July 16-22 Family Worship Guide 2023

The Guide for the Week
 July 16-22nd 2023 AD.
The 7th  Sunday After Pentecost

Bible Passage for the Week
Proverbs 6:1-11
1 Samuel 2:12-36
2 Timothy 3
Psalm 81

Verse to Memorize

Deuteronomy 18:15

Catechism Questions
Q. 66. How is Christ a prophet?
A. Because he teaches us the will of God.

Q. 69. Why do you need Christ as a prophet?
A. Because I am ignorant.

People to Pray for: 
Church: Koinia Church  (Romania)
            Pastor Michael Foster
Ministry: Adam Cutshaw
Tennessee Street Preacher
Civil Magistrate: Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor
                                Timothy Gray  
Notes for Parents:
Proverbs 6:1-11
In this section we have two different calls to wisdom.  Both urgency.  A wise man is not hasty but he is urgent.  
First in this section the wise man is urgent to be free from debt.  First off he should not be hasty to get himself involved with obligations to neighbors, especially strangers.  If you have got into debt whether its financial or you have sinned, you need to be urgent and yet humble to go and make every effort to be free.   Work hard to pay off debts.   And work even as hard to get forgiveness when you have sinned.   Don’t wait for people to come to you.  Be the one to lead in apology and making amends.

The second section speaks to the urgency of hard work.   Nature teaches us to work hard and provide.   Hard work can keep us from the debt mentioned in the first section.  But laziness will bring you into poverty.      
1 Samuel 2:12-36
In this chapter, we see the worthless sons of Eli and what God promises to do to those who abuse their authority.  We also see the contrast of these wicked with the simple growth of godliness in Samuel.

Here is what the passage teaches us about why Eli’s sons were worthless.
1.  They don’t know the Lord
                2.  They don’t follow the customs/ commands of God
                3.  They despise the offering of the Lord-    They are despising Christ.    They turn the grace of God into Licentiousness-  They are making the sacrifice to be for their own personal selfish gain.    
                4.  They are in it for financial gain or to fulfill their lusts.  They commit adultery with the women who come to offer sacrifices.
                5.  They Abuse their authority-  That comes out when someone gets in the way of #4.  
                6.  And they have no patience for the godly.  

The above description is pretty ubiquitous in scripture of false teachers.  Look at 2 Timothy 3 for example or Jude.   Guard your family from these type of men.  But also recognize that even the godly will struggle with temptations in their own leadership.  Guard yourself as father from abusing your authority.
2 Timothy 3
This chapter is a warning to all of us that there are enemies who will enter households and attempt to lead women astray.  These men are lovers of self, money, and full of all kind of other evil.  And they love to prey on the weak.   This chapter gives a great description of false teachers.
It also describes what a godly man will do.  He will follow the example set by the Apostle Paul who is following Christ.   A godly man will stand firm in the word of God which makes them wise for salvation and will equip them for every good work. The godly man’s conduct will reflect this as will his purpose, faith, patience, and love.
Because of this contract between the wicked man and the godly man, the godly will be persecuted.  The godly always end up causing the wicked to be exposed.  Their evil game of manipulation will be because of the truth of the righteous be obvious.  And therefore they will rail against the godly.  The wicked will go from bad to worse, doing all they can to deceive and sadly be deceived.

You brothers and sisters don’t fall for the ploy of false teachers.  Fathers protect your home and wife from the groomers who come in to lead all astray.   Stand firm on the word of God.

Psalm 81
Psalm 81 begins with a call to praise God with all joy.  God’s people are invited to the feast where they may shout joyfully in the presence of God.  They are to remember all that God has done.  He had let them out of Egypt and slavery.  He had rescued them when they cried out.
God has saved them and their reasonable response was to worship Him alone.  There are not to have any other gods.  There is joy to be found in God alone.
Sadly God through the Psalm writer laments that the people did not listen to the commands of God.  They did not obey and God let them follow after their own devices.  If only they would listen to God, they would have the finest of provision and reason to rejoice.  But their stubbornness has them on track to destruction.  Yes, they might pretend to still worship God.  They may still carry out the ceremonies but they have others gods that they follow too.  The psalm says that these hypocrites hate God.  They are pretenders and will have their time of punishment.
This psalm shows us that the call to obey God is not a call to drudgery.  It is a not a call away from good things.  No, God calls his people into true joy.  Sin and especially idolatry keep us from it.   Sin has an appearance that is enticing.  It seems pleasurable for the moment but it leads to death.  God would call us away from death and to life.  He would give us the best and most joyous gifts if we would only repent.  

