August 14-20th Family Worship Guide 2022

Family Worship Guide for the week of August 14-20th, 2022

Bible Passage for the Week
Deuteronomy 18:9-22
Matthew 22:15-22
Ephesians 6
Psalm 35

Verse to Memorize
1 Corinthians 15:22

Catechism Questions
Q. 31. What was the sin of our first parents?
A. Eating the forbidden fruit.

Q. 32. Who tempted them to this sin?
A. The devil tempted Eve, and she gave the fruit to Adam.

Q. 33. What befell our first parents when they had sinned?
A. Instead of being holy and happy, they became sinful and miserable.

Q. 34. Did Adam act for himself alone in the covenant of works?
A. No; he represented all his posterity.

Q. 35. What effect had the sin of Adam on all mankind?
A. All mankind are born in a state of sin and misery.

Q. 36. What is that sinful nature which we inherit from Adam called?
A. Original sin.

People to Pray for:
Church: Chinese Reformed Church Bloomington
                   Pastor Jason Chen
Ministry: Elder Aaron Sabie
Civil Magistrate: State Senator Kevin Boehnlein
Song Recommendations:
O LORD my God, in You I take refuge
Save me from pursuers, LORD, deliver me
’Cause like a lion, they tear my soul to pieces
Soon I’m going to be beyond recovery
O LORD my God, if I have done this
If there is any blood on my hands
If I have wronged or taken from an enemy
If I’ve repaid with evil all my closest friends
Then let the enemy pursue my soul
And overtake my life and lay me in the ground
Let him trample, let him hurt my body
Let him hide my glory where it can’t be found
Arise, O LORD, in Your anger
Arise, O LORD, in Your anger
Arise, O LORD, in Your anger
Arise, O LORD, in Your strength
In Your strength
Come now, LORD, You that judge peoples
See if in my heart there’s not integrity
Arise, my God, rid the world of evil
Pay the wicked back for their perversity
O LORD my God, if I have done this
If there is any blood on my hands
If I have wronged or taken from an enemy
If I’ve repaid with evil all my closest friends
Then let the enemy pursue my soul
And overtake my life and lay me in the ground
Let him trample, let him hurt my body
Let him hide my glory where it can’t be found
Arise, O LORD, in Your anger
Arise, O LORD, in Your anger
Arise, O LORD, in Your anger
Arise, O LORD, in Your strength
If a man will not repent, God’s bow is ready
If a man will not repent, He draws His string
If a man will not repent, God’s aim is true and steady
He will let the arrow fly and watch it sting
Arise, O LORD, in Your anger
Arise, O LORD, in Your anger
Arise, O LORD, in Your anger
Arise, O LORD, in Your strength
In Your strength
In Your strength
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Join me in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty will do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
Praise to the Lord, who with marvelous wisdom hath made thee,
Decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee.
How oft in grief hath not He brought thee relief,
Spreading His wings to o’er shade thee!
Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the amen sound from His people again,
Gladly fore’er we adore Him.

Notes for Parents

Bible Passage for the Week
Christ is the focus of scripture.  All scripture is aimed at pointing us to Him and teaching us to love and obey Him. This includes the Old Testament.  In our reading of Deuteronomy this week, there is a direct prophesy of Christ from Moses.  Moses foretells of coming prophets but also in particular of one prophet like himself.  God did indeed send prophets throughout the Old Testament.  The test of a prophet is found in this passage.  Some false prophets arose and they failed this test. The people were not to listen. Christ came as the Great Prophet. He spoke the truths of God.  Any who disobey Him will be judged.  Let us therefore bow our knee to Him and receive His word.  Let us obey it.

In Matthew 22, the Chief Priests and elders of the people are seething with rage at Christ.  He has called out their hypocrisy and foretold of God removing them from his people.  They are determined to get back at Christ.  They plot together to set a trap.  They have a gotcha question they are going to ask.  It is a lot like when liberal reporters ask questions of conservatives.  The questions are loaded and they are designed to try to make the conservative either sound extreme or to waffle on their position.  In this case, the Pharisees tag team with the Herodians and are trying to get Jesus to sound like an rebel or a tyrant.  They ask him about the legitimacy of a certain tax.   If they can get Jesus to pronounce against this tax, they will accuse him of being a revolutionary seeking to overthrow Rome.  If they get him to throw his support behind this unpopular tax, they will diminish him in the eyes of those who feel oppressed.  

Christ however won’t be conned.  He won’t be a weasel in his answer but He will be wise.  He asks them to show Him the coin.  He asks them whose picture is on it. They reply that it is Caesar’s. He then says, give to Caesar what belongs to him and give to God what belongs to God.   This answer leaves us feeling a little unsettled.  Christ doesn’t come out railing against the civil government and taxes.  Nor does He go all in on tax’s.  Rather He honors authority.  He honors the authority of the civil government but more importantly the authority of God.  This means that both citizens and rulers will answer to God.  Citizens obey their civil rulers but civil rulers should give their honor to God.  Let us not be rebels nor be those who think the Bible has nothing to say to those in authority.  Let us give to God what is due Him.

Last week in the guide, I erroneously listed your reading as Ephesians 6 when it was supposed to be Ephesians 5.   This week is supposed to be Ephesians 6.  Repetition though is not a problem.  Read through Ephesians 6 again.  If you can read through chapter 5 as well.  These truths are precious and we can never get enough of them.

In Psalm 35, David calls upon God to defend him from his enemies.  David then contrasts how they treated him with how he treated them.  David said “But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, And my prayer kept returning to my bosom. I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother.”  In a Psalm which is a prayer for God to deal with his enemies, David points out that he also had prayed for them and for their good.  Jesus taught us to pray for our enemies and do them good.  David was an example of that.  Learn from this psalm that we are to do good to those who would harm us and then to entrust ourselves to the God who will judge.

