Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention 2018

As summer starts to draw towards a close, many of us young people look forward to the convention that is going to take place. This is an exciting time for us all, and we must see the beauty in this event. The convention is such a blessing as it draws together hundreds of like-minded individuals of one faith.

With that in mind let us consider the beauty of the unity we share, and our duty to God as young believers.

In this convention, we see the unity of the church. Hundreds of young people can gather together in harmony, despite sometimes having never met one another before. It is as the church after the outpouring of the Spirit, “And all that believed were together, and had all things common;” (Acts 2:44). As the verse states, we are gathered because we believe together. We gather together and sing praises to God, learn about God’s word under the speeches, and learn about one another through discussion groups. Through these events we share all things in common. Through talking and getting to know one another, we share who we are and how as separate individuals we all fit and have our place in the body of the church (1 Cor 12:12).

In connection to the unity of the church we should strive to make acquaintances with others. I encourage everyone to meet new people at this convention even if you feel you already have plenty of good friends. Making new acquaintances at convention is a great way to experience the blessings of the church universal, and perhaps you are the friend that God plans to provide for someone without many friends or someone going through a trial.

During this convention, when we gather together as the body of the church, we must keep in mind our duty towards God. We must remember it is more than a young people’s convention, but that it is the Protestant Reformed young people’s convention. As children of God alike, together we must be diligent in fulfilling our created purpose. This purpose which we have already talked about (Adultery is Near! 1) always finds its way to come before us again. This responsibility comes to us on a personal level, and it comes as the duty of the whole church body. As we gather together may all our actions, words, and thoughts to and with one another bring honor and glory to God’s name for that is our calling.  Let us treat one another well and “be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” (Rom. 12. 10-11) and most importantly may we together, “give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name,” “in the midst of the congregation prais[ing] [him],” (1 Chr. 16.29; Ps. 22:22).

Let us heed special attention to the third commandment which we find in Exodus 20:7, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain…” Often we make the application of this commandment to our speech, and indeed this is a good application, but I would like to go further. As Christians, we all bear God’s name. We are children of God, or God’s people. However, you put it we are CHRISTians and we must represent and defend God amongst the world. Therefore, in all that we do, we must be good representatives of God. Even though the world may not be watching us as we gather together at convention, we must bear this in mind. It should not be the world’s eyes that motivate us to bear God’s name rightly, but it should be our love for God that makes us strive to honor Him.

May we all enjoy the convention. Thanks be to God for such a blessing and much gratitude to the many people who labored for such an event. I pray God grant traveling blessings to the many conventioneers and chaperones who come from all around for this wonderful gathering. I look forward to meeting many of you! By the power of the Holy Ghost working in us may we unite in one mind before God and praise Him with all our works.

Luke Christian Potjer

 

Be Still

How often do we think, “I just need a break,” “I need to slow down,” “I’m just too busy,” or something along those lines? And what do we turn to when we need a rest or we’ve reached our breaking point? 
 
Maybe after a long day at work, the only thing we want to do is veg out in front of the TV, scroll through Instagram, or curl up with a good book. While none of those things are horrible, they aren’t what we need. God created us to need true rest that we can only find in Him. In Psalm 46:10, we are reminded by God through the Psalmist that to know God and experience Him we have to BE STILL. The list above seems harmless, but instead of helping to clear our minds to focus on our most important God, we fill our brains with so much pointless information. 
 
Jennie Allen puts it this way in her book Nothing to Prove:
“When Jesus promises us rest, He almost always is talking about soul rest. It’s why most of the ways we try to rest actually make our insides more chaotic. Netflix, sleep, Facebook— all fall short because nothing but Jesus can bring rest to the chaos inside of us.” 

Adultery is Near! (2)

In my last article, I warned of the consuming sin of adultery that taints our society and is near to us in our lives. The warning was expressed so that we may take heed to ourselves, or perhaps one close to us, and repent or exhort one another to walk again in a holy life. The last article may have seemed negative having barely mentioned the salvation and grace that is afforded to us on the behalf of our Lord Jesus who offered up Himself on the cross. This article now resumes by way of Scripture to tell of that blessedness of living outside of adultery and sin in general and walking in holiness by way of the Holy Spirit.

First, we observe I Corinthians 6:9-11, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, not adulterers, nor effeminate…shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” This passage speaks specifically of those who walk in stark contrast to the seventh commandment of God’s law. God despises those sins and will not tolerate them. However, by God’s work of justifying us on the basis of Christ’s work, working true repentance in us, and bringing us to live a new holy life, we can be assured that the guilt of our sins is completely taken away, and that we have been given the ability to live a holy life in the name of Jesus. God has given us this assurance and we must live in it.

Secondly, we consider the message of Revelation 3:1-6 to the church at Sardis. According to the angel’s message this church was about to die. Sardis was not exhibiting works that were pleasing unto God. The church was described as wearing defiled garments, yet they continued to wear these filthy clothes. They did not take off the dirty garments to cleanse them but found it pleasurable and convenient to keep wearing them. The angel urged them to remember their first love. The church was called to remember the zeal they once had for the word that caused them to be consumed in the studying and praising of God. The church was called to cleanse those defiled garments or perhaps get rid of them entirely to prevent any remembrance of them. The blessedness of this passage is revealed in verse four, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” We may at times fall away into these sins, undoubtedly, we all have walked in adultery in some way or another, but as we observed in I Corinthians 6 God smiles upon us when we flee unto Him and resist sin and temptation with our whole heart.

As children of God, we always have hope. We never need to feel overcome and taken over by sins such as adultery. The Bible does not say that Christ came for the perfect. If it were so, then His people would not need Him. Our Lord and Savior came for those whom His Father gave Him, and He loves (Luke 5:32). Our calling as you may remember is to “possess [our] vessel in sanctification and honor” (I Thess. 4:3-5). If we do fail and possess our vessel in dishonor then we must repent and flee unto God our rock.

The blessedness of man according to David is that our iniquity is forgiven, our sins are covered, and the Lord does not attribute sin to us (Rom. 4:6-8). May we joyfully and thankfully live in our calling given in I Peter 1:15, “But as he which hath called you is holy, be ye holy in all manner of [living].”

Luke Christian Potjer