Catechism/ Memory Verse
We all know that man will never stop to ask for directions when he is lost or a wife will rarely admit when she is wrong.  Even children can be stubborn when it comes to admitting they don’t know something.  Sometimes I like to get my son Ezra in a bear hug and not let go.  I tell him I will let him go if he says “I am stuck, daddy.”   He will fuss, wiggle, and do everything in his power to get free.  He won’t however admit that he is stuck.
None of us like to admit that we are stuck, that we are wrong, that we are lost, or that we don’t know something.  Our catechism question truly humbles us.  Why do we need Christ as a prophet?  Because I am ignorant.  That is hard to admit and yet without the humility to admit that we are in need we really cannot find help.  We can’t get unstuck if we don’t admit we are stuck.   Jesus said he didn’t come for the healthy but the sick.   The healthy don’t need healing.
The problem is we are all sick but some of us think we are healthy.  Some of us won’t admit the truth and therefore we don’t find healing.

We do need Christ to be a prophet because without Him we cannot know the way back to God.   We cannot know the Father on our own.   A prophet is someone who speaks for God, who reveals God’s word.
Jesus is the great prophet.  He is the revelation of God.  Jesus once told his disciples if they had seen Him, they had seen God.   Jesus reveals to us God and there is no way for us to know God apart from Him.
Without Jesus, our sins hide God from us.  We cannot come to know God as Father and friend.  We may only know Him as Judge.    But if we have Christ as our prophet, we can know God and what He desires for us.  We can know His promises and all the riches of His grace.
The question is if we will be humble enough to acknowledge our ignorance and thus our need for Christ. If you know you are ignorant, you will look to Christ your prophet, priest, and King.
People to Pray for:
Prayer for Koinia Church in Romania with Pastor Michael Foster

Gracious and sovereign Lord,
We come before Your mighty presence today, lifting up Koinia Church in Romania and its pastor, Michael Foster, into Your loving care. We ask for your guidance, protection, and blessings upon this congregation as they faithfully serve You in Romania.  Bless the unity of this church and shield them from division, internal conflicts, and any influences that may threaten their bond of love and fellowship. Make them to stand firm in their convictions and work together to advance Your kingdom in their midst.

We ask for Your divine strength to uphold Koinia Church in the face of temptation. Protect them from the snares of the enemy and grant them discernment to navigate the challenges of this world. May they remain steadfast in their faith, relying on Your Word as their guide and finding refuge in Your unfailing love.

Father, we also lift up Koinia Church and their mission to proclaim the gospel boldly in Romania. May they be filled with holy courage, not wavering in their commitment to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Open doors for them to reach those who are lost and searching, and let Your Spirit draw many hearts to faith in You. May Romania be transformed by the power of the gospel proclaimed through Koinia Church.  We ask you to add three new families to Koinia Church. Bring individuals and families who are hungry for the truth of Your Word, seeking a community of believers to grow with. May these new additions become dedicated disciples, faithfully serving You and impacting their spheres of influence with the love and truth of Jesus Christ.

Lord, we specifically pray for Pastor Michael Foster. Provide for him and his family's financial needs abundantly, that they may focus on their ministry without distraction or worry. Strengthen him with courage and endurance, shielding him from discouragement and doubt. Grant him wisdom and discernment in leading the congregation, and may his preaching and teaching be filled with the anointing of Your Holy Spirit. May Your name be glorified through this church we pray in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, the Sovereign King. Amen.

