April 28- May 4th Family Worship Guide 2024

The Guide for the Week April 28- May 4th 2024
Fifth Week of Easter

Bible Passage for the Week
Proverbs 20:1-10
1 Corinthians 12
3 John
Psalm 123

Verse to Memorize
Nehemiah 9:6

Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 10. How did God create man?
A. God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.
Q. 11. What are God’s works of providence?
A. God’s works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.
Q. 12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?
A. When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death.

People to Pray for: 
Trinity Presbyterian Church
                 Pastor Andrew Dionne
Ministry:  New Geneva Academy
Civil Magistrate: Indiana State Supreme Court
Notes for Parents:
Proverbs 20:1-10
Verse 7 A righteous man who walks in his integrity— How blessed are his sons after him.

It is very clear that our country has been on a moral decline from one generation to the next for some time. A significant leap downwards began as the boomer generation became teenagers coinciding with the sexual revolution. You might ask, how did a nation predominantly composed of Christians fail to nurture future generations in the faith? I can’t remember where I heard the following but an intriguing theory suggests why the parents of the baby boomers—often heralded as "the greatest generation" due to their roles in World War II—failed in this crucial task.  Many men left their homes and went abroad to fight. While some maintained their integrity amidst the horrors of war, others were unfaithful to their wives with foreign women and committed atrocities that marred their consciences. Some of the wives back home also committed infidelity.  Upon returning, these battle-scarred veterans found themselves outwardly religious but internally tormented, believing themselves unworthy of guiding their children in the fear of the Lord. Thus, the subsequent generation knew of morality but lacked authoritative moral guidance.  And the rest, we can say, is history—the boomers grew up knowing what morality is but without the moral authority behind it.

This theory, though I am sure is incomplete, does serve as an example of the reverse of the proverb above. A father who lacks integrity fails to bless his sons. A man indulgent in pornography, untrustworthy, or lazy will invariably wrestle with a guilty conscience. A man with a bad conscience has a hard time being the moral authority that his wife and children need. He will find himself unable to provide stable and consistent discipline and leadership.  Hidden sins may remain concealed from others, but they corrode a man's heart and self-assurance. If you are going to be the father that you are called to be, you must be a man who leads in repentance. Put behind you evil and every untruthful thing and look ahead in faith to Jesus. Walk with integrity. It will be good for your own soul.  Your children will be blessed by it.

1 Corinthians 12
We are going to be reading this chapter again this week.   I want you to focus on verse 2.  
You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led.

The Apostle is writing to a church that has lots of issues. One of their biggest issues is spiritual pride. They were divided from each other over various leaders in the broader church. Some were taking pride in being of Paul, Apollo, Peter, Doug Wilson, Tim Bayly, RC Sproul, James White, and Jeff Durbin. Others were proud of their knowledge regarding meat sacrificed to idols. That is, they knew that the pagan gods were nothing and therefore that meat was just meat. The pride in their knowledge made them not care how they treated their weaker brothers who were still battling idolatry. The church in Corinth had people who were proud of their financial class. They would come to the Lord’s supper and turn it into a common meal. Some got drunk while others didn’t get anything. They were proud and didn’t think they needed to examine themselves. We also see in this chapter and the next few that they were also proud of their spiritual gifts. They used them to build themselves up. They didn’t care about edifying their brothers.  And they didn’t care if they disrupted the worship gathering, turning the worship of God into disorder.

The Apostle Paul in this one verse undercuts all their pride. He reminds them of exactly who they are without the Holy Spirit. They were pagans being led astray to mute idols. They were dead in their sins and therefore being led around by their own foolish, stupid thinking into worshiping stupid idols that were made out of wood by the hands of other stupid men. They were slaves and foolish slaves at that. And without the Holy Spirit working in them, they couldn’t say "Jesus is Lord." Rather, they could only say "Jesus is accursed." Paul, in bringing up who they were and reminding them of their utter dependence upon the Holy Spirit, is knocking them down a peg or two.

They didn’t have anything to be proud about. Without the Holy Spirit, they were worshiping pieces of wood. They were being led around like slaves. To put it bluntly, they were stupid and ghey without the Holy Spirit. Why then would anyone boast in themselves? Why would they take pride in being taught by different apostles? Why would they take pride in their financial class? Why would they take pride in their knowledge regarding food sacrifices to idols? They would still be bowing down to those dumb idols without God. Why would they boast in their spiritual gifts and use them for themselves?

Now it isn’t just the church of Corinth that can be tempted to spiritual pride. It is the plot of the devil that if he can’t get you enslaved to idols, he will tempt you to pride as if you set yourself free. A good way to fight pride is to be reminded of who you were or would be without Christ. Remember all the foolishness that you gave yourself to before Christ saved you. Think of all the ways God has kept you from experiencing the worst of your own sinful flesh. Consider how you would be led to worship things made by human hands if it were not for His grace. Don’t forget that you are nothing without the Holy Spirit. Be humble and God will lift you up.
3 John
This is one of the shortest books in the Bible. It is a short letter from the Apostle John to a man named Gaius. It offers a brief glimpse into the work that the Apostles did in building up the church. It also shows their heart, which is the heart of God. John says this: "I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth." The Apostles served the church faithfully because they desired to see those they taught walking in the truth. They viewed the people they led as their own children. And like a faithful father, they were full of joy when their children served God. There is much here for fathers in the home and the church to learn. There is tenderness and an earnest desire for the good of those they love. John also takes responsibility for those under his care. He is writing to encourage Gaius in hospitality and to warn him against Diotrephes. John also, with tenderness, owning responsibility, acts with authority. He will expose Diotrephes when he comes. He will come in the power of the Lord.

Pastor John Michael Clark says that leadership is like a stool with three legs. The three legs keep the stool stable and able to bear weight. The three legs are compassion, responsibility, and authority. A godly father needs all three. The Apostle John in this book exercises all three.

Fathers need real compassion and care for their children and wife. They need to seek their good while understanding their frame. Fathers also take responsibility for their children and wife. When issues need to be dealt with, the godly leader is not passive. He takes responsibility and gets to work. Lastly, a father must be willing to exercise authority. He can't be afraid to discipline and to give commands. He must be willing to set the standard, the goal, and the boundaries.

Psalm 123
Psalm 123: 2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the Lord our God, Until He is gracious to us.
Have you ever seen how a little infant that is hungry will begin crying out and looking around with his eyes for his mamma.  He can't feed himself but he can look to the one who can. This is a perfect example of faith.  It is the desperate look to the one who can save us.   Charles Spurgeon wrote the following that I think will be an encouragement to you.  
“It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, ‘Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of his children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.’ All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: he tells us that we are nothing, but that ‘Christ is all in all.’
Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking unto Jesus.” Keep thine eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to him; when thou liest down at night look to him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after him, and he will never fail thee.

Keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, the author and perfector of your faith.  Keep crying out to Him for mercy.  He will be gracious to you.

Example Prayers for Weekly Prayer Concerns
Trinity Presbyterian Church

Heavenly Father, we lift up Pastor Andrew Dionne before You today. Thank You for his dedication to Trinity Presbyterian Church and the Evangel Presbytery. Strengthen him as he leads and shapes the New Genevan Academy. We ask that You shield him from the snares of pride and the exhaustion of burnout. Grant him wisdom and perseverance. We also pray for the church he pastors, that it may not only grow in numbers but also deepen in spiritual maturity. Make their commitment to Your truth and their community a testament to Your grace and power.  We ask this in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

New Genevan Academy
Lord God, we come to You on behalf of New Genevan Academy. You are the provider of all our needs, and today we ask that You would secure the necessary financial resources for the Academy. Expand its reach by bringing in new students who are called to Your service, and bless those currently enrolled with wisdom, discernment, and zeal for Your Word. We specifically pray for Christian Fluhr, that his studies would be fruitful and that he would grow into a pastor after Your own heart, well-equipped to shepherd Your flock in the name of Jesus, Christ.  Amen.

State Court
Almighty God, we heed Your Word and pray for those in authority, today focusing on the Indiana State Court. May Your Holy Spirit guide their decisions, ensuring they align with Your divine laws and principles. We pray fervently that they would have the courage and righteousness to declare abortion unlawful in Indiana, upholding the sanctity of life as You have ordained. Grant them wisdom to rule justly and fairly, making decisions that honor You and promote peace and dignity in society. We ask this in the mighty name of Jesus.  Am

Church History Spotlight
Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Theologian, Doctor
2 May 373

Outside the pages of the New Testament itself, Athanasius is probably the man to whom we chiefly owe the preservation of the Christian faith. He was born around AD 298, and lived in Alexandria, Egypt, the chief center of learning of the Roman Empire.
In 313 the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which changed Christianity from a persecuted to an officially favored religion. About six years later, a presbyter (elder, priest) Arius of Alexandria began to teach concerning the Word of God (John 1:1) that "God begat him, and before he was begotten, he did not exist." Athanasius was at that time a newly ordained deacon, secretary to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, and a member of his household. His reply to Arius was that the begetting, or uttering, of the Word by the Father is an eternal relation between Them, and not a temporal event. Arius was condemned by the bishops of Egypt (with the exceptions of Secundus of Ptolemais and Theonas of Marmorica), and went to Nicomedia, from which he wrote letters to bishops throughout the world, stating his position.

The Emperor Constantine undertook to resolve the dispute by calling a council of bishops from all over the Christian world. This council met in Nicea, just across the straits from what is now Istanbul, in the year 325, and consisted of 317 bishops. Athanasius accompanied his bishop to the council, and became recognized as a chief spokesman for the view that the Son was fully God, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father.

