July 10-16th Family Worship Guide 2022

Family Worship Guide for July 10-16th

Bible Passage for the Week
Deuteronomy 16:9-17
Matthew 21:18-22
Ephesians 1

Verse to Memorize
John 4:24

Catechism Questions

Q. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, and does not have a body like men.

Q. Where is God?
A. God is everywhere.

Q. Can you see God?
A. No; I cannot see God, but he always sees me.

Q. Does God know all things?
A. Yes; nothing can be hidden from God.

Q. Can God do all things?
A. Yes; God can do all his holy will.

People to Pray for: 

Church:  Reformation Church of Shelbyville
                             Pastor Jerry Dorris
Ministry:  The Patriarchy Podcast
Civil Magistrate: US Armed Forces

Song Recommendations:
Fullness of Joy
The Doxology
Bible Passage for the Week

The first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the Chief End of Man?”  And the answer is “To Glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”  Our chief end or the purpose for which we were created is to glorify God and to take joy in Him.  God made us for joy. Contrary to the lies of the devil which soak through our culture, God is not a killjoy.  His commands are not meant to keep us from good things.  He’s not a tyrant looking to squash all our happiness. God made us for joy because God is the source of joy.  It was for joy that God made us.  And it was for joy that Christ endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2).  If you are in Christ, your future is endless happiness in God.

Therefore, we are commanded to rejoice now.  Paul wrote the church saying “Rejoice and again I say Rejoice.”  Our scripture reading this week in Deuteronomy reveals God’s commands to his people to rejoice.   With Passover, they were to celebrate their deliverance from slavery as they looked forward to Christ.  With the Feast of the Weeks also called Pentecost, God’s people rejoiced at the harvest that God gave the people.   Pentecost comes 50 days after the feast of the first fruits. 50 days after the first signs of harvest, God’s people were commanded to give a free will offering.  That means they were commanded to give an offering but how much they gave was up to their own generous hearts.  

Pentecost found its ultimate fulfillment when 50 days after the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit sent from God the Father and Christ the Son descended upon the apostles.  The Holy Spirit enabled the church to spread and it still is spreading.   And as it spreads, we rejoice.
Matthew Henry said this about the passage in Deuteronomy “It is the will of God that his people should be a cheerful people. If those that were under the law must rejoice before God, much more must we that are under the grace of the gospel, which makes it our duty, not only as here to rejoice in our feasts, but to rejoice evermore, to rejoice in the Lord always.  When we rejoice in God ourselves we should do what we can to assist others also to rejoice in him, by comforting the mourners and supplying the necessitous, that even the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow may rejoice with us.  We must rejoice in God, not only because of what we have received and are receiving from him daily, but because of what he has promised, and we expect to receive yet further from him: because he shall bless thee, therefore thou shalt rejoice. Those that make God their joy may rejoice in hope, for he is faithful that has promised. “

In our passage in Matthew, we see that Jesus has authority over nature.  He curses a fig tree for not producing fruit and it shriveled up.  Jesus is teaching his people that we are made to be fruitful.   Trees that don’t produce fruit are good nor nothing.  Those who claim Christ but are not fruitful are not of Christ.  All Christians who are born again have the Holy Spirit.  And the Holy Spirit produces fruit in us.  Among the fruits of the Spirit is joy.  God’s people rejoice.  It doesn’t mean we are happy go-lucky and ignorantly blissful of trials and sorrow.  But even in sorrow if we walk by the Spirit, we have joy.  If you have no joy, then watch out that you are not the fruitless fig tree.

The final passage this week is Ephesians 1.  We are beginning to read through this letter to the church at Ephesus.  In this letter, Paul full of joy dives into the great mystery of God’s work in salvation.  God elects his people before time existed.  He predestines them to be in Christ Jesus and to be conformed to Christ Jesus.  God is the author of our salvation.   As you read through this passage, notice the ways that Paul weaves theology with rejoicing.
Memory Verse
This week our catechism questions and our memory verse deal with the character and attributes of God.   God is Spirit.  His people must worship him in Spirit and in truth.  To truly enjoy God, we need the Holy Spirit to change our sinful hearts and fill us with love for God.  The work of the Spirit is in accord with the truth.  Joyful worship isn’t just about emotional outbursts and warm feelings. It is about our hearts, minds, and lives being conformed to the truth of God.

People to Pray for:
This week we are praying for our dear friends in Shelbyville. Pray that God will protect them from persecution from without and from temptation to sin and divisions within.  Pray for God’s preservation of our brethren.

Please pray for one of the outreaches that Pastor Joseph is involved in.  The Patriarchy podcast is heard by many people on the FLF Network.  Pray that God would give Pastor wisdom in the topics that are discussed.  Pray that God would protect Pastor Joseph and Tony Dipane (cohost) from pride and other temptations.  Pray for those who listen to the podcast that they will be encouraged to grow in the faith.

Lastly, we pray for those who serve in the military.  Pray that God would give repentance to the generals and leaders who have been pushing ungodly philosophies in the Armed Forces.  Pray that God would give those who serve wisdom to know when they may justly use force and when to refuse to resort to ungodly violence.
Notable Quote

Jonathan Edwards on Joy from his work called “Religious Affections”

The joy, and spiritual delight and pleasure of the saints has its first foundation not in any consideration or conception of their interest in divine things; but it primarily consists in the sweet entertainment their minds have in the view of contemplation of the divine and holy beauty of these things, as they are in themselves.

And this is indeed the very main difference between the joy of the hypocrite, and the joy of the true saint. The former rejoices in himself; self is the first foundation of his joy: the latter rejoices in God. The hypocrite has his mind pleased and delighted, in the first place, with his own
privilege, and the happiness which he supposes he has attained to, or shall attain to.
True saints have their minds, in the first place, inexpressibly pleased and delighted with the sweet ideas of the glorious and amiable nature of the things of God. And this is the spring of all their delights, and the cream of all their pleasures: it is the joy of their joy. This sweet and ravishing entertainment they have in the view of the beautiful and delightful nature of divine things, is the foundation of the joy that they have afterwards, in the consideration of their being theirs. But the dependence of the affections of hypocrites is in a contrary order: they first rejoice and are elevated with it, that they are made so much of by God; and then on that ground he seems, in a sort, lovely to them.

The first foundation of the delight a true saint has in God, is his own perfection; and the first foundation of the delight he has in Christ, is his own beauty; he appears in himself the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely. The way of salvation by Christ is a delightful way to
him, for the sweet and admirable manifestations of the divine perfections in it: the holy doctrines of the gospel, by which God is exalted and man abased, holiness honored and promoted, and sin greatly disgraced and discouraged, and free and sovereign love manifested, are glorious doctrines in his eyes, and sweet to his taste, prior to any conception of his interest in these things.

Indeed the saints rejoice in their interest in God, and that Christ is theirs: and so they have great reason, but this is not the first spring of their joy. They first rejoice in God as glorious and excellent in himself, and then secondarily rejoice in it, that so glorious a God is theirs.—They
first have their hearts filled with sweetness, from the view of Christ’s excellency, and the excellency of his grace and the beauty of the way of salvation by him, and then they have a secondary joy in that so excellent a Savior, and such excellent grace are theirs.