Prayer for Adam Cutshaw
Heavenly Father,
We come before You today, lifting up our dear brother Adam Cushaw in prayer, asking for Your steadfast support and blessings upon his life and ministry.

Lord, we pray that You would grant Adam unwavering boldness as he proclaims the Gospel. Strengthen his spirit, fill him with Your Holy Spirit, and embolden him to fearlessly declare Your truth in a world that often rejects it. May his words be filled with power and conviction.  Give open ears and soft hearts to those who would hear his preaching so that they might come to the knowledge of Christ.

Father, we ask for Your protection over Adam, that he may resist and overcome temptation. Shield him from the allure of worldly distractions and grant him discernment to discern right from wrong. Strengthen his faith, enabling him to walk in purity and righteousness, setting an example for others to follow.

Loving God, we pray for Adam's family. May his love for them reflect Your sacrificial love for the Church. Grant him the wisdom and patience to nurture and guide his family in the ways of the Lord.  We also pray that you would meet all of Adam's needs. You are the ultimate provider, and we ask that You bless him abundantly, both spiritually and materially. Open doors of opportunity for him, that he may have the resources necessary to continue his ministry effectively.

Lord, Surround Adam with Your grace, protection, and favor as he serves You faithfully. May his ministry bear much fruit, leading many to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  In the precious name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Prayer for Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Timothy Gray
Dear Just and Merciful God, our King,
You are just and all your ways are good, God.  Thank you for establishing civil government to punish evil and to protect what is good.  And thank you for appointing men like Timothy Gray to serve in this way.

 We acknowledge that salvation comes through a clear view of our own sin and guilt before You, and we earnestly beseech You to grant Timothy a deep understanding of his need for Christ as his Savior. We pray that his eyes would always be open to the weight of his own sin so that he may recognize his desperate need for Your forgiveness and redemption. Help him grasp the truth that salvation is found only through faith in Jesus Christ, who paid the ultimate price for our sins on the cross.

Lord, as Timothy serves as a Deputy Prosecutor, we pray for Your wisdom to guide him in his work. Grant him discernment to distinguish between good and evil, and the strength to stand for righteousness. May he diligently pursue justice, protecting the innocent and punishing those who perpetrate evil acts. Let his actions reflect Your righteous character, and may he be an instrument of justice in his community.

Heavenly Father, we fervently ask that You guard Timothy's heart and mind from the temptation to be greedy or dishonest. Shield him from the allure of bribes or shortcuts that compromise justice. Give him unwavering integrity, a steadfast commitment to truth, and a deep compassion for those affected by crime. Protect him from any pressures or influences that would cause him to prosecute the innocent.

Lord, we entrust Timothy Gray into Your loving hands, knowing that You alone have the power to transform hearts and guide lives. Surround him with Your grace and mercy, that he may walk in righteousness and be your servant for justice.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and the righteous judge, we pray. Amen.

Church History Spotlight
Mary Magdalene, First Witness of the Resurrection
Mary Magdalene is mentioned in the Gospels as being among the women of Galilee who followed Jesus and His disciples, and who was present at His Crucifixion and Burial, and who went to the tomb on Easter Sunday to annoint His body. She was the first to see the Risen Lord, and to announce His Resurrection to the apostles.

Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany (sister of Martha and Lazarus), and the unnamed penitent woman who annointed Jesus's feet (Luke 7:36-48) are sometimes supposed to be the same woman. From this, plus the statement that Jesus had cast seven demons out of her (Luke 8:2), has risen the tradition that she had been a prostitute before she met Jesus.
Because of the assumption that Mary Magdalene had been a spectacular sinner, and also perhaps because she is described as weeping at the tomb of Jesus on the Resurrection morning, she is often portrayed in art as weeping, or with eyes red from having wept. From this appearance we derive the English word "maudlin", meaning "effusively or tearfully sentimental."

