February 12- 19th Family Worship Guide 2023

The Guide for the Week
of February 12-18th, 2023
The Sixth Week of Epiphany

Bible Passage for the Week
Deuteronomy 31:1-8
Matthew 26:1-16
1 John 5
Psalm 59

Verse to Memorize
Ephesians 6:1-3

Catechism Questions
Q. 94. What is the fifth commandment?  
A.  The fifth commandment is, "Honor your father and your mother; that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God gives you."

Q. 95. What is required in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment requires preserving the honor, and performing the duties, belonging to everyone in the places God calls them to as children, parents, husbands, wives, servants, citizens, and civil magistrates.

Q. 96.  What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment forbids the neglecting of, or doing anything against, the honor and duty which belongs to everyone in the stations of life God calls them to.

Q. 97. What is the reason given for the fifth commandment?
A. The reason given for the fifth commandment is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’s glory and their own good) to all as keep this commandment.

Q.  How will you obey your parents?
A.  I will obey right away, all the way, without grumbling or disputing.

People to Pray for: 
Church: Church of the King Evansville
                Pastor Jacob Mentzel
Ministry: Sweetwater Research
                   David Pendergrass
Civil Magistrate: Jeffersonville City Council Member
                                Bill Burns

Notes for Parents:
Deuteronomy 31:1-8
When you are a child, you always hope to be older than you are, which is why kids often count their age in halves: “I am 9 and a half years old.” But as you grow up, the opposite happens, and you don't want to be old. Many people, as they move into middle age and beyond, start downplaying their age because they want to be youthful. There is a trend among grandmothers, for example, not to want to be called “grandma” because it sounds old to them. Some people even balk at being called Mr. or Mrs. by someone younger than them because it makes them feel old, which is the last thing they want to feel. There are many reasons why people try to fight growing older, including the fact that death is always pressing closer.

However, being faithful to Christ means being faithful in the station that God has placed you in life. Both youth and old age are gifts from God, and they both come with duties and responsibilities. You cannot be faithful to these duties if you are constantly trying to avoid recognizing your stage of life. For example, being called Mr. or Mrs. by someone may make you feel old, but it also gives you an opportunity to teach the younger generations how to show respect to their elders. This is an opportunity to exercise your faith by being obedient to the 5th commandment. Another example is when you are younger, you may be given jobs and duties that those older than you are unable or unwilling to do. You may feel like you are getting the short end of the stick, but instead of growing bitter at those who are older, you can have faith in your station in life and be obedient in your role, even if it means being the low man on the totem pole.

Moses was an old man, and he knew it. He knew that his time of leading was up, so he made sure to pass on the baton to a younger man, Joshua. In other words, he was faithfully training his replacement. In our church, we do not have many gray-haired people, but this lesson still applies. Each of us should begin the work of discipling those who are younger. Moses didn't wait until he was on his deathbed to start this work with Joshua. Instead, he had been working with Joshua for a long time.

Therefore, have faith in the time God has placed you in. If you are younger, look for mentors and those who can disciple you. Don't despise your youth or let anyone look down on you. Instead, set an example in your faith. As you age, embrace it and take seriously the duties that come with it. If you are faithful, no matter your age, you will find that in your old age, you will still be useful for God's kingdom. You will be like the mighty tree of God mentioned in Psalm 92: “The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green...”

Matthew 26:1-16
In every teaching there will be someone who gets the wrong message or worse seeks to twist the teaching to their own personal gain.  Immediately after Jesus tells the disciples that there will be a judgement separating the sheep and the goats and that in this judgment what you do for the least of Christ’s people will be evidence of your faith and love for Christ, we have the same disciples upset with a woman for pouring out expensive oil on Christ.  Their immediate thought was that this could be used to help the poor, the least of these.   Judas, the thieving backstabber, is especially upset.  That oil could have been sold and the money given to the account that he oversees and dips into time and again.

The disciples were among the first who may have got the wrong message from Christ’s words.  If the judgement is about what we do for the least then we just need to forget about everything and help the poor.  Many people in our day have made this same mistake.  They argue that theology, worship, and spending money on a building to worship in for example are all just a waste of time.  The real thing we ought to be doing is getting together and feeding the homeless and the poor.  And its not that feeding the homeless and poor are bad.  But feeding the homeless and the poor are to be fruits of our love for Christ.  Christ is still central.   This women’s care for the Lord was received by Him.  She was not wasting her money by giving to Christ.  Her heart was right.    

Of course there is a ditch in which a church gathers in a holy huddle and spends all their time navel gazing.  Many churches are self-centered and theology is more of a hobby than a tool for growing in their love for Christ.  This church would do well to remember that what you do for the least you do for Christ.  But on the other side is the ditch that has no place for love for Christ, no place for worship, and finds all that talk to be a waste of time when compared to the real work of social improvement.  They might say, sounding particularly pious, why are you bothering on gathering to hear preaching when you should be out fighting abortion or tyranny.   Learn from this account that Jesus is the point.  We ought to both worship Christ, give ourselves to growing in our theological understanding, and do the work of ministering to those in need and fighting to protect those who are defenseless.  We ought to do this while being careful not to judge our brothers and sisters harshly.

Judas was among those who would use piety for their own benefit.   He has a pious sounding excuse for opposing the use of funds for oil but it really is for his own gain.  Be on guard against those who always have pious sounding answers but always have something to gain from it.  This isn’t limited to the hucksters on TBN calling for your seed money.  No, many people refuse to repent of their sins and worship Christ but instead talk about all their good deeds.  When it comes to being about Christ, they have all kinds of ways of sounding religious but without every giving themselves to truly loving Him.  Eventually they will grow tired of Christ when they don’t get what they want.  Christ becomes a means of earthly gain.   One example of this is those whose focus is always on fighting tyranny.  It is not that this is a bad thing.  It can be a fruit of the faith we have in Christ.  But there are some for whom it seems that that it the primary focus and Christianity is just a tool in that battle.  Their heart is really about earthly things.  And eventually when Christ doesn’t seem enough anymore to help them accomplish their political goals they become like Judas and abandon him.

1 John 5
The Apostle John helps us to know several things.
1. Those who trust in Christ are God’s children.
2.  Those who love God will love His children.
3.  We love His children by obeying God’s law.  
There are many who talk about loving God and loving others but they leave it so ill-defined.  Love becomes a buzzword to define with your own feelings and opinions.  It often becomes a term infused with whatever the culture is infatuated with.   But the Apostle John teaches us that love is defined by God.  His commands teach us the way we are to love.   The ten commandments, the moral law, is the law of love.  The first four commands teach us how to love God and the rest teach us how to love each other.  Those who love God will obey His commands.  They will love their brothers and sisters in word and deed and according to the commands of God.

Psalm 59
This psalm is another engraving Psalm of David.  It again is a prayer for God to protect him from his enemies and to get vengeance.  The Apostle Paul instructs us to leave vengeance to God.  God is sovereign and He will defend us.  He will destroy the enemies of His people.  We can trust this just as surely as we can trust Him to forgive our sins.  Therefore with this in his hands, we can sing songs like this knowing that God will answer the prayers.  We also can be set free to let go of personal vengeance and revenge.  We can put aside anger and wrath.  With God as our defender, we can be free to love even our enemies and do good to them.   Teach your children to trust in God to defend them.  When a toy is taken or someone wrongs them, they don’t have to lash out but can rest in God.  They can still do good.

