This Week at Covenant Family Church


Hello brothers and sisters,

This Sunday I will continue in Matthew with the parable of the talents, in the Bible survey with the book of Ecclesiastes, and in Jeremiah with the prophecy of David’s “righteous branch” in Jeremiah 23:1-8.

When I was in my teenage years, I was once asked to pick a “life verse.” On that occasion I picked Ecclesiastes 3:19, “For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.” Yes, that was an unusual verse to pick. It may sound depressing and discouraging, but a remarkable thing about Ecclesiastes is that its sober reflections actually lead to confidence and joy expressed in verses like 2:24-26. While we will only get 30 minutes with the book this Sunday, I look forward to giving an overview of Ecclesiastes during our lesson time.

Recordings from Sunday

Here is the link to the audio recording of the sermon, “The Parable of the Ten Virgins ” (Matthew 25:1-13) and here is the link to the video of the worship service.

Here is the link to the audio recording of the lesson, “The Book of Proverbs,” and here is the video of it.

Here is the link to the audio recording of the evening sermon, “A Message to the Kings” (Jeremiah 22), and here is the video of it.

Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. 39

Q. 39: What is the duty which God requireth of man?
Answer: The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.

This catechism question introduces the second half of the catechism. In the first part it explained what we are to believe concerning God – his nature, decrees, and works of creation, providence, and redemption. From this point forward, it will explain the duty that God requires of us.

Fundamentally, the duty God requires of man is obedience to his revealed will. As the confession of faith says, “Good works are only such as God hath commanded in his holy Word, and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men out of blind zeal, or upon any pretense of good intention.” God has not told us everything there is to know, but he has told us what he requires from us and has not left it to the free imagination of man. God desires obedience. When God made his covenant with Israel, he had told them, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29).

We find this point made several times in Scripture. Micah 6:6-8 asks this very question, what does the Lord require? Not extravagant offerings devised by the imagination (6:6-7), but rather, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (6:8). The epitome of blind zeal would be King Saul. He repeatedly came up with his own ways of serving the Lord while neglecting what God had told him to do. When Saul spared the spoil of the Amalekites to sacrifice to the Lord, when the Lord had told him to destroy it, Samuel says,

“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
        as in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
        and to listen than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
        and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.”
(1 Samuel 15:22–23)

Reflecting on this passage, William Tyndale remarked,

“Without God’s word do nothing. And to his word add nothing, neither pull anything away therefrom, as Moses everywhere teacheth thee. Serve God in the spirit, and thy neighbour with all outward service. Serve God as he hath appointed thee and not with thy good intent and good zeal. Remember Saul was cast away of God forever for his good intent. God requireth obedience unto his word and abhorreth all good intents and good zeals which are without God’s word. For they are nothing else than plain idolatry and worshipping of false gods.” (William Tyndale, The Obedience of the Christian Man, 1528)

Worship Details

Hymns & Psalms  
Hymn #1 “All People That on Earth Do Dwell”
Hymn #455 “And Can It Be That I Should Gain”
Psalm #123 “To Thee I Lift My Eyes”
Hymn #571 “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”
Psalm #125 “Like Zion’s Mountain Shall They Be”

Bible Texts, Sermon:
Old Testament Reading: Malachi 3:13-4:3
New Testament Reading: Colossians 3:16-4:6
Sermon: “The Parable of the Talents” – Matthew 25:14-30


Pastor Peter Bringe