From The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, by Donald Attwater (Penguin Books, London, 2nd ed, 1983) under "Mary Magdalene":
Among other women [besides Mary Magdalene] mentioned in the gospels are the unnamed woman "who was a sinner" (Luke 7:37-50), and Mary of Bethany, Martha's sister (Luke 10:38-42). These are not further identified, and in Eastern tradition they are usually treated as three different persons. But the West, following St. Gregory the Great [540?-604], regarded them as one and the same, though weighty voices from St Ambrose [337?-397] onwards preferred to leave the question undecided. This western tradition resulted in St. Mary Magdalene's being looked on as an outstanding type of the penitent and the contemplative.

So are these women all the same women?

We have here the following:
1. Mary of Magdala, Jesus had cast out "seven demons" from her (P 16:9; L 8:2f). She and other women of Galilee followed Jesus and His disciples and ministered to them (M 27:55f; P 15:40f; L 8:2f) She was present at the crucifixion (M 27:55f; P 15:40f; J 19:25) She was present at the burial (M 27:61; P 15:47) She and others went to the tomb on Easter morning, and she saw the risen Christ (M 28:1-10; P 16:1,9; L 24:1-10; J 20:1-2,11-18)
2.  Mary of Bethany, She listened to Jesus, while her sister Martha worked (L 10:38-42) Jesus raised her brother Lazarus from the dead (J 11:1-46) She annointed Jesus with costly ointment (M 26:7-13; P 14:3-9; J 11:2; 12:1-3)
3.  the "sinner" She annointed Jesus feet with her tears, and He pronounced her sins forgiven (L 7:50)
4.   the woman taken in adultery Jesus said to her: "I do not condemn you; go and sin no more." (J 8:1-11)

Here are the arguments for and against them being the same:
Are (1) and (2) the same? Yes, for they have the same name and are both followers of Jesus. No, for (1) is from Galilee and (2) from Judea. Besides, Mary=Miriam was an extremely popular name. Perhaps, for she might have left her family and gone to Magdala, and later returned to Bethany.

Are (2) and (3) the same? Yes, for each annointed Jesus' feet as He reclined at dinner, and wiped them with her hair, to the scandal of the beholders. No, for the circumstances were quite different, so that it would have to be two different annointings. Perhaps, since Mary might at the close of His ministry have seen fit to annoint Him a second time, and to do so in a way that would suggest to them both the former annointing, when He had declared her sins forgiven.
Are (1) and (3) the same? Yes, for they are both women who were living in unchastity until Jesus transformed their lives. No, for there is no reason to suppose that the sins of (3) included unchastity, and no reason to suppose that that the "seven demons" driven out of Mary Magdalene were sins of unchastity.
Are (3) and (4) the same? Yes, for they are both adulteresses whom Jesus forgives. No, for the circumstances under which they were forgiven are not at all the same. (Besides, we have no reason to suppose that (3) was an adulteress at all.) Perhaps, for the following scenario is perfectly possible. Jesus meets the woman for the first time when asked whether she is to be stoned. He sends her away uncondemned. At the moment she is too stunned to react, but a few days later, realizing that He has given her both acceptance as she is and also the power to change, she seeks Him out to express her gratitude. He points out to His host that her gratitude is a response to the forgiveness she has received, and sends her away with His blessing.

The bottom line:
A great many minor characters appear briefly in the gospel narratives, "unheralded and unpursued." There is a natural tendency for the imagination to try to tidy things up by identifying some of them, so that (for example) the centurion who at the crucifixion said, "Truly this was the Son of God," is suggested to be the same centurion whose servant was healed at Capernaum. But real life is not always tidy, and these suggestions remain only suggestions.

One thing is for certain:  Our Lord Jesus saves all kinds of people and is to be worshiped by man and woman.
A Prayer of thanks for Mary Magdalen
Almighty God, whose blessed Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of body and mind, and called her to be a witness of his resurrection: Mercifully grant that by your grace we may be healed of all our infirmities and know you in the power of his endless life; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Upcoming Events:
July 16 Genevan Pub
July 19 Family Ministry Night
July 28 Women’s Quarterly Workshop
August 2 Prayer Gathering
August 7 Monthly Outreach
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