Catechism/ Memory Verse
The last catechism question today is one that we use all the time with our children.  God expects our first time obedience and He expects it to be done completely without grumbling.  You should expect this of your children as well.  The hardest part about first time obedience isn’t so much the training of children but the training of parents.  Parents have all kinds of excuses for why they don’t expect these things.  Many parents do countdowns, begging, pleading, bribing and threatening.  If parents would be done with those things and simply asked once and disciplined themselves to expect obedience right away and therefore disciplined their children to do so, then most children will do it.  The problem is that we are so inconsistent in our expectations for our children and they find a way to manipulate that inconsistency.
These are catechism questions you never outgrow.  The way you perform this duty may change as you grew older but honoring authority will be with us till we die. It is good to honor those who came before you.  Do you model this for your children?  Do you honor your parents and grandparents?  Do you honor other older people around you.
People to Pray for:
Prayer for Church of the King Evansville Pastor Jacob Mentzel
Almighty and Everlasting God,
We pray for your Church of the King in Evansville and their Pastor Jacob Mentzel.  Please bless their efforts to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to those in their community. May Your Holy Spirit use them to bring many to faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. We pray for Pastor Mentzel, that You would give him strength, wisdom, and courage in his leadership of the Church. May he be filled with Your grace and truth as he teaches and preaches Your Word. We ask that You would protect him and his family and bless their ministry together.  Raise up from this church plant godly men to be elders and leaders.  We pray that you would firmly establish this work in the name of Jesus Christ, the redeeming King. Amen.

Prayer for Sweetwater Research
Dear Father,
You are the giver of life and light.  From you burst forth the spring of living waters to all the nations.  We thank for your Son Jesus who thirst on the cross so that we never thirst again but be constantly filled with the Spirit you give.  We pray that all people would know your salvation.  As the living waters fill our souls, help us to respond with obedience and faithfulness to do good to all people.  Thank you for the work of Sweetwater Research in carrying for the bodies of the impoverished in providing clean drinking water but also their souls as they proclaim the gospel.  Please give the leader of this group, David Pendergrass, wisdom and power to accomplish the goals of this ministry.  Give them the finances they need and the open doors into countries that are desperately in need of the gospel.  We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, the faithful King.  Amen.

Prayer for Jeffersonville City Councilman Bill Burns          
O God, Governor of the Universe,
We lift up Jeffersonville City Council Member Bill Burns and ask that You would give him wisdom and discernment as he serves the people of his community. We pray that he would recognize the need to repent of any sins in his life and turn away from anything that is not in line with Your will.  Fill him with courage to work towards punishing evil and promoting righteousness in all that he does. Give him a heart of compassion for those he serves and that he would always be guided by Your truth. We pray for Your protection over him and his family that they would be healthy in not only body, and mind, but in Spirit.  We pray this in the name of Jesus, the Sovereign King. Amen.
Church History Spotlight
St. Valentine
February 14th is known by many as St. Valentine’s Day, a day where many exchange romantic cards and gifts.  Interestingly enough, there are two different men named Valentine that have been talked about in church history. One of them was a pastor in Rome. The story of this Valentine dates back to around AD270, during the persecutions of the Emperor Claudius Gothicus. Valentine was well known for his sanctity and the Emperor, who was intrigued by his fame, invited him to the palace. He offered Valentine his friendship and said he should adore the gods. But Valentino stated courageously and firmly that it was a waste of time worshipping the gods since Jesus Christ had brought the only true hope and the promise of a better world. The Emperor was impressed by Valentine’s faith and entrusted him to a Roman nobleman named Asterius, whom he ordered to convert Valentine using "mellifluous arguments". But instead of Valentine converting, Asterius converted to Christianity along with his whole family. When he heard about their conversion, the Emperor Claudius condemned Valentine to be beheaded. The execution took place on the Via Flaminia in Rome. He was buried nearby and soon a church was built there in his honor.

As you give chocolates or flowers and spend time with your loved ones, share the hope you have in Christ most importantly. Stand firm for the love of God no matter the cost.  
Upcoming Events:
Tuesday Morning Study Hour With Pastor 6-7AM
Feb 15 King’s Men and Daughters of the King
Feb 19 Genevan Pub