Catechism/ Memory Verse
Adam was our federal head in the garden.  This means he was our covenantal representative.  He stood in our place as our first father.  God made a covenant with him that if Adam obeyed perfectly Adam would live and if Adam disobeyed, He would die.  Adam sadly disobeyed. He and his wife ate the forbidden fruit.  They did not believe God but believed the lies of the devil.   At the root of sin is unbelief and pride.  A pride in one’s own understanding and a lack of belief in God’s goodness and authority.   We sin because we believe we know better than God.   Adam’s sin cast us all under a curse.  Because we are Adam’s children, we inherit a sinful nature and deserve the condemnation of God.  You might be tempted to say it is not fair.    However, God did not make us all individuals, islands unto ourselves.   The sins of one generation impact the others.  Furthermore, Adam was the perfect representative.  He did what we all do.  We deserve the curse.  And the original sin that we inherit, we deserve.  

Thanks be to God that there is another federal head, another representative that we can look to for hope.   From one man’s sin, death entered the world.  And one man’s death, brought life.  Jesus is the one we must look to for salvation.

People to Pray for:
Pastor Jason Chen has been ministering to the Chinese population in Bloomington.  They have a somewhat large population due to students at IU.  Covid brought a lot of challenges to Jason’s ministry as Chinese people in particular were sensitive to the pandemic.  Pastor Chen has continued the work.  It is difficult work because for these students becoming a Christian makes many difficulties with their lives back in China.  Pray that God would give Pastor Chen wisdom and boldness.  Pray for the Chinese students that they would be willing to give up anything in order to be able to follow Christ.

Please pray for one of your elders, Aaron Sabie.  Pray that God would bless him in his vocational work as an electrician. Pray for God’s protection over his family as they transition from through the teenage years to adulthood.  Pray that God would give him wisdom and faith for the work of an elder.

Kevin Boehnlein  is a member of the Indiana State Senate, representing District 46. He assumed office on November 16, 2021. His current term ends on November 9, 2022. He ran for re-election to the Indiana State Senate to represent District 47. He lost in the Republican primary on May 3, 2022.  He does not have much time left in office but let us pray that God would grant him wisdom and grace for whatever comes next in his life.

Church History Spotlight

Matthew Henry (1662-1714), beloved commentator on the Scriptures, was born near Whitchurch (Salop), England. [For those unfamiliar with English geography, Whitchurch (Salop) is about 18 miles south, southeast of Chester, not too far from the border with Wales, and located in the area today known as Shropshire.] He began preaching at the age of 23 and spent most of his ministry as pastor of a church in Chester (1687-1712). He was a prolific writer, most famous for his Commentary on the Whole Bible which he began in November of 1704 and left incomplete upon his death. Ministerial colleagues concluded the work with reference to his notes and writings (Henry had finished the commentary from Genesis through Acts).

Throughout his life as a minister, Henry was a diligent student of the Word, sometimes rising as early as 4 o’clock in the morning and often spending 8 hours a day in his study in addition to his pastoral labors. He was also, however, a man of prayer. His lifelong concern for prayer is said to have originated with his recovery from a potentially terminal illness at the age of 10. Whatever the case, the whole of his labors is marked by the wisdom which only those who are habitually dependent upon the Almighty in prayer may hope to attain.
Highlight from the Westminster Shorter Catechism
What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

Last week, I commended the Bible to you as the only source where we may know all that is needed to know true joy while glorifying God.  The Westminster Shorter Catechism question above says it is the only rule to direct us.  While thinking through this you might be thinking, how do I know the Bible is the Word of God?  How can I trust it?  Those are good questions.  A pastor who was alive during the writing of the Catechism, named James Fisher, wrote a commentary to help understand the catechism. His commentary was itself a Catechism, it’s like the movie inception, a catechism within a catechism.  His catechism though is helpful in answer that question.  Here is what he said:

Q. How do you know the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the word of God? A. By the print of God that is evidently to be seen upon them: for, as none works like God, Isa. 43:13; so none speaks like him, John 7:46.    

In other words, we know this is the word of God because when God speaks we know it.  It is self-evident.  That might sound a bit circular but there is no one else’s word we could appeal to other than God’s to show us what is God’s word.  The imprint of God’s word is discernable to all who know God. By imprint we mean the majesty, holiness, light, life, and efficacy, which shine in the Bible.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t have rational arguments that we can appeal to about the Bible.  There are rational arguments Fisher says “drawn from their antiquity; the heavenliness of the matter; the majesty of the style; the harmony of all the parts, though written in different ages; the exact accomplishment of prophecies; the sublimity of the mysteries and matters contained in the word; the efficacy and power of it, in the conviction and conversion of multitudes; the scope of the whole, to guide men to attain their chief end, the glory of God in their own salvation; and the many miracles wrought for the confirmation of the truth of the doctrines contained in them.”  These are good reasonable arguments but ultimately what convinces us of the truth of Scripture is the Spirit of God, who is the author of Scripture, testifies in our hearts that this is the Word of God.  Fisher says "The Spirit of God bearing witness by, and with the scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it, that they are the very word of God.”  

Therefore, we can have all the most rational arguments there are and yet if our eyes are blinded by our sin and the devil, we cannot come to faith.  We need to have God open our eyes and make us see.  The good news is that the reading, teaching, and preaching of His word is how He opens His people’s eyes.

So what does this mean for us today?  What can we practically do?  What if you read the bible and have a hard time with it?  Well you can start by reading with humility and faith.  Fisher says “Whenever one looks into the word of God, he should look up to God, the author of it, saying, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law," Psalm 119:18. "O send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me," Psalm 43:3.Bible and read it with faith.