May 5- 11th Family Worship Guide

The Guide for the Week
May 5-11th 2024 Sixth Week of Easter

Bible Passage for the Week
Proverbs 20:11-20
1 Corinthians 13
1 Samuel 19:1-7
Psalm 124

Verse to Memorize
Romans 3:23

Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 13. Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created?
A. Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God.

People to Pray for:
Church:  East River Church
                       Pastor Michael Foster
Ministry:  Sports Fan Outreach
Civil Magistrate: Jeffersonville City Council
Notes for Parents:
Proverbs 20:11-20

Verse 18 Prepare plans by consultation, And make war by wise guidance.
Matthew Henry’s commentary here is helpful:
It is good in every thing to act with deliberation, and to consult with ourselves at least, and, in matters of moment, with our friends, too, before we determine, but especially to ask counsel of God, and beg direction from him, and observe the guidance of this eye. This is the way to have both our minds and our purposes established, and to succeed well in our affairs; whereas what is done hastily and with precipitation is repented of at leisure. Take time, and you will have done the sooner. Deliberandum est diu, quod statuendum est semel - A final decision should be preceded by mature deliberation. 2. It is especially our wisdom to be cautious in making war. Consider, and take advice, whether the war should be begun or no, whether it be just, whether it be prudent, whether we be a match for the enemy, and able to carry it on when it is too late to retreat (Luk_14:31); and, when it is begun, consider how and by what arts it may be prosecuted, for management is as necessary as courage. Going to law is a kind of going to war, and therefore must be done with good advice, Pro_25:8. The rule among the Romans was nec sequi bellum, nec fugere - neither to urge war nor yet to shun it.

1 Corinthians 13
This is a chapter that everyone knows. It's read at weddings. It's embroidered or crocheted into art for your wall. But the context is often forgotten. Paul is writing to the church of Corinth, and in this section, he is dealing with their pride in their own spiritual gifts. Some have the gift of speaking in tongues (which I believe this chapter anticipates that gifting fading away), some have the gift of proclamation, and some have other gifts. However, the church was fighting over these gifts. Each person was out for themselves rather than seeking to serve each other. It’s in this context that Paul reminds them that love for each other is what matters. God gave them gifts to help each other, not to puff them up in pride. The most important thing they could practice was love. Therefore, this chapter isn't primarily about marriages, though the principles taught in it certainly apply. Rather, it is a reminder to us in the church to love each other. We are to prefer our brothers and sisters over ourselves.

We ought not let our own giftings become points of division. Rather, use the gift God has given you for the good of your brothers.
Love your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Now meditate on exactly what love is and isn’t as taught here. And start practicing this kind of love at church and yes, in your marriage and at home. So, keep embroidering this passage. But better than having it printed on your wall, have it cut into your heart.
Write it deeply so that you will not be proud, boastful, or arrogant, constantly finding fault, easily offended, or keeping a record of wrongs, nor rejoicing in evil. Rather, be patient and kind, bearing with the weaknesses and faults of your brothers and sisters, believing the best about the intentions of others, hoping for good for them, and never stopping in your love for them.
1 Samuel 19:1-7
Jonathan and David are dear brothers in the Lord. Brothers are committed to each other and will work to protect each other from harm. The problem for David and Jonathan was that the harm was coming from Jonathan’s father. At Sovereign King Church, we talk a lot about fatherhood and how God has established it by giving His name to fathers. Fatherhood is a good thing. We are commanded in scripture to honor our fathers. This command extends beyond mere biological fathers and mothers to spiritual fathers and civil fathers. It extends to the younger brother showing respect to the older. We are commanded in scripture to stand up before the aged.

If we have lost anything in our day, it is respect for fathers and mothers. We don’t have respect for those who are in positions of authority. We don’t have respect for those older than us. We don’t even show much respect to those our equal in station of life.
Therefore, before moving to the main point of this passage, I want to encourage you to show respect to fathers and mothers. Teach your children to do the same. One way to do this is to model saying “yes sir, no sir” to them. When you are speaking to those older than you, show deference and respect. Call your pastor "pastor". Call the civil magistrate by his title. Give honor to whom honor is due, not in a celebrity worship way but in the way of respect. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for always loving to be first place and taking joy in titles. It wasn’t the titles He condemned, but rather the pride that comes with them. Therefore, show respect. Teach your children to do so. Teach them to do so with you.
Now, sadly, some fathers don’t act like those who should be honored. Saul, in particular, was one of these men. He had become tyrannical, using his authority in subversive ways to harm David. Jonathan, his son, however, would not let David be harmed. Sometimes those under authority have to stand up to those in authority. Sometimes they have to work to keep those above them from sinning. In this account, Jonathan does just that. He speaks to his father and does so to spare David and protect his father from sin.

