RECAP: FULL OF JOY–based on Acts 16:16-34
Paul and Silas had every reason to not be full of joy. They were arrested and essentially attacked by a mob. Why? Because they had a set a slave girl free who had a demon within her. This girl made money for her employers by telling the future. Paul and Silas set her free, and her bosses were out for revenge! Then, Paul and Silas were publicly beaten and flogged. They were whipped 39 times according to 2 Corinthians 11, one away from what was considered death. The whip was made of pieces of leather with broken pieces of pottery, glass, and bone attached at the tips, with the intent to injure and wound. And then they were thrown into prison, placed in the inner cell, and in stocks–a device meant to torture the most violent criminals, and enemies of the state.
What made this worse? Paul was a Roman citizen! His rights were violated! He went from setting someone free from oppression to being brutally beaten and placed in stocks because of a vendetta! And technically, he did not have to face this fate because of his legal status. Certainly Paul had no reason to be full of joy either.
Likewise, the jailer had no reason to be full of joy either. He fell asleep on the job. He was told to guard the prisoners carefully. When he woke up, all the doors were open! The penalty for jail break was his own death and the imprisonment of his family. His life was over, and was about to take his own life.
Yet this whole scene did not end in complaint, despondency, or death. Instead, several prisoners who could have chosen to escape ended up staying in prison. Why? Instead of taking his own life, the jailer and his entire household ended up coming to know Jesus. Further, the jailer was vindicated when the magistrate came to personally escort Paul and Silas out of prison. Why? And the church in Philippi ended up being one of the most successful church plants beyond Antioch. Why? Because in the midnight hour, when they had every reason to not be full of joy, Paul and Silas chose joy. They chose to sing praises to God. What a witness for God they gave to everyone there!
Once we declare we are a Christian, the world looks to us. Christ means hope! But when we wallow in pity, or become angry as things are turned against us, are we showing the hope of Christ? But Paul and Silas chose to be joyful in the midst of their dark circumstance, and more people found hope that night. So what will we choose when things are against us? Let us be full of joy!
Questions for reflection
1) Why is it difficult to be joyful in adversity?
2) Who is the most joy filled person you know? Why do you feel that way?
3) Joy is birthed from relationship with Christ. When times are tough, what is your relationship with Jesus like?
4) In what ways can you be a joy filled witness for Jesus?
Pastor Ryan will continue the Acts Church series with the sermon titled, “Seeing Things Differently,” based upon Acts 17:16-34. Athens did not know anything about God–or did they? What does Paul teach us about the revelation of God? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for August 25 – 31
August 25: John 5:1-15 Why was there reason for joy?
August 26: Mark 2:1-11 Why were people filled with joy?
August 27: Luke 19:35-43 Why was Bartimeus filled with joy?
August 28: Philippians 4:4-9 How do we find joy?
August 29: Luke 15:1-10 When is God filled with joy?
August 30: Judges 16:1-21 When did Samson see the truth? Why was it too late?
August 31: 1 Samuel 17:1-50 How did David see things differently than the army of Israel?
August 31–Garry Kline
This Week’s Events:
Sunday, August 30–Baptism/Membership Class @ 7 pm
Sunday, September 6–Return of regular worship hours
Sunday, September 6–Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day
Wednesday, September 9–Bible Study resumes
Sunday, September 20–Baptism/New Member Sunday
Saturday, September 26–National Day of Prayer for our country
Sunday, October 4–World Wide Communion Sunday
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
We will take the month of July and August off from Bible study due to vacations and other scheduling conflicts. We will resume Bible study beginning September 9 (subject to change).
Call to Prayer
As we know, right now has been a time of unrest in our land. Our nation needs healing! Let us take five minutes every day to pray for our country. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” If we want to see our nation healed, it starts with us as the church in fervent prayer and leading the way of repentance. September 18-28 has been called as a ten day season of repentance. On Saturday, September 26, there will be a national day of prayer for our nation. Let us take that day and time to pray!
We will also have a special time of prayer set aside at the church on September 26, the day of the Return, the call for a national day of prayer. We will open the church four times on that Saturday: 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm. Each session will last about an hour, and we will have specific areas to pray for.
To make the day of prayer, we are asking for two things: first, if you are willing to serve as the facilitator for one of the sessions, please let Alice Over or the church office know. We need to additional volunteers. Second, we ask that you RSVP for a time slot with the church office. We want to make sure we keep the numbers limited due to COVID safety.
Also, we will begin this week with a weekly area of repentance that you can pray for at home. This week’s area of national repentance is the violation of the first commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me.” Even though we as a country might not worship other gods, we have placed other things and declared them more important than God. Further, we are devoted to those things far more as a country than seeking the face of God. These other gods might be different for every person; for one it might be money, for another political ideology, sports, traditions, etc. Our first and foremost priority should be God himself…let us as a people pray for a reordering of priorities, a return to seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) New online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
5) Drop off in the offering plate at main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Prayers for our Congregation–pray for those who have been unable to visit or spend time with family, those who have lost their jobs or seen furloughs, for those who have been discouraged, and those in our nursing homes, who have not been able to have any physical contact since early March.
Mary Batterman–recovering at home. To volunteer to take a meal: www.TakeThemAMeal.com/XHOZ8636.
Regina Harlow (health)
LaDawn Knicely (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (Roger & Nancy Simmons’ neighbor, health)
Rhoda Phifer (health/Dan Rhodes’ mother-in-law)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Lottie Ritchie (health/Sandy Bennington’s mother, at LifeCare)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Chris Shirk (Reba’s brother, health)
Grayson Whitmore (recovery)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Charles Wright (health)
John Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health–Charles Wright’s brother)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB