March 19-25th Family Worship Guide 2023

The Guide for the Week
March 19-25, 2023 AD.
The Fourth Sunday of Lent

Bible Passage for the Week
Deuteronomy 32:44-52
Matthew 26:69-75
Lamentations 4
Psalm 63

Verse to Memorize
Ephesians 5:5

Catechism Questions
Q. 115. What is the tenth commandment?  
A.  The tenth commandment is, "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your  neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor's."    

Q. 116.  What does God forbid in the tenth commandment?    
A. In the tenth commandment, God forbids every sinful desire to get our neighbor's possessions openly or by trickery.    

Q. 117. What does God require of us in the tenth commandment?  
A.   In the tenth commandment, God requires us to be content with what He has given us and to assist our neighbor in keeping what God has given that person.        

People to Pray for:
Church: Clearnote Church
                Pastor David Abu-sara
Ministry:  Austin Keeler
Civil Magistrate: Jeffersonville City Member
                                Steve Webb
Notes for Parents:

Deuteronomy 32:44-52
Sin has consequences.  Even though we may be freely justified by the grace of God and be able to enter into the heavenly kingdom for every, there are still earthly consequences for our sins.  A long history of drug abuse will impact your body and your mind.  Sexual immorality can result in sexual disease or harm to future relationships.  Crime results in criminal punishment.
Moses had been faithful in leading God’s people but he still disobeyed God and was therefore kept from entering into the promised land.   His sin had earthly consequences.  And if Moses, the man who led the people our of Egypt, would face earthly consequences of his sin, then who are we to dismiss this possibility for ourselves.

We ought to then learn that the best way to live is in obedience to God’s commands.

Matthew 26:69-75
This is a heartbreaking passage. The Apostle Peter, who once swore he would never leave Christ’s side, finds himself in a downward slide. At first, Peter plays coy when asked about Jesus. He plays dumb, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” He is ignorant of his sin. But then, when asked again about Christ, he not only denies Christ but does it with an oath. In the Bible, an oath is a solemn promise or declaration made under God's authority or with God as the witness. It is a sacred commitment that is meant to be binding and trustworthy. Oaths are mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments, and they were taken very seriously by the people of that time. Peter, in making an oath that he doesn’t know Christ, has now not only denied Christ but also invoked God as a witness to it. He is taking the name of God in vain. And then, to top it off, it does not end there. Peter is called out again, and the third time Peter denies Christ with curses and swearing. In this, he is basically calling upon God to curse him if he is lying about knowing Christ.

This is the path of sin and the fear of man. It takes you where you do not want to go. It results in Peter forcefully denying Christ and invoking God and His curse to do so. What a sorry state to be in.

But thankfully, this passage offers a place of hope. Immediately, the rooster crows, and the passage says Peter remembered the word of Christ. Sin is wicked and terrible. But even worse would be to sin and not be convicted. Christians will sin in this life. We do not want to. Scripture commands us not to. The Apostle John told us that he wrote his letter so we would not sin. And yet, because we still have a sinful flesh to fight, we will sin. And when we do, we can take comfort if God’s word convicts us. If, when we sin, we remember the words of God and are stricken with godly grief like Peter, we still have hope. Not all is lost. Peter is convicted, and he goes off weeping at what he had done.

Peter belonged to Christ even as he denied Him. The proof is that Christ’s words convicted his heart. Peter mourned. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” After the resurrection, Jesus came to Peter and gave him the opportunity to repent.
Brothers and sisters, do not sin. But when you sin and are convicted of it, take joy and cling to Jesus. Return to Him. He is faithful and just to forgive you.

Lamentations 4
Lamentations 4 is a lament about the destruction of Jerusalem and the suffering of its people. The chapter describes the once-great city in ruins and its people starving and desperate for food. The author compares the people's past prosperity to their present misery, and blames their downfall on their sins and disobedience to God. The chapter ends with a plea for God to restore the people and their city, and a warning to other nations to not rejoice in their downfall.
This is a difficult book to read.  It can be disheartening to hear all of the lament from the prophet regarding God’s discipline of his people.  It is difficult because discipline is difficult.  But this book is a wonderful piece of scripture because it gives us hope.   There are glimmers of light all throughout it even as the prophet sits in dust and ashes.  This chapter ends by noting that God’s discipline of his people has an end but their enemies better not gloat.  Their day is coming.  

