October 15-21st Family Worship Guide 2023

The Guide for the Week
October 15-21st 2023 AD.
20th Sunday After Pentecost

Bible Passage for the Week
Proverbs 11:12-31
1 Samuel 11
James 3
Psalm 94

Verse to Memorize
Ephesians 2:8-9

Catechism Questions
Q. 50. What is justification?
A. It is God's forgiving sinners, and treating them as if they had never sinned.

Q. 57. What is it to believe or have faith in Christ?
A. To trust in Christ alone for salvation.

Q. 58. Can you repent and believe in Christ by your own power?
A. No; I can do nothing good without the help of God's Holy Spirit.
People to Pray for:
Church: Colgate Baptist Church
                Pastor Hunter McDavid
Ministry: All Hallows Reformation Festival
Civil Magistrate: Jeffersonville City Council
                                Bill Burns
Notes for Parents:

Proverbs 11:12-31
One of the axiomatic truths of the Book of Proverbs is that you get what your pursue.  If you pursue righteousness, you will find good and righteousness. If you chase wickedness, it will ensnare you. If you spend your life seeking what is good, you will attain life. However, if your pursuits are selfish, you will face the consequences of such self-centeredness.
Proverbs states, “He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain life, and he who pursues evil will bring about his own death.” It also says, “He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, but he who searches for evil will have evil come upon him.”

Most people wouldn't claim they're pursuing evil. Many believe they are chasing what's good and adhere to the principle of the pursuit of happiness. But what is the reality? Do you seek mercy and grace? As Proverbs mentions, “The merciful man does himself good.”

Another truth from scripture is that to genuinely pursue the good you desire, you must set aside your own wants. Jesus taught that anyone trying to preserve his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for His sake will find it. True pursuit of goodness involves laying down your desires and prioritizing the well-being of others. To gain life, one must be selfless. To genuinely chase after good, you must be willing to sacrifice it for Christ and for others.
You get what you aim at, but you better make sure your aim is true.

1 Samuel 11
When we last discussed Saul, a group of valiant men followed him after Samuel declared him king. However, a faction of worthless men did not. Saul then returned to his home as the king-elect. In this chapter, God prompts Saul to protect His people. The Ammonites used the transition of Israel's leadership—from being under Samuel to Saul—as an opportunity to harass the Israelites. They demanded that the Israelites become their slaves and have one of their eyes gouged out. When informed of these demands, the Holy Spirit moved Saul, prompting him to raise an army for battle. He led them effectively and defeated the Ammonites, proving he was the right choice for king.

If there was ever a moment for Saul to retaliate against the worthless men who had opposed him, it was then. But Saul refused, declaring it was the Lord's doing, and he wouldn't see his countrymen harmed.

Following this victory, Samuel instructed the people to go to Gilgal to renew the kingdom and officially crown Saul.

This period marked the pinnacle of Saul’s life. Despite the shortcomings we'll read about later, there's much to admire here. The Holy Spirit guided him, he exhibited leadership in rallying men for battle, and, following victory, he attributed the success to God. He even extended mercy to those who hadn't initially supported him.

Reflect on your own life. Do you confront challenges as God guides you? Do you possess a desire to stand against God's adversaries? Do you credit God for your achievements? And do you show kindness to your critics and skeptics?

James 3
Many people, especially on social media, seek recognition for their wisdom. Indeed, there are many valuable nuggets of wisdom available. However, ensure that what you consider wisdom is genuinely so. Much of the "wisdom" online comes from individuals with selfish ambitions trying to elevate themselves. They engage in various disputes and flame wars driven by bitter jealousy. This doesn't produce wisdom but rather propagates many lies against the truth.
James says that not many should become teachers. Why? Because teachers receive a stricter judgment. They are not only responsible for themselves but also for those who heed their instruction. Their words will be judged.

We all will be judged for every careless word. James notes that the mouth is such a small part of our body, yet it often gets us into the most trouble. We often write checks with our mouth that we are not prepared to cash.   he mouth was given to us so that we would praise God, yet we use it to curse our neighbor, who is made in the very image of the God we should praise. We use our mouths to boast and brag, to grumble and complain, and to tear down.

This is not its intended purpose, and it doesn't reflect the kind of wisdom that comes from above. Those who boast of their wisdom yet can't control their tongues aren't wise. Those who constantly destroy with their lips are promoting a demonic wisdom, says James.   Their lips are hiding their selfish ambition.  They just want to get to make themselves great.  

True wisdom from above is pure. It isn't motivated by selfishness. It's gentle and reasonable. It can withstand debate and will pass the test of reason. It's merciful and produces good fruit. It is unwavering.  It doesn’t maneuver itself into just the right spots to advance its own selfish cause.  It is not hypocritical.   True wisdom is known by its fruit.  It will produce righteousness.
So, be careful about whom you follow. Are they producing righteousness? Or are they just advancing their own platform?

