RECAP: A KINGDOM PEOPLE–based on 1 Peter 2:13-25
We are children of God, and when Jesus is our Lord, he is the one we follow first and foremost. But how do we live for God when that allegiance comes into direct contrast with the world and our human government? And this year, on the eve of the election, this struggle is even more real. No matter who wins and who loses, we live in an environment where allegiance to government is sometimes at odds with our faith. How should we live as kingdom people?
Remember, the early church in Peter’s time experienced deep oppression and persecution. We might not like our leaders or the results of an election, but in four years, we can make a new choice. For the early church, they were stuck with brutal emperor Nero! The guidance Peter gives is very difficult for us to accept because it is extremely difficult to do. But with Jesus as our model, this is the way of the kingdom of God. Jesus committed no sin. No deceit was found in his mouth. He did not retaliate or argue. Rather, he lived in such a way that it was abundantly clear he was the Son of God.
- Submit. Submission does not mean slavery, or becoming a doormat, or declaring yourself inferior. Rather, to submit is to order yourself under, to be willing to abide within the framework of governance that has been established. Again, Nero was the emperor! Yet Peter declared it to be God’s will that we would silence the foolish talk of the ignorant by our behavior. Just because the emperor was an enemy did not mean that gave the church permission to take up arms against the system; rather, they were to follow Christ and respectfully follow the law. In those areas where the law came into direct conflict with faith, the people should follow their faith and accept the consequence of breaking the law of man. Follow God, and if it comes into conflict with the king, do not fight the king, but accept the consequences.
- Use your freedom to serve. Freedom does not mean doing whatever we want, or living as one with no law. Nor does freedom mean that we force others to bend to our will. Rather, we are to use our freedom to serve God. And how do we serve God? We serve God by serving others. Don’t fall into the trap of power and authority. When you have been given a place of power or authority, use it not to dictate, but to serve.
- Show respect. Peter encouraged the church to show proper respect, to each other, to the king, but also to God. Respect for each other is caring for the needs of each other (love your neighbor). Respect for the king involves praying for the ruler, no matter who they are or if we agree with them or what political party they espouse. But we also need to show respect for God in not taking the job description of God! He is the judge and avenger!
- Demonstrate integrity. Be consistent. Be the same person in the light and the dark. The same person who worships God on Sunday should be the one who goes to work on Monday. There is nothing that destroys a faith witness for Christ than a lack of integrity.
- Strive for righteousness. Strive to do the right thing, even if there is a personal cost. The right teaching and right practice with the wrong disposition is still wrong! But as we strive to do what is right, and to maintain a right spirit in doing so, we can change things.
All of these are difficult. But imagine if we can embody them, especially under fire. That is why the church continued to grow even under enormous opposition. And that is how our nation will change–when people of faith stand for God and put these into practice. No human will change the course of our nation–but the people of God as one can!
Questions for reflection
1) Why is submission so difficult?
2) What is our natural response to injustice? Why?
3) What are some ways you can show respect even to those with whom you disagree?
4) How can you strive for righteousness?
Pastor Ryan will continue the series, Faithfulness Under Fire, with the sermon titled, “Stand Your Ground,” based upon 1 Peter 3:8-18. How do we stand our ground under fire? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for November 2 – 9
November 2: Ezekiel 47:1-12 How can the presence of God change things?
November 3: Micah 4:6-8 Who will be included in the kingdom of God?
November 4: Zephaniah 3:9-20 How will God lay out his kingdom of restoration?
November 5: Matthew 11:1-5 What examples does Jesus cite as evidence that the kingdom has come?
November 6: Luke 15:1-7 What is God’s attitude about salvation?
November 7: Ephesians 5:1-21 How can we imitate God and the ways of the kingdom?
November 8: Genesis 22:1-19 How did Abraham show his faithfulness?
November 9: Judges 11:29-40 How did Jephthah show his faithfulness to God?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, November 4–Worship Team
Friday, November 6 & Saturday, November 7–Beaver Creek Cares Weekend
Sunday, November 8–Strength in Peers and Friendship Box Collection deadline
Sunday, November 8–Parable Bible Study concludes, 6:30 pm
Sunday, November 15–District Conference Worship service
Sunday, November 22–Stewardship Sunday
Sunday, November 29–Advent Begins & Church Decorating
We are still in need of a volunteer to serve for the Worship Team beginning in 2021. If you are willing to serve, please call the office and let us know!
Beaver Creek Cares
We still will hold Beaver Creek cares on Friday, November 6 – Saturday, November 7. However, it will look a little different this year! It will begin on Friday evening, meeting at the Dayton Walmart to shop for Operation Christmas Child around 8 pm, led by our youth & other friends. There may be a campfire vespers, but that is uncertain still at this point. Then on Saturday, we will gather at 9 am to work on several projects, including shoe box assembly, raking leaves for our shut ins and elderly, collecting trash along Beaver Creek Rd (& possibly Thomas Spring), and the collection for Strength in Peers. They are an outreach literally on the streets of Rockingham and Page counties, as well as Harrisonburg City, to meet the needs of the homeless. Through Sunday, November 8, there will be a box in the narthex to collect the following goods:
Non-perishable food items: Nabs, etc.
Disposable rain ponchos
Feminine Hygiene products
Lotion or sunscreen
Tylenol or Advil
Shaving cream & disposable razors
Band-aids or small first aid kits
Slightly used backpacks
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).
Bible Study will continue on Sunday, November 8 at 6:30 pm. It will resume via Zoom for the time being. If you would like to participate but do not have Zoom ability, we can make alternative arrangements. The Zoom link is available from Pastor Ryan.
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
6) Restoration of the national church
This year, we will have two services for Christmas Eve due to COVID–a 7 pm service and the traditional 11 pm service. We are asking that you call the church office and declare which service you plan to attend in order to make sure we can accommodate everyone.
Church Decoration/Ornament Exchange
Right after church on Sunday, November 29th, we will decorate the church for the season. We will also have a modified ornament exchange on that day, again, right after church. More details to follow.
There is a draft of the 2021 directory in the narthex of church. Please check it and update any information that needs to be corrected.
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.
Please fill out those interest surveys and mail them back to the church office as soon as you are able. We want to target ministries for the youth in the months to come!
Friendship Box for nursing homes
The Outreach Team is putting together friendship boxes (care packages) for our members who are in the nursing homes. Index cards with specific items are located on the table in the narthex. Please bring the items with the card back by Sunday, November 8th for assembly.
Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website**NOTE** This avenue of giving will phase out on December 31. If you are currently using this format, the Finance Team encourages you to use the online giving tool.
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
5) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Mary Batterman (health)
Sam Carr (health, Chris Dastoli’s uncle)
Patsy Dastoli (health, Chris Dastoli’s mother)
Eli Harlow (recovery)
Cindy Heatwole (health, and family health: daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter)
Heath Kimmell (health, Reba and Garry’s son-in-law)
LaDawn Knicely (recovery)
Alda Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Pam Shaffer (recovery, Mary Batterman’s daughter)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health, Charles Wright’s brother)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB