March 12-18th Family Worship Guide 2023

The Guide for the Week
March 12-18th, 2023 AD.
The Third Sunday of Lent

Bible Passage for the Week
Deuteronomy 32:15-43
Matthew 26:57-68
Lamentations 3
Psalm 62

Verse to Memorize
Colossians 3:9

Catechism Questions
Q. 112. What is the ninth commandment?  
A.  The ninth commandment is, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."    

Q.113.  What does God forbid in the ninth commandment?    
A. In the ninth commandment, God forbids us to slander our neighbor or damage our neighbor's  reputation.

Q. 114. What does God require of us in the ninth commandment?    
A. In the ninth commandment, God requires us to defend our neighbor, that is, we should speak up for and protect our neighbor from false accusations.    

People to Pray for: 
Church: Trinity Reformed Church
                Pastor Jody Killingsworth
Ministry:  Daniel Courney
Civil Magistrate: Jeffersonville City Member
                                Donnie Croft
Notes for Parents:
Deuteronomy 32:15-43
The song of Moses continues this week, and in it, the Lord speaks of Israel as a wayward child who has forgotten the goodness of their Heavenly Father. They have turned to other gods, forsaken their covenant, and embraced idolatry. Despite their rebellion, the Lord has remained faithful, but warns that if they persist, they will face judgment and punishment. The Lord desires His people to turn back to Him and be restored, even if He must use their enemies to discipline them.

This song serves as a reminder for God's people to return to Him when disciplined. It is a kindness from God. The wise man receives discipline and returns to God, but a fool rebels even more.

Fathers, have a time of reconciliation with your children after discipline. Let them know it is meant to bring them closer, not push them away.

Therefore, let us heed the warning of this song and remember to turn back to God when disciplined. Let us not rebel but instead seek reconciliation with our Heavenly Father. And for fathers, let us discipline our children with love, just as our Heavenly Father disciplines us.

Matthew 26:57-68
Whenever you read a passage of scripture, here are some helpful questions to ask yourself in order to understand it and apply it:
1. Who?
               a. Who is doing the action or speaking
               b. To whom are they speaking to or acting on
2.  Where?
               a. Where is the event being recorded taking place
               b. In the case of a letter, where is this being written from and where is going?
               c. Are there any other location markers in the passage?
3.  When?
4.  What?
               a.  What is happening in the passage?
               b.  What is being said in the passage?
4.  How?
               a.  How is the action in the passage being taken?
               b. How is something being said?
               c.  How are people responding in the passage?
5.  Why?
               a.  why are the people doing what they are doing?
               b.  why is it being said
6.  So What?    This is the big question.  What can you take away from the passage you are reading.  This is where you get application.  Application can come in four big ways:
               1.  What am I supposed to believe from this passage?
               2.  What am I supposed to do?
               3.  What am I supposed to stop doing or not do?
               4.  What does the word teach me to feel? (Are there any emotions that I need to have or not have?)

Not every passage will answer these four questions but many will.   Another way to ask them is this:
1.  What does the passage teach me about God whether it be the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit?
2.  What does this passage teach me about God’s commands?
3.  What does this passage teach me about me?
4.  What does this passage teach me about sin?
5. What does this passage teach me about my enemies?
Try asking these questions about our passage here in Matthew.   Ask the opening 5 questions and then asked the big So What?  

Here is a hint:  This passage teaches us a lot about Jesus.   He was innocent.  He was falsely condemned.  He is the Son of God. This passage also teaches us about justice or the miscarriage of justice.

Lamentations 3
In Lamentations 3, we see the prophet Jeremiah expressing his anguish and sorrow over the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of his people. But even in the midst of his pain, he clings to the hope and faithfulness of God.

As we read through this chapter, we are reminded that even in our darkest moments, we can trust in the Lord's steadfast love and mercy. Jeremiah writes, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23).

This is a powerful reminder for us as we face our own trials and tribulations. In the midst of our suffering, it can be easy to lose sight of God's goodness and faithfulness. But just as Jeremiah trusted in the Lord's unfailing love, so can we.

Furthermore, we are reminded that our hope is not in our circumstances or our own strength, but in God alone. Jeremiah writes, "The Lord is my portion," declaring his complete dependence on God (Lamentations 3:24). As Christians, we too must recognize that our hope and salvation rest solely in the Lord.

Lastly, we see that the lamenter does not excuse his sins.  He knows that God’s discipline has been just.  He does not grumble against God’s right to discipline.  He acknowledges his sins and submits to the hand of God.