Psalm 94
We all know what it's like to be exhausted or worn out from the constant battles of life, but the God of the Bible does not sleep nor slumber. Sometimes we may wonder what in the world He is doing. At times, it seems like the wicked thrive while the righteous are crushed. However, the psalmist knows that God is the God of vengeance. He will shine forth. All of us need to have understanding and not be foolish. God is the one who made the ear and the eye. Therefore, we shouldn't think He can't hear or see. God knows all things. He often chastens us like a loving father so that we can stand firm in days of adversity. He is toughening us up to be victorious in battle. Furthermore, He will not abandon us.

When we gather for worship, we are gathering to praise the God who will destroy evil. We are not coming to a weak and beggarly God, nor a distant and uncaring God. We are coming before the God of vengeance. We are coming before our King and Captain.  Now as you lead your family in worship, you are leading them into the presence of this God.   This should give us both a holy fear and a great hope in the midst of our dark world.

Catechism/ Memory Verse
One of the primary battles of the Protestant Reformation was over the doctrine of justification. It is one of the most important truths we possess as Christians because it addresses how we can attain eternal life. All of us are born with a sinful nature, and before God, we are sinners. We are not righteous. The Bible says, "None is righteous, no, not one." Justification is the term that explains how we are deemed righteous before God. An easy way to understand justification is to think of the phrase "just as if I had never sinned." Justification is God declaring us righteous just as if we had never sinned. So, how does God declare us righteous? Is it due to our good deeds? No. Is it because God recognizes the righteousness in our belief? No. We are declared righteous because of Jesus' righteousness. Jesus perfectly obeyed God and upheld all of the law. He also endured the suffering of the cross. This righteousness of Jesus is attributed or credited to us. Martin Luther referred to this as an alien (or foreign) righteousness. It's not inherent to us, but it is granted to us through Christ.

How do we receive this righteousness? It is through faith. Faith is the sole instrument by which we grasp the righteousness of Christ. By believing wholeheartedly in what Christ has done for us, we receive His righteousness. We are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, all to the glory of God alone, as taught in Scripture alone. As Ephesians 2 states, it is all (including faith) a gift from God. It is an incredible gift from God. No one can boast.
So, what do we do? We must believe in Christ. We have the responsibility to do so.

How do we reconcile this divine gift from God’s sovereignty with human responsibility? The great pastor Charles Spurgeon was once asked if he could reconcile these two truths to each other. “I wouldn’t try,” he replied; “I never reconcile friends.” Friends? — yes, friends. This is the point that we have to grasp. In the Bible, divine sovereignty and human responsibility are not enemies. They are not uneasy neighbors; they are not in an endless state of cold war with each other. They are friends, and they work together.

You must believe. It is a command and a duty. Yet, if you do believe, you know that the only way you were able to do so is because God gave you the gift of faith.  Praise God then for his great mercy and grace.

How to Pray for Those we are praying for:
Colgate Baptist Church and Pastor Hunter McDavid

Gracious and Almighty Father,
We lift up to You Colgate Baptist Church and its shepherd, Pastor Hunter McDavid. As You have appointed leaders to guide Your flock, we ask for your hand to be upon Pastor Hunter, that he might lead with both strength and humility, rooted deeply in Your Word and nourished by Your Spirit.
Bestow upon Pastor Hunter a profound wisdom, that he might discern Your will in all things and lead the congregation in paths of righteousness. Grant him the courage to make difficult decisions, the gentleness to shepherd with love, and the fortitude to stand firm in the face of adversity. And may the congregation, in turn, recognize the weight of his role and the depth of his commitment, following his lead as he follows You.
Father, we earnestly pray that You would grow Colgate Baptist Church both in depth and number. Bring into their midst individuals whose hearts are full of love for  Christ, ready to serve faithfully, to commit wholly, and to labor for the expansion of Your kingdom. May each member be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that their labor is not in vain in Christ.
Cultivate in the heart of this church family a love for Christ that surpasses understanding. May they cherish Your Word, hungrily partake of its truths, and give themselves wholly to its teachings. Strengthen them, Lord, to be obedient even when the cost is high, and to treasure Christ above all the world offers.
Equip them, O Lord, with the armor of God to stand firm against the deceitful schemes of the devil. In a world filled with fleeting pleasures and pervasive lies, may Colgate Baptist Church stand as a beacon of truth, a fortress of faith, and a testament to the transformative power of the gospel. May they resist the allure of the world, the flesh, and the devil, holding fast to the promises of Scripture and the hope that lies ahead. In all things, may this church be a pillar and buttress of the truth, proclaiming the riches of Christ, and advancing the gospel for Your glory. In the strong and matchless name of Jesus Christ, we pray.

