March 26- April 1 Family Worship Guide 2023

The Guide for the Week of
March 26- April 1st, 2023 AD.
The Fifth Sunday of Lent

Bible Passage for the Week
Deuteronomy 33
Matthew 27:1-10
Lamentations 5
Psalm 64

Verse to Memorize
Ephesians 5:5

Catechism Questions
Q. 118. Can any man keep these ten commandments perfectly?
A. No mere man, since the fall of Adam, ever did or can keep the ten commandments perfectly.

Q. 119. Of what use are the ten commandments to us?
A. They teach us our duty and show our need of a Savior.

People to Pray for:
Church: Christ Church Cincinnati
                Pastor Joseph Bayly
Ministry:  Ben Carmack (Deacon)
Civil Magistrate: Jeffersonville City Member
                                Matt Owen
                           
                           
                           
                           
Notes for Parents:

Deuteronomy 33
Moses is a father.  He has guided his people and is now ready to pass on the mantle to Joshua.  His time is up but before he dies, he gives the different tribes a blessing.  You can imagine how all the people waited anxiously to hear what Moses was going to say to them.  This was an inheritance that each tribe would take with them.

There are a couple of applications that come to mind for parents:
1.  The wise man leaves an inheritance to his children.  We live in a time when many people live for retirement and then spend all their time and money on themselves.  They get the RV, the Boat, and they travel spending the inheritance. I have even seen a bumper sticker on one that said “We are spending our children’s inheritance.”  This has been the mindset of many.  This is foolish and selfish.  We ought to be considering what we will leave to our children, both physically and spiritually.

2.  Our words are part of this inheritance.  How we speak to our children will either be a blessing or a cursing.  Do you always point out your children’s flaws or do you encourage their strengths.   Do you bless your children?  I suggest going through scripture and finding the ways that the fathers bless their children.  Use scriptures own words with your sons and daughters.  Pray the blessings of scripture over them.

Matthew 27:1-10
Judas compounds his sin in this tragic end to his life.  He had sinned in betraying Christ and now having watched the trial play out, he is broken.  The chief priests are going to kill Christ.  It appears that Judas was not anticipating that.  He had been greedy and was willing to betray for some money but he didn’t expect anybody to get seriously hurt.  Sin sometimes takes us further than we want it to.  Greed, lust, and covetousness are sins that often lead to worse sins like theft, adultery, and murder.  Judas feels remorse for what he did.  He knows it was wrong.  And so he goes back to the chief priests in order to try and undo it.  But some things cannot be undone.  They have no intentions of taking back their wicked decision.

The tragedy here is that when Judas felt remorse or even conviction for his sin, he didn’t let that lead him to Christ.  He went to the religious leaders and they had nothing for him.  What they do is incredibly wicked.  These were the people who should have heard his confession and pointed him to Christ for hope and salvation.  But instead they said take care of it yourself.
And therefore Judas did not actually repent when he was convicted.  He had sorrow but it was a wordly sorrow, a sorrow with no hope.  It was a sorrow without faith.  True repentance is sorrowful for sin but it also has faith that Jesus will forgive sins. Sorrow without faith is damning.  Therefore Judas added to his betrayal of Christ, murder.  He went and killed himself.
When we feel guilt for our sin, we must not let it end there.  Sorrow is a good first step but it is worthless without faith in Christ.   Without Christ there is no hope.  But thanks be to God there is hope.  Jesus is good.

Lamentations 5
Jeremiah has lamented the destruction of Israel.  He has seen God’s great hand of discipline and judgement.  But Jeremiah doesn’t shrink back from the Lord, rather he draws closer.  He cries out to God who is the only one who can save him.  He calls upon God to remember them. He says “Restore us to You, O Lord, that we may be restored; Renew our days as of old….”  Jeremiah knows the only hope is God.

What about you?  What do you do when trouble hits?  How do you respond to God’s discipline.  Yes it can be painful to undergo.  It is humbling.  The temptation then is to flee from God.  To try and get away.  But this is not the answer.   There is no where you can go to hide from God.  The answer is to call out for the mercy of God.  To submit yourself to his way.  To turn to Him and not away from Him.

When you sin and you are convicted, you should turn to Christ and not away.

Psalm 64
Wicked people plot wicked things. They especially do this against the righteous. Conspiracy theories are true in the sense that the wicked conspire together. And yet, the Bible does not have us fear these conspiracies. God is in control. While the wicked plot, they can only do what God, in His will, has planned for them to do. Christ reigns over all the earth. He reigns over the Rothschilds, Soros, the Federal Reserve, the Mafia, the Bilderberg group, the World Economic Forum, the CIA, the FBI, and any other group that may conspire. We are not to fear. These groups can only do what Christ has designed to be good for His Church. This does not mean that what the wicked do is not wicked. Nor does it mean we ought not to be wise in how we live and prepare. But it does mean that we can live by faith. We don’t have to have all the answers. We can cry out to our God who does. In this psalm, we see David cry out about the wicked and their arrows. But David knows that God has His own arrows. He will destroy the wicked, and when He does, all will know and give God praise.

Catechism/ Memory Verse
God gave His law to us for three main purposes.
1. The first purpose is to reveal God’s good character and our wickedness.  God’s moral law, the ten commandments, is grounded in his very moral character. The law is God because God is good. The law reveals His goodness and holiness.  Stealing is wrong for example because God is not a thief.  But as we look at the pure and holy righteousness of God, we are also made keenly aware of our sinfulness.  When Isaiah got a glimpse of God upon His throne, He immediately was aware of his own unworthiness and uncleanness.  God’s law is like a mirror which reveals back to us our own ugly character apart from Christ.  When we study the law of God, we see that we do not keep it.  We see that no one is righteous.  No not one.  The law then is a taskmaster that drives us unto Christ for grace and mercy.   When our sin is exposed, and we are convicted, we should flee to Jesus.  When we let the law do this work, we use it rightly.

2.  A second reason that God gave the law was to make us fear disobedience and the punishment for it.  The law cannot change our hearts but it can deter us from being as evil as we possibly could be. It can to some extent inhibit lawlessness by its threats of judgment, especially when backed by a civil code that administers punishment for proven offenses.  The moral law then is the foundation for a just civil law and when the civil government does its job, evil is kept in check.  This is why when the civil government decriminalized homosexuality and promoted gay marriage, we have seen an increase of the number of people claiming to be homosexual.  The restraint of the law was removed.

3.  The third reason the law was given was to show Christians how they may live to please and glorify God. While no one can be saved by lawkeeping, the law is a guide for the regenerate into the good works that God has planned for them (Eph. 2:10). The law tells God's children what will please their heavenly Father. RC Sproul called it “the family code.” He says,  “Christ was speaking of this third use of the law when He said that those who become His disciples must be taught to do all that He had commanded (Matt. 28:20), and that obedience to His commands will prove the reality of one's love for Him (John 14:15). The Christian is free from the law as a system of salvation (Rom. 6:14; 7:4, 6; 1 Cor. 9:20; Gal. 2:15-19, 3:25), but is "under the law of Christ" as a rule of life (1 Cor. 9:21; Gal. 6:2)."

People to Pray for:
Prayer for Christ Church in Cincy
Dear Heavenly Father,
We give thanks for our sister church in Cincinnati and for the shared gospel truths and battles we face.  We thank you for the leadership that Pastor Joseph Bayly has shown in planting that church and in helping to lead in the Presbytery.  We ask that you give him 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.

We also ask that you provide for Joseph and his family financially and help him trust in your provision. Comfort his wife with your tender care. Let them rest in your sovereignty and your mercy.  May your Holy Spirit guide his children in following you all the days of their lives.
Be with assistant pastors Alex McNeilly and Paul Belcher.  Give them your Holy Spirit.  Provide for all their needs.

Finally, we pray that you would grow Cincy 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 Ben Carmack (Deacon)

Dear God, our creator,
By Your divine providence, Jesus Christ has appointed offices of leadership in the church. Since the time of the Apostles, You have inspired the church to appoint those men who would serve by leading in the provision of the physical needs of the church and caring for those who in need. Thank You for calling Ben Carmack to this work. Please send Your spirit upon him and his wife. Give him eyes to see the needs of Your people, a discerning mind to know Your truth, a generous spirit when he is tired but needed, a humble heart when his work goes unnoticed, a peace of mind in obedience and service, and health of body so he may serve with strength and fruit from his labor. Help us to submit to his leadership and instruction on being good stewards of the resources You have given us. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


Prayer for Jeffersonville City Councilman Matt Owen

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 Matt Owen 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
A History Of April Fool’s Day by Erik Raymond
 
Happy April Fool’s Day! As we flip the calendar to the first of April, we do what people have done for centuries, celebrate with a day full of pranks, jokes, and hoaxes. But why do we do this?
The origin of April Fool’s Day is a bit of a mystery. Some historians trace it back to 1582 when France switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. The changing of the calendar meant there was a new date to celebrate the new year. Formerly it was celebrated on April 1, but now under the Gregorian calendar, it would be observed on January 1. The people who failed to get on the same page and celebrated the new year later became the punchline of jokes and the recipient of pranks. They were the “April Fools.”

The origin of the day isn’t as clear as the meaning of the word and some implications for us as Christians.

Our English word fool comes from the Latin follis meaning foolish. It’s connected to the word for bellows (a musical instrument like an organ) or a leather bag filled with air (windbag). By the time of the early 1800s, windbag already had the metaphorical meaning of a person who talks too much. When we are thinking about a fool, we are thinking about someone ignorant. They are not respected and the subject of ridicule and, in some cases, pity. Certainly not respect or admiration.

This background reminds us of how striking the truth of the gospel is. Both in the first century and today, foolishness is not a sound marketing campaign. Nevertheless, the gospel is considered by many to be just that, foolishness.

Paul writes, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor. 1:18)

People listened to a depiction of a Savior who hung on a cross crucified, and they did not conclude it was wisdom but folly. The thought of a King who died is not an occasion for honor but shame. The story of a God who humbled himself in death is not a story of strength but weakness. The gospel does not compute in the minds of people. It doesn’t make sense. It was foolish.

But that’s just it, isn’t it? Worldly wisdom never leads to God (1 Cor. 1:21); it only leads to the mirror. We reflect ourselves and who we want to be. We don’t find God in that portrait. Becoming a Christian is becoming, in the eyes of many, a fool. It’s embracing a morality, identity, and value system that’s ignorant and out-of-step

It’s this message, this “foolishness” that God uses to save people that are looking for wisdom, strength, and honor.

“For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor. 1:22–24)

God saves us through the “foolishness” of the gospel. How is this? Paul answers, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor. 1:25).

Becoming a Christian then is becoming, in the eyes of many, a fool. It’s embracing a morality, identity, and value system that’s ignorant and out-of-step.
Are you willing to be a fool for Christ? Are you a holy, happy, and hope-filled fool for Jesus?
Find your identity in him.
Publicly associate with his people.
Speak his name to others.
Lean upon him for your hope.
Submit to his Word above all.
 
Upcoming Events:
Tuesday Morning Study Hour With Pastor 6-7AM
April 2 Small Groups
April 3 Monthly Outreach
April 7 Good Friday Service
April 22 Thunder Over Louisville
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