August 13-19th Family Worship Guide 2023

The Guide for the Week
August 13-19th 2023 AD.
11th Sunday After Pentecost

Bible Passage for the Week
Proverbs 7:6-27
1 Samuel 5
2 Peter 2
Psalm 85

Verse to Memorize
1 Corinthians 10: 31

Catechism Questions
Q. 3. Why did God make you and all things?
A. For his own glory.
Q. 4. How can you glorify God?
A. By loving him and doing what he commands.
Q. 5. Why ought you to glorify God?
A. Because he made me and takes care of me.

People to Pray for:
Church: Christ Church Cincinnati
                       Pastor Joseph Bayly
Ministry: Daniel Courney
                  Missionary Nepal
Civil Magistrate: Clark County Deputy Prosecutor
                                              ZYNTHIA L. AROCENA MCCRITE
Notes for Parents:
Proverbs 7:6-27
Check out Matthew Henry’s commentary on this passage.  May it be helpful as you study this passage with your family.   Use this passage to be a warning for your sons and for your daughter.  Teach your daughters the kind of woman they don’t want to be.  And teach your sons to avoid temptation and to avoid women like this.    

1 Samuel 5
When you read a passage of scripture, there are several things you should ask yourself. Chief among them is: what does this chapter teach me about God, and what does this passage teach me about His grace?

So, what does chapter 4 of Samuel teach us about God? It teaches us that even though there are moments when it might appear that the devil and the enemies of God are triumphant, they are not. To the Israelites, the capture of the ark seemed to symbolize defeat. God's presence appeared to have departed, and His activity seemed to have ceased. However, within this chapter, we witness that although God used pagans to discipline His people, He was far from defeated. The false gods of the Philistines were no match for God. In fact, God brought about confusion, dread, and pestilence upon His adversaries. This chapter reveals that God reigns supreme over all the gods of the nations, and His power is unconquerable.
What, then, does this passage teach us about His grace? Despite the challenge of discerning grace within a passage like this, there are several points that illustrate God's grace even through His judgment upon the Philistines:

God's judgment of their false religion highlights that God will be revered throughout the entire earth. God eradicates everything that opposes His sovereignty. This is a positive aspect as it signifies that the false systems that ensnare nations are powerless against Him. God's plan, throughout the entirety of the Bible, extended beyond the Israelites. Through Israel (with Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment), God intended to bless all the nations of the world. His judgment and the awe it instills in the Philistines underscore that God is the King of the world.

God's judgment serves as the means through which the ark is returned to the Israelites. Although they couldn't perceive God's workings, He was at work. The ark would ultimately be restored. God was resuming His presence among His people. He had neither abandoned nor forsaken them. His discipline was severe, yet God remained faithful to His promises.

Keeping these truths in mind, we can draw practical applications:
We should glorify and praise God, acknowledging His reign over the entire earth. His authority isn't confined to a specific tribe or ethnicity. His name deserves reverence everywhere. This also implies that His law and commands are applicable to all people. Notice how He executes judgment on the Philistines and topples their idols.

We should be wary of idolatry. Our idols cannot stand before God. He will also judge those who place their hope in vain idols. As Jonah 2:8-9 states, "Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love."

In times of discipline, we must remember that God upholds His covenant promises. Even when it may seem that God has abandoned us, that our adversaries are prevailing, and we're in despair, we must have faith that God is at work, thwarting our enemies even when we're unable to discern how. If you're undergoing discipline, repent and hold fast to God's promises. Return to your Savior and Lord, for He is close at hand.

2 Peter 2
When you read the Old Testament account of Lot, there is not a whole lot to like about Lot.  He chose for himself the better land over his older Uncle Abraham.  He lived in Sodom.  He offered his daughters to the Sodomites.  He was involved in a terrible incestuous incident afterwards.
Yet the New Testament calls him righteous.   How so?  We know it must be by faith but what are the fruits of His faith.  
There isn't much to go on other than these three:
1.  He went with his uncle Abraham when Abraham was called by God to leave his home.  Lot was at least willing to travel with a faithful brother in Christ.
2.   The apostle Peter says that Lot felt his soul tormented by the wickedness of the sodomites.   He hated evil.
3.  He invited in the two angel visitors to his home and protected them when they were under assault.

In other words,
1. Lot loved the righteous.
2. Lot hated evil.
3. Lot was hospitable.

Do you feel your soul tormented by the evil around you.  We live in such a wicked time that its hard to even go to a public park without being bombarded with immodesty or sexual immorality.  It can be discouraging.  But remember this chapter. The Lord knows how to rescue his people from temptation and he will deal with wickedness.  Evil will not thrive forever. The meek will inherit the earth.

Don’t be discouraged brothers and sisters in Christ.   If your soul is tormented by the evil around you that is a good sign.  If your soul isn’t tormented by evil around than you have a problem.  

May God spare us his judgement and turn the hearts of this world to him.

Psalm 85
If you've ever watched Finding Nemo, you'll remember Dory, the fish who couldn’t remember anything. Sometimes, we're like Dory when trials and troubles come our way. We see the waves of trouble approaching, the storm brewing, and our eyes become fixated on them. We tend to forget all the previous storms that God has delivered us from. The Sons of Korah, in Psalm 85, serve as a reminder of not forgetting God's past mercies. They open the song by praising God for His past deliverances. He had forgiven their sins and turned away His wrath in times gone by. However, now they find themselves amidst troubles again. Yet, they understand the necessity of turning back to God. They yearn for spiritual renewal and God's deliverance once more. Based on God's past deliverance, they find hope for their current situation.
During trials and tribulations, what do you do? Are you like Dory, forgetting everything that's come before and only focusing on the storm? Or are you more like the Sons of Korah, giving thanks for God's past deliverance and crying out to Him?

If you or your family are experiencing a period of spiritual dryness, as if wandering in a desert, remember where you were and repent. Turn back to the Lord and trust in His abundant mercies and grace.

Catechism/ Memory Verse
Christ Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. All things were created by Him, through Him, and for Him. This signifies that we were created for Him. The purpose of our lives as Christians is to know Him and glorify Him. The reward we anticipate is the privilege of beholding Him face to face and delighting in Him eternally. Knowing God and consequently living for Him is our intended purpose, both in creation and in redemption. "What is the chief end of man?" To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

Christ Jesus is the foundation of a Christian's actions. He is our Savior, our King, and our ultimate reward. So, let me pose this question to you: Is knowing God and glorifying Him your primary purpose? Is God the ultimate goal in your life, or do you view God as a means to an end? Do you consider Christianity and religion merely as tools to enhance your life's circumstances, or do you recognize that your entire life is meant to bring glory to God? What is your aim? Is it directed toward Him, or do you perceive God, religion, and Christianity as tools to achieve your personal aspirations?

People to Pray for:
Christ Church Cincinnati

Mighty and Sovereign God,
We approach Your throne with hearts filled with reverence and gratitude for Your unchanging character and boundless grace. We bring before You Christ Church in Cincinnati and their shepherd, Pastor Joseph Bayly. We thank You for the foundation of faith that has been laid in this congregation and for the leadership You have provided through Pastor Bayly.
Lord, we beseech You to grant Pastor Bayly a boldness that stems from a deep reverence for Your truth. May he proclaim Your Word with unwavering conviction, standing firm in the face of opposition or adversity. We pray that Your Spirit would empower him to preach the unadulterated gospel, without compromise or hesitation, that lives may be transformed through the power of Your truth.
Bestow upon him, Heavenly Father, the wisdom required to lead Your flock effectively. As he guides Christ Church, grant him discernment in decision-making, a clear understanding of Your will, and a heart attuned to the needs of the congregation. May his leadership reflect Your shepherding love, always pointing the way to You.
Lord, knowing that that trials are a part of this fallen world, strengthen the faith of Pastor Bayly, that he may overcome challenges and adversities that arise. Let his reliance on You be unwavering, his trust unshakable, and his confidence firmly anchored in Your promises.
We bring before You a specific request, Lord, asking that You would bring three new families to Christ Church in the next three months. Families that are not only receptive to Your truth but also eager to serve. May their hearts be open to learning and growing in their faith, and may they contribute to the life of the church with their gifts and talents.
We lift up Joseph's wife and children to Your care, O God. Bless his wife with strength, wisdom, and a deep sense of purpose in supporting her husband's ministry. Surround their children with Your protection and nurture them in the fear of the Lord.
In all things, Lord, may Christ Church in Cincinnati continue to be a beacon of truth.. We entrust these prayers into Your capable hands, confident that You are working for the good of those who love You. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, we pray. Amen.

Prayer for Daniel Courney
Gracious and Almighty God,
We come before Your throne of grace lifting up our brother Daniel Courney, a faithful servant who has answered Your call to spread the gospel in the distant land of Nepal. We thank You for his unwavering dedication to Your kingdom and his willingness to proclaim Your name to those who have not yet heard.
Lord, we ask for Your divine protection over Daniel's physical safety as he navigates the challenges of this mission field. In a place unfamiliar and perhaps even perilous, we beseech You to be his refuge and fortress, shielding him from harm and danger.
Grant him, dear Lord, a spirit of boldness to proclaim Your truth without fear. Strengthen his voice to preach the good news of salvation through Christ with clarity and conviction. May he stand firm in the face of opposition, always relying on Your Holy Spirit for guidance and strength. Yet, Father, grant him the wisdom to discern when and how to share Your message.
Lord, we also pray that You guard Daniel's heart against the snares of pride and sensationalism. May he humbly remember that it is Your grace alone that empowers him to carry out this sacred task. Keep him rooted in humility, always pointing to the cross as the source of hope and salvation.  Help him to rejoice not in just the opposition to the message but in how you transform hearts through the preaching of your word.
Furthermore, Heavenly Father, we ask that You prepare the hearts of Daniel's listeners in Nepal to receive Your word. Soften their hearts, open their ears, and grant them the ability to comprehend the truth of Your gospel. May the seeds he plants take root and bear fruit, leading to repentance and transformation.
Please, Lord, provide for Daniel's family as he labors in Nepal. Comfort and sustain them, knowing that their loved one is serving Your kingdom. Supply their needs according to Your riches in glory, and grant them a deep sense of peace and assurance in Your sovereign care.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, we lift up these petitions, trusting that Your will be done. May Your light shine brightly through Daniel's ministry, bringing glory to Your name and drawing many to salvation. Amen.

Prayer for Clark County Deputy Prosecutor ZYNTHIA L. AROCENA MCCRITE
Compassionate and Just Creator,
In your presence, O God, we find both mercy and justice. We offer gratitude for the institution of civil governance, ordained to quell wickedness and safeguard the virtuous.  We are grateful for individuals like Zynthia McCrite, who give themselves to serving in this work.
We know that the only hope and comfort in this life is to be found in Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins that He brings we beseech you to grant Zynthia a profound awareness of her need for Christ as her Redeemer. May she continuously grasp the weight of her sins, leading her to seek your forgiveness and renewal. Help her understand that salvation solely rests in faith in Jesus Christ, who bore the brunt of our sins on the cross.
God, as Zynthia fulfills her role as Deputy Prosecutor, we humbly seek your wisdom to navigate her path. Endow her with discernment to differentiate right from wrong and the strength to champion righteousness. In her pursuit of justice, may she shield the innocent and hold accountable those who perpetrate harm. May her actions reflect your righteous character, making her a beacon of justice within her community.
Loving Father, we earnestly pray for the protection of Mrs. McCrites's heart and mind from the allure of dishonesty or greed. Guard her against the temptations of compromise, bribes, or shortcuts that erode the integrity of justice. Infuse her with unwavering honesty, an unyielding commitment to truth, and a profound empathy for those affected by crime. Shield her from any pressures that might lead her astray from prosecuting with fairness.
We ask that you would be with her in her home life.  Give her a deep gratitude for your creation of femininity and her call to live in obedience to her God ordained sex.  May she desire to care first and foremost for her home, husband, and any children that you may give, not allowing any other pursuits to interfere.  Bless her family with your love and care.
Lord, we entrust Zynthia McCrite into your care, recognizing that only you can transform hearts and guide lives. Surround her with your grace and compassion, empowering her to walk steadfastly in righteousness and serve as an instrument of justice.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the embodiment of justice and grace, we offer this prayer. Amen.

Church History Spotlight
Helena, Empress and Widow
19 August 330

Helena (or Helen) was born about 255, and married to the Roman general Constantius Chlorus, who became emperor of Britain, Gaul, and Spain when Diocletian divided the Empire. In 274 she bore him a son, Constantine, but in 292 he divorced her in order to cement a political alliance by another marriage. Most historians say that she was born in Drepanum (now Helenopolis) in Asia Minor; but an old tradition asserts that she was born in Britain, in Colchester and was the daughter of the chieftain Cole, remembered today as Old King Cole. If so, she may have been a Christian from birth, since Christianity was well established in that region. In 306, after the death of Constantius, the army at York proclaimed Constantine emperor in his father's place, and by 312 he was master of the Western Empire and issued an Edict of Toleration that made the practice of Christianity legal for the first time in over 200 years. Helena worked enthusiastically to promote Christianity, and eventually went to the Holy Land, where she spent large sums on the relief of the poor and on building churches at places of biblical importance.  She traveled throughout the area with a team interviewing the locals who had long worshiped at the places like the tomb of Christ or His birthplace in Bethlehem.  Many of the churches still stand though they may have had to be rebuilt over the years.    
At least two prominent English novelists have written about her. Evelyn Waugh wrote a novel called Helena, and Dorothy L Sayers wrote a play called The Emperor Constantine for the 2000th anniversary of the founding of the city of Colchester.

Her faithfulness as a Christian probably had much influence on her son who was the first Roman Emperor to profess Christ.   This gives hope to mothers and to women whose husbands have abandoned them.

A prayer of thanks for St. Helena:
Almighty God, who called your servant Helena to an earthly throne so that she might advance your heavenly kingdom, and filled her with zeal for your Church and love for your people; Grant to us your people that we may be fruitful in good works, and steadfast in our faith in you, and finally by your mercy may attain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.
Upcoming Events:
Morning Study Hour With Pastor 6-7AM
August 13 New Members Class Staring – Second and Fourth Sunday of the Month
August 16 Family Ministry Night
August 20 Genevan Pub
September 6 3P -Prayer, Psalm, and Preaching
September 10 Genevan Pub with Michael Foster
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