So, take comfort in the words of Jeremiah and trust in the unfailing love and faithfulness of God, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Confess your sins and submit to the discipline of God and you can with confidence declare, "The Lord is my portion," putting our trust and hope in Him alone.

Psalm 62
This psalm is fitting as we have read of the trial of Christ. In it, David tells of how his enemies have lied about him and oppressed him. King David, and more importantly our Savior Jesus Christ, knew what it was like to be falsely accused. We live in a day where justice can be hard to come by. The wicked delight in slandering the godly. Even within the judicial system of our country, it can be hard, for example, for men to get a fair shake. The family courts are stacked against fathers, whether they are guilty or innocent. Many men have grown bitter at this and have suggested that it is better for men to stay away from marriage altogether rather than go through an unjust divorce. This is just one example of how justice can be distorted by lies. But what should a Christian do when unjustly accused and condemned?

David insists on his innocence in all of his prayers. An innocent man should never admit to something that he is not guilty of. You can maintain your innocence just as David and the Lord Jesus did. The apostles were often falsely accused and brought on trial. The Apostle Paul used his rights as a citizen to appeal for justice. A Christian can use all lawful means to defend their innocence. But at the end of the day, the bedrock firm foundation he must commit himself to is trusting in the Lord to deliver him. This is not put at odds with using the right means to defend yourself, but it is foundational. It is foundational that we entrust our care to God. We can then leave vengeance in his hands. God will judge our enemies, and he will uphold our righteous cause.

Even though there may not seem to be justice in this world, God is just, and true justice will win out. God would not allow Christ to remain in the grave, and neither will he allow his people to face persecution, slander, and even death without there being some recompense and reward. This psalm teaches us that God is the rock that we may rest on.

Catechism/ Memory Verse
In my home, we have one offense that will result in immediate consequences for the offender, and that is the sin of lying. We expect the truth to be upheld in our home. If we find out that a child lies to cover up another offense, even when we may have been willing to forbear that other offense, lying will result in discipline. God is truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth. God’s people do not live by, believe in, or speak lies. Satan is the father of lies.

Our catechism questions remind us of our high duty to not only speak but to defend the truth. Bearing false witness is a high sin. Literally, when someone is a witness in a trial, if they are speaking lies, they are undermining justice and intending evil to happen to those whom they are lying about. Consider the trial of Christ Jesus. As you read in the passage in Matthew, there were false witnesses who were testifying against Jesus in order for him to be put to death. Their lies would lead to his death. We have all heard the nursery rhyme: sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. But in the case of false witnesses, words are designed to destroy people. Lies are used to harm others. In Old Testament case law, if someone was found to be a false witness, they would receive the punishment that they were intending to inflict on the other person. Therefore, if they were falsely accusing another person of a crime that would have resulted in capital punishment, they themselves would receive it.

Now the thing about false witnesses is that they don’t always have to be speaking outright falsehoods. Sometimes it's merely enough to present half-truths. If you take a person’s words out of context, you may be technically accurate in presenting their exact words, but you can still be lying because you did not present all that they said or the surrounding context, which helps make sense of the words. You may be attempting to frame what someone said in a way completely opposite than what was intended. In our day of heated political discourse, this happens all the time.  “Did you hear that so and so said he wanted to destroy transgender people?”, a liberal journalist reports about a conservative. But when the full context is presented, the truth is the person said they wanted to destroy the ideology that is being promoted to children. In this case, the first situation made it look like the person was murderous and bloodthirsty, whereas the person speaking was attempting to protect children.

It's not just the left that does this. We twist the truth when we frame issues to make ourselves look good and others look bad. For example, when in marriage counseling, a wife may retell a story about her husband saying something to her, and from the initial account of it, he looks like a total jerk, and she looks like the sweet innocent victim. But upon further investigation, the context reveals that while maybe he has sinned in his response, it was the wife who initiated the conflict with her own sinful speech. She wasn’t the innocent victim she made herself out to be.  She was lying by leaving out evidence that incriminated herself.  

Children do this all the time when they get in conflict with their siblings. This is lying. And my suggestion to you is to make sure to discipline it. We want our children to be truth-tellers.