All Hallow’s Reformation Festival
Heavenly Father,
We come before You in anticipation of the All Hallow’s Reformation Festival. Firstly, we pray for favorable weather that would allow us to gather and celebrate without hindrance.
We lift up to You the volunteers who have dedicated their time and energy to this event. May they remain in good health, and may their efforts shine as a testament to both each other and our community.
For the vendors and performers who aren't part of our church, we pray that they find encouragement in our gathering. Let the truth of the gospel resonate with them, so they may come to a fuller understanding of Your love and grace.
Finally, for the attendees, we ask that they hear and receive the gospel's message. Let them be strengthened in their faith, and we pray for a bountiful turnout from our community, that many might come and be blessed.
In Jesus' name, we pray.

Jeffersonville City Council  Bill Burns
Our Sovereign and Eternal God,
 We come before You with humility, recognizing Your Lordship over all creation, Your wisdom that surpasses all understanding, and Your grace that has been bestowed upon us through the saving work of Jesus Christ. We lift up to You, Councilman Bill Burns, a servant in Jeffersonville, asking that You would lead, guide, and direct his path.  Give him a heart that seeks to love Jesus above all the treasures and allurements of this world. May his passion for Christ be evident in every decision he makes and every word he utters. Let the weight of Your eternal Word bear heavily upon his conscience, so that his judgments and actions are aligned with Your holy and perfect law. Bestow upon him wisdom, Lord, as he navigates the complexities of leadership, governance, and service. Let his decisions reflect a genuine concern for the well-being of the people of Jeffersonville. We pray for Bill’s health, that You would sustain him in times of fatigue and restore him when wearied. Uphold his family, fortify their bonds, and keep them united in love and purpose. Guard them against the snares of the enemy and fill their home with the joy and peace that comes only from You.
For the people of Jeffersonville, we ask that the gospel would be heard, understood, and embraced. Open their eyes, Father, to see the truth and the beauty of the salvation offered in Jesus Christ. Let hearts be softened, lives be transformed, and homes be centered on the gospel. May this city shine as a beacon of Your grace, drawing many to the saving knowledge of Christ. We fervently pray that Jesus Christ would be exalted as King in Jeffersonville. May every institution, every initiative, and every individual bow before His lordship, acknowledging that all authority belongs to Him. Let Your kingdom come, let Your will be done, in Jeffersonville as it is in heaven.
All this we ask in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and King, to whom be all glory, honor, and praise, both now and forevermore. Amen.

Church History Spotlight
Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
17 October 107

After the Apostles, Ignatius was the second bishop of Antioch in Syria. His predecessor, of whom little is known, was named Euodius. Whether he knew any of the Apostles directly is uncertain. Little is known of his life except for the very end of it. Early in the second century (perhaps around 107 AD, during the reign of the Emperor Trajan), he was arrested by the Imperial authorities, condemned to death, and transported to Rome to die in the arena. By thus dealing with a leader, the rulers hoped to terrify the rank and file. Instead, Ignatius took the opportunity to encourage them, speaking to groups of Christians at every town along the way.

When the prison escort reached the west coast of Asia Minor, it halted before taking ship, and delegations from several Asian churches were able to visit Ignatius, to speak with him at length, to assist him with items for his journey, and to bid him an affectionate farewell and commend him to the grace of God. In response he wrote seven letters that have been preserved: five to congregations that had greeted him, en masse or by delegates (Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Philadelphians, and Smyrnaeans), one to the congregation that would greet him at his destination (Romans), and one to Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna and disciple of the Apostle John.
His letters are available in several modern translations. The themes with which he is chiefly concerned are (1) the importance of maintaining Christian unity in love and sound doctrine (with warnings against factionalism and against the heresy of Docetism -- the belief that Christ was not fully human and did not have a material body or really suffer and die), (2) the role of the clergy as a focus of Christian unity, (3) Christian martyrdom as a glorious privilege, eagerly to be grasped.

He writes:
I am God's wheat, ground fine by the lion's teeth to be made purest bread for Christ.
No early pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire. The time for my birth is close at hand. Forgive me, my brothers. Do not stand in the way of my birth to real life; do not wish me stillborn. My desire is to belong to God. Do not, then, hand me back to the world. do not try to tempt me with material things. Let me attain pure light. Only on my arrival there can I be fully a human being. Give me the privilege of imitating the passion of my God.

A Prayer thanking God for Robert Grosseteste
Almighty God, we praise you for your bishop and martyr Ignatius of Antioch, who offered himself as grain to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts that he might present to you the pure bread of sacrifice. Accept the willing tribute of our lives, and give us a share in the pure and spotless offering of your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Upcoming Events:
Morning Study Hour With Pastor 6-7AM
October 18 King’s Men and Daughters of the King
October 22 New Members class
October 25 Women’s Bible Study
October 28 All Hallows Reformation Festival
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