God’s people in this life may face suffering and persecution while God’s enemies appear to live it up in luxury and pleasure.  But one day they will face judgement and God’s people will never suffer again.  

Psalm 63
What motivates you? What really gets you going? What are you aiming for?
The psalm writer says that he earnestly seeks after God. Earnestness is being sincere, serious, and intense in purpose or effort. The psalm writer thirsts after God. He must have a closeness to God, or else. This is what we were created for. We were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Is that your desire? Do you wake up in the morning hoping to draw nearer to God that day? Do you lay in bed meditating on God’s word and commands? Do you live each day with the desire to know God more, to glorify Him more than you did yesterday, to enjoy Him?
Let this Psalm convict you. Stop chasing after things that cannot satisfy. Nothing else can bring you true joy than the presence of God. And then make this psalm your prayer.

Catechism/ Memory Verse
Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  

God’s word is able to get to the heart of the matter.  In the law of God, God is not just after our outward conformity to specific rules.  No, God desires obedience to go all the way down into our very being.  In fact, it is only when our outward conformity to God’s law swells up out of the inward conformity of our heart that God is pleased.  

In other words, we are to love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and might.  It isn’t enough just not to physically kill someone.  If we have unjust anger in our hearts toward them, then we are breaking God’s command.  It is not enough just to refrain from physically taking something from our neighbor.  We must not desire to do so.  

The 10th commandment then is a fitting conclusion to the ten commandments in that it forbids the hearts desires that are contrary to God’s good will.  It forbids us from greed, envy, hatred, petty jealousies, and discontentment.   This is the commandment that we most often break and its breaking is always a precursor to breaking the other commandments.

When we covet our neighbor’s things, we are in our hearts criticizing God.  We are complaining against God’s providential care in our own lives.  We are saying that God has not cared for us as we ought but has been unjust in giving to our neighbor.  We are breaking not only the 10th commandment but the 1st commandment.  We are not honoring and worshiping God as we ought.

The tenth commandment is one that you need to work on often with your children.  All the fights they have between brothers and sisters is because they are not keeping this commandment.   The opposite of covetousness is contentment.  It is being satisfied with God’s provision in your life.

This does not mean that you will not work hard and strive to do better in your job or wages.  But it means you will trust God as you do so.  You will keep your heart focused on loving him.
In order to teach your children how to obey this command you need to both speak about it but also model it.  Are you constantly criticizing the successes of others?  Do your children hear you and your wife tearing down others or projecting your envy?  Do they see you trusting the Lord’s provision even when it is tight?  Do they see you constantly shopping, constantly buying, constantly getting and getting?  Do they see you unsettled constantly changing jobs, switching churches, moving, and bristling under the sovereign hand of God?

Of course this does not mean that you may never switch a job, look out for a better home, and etc but be mindful that all of these things are impacting your family.  Be mindful that none of these things are because of a covetous ungrateful heart.

People to Pray for:

Prayer for Clearnote Church
Dear Heavenly Father,
We give thanks for our sister church in Indianapolis and for the shared gospel truths and battles we face. We are grateful for the abundance of young people and children in their congregation. We ask that you give Pastor David Abu-sara the strength and wisdom to lead the church effectively. Please grant him courage to follow where you lead and give the congregation the faith to follow him. We ask that you protect the peace of the church by preserving the unity of the elder board. Give them courage to face opposition from those who oppose your Word and protect them from any who may harbor bitterness for being disciplined by the church.
We also ask that you provide for David and his family financially and help him trust in your provision. Comfort his wife with the knowledge of your loving care. May your Holy Spirit guide his children in following you all the days of their lives.
Finally, we pray that you would grow Clearnote Church both numerically and spiritually. Use them to seek and save lost sheep, and to provide nourishment and care to your flock. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Austin Keeler (Reformation Frontline Missions)
Dear God of truth and grace,
We come before you today to express our gratitude for the gift of salvation and the truth of the gospel that you have revealed to us. We thank you for faithful preachers like Austin Keeler who proclaim your word both within the church walls and outside of them. Please bless his ministry, providing for his every need and granting him much fruit from his labor. Protect him from discouragement and pride, and shield him from the lies of the enemy and the allurements of this world and the flesh.
We also pray for the church as a whole, that you would raise up more men who are willing and able to boldly proclaim the gospel in the streets and in the media. May your truth be proclaimed throughout the land, reaching even those who are far from you.
Lastly, we ask for your provision for Austin's family, that they may have all they need to live according to your will. Help him to balance his ministry to the lost with his responsibilities to his loved ones. And above all, keep him steadfast in the faith, that he may continue to serve you faithfully for many years to come.
We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Prayer for Jeffersonville City Councilman Steve Webb
Dear Father of all creation,
Thank you God for your great power and wisdom in creating us.  Thank you for your kind and tender care in taking care of us.  Thank you for your merciful and loving grace for saving us.  We thank you for placing us in Jeffersonville.  Thank you for the people of this city and thank you for the leadership of this city.  We pray for Councilman Steve Webb asking you to provide for all his needs both physical and spiritual.  Give him a sound mind and a pure heart so that he may exercise the authority which you have given him on the city council for your glory and for the good of the people of Jeffersonville.  Help him to be able to discern between good and evil, right and wrong, and when to act and when not to act.  Help him to remember the bounds of the authority you have given.  Give him a heart to protect the liberties of the people and to promote to them what is good including the greatest good- the gospel of your dear Son.   Give him courage to stand up for what is right.  We entrust all of this into your good hand and we pray this in the name of Jesus Christ the Sovereign King.  Amen.

Church History Spotlight
Patrick of Ireland 461AD
Patrick was born about 390, in southwest Britain, somewhere between the Severn and the Clyde rivers, son of a deacon and grandson of a priest. When about sixteen years old, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. Until this time, he had, by his own account, cared nothing for God, but now he turned to God for help. After six years, he either escaped or was freed, made his way to a port 200 miles away, and there persuaded some sailors to take him onto their ship. He returned to his family much changed, and began to prepare for the priesthood, and to study the Bible.

Around 435, Patrick was commissioned, perhaps by bishops in Gaul and perhaps by the Pope, to go to Ireland as a bishop and missionary. Four years earlier another bishop, Palladius, had gone to Ireland to preach, but he was no longer there.

Patrick made his headquarters at Armagh in the North, where he built a school, and had the protection of the local monarch. From this base he made extensive missionary journeys, with considerable success. To say that he single-handedly turned Ireland from a pagan to a Christian country is an exaggeration, but is not far from the truth.

Almost everything we know about him comes from his own writings, available in English in the Ancient Christian Writers series. He has left us an autobiography (called the Confession), a Letter to Coroticus in which he denounces the slave trade and rebukes the British chieftain Coroticus for taking part in it, and the Lorica (or "Breastplate" a poem of disputed authorship traditionally attributed to Patrick), a work that has been called "part prayer, part anthem, and part incantation."

I arise today Through God's strength to pilot me: God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak to me, God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's host to save me,
    From snares of devils, From temptation of vices, From every one who shall wish me ill, Afar and anear, Alone and in a multitude.
    I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
    Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body
         and soul, Against incantations of false prophets, Against black laws of pagandom, Against false laws of heretics, Against craft of idolatry, Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
    Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
    Christ to shield me today
    Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
    Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
    Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
    Christ when I lie down,
    Christ when I sit down,
    Christ when I arise,
    Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
    Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me,
    Christ in the eye of every one who sees me,
    Christ in every ear that hears me.

From the Breastplate of St. Patrick, a prayer of St. Patrick.
Upcoming Events:
Tuesday Morning Study Hour With Pastor 6-7AM
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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