People to Pray for:
Prayer for Trinity Reformed Church and Pastor Jody Killingsworth
Dear God of Mercy and Grace,
Thank you for our sister church in Bloomington. We thank you for her leadership in the formation of Evangel Presbytery and her faithful example over the years. We have been richly blessed by her work in proclaiming the truth of God. Thank you for our friendship. We ask that you would bless Pastor Jody Killingsworth as he is still in his first year as the lead pastor. Give him strength as he deals with issues that may arise from differences in leadership styles and focuses compared to his predecessor. Help him to have the wisdom and courage to lead where you call him to go, and give the people of the church faith to follow. We thank you for the young people we have sent to them over the years, including Maddie Sabie and her recent engagement. Help her and her fiancé Rob Sands as they prepare for marriage, and may their marriage be a shining example of the gospel. We also thank you for Mason Wagner and his wife Emily. Please protect them and their children.  Bless all the other pastors who serve at this church and who have been so helpful to us. We pray for the preservation of the peace and purity of this church, and for its growth in both number and maturity, in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son and our Savior, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Daniel Courney (Missionary to Nepal)
Dear light of the nations,
The land, once enshrouded by the shadow of death, has been illumined by the radiant Son of Righteousness. We give thanks for the good news of your boundless mercies and grace, which has reached the nations and transformed our lives. You have not abandoned us in our sins but have graciously provided a way of salvation through your Son. We humbly pray that the gospel may continue to go forth to all peoples, and that you would raise up faithful messengers to proclaim the good news of salvation in Christ.
We give thanks for Daniel Courney and his unwavering commitment to sharing the gospel in the streets and villages of Nepal. We ask that you would protect him from persecution and temptation, and keep him from falling into pride or discouragement. Grant him success in his endeavors, and establish your church in Nepal. Raise up many godly men to lead and guide the people of that nation, and bring about lasting transformation through the power of your Holy Spirit.
We ask that you would bless us all with a holy zeal for the salvation of sinners and the advancement of your kingdom. May we be faithful witnesses to your love and grace, and may your gospel continue to bear fruit in our lives and in the lives of those around us. We pray all this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Prayer for Jeffersonville City Councilman Donnie Croft
Our Father who are in heaven,
We thank you, Father, that you created us and care for us as a father cares for his children. Furthermore, your word teaches us that you gave your name to fatherhood, and in this, we know that you created fatherhood to reflect your authority and care. Not all who take on the name of fatherhood have carefully honored that charge, and even the best human fathers are still sinners in need of your grace. Nevertheless, we thank you for fathers, whether in the family, church, or state. Thank you for men like Donnie Croft, whom you appoint as fathers in the civil realm to exercise authority in their jurisdiction for the good of the people they represent. Please protect and preserve Councilman Croft. Give him good health of body and mind so that he can carry out his duties to the best of his ability. Make him aware of his sins and weaknesses so that he can humbly rely on your Son Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins and the strength to fulfill his responsibilities. Help him to know that he does not serve for his own benefit but for your glory and the good of those under his care. We pray this in the name of the Sovereign King Jesus Christ. Amen

Church History Spotlight
Gregory the Great 540-604 AD
What makes someone great? Gregory following in the footsteps of Christ answered “The only true riches are those that make us rich in virtue. Therefore, if you want to be rich, beloved, love true riches. If you aspire to the heights of real honor, strive to reach the kingdom of Heaven. If you value rank and renown, hasten to be enrolled in the heavenly court of the Angels.” True greatness is found in the approval of Christ.

Gregory was given the title the Great after his death because of his work in leading the Church through a difficult period of time.  Barbarians were invading Rome while famine and disease ran rampant.  Gregory, however, guided the people of Rome through it all while pointing them to Christ.  In addition, he is well known for sending missionaries to Britain and establishing Christianity there.  He also wrote a book on pastoral care that is among the best ever written on the subject. He had a heart of a pastor and preached bolding from the word of God.

Every great man is still a man at best. Gregory was no exception.  His leadership over the Church in Rome would sadly be used as grounding for making the Pope head of the Church.  He also lacked discernment on the issue of purgatory and allowed this false teaching to make inroads during his time.  Church history is not pristine. As Gregory said, the bible shows us that even with progress we are far from perfection.  Let us then make sure we aspire to real honor and greatness found in the approval of Christ.

The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye. In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And there too we discover the progress we are making and how far we are from perfection.”- Gregory the Great
Upcoming Events:
Tuesday Morning Study Hour With Pastor 6-7AM
March 15 King’s Men and Daughters of the King
March 19 Genevan Pub
March 25 Church in Dialogue
April 2 Small Groups
April 3 Monthly Outreach
April 7 Good Friday Service
April 22 Thunder Over Louisville
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