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As another year, the year of our Lord 1968, draws to a close, we look at ourselves in retrospect. What do we see? We see tiny babes, little rebels, putting all their disobedient strength against mothers’ will, until even the task of diaper changing becomes difficult. We see small children, when confronted by some misdemeanor, immediately jump on the defensive with the excuse it is brother’s or sister’s, playmate’s or teacher’s fault. We see you, young people, when instructed to do some task, rebel and go your own sweet way, so that as parents we have to demand of you, obedience. Then each one of you thinks he is getting the worst end of the deal, and obeys grudgingly, saying that brother or sister or friend has it better than you do. We see you, young people, Protestant Reformed young people, singing the songs of Edom, wearing the dress and fashions of this world, your closets bursting with clothes, until we as parents are hard pressed to provide, not the needs, but the desires and demands of our young people.

And what do you see in us, young people? You see adults tearing at each other’s throats, murdering one another with our tongues, destroying the name of a brother, seeing the mote in the brother’s eye and not the beam in our own. You see us seeking after pleasures even as you do, so that there is little time for the study and meditation of the Word of God. You see us often forgetting to pray or saying merely words; and also like you desiring the latest fashions of this world, until we no longer act or look like the people of God. And you are confused. We have provoked you to anger in that we demand of you obedience to the law of God, and you do not see in us that all-consuming love of God.  Our own walk is so often not in harmony with our confession.

On Sunday, we sit in the House of God and we hear the powerful, efficacious Word of God calling us to repentance. And the truth of the Word of God grips our heart. God shows us the wretchedness, the horribleness of our sins, until we cry out, “God be merciful to me, the sinner.” We see ourselves as a people who have gone astray, who have turned every-one to his own way. We see ourselves as a people who have caused the Name of our God to be mocked because our confession and our life are not consistent. It is only then, when our prayer becomes a heart-cry and is no longer just mere idle words, that God sends the peace, the blessed peace of forgiveness. It is only then when we see ourselves as the sinner that we fall upon our faces and cry to our Father for mercy. It is only then that He heals the broken heart, only then that He reveals to us His marvelous grace, His tender mercies, His loving-kindness. Then we can confess our sins to our God and to our brother, and we have the wonderful blessed fellowship of the saints, and the peace that passeth all understanding. The love of God in Christ Jesus will then be made manifest in our lives and our churches once more will become a light that shineth in darkness, a city that is set on a hill that giveth light to all that are without. The Name of our God will be magnified. Let us then, as this year draws to a close, see our own beam of sin, and let us as little children, young people, fathers and mothers, laymen and ministers, cry out to our God that he may fill our hearts with His consuming love, that we may live, not as the world liveth, but indeed as the people of God, strangers and pilgrims here below, looking for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Then we will have the testimony of the people of God that we are one of them and the Name of our God will be glorified in us and through us. Praise His Name. Hallelujah!

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

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