But notice how he does so. He does so with boldness yet with respect. Even though Saul no longer deserved the title "king," Jonathan says, “Do not let the King sin....” This is both respectful and wise. He also here points his father to the truth. It would be sin against God. Jonathan appeals to the good that David has done and therefore to Saul’s own conscience.
There are times when a son may have to stand up to his father. It’s a frightening thing to do. But all earthly authorities are under the authority of God. They do not have complete authority but rather delegated authority. When an authority commands something contrary to God’s word, we are not to obey. We may even have to stand up to protect the life of others.

We can learn from Jonathan how to do so. He maintains respect and decorum. He spoke the truth. He appealed to the conscience. This is a good general model to follow. There may be times when you must go beyond even this.
Here is an application for your family:
Fathers should recognize that they have delegated authority from God. They should use it for the good of those under them. They should also remember that they are not God and therefore not every decision they make will be perfect. Not every decision they make will be made with complete knowledge. Sometimes they will sin. Therefore, father, you want to raise children who obey God even more than they obey you. You want those under your charge to be able to approach you and speak the truth to you. Gary Ezzo calls this the appeals process. That is, you want to develop some way that those under your care can appeal to you while being respectful so that you can make the right decision. And then be correctable. You in authority are not above correction. Receive it, even if it comes from your child. Saul at least did that.

Psalm 124
Psalm 124 : “Had it not been the Lord who was on our side, Let Israel now say,
This is a song written by David for all of God’s people to sing. It is also a song that any of God’s people could have written. I don’t mean that just anyone could write inspired scripture, but rather every single Christian knows just where they would be without God. Without God, we would still be locked in the chains of our sin, bound to do the will of the devil. We would be without any hope or any future other than death. Without God, we would have nothing. Our enemies would overwhelm us, and we would be defeated.
Now, just because every Christian knows this doesn’t mean that we don’t need to be constantly reminded. Why? Because we are often tempted by pride. We forget just who we were and just how we were saved. When that happens, we begin to harshly judge our brothers and sisters, lift our own preferences above God’s principles, and sing our own praises.

Therefore, join in singing this song and remember. Remember just what you were and where you were headed before Christ. Remember how often God has rescued you and been with you. Be humble. And worship God with faith. He has not left us to the fangs of the serpent. He has rescued us. And He will continue to be with us. Our help is the maker of the universe. If He is for us, who can be against us?

Example Prayers for Weekly Prayer Concerns
East River Church

Heavenly Father, we bring before You East River Church in Cincinnati, a congregation blessed with growth and vibrancy. As they undertake the challenge of remodeling to accommodate their burgeoning Sunday school, we ask for Your guiding hand over every decision and construction detail. Lord, provide Pastor Michael with the wisdom to shepherd his flock faithfully, with zeal for Your Word and humility in his leadership. Amid their transition away from their current denomination, grant them unity and peace. Strengthen their commitment to Your truths, particularly regarding the sacred ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. We ask this in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sports Fan Outreach
Almighty God, we lift up the evangelists of Sports Fan Outreach who proclaimed Your Word at the Kentucky Derby. We pray for the seeds planted through their tracts and preaching—that these would take root in fertile hearts and produce a harvest of righteousness. Continue to work powerfully in the lives of those who were reached, drawing them closer to the truth of the gospel. Protect Your servants as they travel and preach, fortifying them against adversity, and expanding Your Kingdom through their bold witness. We commit this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Jeffersonville City Council
Sovereign Lord, Your Word instructs us to pray for those in authority, that we may live peaceful and godly lives. We intercede for the Jeffersonville City Council, asking that You grant them wisdom and integrity as they govern. May they enact laws and make decisions that reflect Your justice and righteousness. Instill in them a desire to acknowledge and promote the Kingship of Jesus over their city and beyond. Guide them to lead with godly foresight and virtue, that Jeffersonville may flourish under their stewardship. We pray this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Church History Spotlight
Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop and Theologian
9 May 389

Gregory of Nazianzus, his friend Basil the Great, and Basil's brother Gregory of Nyssa, are jointly known as the Cappadocian Fathers (Cappadocia is a region in what is now Central Turkey).
Gregory lived in a turbulent time. In 312, Constantine, having won a battle that made him Emperor of the West, issued a decree that made it no longer a crime to be a Christian. In 325 he summoned a council of Bishops at Nicea, across the straits from Byzantium (Constantinople, Istanbul), to settle the dispute between those (led by Athanasius) who taught that the Logos (the "Word" of John 1:1, who "was made flesh and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth) was completely God, in the same sense in which the Father is God, and those (led by Arius) who taught that the Logos is a being created by God the Father. The bishops assembled at Nicea declared that the view of Athanasius was that which they had received from their predecessors as the true Faith handed down from the Apostles. (The Athanasian view is held today by Roman Catholics, East Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterian and Reformed, Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists, and most other Protestant groups. The Arian view is held by the Watchtower Society, also called Jehovan’s Witnesses, and by a few other groups, including some conservative Unitarians.)

