Nov 27- December 3rd Family Worship Guide 2022

The Guide for the Week of November 27th- December 3rd, 2022
The First Week of Advent

Bible Passage for the Week
Deuteronomy 26:12-19
Romans 12:9-13
Philippians 4
Psalm 50

Verse to Memorize

Isaiah 40:3

Catechism Questions
Q. Who were the Prophets in the Old Testament?
A.  The Prophets were holy men who spoke the words God gave them to speak to His people.

Q.  What was the message of the Old Testament Prophets?
A.  The Prophets rebuked the sins of the people, proclaimed to them the judgment of God, and foretold of the coming of the Messiah who is Christ Jesus.

Q.  Who was the last prophet to foretell of Jesus Christ?
A. John the Baptist was the last and greatest of the prophets to come before Jesus. He was the forerunner of Christ who came to prepare the people to receive the Messiah.

Q.  What was the message of John the Baptist?
A.  Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

People to Pray for: 
Church: Holy Trinity Reformed Church
                Pastor James Brown
Ministry: Rusty Thomas
Civil Magistrate: Jeffersonville City Council
Notes for Parents:

Bible Passage for the Week
Deuteronomy 26:12-19
Obey all the way right away without grumbling or disputing.  This is the standard.  Its what we often say to our children.   Anything less is disobedience.  If a child does only half of what is asked, he has disobeyed.  If he delays and has to be told over and over again, he has disobeyed.  If he stomps his feet and rolls his eyes while doing what is asked, he has disobeyed.   God expects our obedience to be thorough.  We are to be careful to do them with all our heart and all our soul.  Anything less is disobedience.  It is sin.

What areas in your life are you failing to obey God all the way, right away, without grumbling or disputing.   Is there some area you are holding out on?  

Maybe its because you are not thinking rightly about what God has declared about you.  The Lord as made you to be His people, a treasured possession.  He did this in Christ Jesus.  He took someone as sinful and wicked as you and rescued you.  And He declares that you are his treasured possession.

My daughter Arriana used to have this treasured stuff animal.  It was a Dalmatian puppy.  She took it everywhere. When she was younger she would not depart from it.  It was dingy and dirty.  But she treasured it.  There was nothing inherit in it that was worth anything but she would not let it go. It has been around the world and back literally.  She took it on a trip to the Philippines and we thought she lost it.  We moved heaven and earth to find the thing.  And we did.
Im not trying to compare you to that old dirty dog.  Its not fair to the dog. It didn’t commit sin and hate its owner.  We on the other hand don’t obey all the way.  We do not obey right away.  We do spend a lot of time grumbling and disputing. We were enemies of God.  And yet He declared us in Christ to be his treasured possession.  What love and what mercy that He would send His son to die for you and I.     Or as the Holy Spirit says in Titus 2 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

You have been redeemed and made a treasured possession of God.  Why are you not zealous for good deeds?  Why do you half obey?  Why do you delay obedience?  Why do you grumble and complain?  

Oh let us not be found trampling under the blood of Jesus which was shed for us.   Let us repent.

Romans 12:9-13 
This passage calls us to genuine love.  Not just love in word but in deed.  It is easy to say we love but much harder to practice it.  But when we think of the love that was shown us by Christ, we ought to be able to love others.  One of the ways that we can be loving is to be hospitable.  We can welcome in guests to our homes and churches.  We also can be hospitable guests when we visit others homes.  Spend time this week teaching your children what it means to be hospitable.  Teach them to take care of the possessions of others.  Part of good hospitality is good manners.  You need to spend time practicing them and modeling them.  Your children will rarely outpace you in being hospitable.    

As far as practicing hospitality, it can be a fun game.  Have your children pretend that they are opening the door and inviting a guest in.  Each child can take a turn being the guest.  I want to share this article with you from Pastor Tim Bayly on your children and hospitality.

Please take the time to read this and practice it.

Philippians 4
Be anxious for nothing is the command from this passage.  Has there ever been a command more disobeyed in our day.  We live in a nation that is highly medicated against anxiety.  And I don’t bring that up to disparage the fact that there may be some physical health issues that people may need to be treated for but I do think it reveals something about the nature of our time.  We rebel against God and his order and we as a whole are nervous people.  Scripture though commands us not to be constantly worrying.   Scripture though does not just leave us alone to deal with worry, stress, and anxiety.  Rather it gives us the antidote- Rejoicing and prayer.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known.”  The reason we worry so much is that we spend too much time dwelling on our problems and not enough time rejoicing in the Lord and praying to Him.  In other words, our anxiety is at its heart a lack of faith in the goodness of God.  

Scripture goes on to say that we ought to fill our minds with the things of God-“whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”   We worry because we do not trust God and we do not trust God because our minds are not on the things of God.

You can’t cast off anxiety just by trying to not to think about anxiety.  You cast it off by dwelling on the good things of God, being thankful for his blessings, and lifting up your requests to him.
These are things you can practice and teach your children.  When they have a bad dream and are worried at night, remind them to think of the goodness of God.  Help them to remember things that they are thankful for.  And then pray.

Psalm 50
This is a weighty psalm.  God’s discipline of his people is on display but furthermore his rebuke of the wicked is thorough.  Often when God’s people are being disciplined the wicked like to mock and laugh.  They think they are all good.  They even start to think God is approving them. He is just like them.  He’s been quite while they commit immorality and slander their neighbors.  It is easy for the righteous to wonder where is God during all this.  Why does He let the wicked prosper?  This Psalm reminds the wicked that God will judge them.  This is a comfort to the righteous.
Catechism/ Memory Verse

The Catechism questions teach us that the prophets all looked forward to Christ.  They proclaimed of his coming.   They longed to see His day.

It is advent time on the Christian calendar.  We usually think of it as a time merely looking forward to Christmas and celebrating the birth of Christ.  But if you look at traditional lectionaries (these are books that many churches use that schedule out their scripture readings for their services) the readings also are geared towards anticipating Christ's second coming. Advent then both looks back at history and forward towards its completion. When we sing songs like O Come O Come Emmanuel, we are both thinking of the state of God's people before Christ and their longing for the Messiah and we are joining in with that longing for Christ to return to defeat the last enemy death.  In the meantime, we are carrying out the work of the kingdom.

 The biggest thing going on in the life of our church is sicknesses.  Its cold and flu season and it is hitting a lot of people.  It seemed like half the church was out yesterday.  We need to be praying for and encouraging people to consider their souls during times of sickness.  Consider that life is short and one day we will give an account before God. Also these sicknesses can fuel our longing to be with the Lord. Sickness can be a good reminder that even though we are kingdom minded and carrying out this work, we still look to the day when there will be no more sickness.    

People to Pray for:
Holy Trinity Reformed Church is pastored by our own Grace Brown’s father, James Brown.  They are in Mooresville, Indiana near Indianapolis.  Pray for them to have growth in number and in wisdom.   Also pray for their preservation through cold and flue season.

Rusty Thomas is the former director of Operation Save America and leader of Elijah Ministries.  He is a dear brother and friend of our church.  He has fought long and hard to end abortion in this nation.  He has faced much persecution for this work.  Please pray that God will bless his work.

Lastly, give thanks to God for civil magistrates.  Its easy to be cynical about them.  There is much to criticize but we must remember that God established authorities for our benefit.  We need to remember that there work is time demanding and that they bear the weight of much responsibility and criticism.  As you give thanks, also pray that they would rule by God’s law.  And that He would give us godly rulers.

Christmas Carol Highlight
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
The hymn above was translated into English in 1861 from a Latin version which came to completion in the 1700s. The Latin version’s roots existed in some form for much longer, developing from older chant in the church from the 7th century. They hymn is mostly sung in the season leading up to Christmas called Advent.  Although Advent was one of the last parts added to the traditional church calendar (in the 5th century), it is now considered the start of the calendar year in churches that practice it. Advent gets its name from a latin word meaning "coming; arrival" which is used to translate the Greek word parousia from the bible.
The Advent season consists of the four Lord’s Days leading up to Christmas and is understood both as an anticipation of the celebration of Christ’s birth and looking forward to Christ’s final return to resurrect the dead and usher in the eternal kingdom. They hymn and the season remind us that we live between two comings. There is a rejoicing in what God has already done in Christ (in his birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension) and a groaning with hope for God to complete the work with Christ’s coming. Christians, Rejoice. Christ shall come!