April 16-22 Family Worship Guide 2023

The Guide for the Week
 April 16-22
Second Sunday of Easter

Bible Passage for the Week
Proverbs 1:8-19
1 Timothy 3:8-15
1 Peter 2
Psalm 68
Verse to Memorize
1 Timothy 3:13

Catechism Questions
Q. 1.      What is a deacon?
A.           An official representative of Christ, the great Servant.

Q. 2.      Where did the diaconate begin?
A.           In Acts 6, when the church got too large for one group of officers.

Q. 3.      What do deacons do?
A.           They free the elders to give attention to their work of prayer, ministry, and government by the Word of God; and they manage church temporalities and ministries of mercy.

Q. 4.      Where do we find the qualifications of a deacon?
A.           They are given generally in Acts 6:3 and specifically in I Timothy 3:8-13.

Q. 5.      May women be ordained as deacons?
A.           No.  Office in the Christian church is confined to men; but women have always helped deacons with their work.

Q. 6.      How do deacons make their decisions?
A.           As a body (known in our church as the Board of Deacons), in communication with one another, and always under the final authority of Holy Scripture.

Q. 7.      How do deacons assist others?
A.           By a combination of relief in emergency situations, assistance in rehabilitation when necessary, and discipleship that helps those in need to develop in living all aspects of their lives to God’s glory.

Q. 8.      Do deacons have people to whom they are specifically responsible?
A.           Yes.  To the poor who come within the sphere or our ministry, to brothers and sisters who become providentially impoverished, and to widows, orphans, and the fatherless.

Q. 9.      How should I respond to appeals from the Board of Deacons?
A.           As if Christ Himself is calling you to that assistance.

Q. 10.    How should a person respond to the assistance that comes from deacons?
A.           As if Christ Himself is assisting him or her.            

Q. 11.    What things should I look for in a prospective deacon?
A.           Godliness, good sense, and the heart of a servant.

People to Pray for:
Church: Immanuel Baptist Church
                Pastor Ryan Fullerton
Ministry:  Pregnant Mothers
Civil Magistrate: US House of Rep- Indiana
                                Rep Erin Houchin

Notes for Parents:
Proverbs 1:8-19
The wise man fears the Lord.  He will seek God above all and therefore live wisely.  A wise life often results in prosperity.  Wisdom has its fruits but its hard work.
The fool on the other hand does not care about wisdom or the fear of the Lord.  He just wants to the fruits of the wise.  He will do anything to have it including lying in wait to steal what does not belong to Him.   Solomon warns his son not to go along with the foolish.  There is no shortcut to the fruit of wisdom.  The fool in seeking the fruit without the wisdom required to get it ends up suffering.  He lies in wait for himself.  He can’t have the fruits.   His path leads to death and destruction.

Many young men are tempted to want all the blessings of life without the faith and work to have them.  They want everything that it took years for their parents to build and they want it overnight.  But there are no shortcuts to wisdom.  Going away from God’s law to purse riches, wealth, women, or whatever will never satisfy and in the end will destroy.

1 Timothy 3:8-15
This is an excerpt form the sermon on Sunday.  It would be helpful to reflect on it.
A deacon is someone who holds fast to that truth with sincere belief.
In our church we say that we are united around the confession that Jesus is King.
This is shorthand for the mystery of the faith.   We believe that this mystery of faith found in scripture is best articulated in the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, Chalcedonian Cred, and most fully in the Westminster Confession. If a man is going to hold office in this church he needs to be able with a clear conscience, a real sincerity believe and hold to the truths articulated in these.

He is to hold to them.  He isn’t to be tossed to and fro.  Now this doesn’t mean there is no room for disagreement on other issues.  Actually there is quite a bit of room on lesser issues.   For example, men of good conscience in this church disagree on the time and mode of baptism.  It is not that baptism is unimportant.  Nor that we don’t actually disagree on the issue.  But it is an inhouse disagreement.  A disagreement among brothers.  Therefore we are going to preserve the bonds of unity and peace even as we disagree on issues that are not of first confession.
We all need to be mindful about what unites us.  This is so vital today when people are quick to divide over just about anything.  Our culture is divided.  This is because homes are often divided.

But the church is not to be divided.
We are actually made one not just because we volunteer to be together.  The unity we have is not even a unity we create.
When I talk about unity, I am not talking about getting together singing kumbuya and disregarding theology.

No our unity is not one that downplays theology or even disagreements on lesser issues.  Theology matters.  Truth matters from the biggest truth to the smallest.
The unity we have is not a forced and self created unity.  We have unity because we are children of God.  We are brothers in Christ.   We are family.  Or as Paul says the household of God here in 1 Timothy 3..  You don’t get to pick your earthly family.  You have parents and brothers and sisters.  You don’t get to just up a divorce them.  They are who God gave you.
If you are in Christ and you hold to the mystery of the faith then we are united.  It is just that we are to preserve that unity and bonds of peace.

We preserve it by our commitment to the confession that Jesus is King and our preferring our brothers and sisters over our own preferences.  We are to show Christian tolerance on issues of lesser importance.  It is not a matter of downplaying differences or even being afraid of good debate. We should not be afraid of good debate amongst each others on a host of issues.  Whether it be baptism, children’s ministry, and you name it.  And yet we should not get in the ditch of making secondary and tertiary issues into primary ones.  We must be mindful that our debates on lesser issues are inhouse debates.  They are debates at the dinner table with your crazy uncle Mike and your sister Kellie and your brother Nathan who just knows how to poke you to get under your skin.   They can infuriate you and yet you love them.

 Therefore hold fast to the mystery of the faith.  Hold fast to core truths.  There are things worth going to war about.  There are things that divide.  Our confession of faith ought to be what separates us from unbelievers.   Deacons cannot shrink back from it.  It is their job to help us grow in that even as they teach us what it means for carrying for our physical needs.

Ephesians says that Christ gave the offices of the church to cause us to grow in the unity of the faith.

We are already unified because we believe Christ and yet you are given pastors and elders and deacons to help you grow in the knowledge of it.  God gave us these offices to help us grown in our understanding of the faith and in our living it out.
Therefore let us commit to that work.

1 Peter 2
In this chapter of the epistle of Peter,  the Apostle reminds us of who we are in Christ Jesus.  We are  a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession.  We are each building blocks of a temple of praise to God which is established on the sure corner stone of Christ Jesus.   We have been rescued out of darkness.  Therefore we are to live like.  And this means being faithful in the station of life God places us in.  We are to be faithful under authority and in authority.  We are to suffer hardship well.  Work as to the Lord and follow the example of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 68
The past couple years have been really trying.  Many people have been in a constant state of anxiety and worry.  Psalm 68 is a help during this time.  It is a song of praise to our God who is a mighty warrior and protector of his people.  He is a Father to the fatherless and a help to the needy.  You can take comfort knowing that God is on our side and that he will fight for us against our enemies.  He is powerful and the earth trembles at his name.   He will defeat the wicked.

The psalm also reminds us of the importance of worship and of giving thanks to God for all that he has done for us. As believers, we are called to praise God for his goodness and for his faithfulness to us. This psalm encourages us to lift up our voices in worship and to exalt the name of God, who is our refuge and our strength.  Worship is the antidote to fear.  Remember Paul and Silas in the jail singing praises to God.  The earth shook and God protected them.  When you are frightened sing and continue to trust in God's unfailing love and protection.

Catechism/ Memory Verse
This weeks catechism questions help us understand better one of the offices of the church.  On Sunday, we ordained our first deacon at Sovereign King Church, Ben Carmack.   Have your children pray for him this week.   A good project for your family would to have the children write cards to the elders Mark Cox and Aaron Sabie, and the deacon Ben Carmack thanking them for their work.  You want your children to honor and respect these men.  

People to Pray for:
Prayer for Immanuel Baptist Church and Pastor Ryan Fullerton  

Dear God of the Universe,
Thank you for the gospel that rescues sinners like us out of darkness and brings us into the kingdom of light.  Thank you that we have peace with you and peace with each other.   We are especially grateful for the unity that believers have in Christ Jesus.  We pray now for Immanuel Baptist Church and Pastor Ryan Fullerton. Grant him the strength and wisdom to lead the church effectively. May he have the courage to follow wherever you lead, and may the congregation have faith to follow him as he follows Christ. Provide for all his financial needs and give him good health.   Please protect the church from the temptations of the devil and keep them unified on your gospel. Lastly, we pray for the numerical and spiritual growth of Immanuel Baptist Church. May they be used to seek and save the lost and provide nourishment and care to your flock. We make this request in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Pregnant Mothers
Our Father who are in heaven,
We thank you for your fatherly care over us and for making us fruitful.   We delight in the gifts you have given us. We thank you for the gift of motherhood and for faithful mothers.   We pray now especially for those in our congregation who are with child. Help them through sickness, fatigue, and the emotional changes that come with pregnancy.  Please protect them and give them healthy full-term deliveries. We entrust them into your hands and ask that you preserve them through childbirth.  Give them wisdom as they prepare their home for the entrance of a new little one.  Give them faith as they raise their child.  Pour out your Holy Spirit even now on both mother and child,  we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayer for US House of Rep- Indiana
                                   Rep Erin Houchin

O God,
You have been good to us all our days.  You have created us and you sustain us.  And because of the great sacrifice of Christ, you have saved us from our sins.  You have given us your Son as a savior and as our King.  We thank you that you have given your name to authority and established authorities for our good. We pray for US Rep Erin Houchin asking that you provide for all of her physical and spiritual needs. Please grant her a pure heart and sound mind so that she can use the office you have given her in congress for your glory and the good of the people of Indiana.  Help her to discern between right and wrong, good and evil, and when to act and when not to act. May she remember the limits of her authority and have a heart to protect the liberties of the people and promote what is good, including the gospel of your Son. We pray that you give her a heart to care for her own home and to be a gentle and quite woman.  Help her to have courage to follow your word. We entrust all of this into your capable hands, and we pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Sovereign King. Amen.

Church History Spotlight
Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr
19 April 1012
This week’s account from church history regards Vikings and a Christian who stood up to them.

Alphege (Elphege, AElfheah) was born about 953, during the second major period of Viking raids against England. He became first a monk and then a hermit, and then was appointed Abbot of Bath. In 984 he became Bishop of Westminster. In 994 King Ethelred the Unready sent him to parley with the Danish invaders Anlaf and Swein. The Anglo-Saxons paid tribute, but Anlaf became a Christian and swore never to invade England again. He never did. In that same year Alphege brought the newly baptized King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway to a peaceful meeting with King Ethelred, and to his confirmation at Andover. (Remark: "Unready" does not mean that the king was often unprepared; it means that he was headstrong and stubborn, and would not accept "rede," meaning counsel or advice.)
In 1005 Alphege became Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1011 the Danes overran much of southern England. The payment of the tribute agreed on (the Danegeld) did not stop them, and in September they captured Canterbury and held Alphege and other prominent persons for ransom. The others were duly paid for and released, but the price demanded for Alphege was a fantastically high 3,000 pounds (worth of course, far more than modern pounds). Alphege, knowing the poverty of his people, refused to pay or let anyone else pay for him. The infuriated Danes, at the end of a drunken feast, brought him out and repeated their demands. When he again refused, they threw various objects at him (large bones from the feast, for example) and finally an axeman delivered the death-blow. Their chief, Thorkell the Tall, tried to save him, offering all his possessions except his ship for the Archbishop's life. By his death Alphege became a national hero.
When the Dane Cnut (Canute) became King of England in 1016, he adopted a policy of conciliation, and in 1023 he brought the body of Alphege from London to Canterbury, where he was long remembered as a martyr, one who died, not precisely for professing the Christian faith, but for exercising the Christian virtue of justice. In art, he is shown with an axe, the instrument of his death, or as a shepherd defending his flock from wolves.

Upcoming Events:
Tuesday Morning Study Hour With Pastor 6-7AM
April 16 Fellowship Meal
April 19 King’s Men and Daughters of the King
April 22 Thunder Over Louisville
May 1 Monthly Outreach
May 7 Small Groups