will encourage and comfort your heart and dark days long nights when all that you have and all that you love seems to be threatened. Believe in God particularly his Sovereign Rain Over All Things believe in Jesus believe that this Jewish son of a Carpenter born to a virgin is the Son of God and therefore he is God believe that this suffering servant of the Lord lived and died and rose again that you might have all the blessings and tail than his Redeeming Word. Primarily that you would get God.

So the remedy for troubled hearts is almost complete believe in God believe also in me and then he gives them a promise I go to prepare a place for you. Remember we're talking about not letting our hearts be troubled. On this Monday Thursday, we are returning to the original Maundy Thursday. And hearing Jesus giving instructions to his disciples who are about to go through a horrendous time. They won't suffer like Christ did but they will suffer greatly until he's concerned about their hearts. He says let not your hearts be troubled believe in God believe also in me, and then he tells them I go to prepare a place for you. This brothers and sisters is a sure hope Jesus goes to prepare a place for his people don't want you to think with me for a minute and we're going to get a little bit philosophical here, but humor me. I want you to think about how hope Works. Hope is a is a complex word. It's it's future-oriented. It's looking ahead. But let me explain to you one of the things. Hope does Hope Imports the good from the future that we may benefit from it. Now. Let me say it again. One of these. Hope does is it imports from the future something good so that we might benefit from it now. Hope hates that goodness for that virtue in the future and employs it in the present for our benefit for our strengthening for our encouragement for our edification in for our joy, I think about this with me for a minute thinking think about 8, maybe a wedding day that's in the future. Actually Brett Warren and Leah Hamilton will be getting married in a couple days as I understand it Lord willing. Think about what it would mean to think ahead and hope for a wedding day. You would think about the future you would be hopeful about the event of you getting married. And as you think about that and meditate on that and passed your eyes as it were to the Future to that event. What happens? It brings joy in your life. It brings gladness. It could bring Security in fulfillment. Even though it's in the future hold Imports those good things for our benefit now or maybe the birth of a child right? Think about that you you and your spouse are expecting you have a date when a child supposed to be born you hope for that day. And as part of that hope is focusing your mind and your heart on that future event and as you think about it, The good of that future event is imported into the present where you benefit from it, you'll similarly not to get off on a side track. But where is the opposite isn't it? It's thinking to the Future. And taking bad things and importing them to your detriment now. Anyways, we're talking about hope well understand today many of the things which we hope for our not sure hopes. Hope may still work, but they're not sure think of many people today hoping for the end of this coronavirus pandemic and maybe they're thinking Olin may this will be done with but we may get to May it may not be done with it. Might only be starting. and even though we benefit in the moment for hoping that we get to that time and that hope in the benefits of that hope will be scattered because it wasn't a sure hope I don't think it's necessarily A Bad Thing to hope for that but Many things we hope for a not sure hopes. Well, these hopes that are not sure can leave us with a troubled heart when the good that we have imported to the president is not realize.

I was sure hope will import goodness from the future for our benefit in the present and it will not disappoint. That's what I sure. Hope is it will not disappoint now the hope that we have in the place preparing work of Jesus Christ is a sure hope which will bring to us which will import to us goodness in the present and it will not disappoint Us in the end. Think about Romans 5 1 through 6, and I'm reading it from The New American Standard Bible. Therefore having been justified by faith. We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. So talking about this work of Jesus. Through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand and we exalt in Hope of the glory of God and not only this but we also exalt in our tribulations. Knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance. respectfully I want to say could we Speak of this in this way, and not only this but we also exalt and are pandemics. Knowing that pandemics brings about perseverance and perseverance proven character and proven character hope and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who is given to us for while we were still helpless at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Our Hope will not disappoint if we hope in Christ saving work and in his place preparing work

Where we will spend eternity with God. On Monday Thursday night original Maundy Thursday, not long before the disciples would experience the worst days of their life in which they lived through the murder of their friend and teacher and long-awaited Savior Jesus Christ. He gave them instructions and he gave us instructions on how to manage and COPE in the darkness ahead. He told them let not your heart be troubled believe in God believe in The Sovereign ruler of the created world who for his people means all things for good and works all things for good. Believe also in me the Savior son who has lived for them and who would die for them and who would defeat death for them and believe in this promise I go and prepare a place for you. I will come again and we'll take you to myself that where I am. You may be also And so this present Maundy Thursday. Even if Jesus admonished his disciples I Echo his words to you in this time of the covid-19 pandemic. Beloved let not your hearts be troubled believe in God believe also in his son Jesus Christ because he has gone and done the work necessary that he might prepare a place for you and then return and take you to that place. That is a sure path. That we can follow so that our hearts won't be troubled in these days. That was Jesus's message to his disciples on the first Monday through Thursday. That's my message to you this evening. God bless you and the Lord be with you.

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