The party of Athanasius was overwhelmingly in the majority. (The western, or Latin, half of the Empire was very sparsely represented, but it was solidly Athanasian, so that if its bishops had attended in force, the vote would have been still more lopsided.) It remained to formulate a creedal statement to express the consensus. The initial effort was to find a formula from Holy Scripture that would express the full deity of the Son, equally with the Father. However, the Arians cheerfully agreed to all such formulations, having interpreted them already to fit their own views. (Those of you who have conversed with members of the Watchtower Society, who consider themselves the spiritual heirs of Arius, will know how this works.) Finally, the Greek word "homo-ousios" (meaning "of the same substance, or nature, or essence") was introduced, chiefly because it was one word that could not be understood to mean what the Arians meant. Some of the bishops present, although in complete disagreement with Arius, were reluctant to use a term not found in the Scriptures, but eventually saw that the alternative was a creed that both sides would sign, each understanding it in its own way, and that the Church could not afford to leave the question of whether the Son is truly God (the Arians said "a god") undecided. So the result was that the Council adopted a creed which is a shorter version of what we now call the Nicene Creed, declaring the Son to be "of one substance with the Father." At the end, there were only two holdouts, the aforesaid Secundus and Theonas.

No sooner was the council over than its consensus began to fall apart. Constantine had expected that the result would be unity, but found that the Arians would not accept the decision, and that many of the orthodox bishops were prepared to look for a wording a little softer than that of Nicea, something that sounded orthodox, but that the Arians would accept. All sorts of compromise formulas were worked out, with all shades of variation from the formula of Nicea.

In 328, Alexander died, and Athanasius succeeded him as bishop of Alexandria. He refused to participate in these negotiations, suspecting (correctly as it turned out) that once the orthodox party showed a willingness to make reaching an agreement their highest priority, they would end up giving away the store. He defended the full deity of Christ against emperors, magistrates, bishops, and theologians. For this, he was regarded as a trouble-maker by Constantine and his successors, and was banished from Alexandria a total of five times by various emperors. (Hence the expression "Athanasius contra mundum," or, "Athanasius against the world.") Eventually, Christians who believed in the Deity of Christ came to see that once they were prepared to abandon the Nicene formulation, they were on a slippery slope that led to regarding the Logos as simply a high-ranking angel. The more they experimented with other formulations, the clearer it became that only the Nicene formulation would preserve the Christian faith in any meaningful sense, and so they re-affirmed the Nicene Creed at the Council of Constantinople in 381, a final triumph that Athanasius did not live to see.

It was a final triumph as far as councils of bishops were concerned, but the situation was complicated by the fact that after Constantine there were several Arian emperors (not counting the Emperor Julian, who was a pagan, but correctly saw that the most effective way to fight Christianity was to throw all his weight on the side of the Arians). Under one of them Arian missionaries were sent to convert the Goths, who became the backbone of the Roman Army (then composed chiefly of foreign mercenaries) with the result that for many years Arianism was considered the mark of a good Army man. The conversion of Clovis, King of the Franks, in 496, to orthodox Christianity either gave the Athanasian party the military power to crush Arianism or denied the Arian Goths the military supremacy that would have enabled them to crush Athanasian Christianity.
Announcements for the Week  04/28/2024- 05/04/2024
Enrollment Open:       After 3 1/2 years of development, the day has finally arrived. Enrollment is open for the Sovereign King Academy 2024-25 school year. Apply online at www.sovereignkingacademy.com ($50/family application fee is payable online at the end of the application). If you have friends or family interested in applying or who would like more information, please send them to this link or give Pastor Greg Anglen their contact information.   Please also be in prayer as we will be starting our "Launch Campaign" this week to raise funds for the school! More details to follow.

New Blog Post:  Are you living the dream life?  Read this and find out more https://www.sovereignkingchurch.com/blog/2024/04/16/daydream-believer

Prayer Concerns:
  • Expectant Mothers: We request special prayers for Shawn Crone, Rowina Spurgeon, Gabby Fluhr and Maddie Sands.

  • Trinity Presbyterian Church Pastor Andrew Dionne serves his church as well as Evangel Presbytery faithfully.  He helps lead New Genevan Academy which trains up pastors in our presbytery.  Please pray for the work that he does.  Pray that God will keep him from pride and burnout.  Pray that the church will grow numerically and in maturity.  

  • New Genevan Academy:  New Geneva Academy partners with the local church to equip men called to the pastorate and eldership. Without leaving the context of their home church, students can earn their degrees in as little as three years. By means of distance education, local mentoring, and tailored in-person training, NGA is training the next generation of pastors and elders for historically reformed churches. Pray that God would provide all the financial resources this school needs. Also pray that God will send new students to be trained and will bless those who are going through it now.  Our own Christian Fluhr is a student.
  • Indiana State Court: The Holy Spirit speaking through the Apostle Paul teaches us to pray for those in authority. Specifically scripture says “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”  Pray for the Indiana State Court that they would uphold God’s law and make judgements that are wise, godly, and good.  Pray that they would rule that abortion is unlawful in Indiana.
  • Open Air Preaching with Pastor May 1
  • Kentucky Derby Outreach May 4
  • Nursing Home May 6
  • Women’s Bible Study May 8
  • Kings Men and Daughters of the King May 15
  • Men’s Kayaking and Camping: May 17-18
For more information and updates, please visit our website
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