The Arians did not accept defeat quietly. They created a sufficient disturbance so that Constantine, at first inclined to support the decision of the Council, decided that peace could best be obtained by adopting a Creed which simply evaded the issue. After his death in 336, he was succeeded by various of his relatives, some of whom sided with the Athanasians and some with the Arians, and one of whom (Julian the Apostate, Emperor 361-363) attempted to restore paganism as the religion of the Empire. The situation was complicated by the fact that missionaries to the Goths were first sent out in large numbers during the reign of an Arian Emperor, with the result that the Goths were converted to Arian Christianity. Since the professional Army was composed chiefly of Goth mercenaries, and the Army held the balance of power, this was a real problem.

Gregory of Nazianzus was born about 330. He went to school in Athens with his friend Basil, and with the aforesaid Julian. He and Basil compiled an anthology, called the PHILOKALIA, of the works of the great (but somewhat erratic) Alexandrian theologian, philosopher, and scholar of the previous century, Origen. Later, he went home to assist his father, a bishop, in his struggles against Arianism. Meanwhile, his friend Basil had become Archbishop of (Cappadocian) Caesarea. Faced with a rival Arian bishop at Tyana, he undertook to consolidate his position by maneuvering Gregory into the position of Bishop of Sasima, an unhealthy settlement on the border between the two jurisdictions. Gregory called Sasima "a detestable little place without water or grass or any mark of civilization." He felt "like a bone flung to dogs." He refused to reside at Sasima. Basil accused him of shirking his duty. He accused Basil of making him a pawn in ecclesiastical politics. Their friendship suffered a severe breach, which took some time to heal. Gregory suffered a breakdown and retired to recuperate.

In 379, after the death of the Arian Emperor Valens, Gregory was asked to go to Constantinople to preach there. For thirty years, the city had been controlled by Arians or pagans, and the orthodox did not even have a church there. Gregory went. He converted his own house there into a church and held services in it. There he preached the Five Theological Orations for which he is best known, a series of five sermons on the Trinity and in defense of the deity of Christ. People flocked to hear him preach, and the city was largely won over to the Athanasian (Trinitarian, catholic, orthodox) position by his powers of persuasion. The following year, he was consecrated bishop of Constantinople. He presided at the Council of Constantinple in 381, which confirmed the Athanasian position of the earlier Council of Nicea in 325. Having accomplished what he believed to be his mission at Constantinople, and heartily sick of ecclesiastical politics, Gregory resigned and retired to his home town of Nazianzus, where he died in 389.

A prayer of thanksgiving for Gregory of Nazianzus
Almighty God, who have revealed to your Church your eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace that, like your bishop Gregory of Nazianzus, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who live and reign for ever and ever.

Announcements for the Week  

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 ($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.  

Prayer Concerns:

  • Expectant Mothers: We request special prayers for Shawn Crone, Rowina Spurgeon, Gabby Fluhr and Maddie Sands.
  • East River Church:  East River church is a fast growing church in Cincinnati.  I was able to visit with them on April 28th.  There are many similarities between our two churches.  They have lots of little children (150 or so) and therefore they have a lot of the same blessings and challenges that we have in regards to raising them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  They are in the process of remodeling to add classroom space so that they can have Sunday school.  Please pray for Michael as he pastors and leads the church.  Pray that he will have wisdom, zeal, and humility.  They are in the middle of leaving their current denomination over issues regarding Paedocommunion. They believe as we do that the bible teaches us that one must profess faith and be able to examine himself before he can take the Lord’s supper.   Pray for peace and unity as they grow and leave the CREC.  

  • Sports Fan Outreach:  Sportsfan outreach is a group of evangelists and street preachers that travel to various sporting events to share the gospel.  They were at Kentucky Derby handing out lots of tracts and preaching.  Pray for those who heard the word preached that they would receive the gospel with joy.  Pray that God would still be working today to convict the hearts of all who heard or received tracks.   Pray that God grow his kingdom and protect his church.  
  • Jeffersonville City Council: 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 Jeffersonville City council that they would uphold God’s law and make judgements that are wise, godly, and good.  Pray that they would desire to see Jeffersonville submit to the Kingship of Jesus.

  • Growing Kids God’s Way Sunday Evenings 5-7 PM
  • Nursing Home May 6
  • Kings Men and Daughters of the King May 15
  • Men’s Kayaking and Camping: May 17-18
  • Memorial Day Fellowship Meal May 26th 
For more information and updates, please visit our website
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