RECAP–Is God’s Light In Us?–based on 1 John 2:3-11
When we are discouraged, defeated, disillusioned, or in a state of doubt, it is hard to know if we are walking in God’s light. Sometimes, when we are in those places, it feels worse than trying to drive on Skyline Drive in the middle of a dense fog. And it is even worse in a day like today, where it seems like everything around us is going wrong, and darkness seems to be winning.
How do we know we are in God’s light? There are four markers that John wrote in this passage that can serve as an excellent guidepost so we know we are going in the right direction, no matter how clear or how foggy life might be:
1) Where do we walk? “If we claim to have fellowship with God and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth” (1 Jn 1:6). Where we walk is the path, the way, the orientation of our life. We cannot walk in both darkness and light in the same time. We cannot hold on to the light and the darkness simultaneously. Light will overtake darkness, UNLESS we PURPOSEFULLY CHOOSE to walk in darkness. Psalm 1:1 indicates that walking in darkness is walking in the path of the wicked, standing in the way of sinners, or sitting in the seat of mockers. In other words, are we choosing to walk in the ways of Jesus and his righteousness? Or are we walking in the ways of sin?
Satan is a liar. “You can always turn back to the light whenever you want to.” The truth is the further into the darkness we walk, and the more we walk away from the light, the harder it is to see the light again. This is because the further we walk into darkness, the more it disorients us like fog, and the more it ensnares us, allowing Satan then to lie further, saying we are unworthy, a lost cause, or hopeless. But there is good news: When we draw near to God, he can pull us out of the darkness, no matter how deep we are in it. But we can’t live for Jesus and live in darkness at the same time!
2) With whom do we fellowship? When we walk in the light, as God is in the light, we fellowship with other people of faith who encourage us to grow closer to God. But if we walk in darkness, or surround ourselves with those who are not walking in the light, we are pushed further away. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Bad company corrupts good character.” Proverbs 13:20 says, “The one who walks with the wise grows wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm.” If we keep company with those in darkness, we will gravitate toward darkness, because we begin to look like those we associate with. Those living for God will encourage us to live for God; those living in sin will encourage us to be secretive and live in sin, or to compromise.
3) What is our attitude toward sin? “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn 1:8). Too often we try to justify sin, or explain it away, taking it not seriously or redefine what sin is in order to ease our conscience. But like a toddler in their terrible twos, the core of who we are is sinful and in need of a Savior. Our own path leads to destruction. But God in his goodness has provided a way out through repentance. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9). Sin is still sin, and even as we are forgiven, we will still sin because we are not perfect. But when we sin, or are confronted with our sins, what is our attitude? Are we driven toward repentance? Or do we become resistant and defiant?
4) What or who do we strive toward? Those living in the light strive toward living a sinless life. They put away the things of darkness and try to live for Jesus. Why? Because through Jesus, we don’t have to live in guilt and shame anymore, but can become pure and righteous. We can know an experience the true forgiveness of God, no longer defined by the mistakes of our past. We have an advocate in Jesus himself, who believes in us and brings us daily to the Father. When we are in the light, there is life change.
How do we know we are living in the light, especially when we are in a fog? Where do we walk? With whom do we fellowship? What is our attitude toward sin? What or who do we strive toward?
Questions for reflection
1) Are there any areas in your life that you might have to clean out some darkness?
2) Who are your closest friends? Do they push you to grow in Jesus?
3) What is your attitude toward sin?
4) What do you want most out of life? How does it connect with your faith?
Pastor Ryan will continue the In the Light series with the sermon titled, “What Keeps Us in Darkness?” based on 1 John 2:3-11. What are the pitfalls we face that can keep us in darkness and prevent us from walking in the fullness of light? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for January 26 – February 1
January 26: John 7:53-8:11 How can we show Christ is in us?
January 27: John 8:12-30 How can we show Christ is in us?
January 28: John 8:31-59 How can we tell who truly is in control of our lives?
January 29: John 9:1-12 How does Christ in us reshape our beliefs?
January 30: John 9:13-34 What is the evidence of Christ in us?
January 31: John 9:35-41 What is spiritual blindness?
February 1: John 10:1-10 How does Satan try to keep us in darkness?
This Week’s Events:
Today–Congregational Business Meeting reports Due!
Wednesday, February 10–Worship Team Meeting @ 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 14–Congregational Business Meeting @ 12 pm
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).
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
Congregational Business Meeting
Our next Congregational Business Meeting will be on February 14th immediately after service. All reports are due to the office by Tuesday, January 26 by noon.
After Easter, we will embark on a new series of our favorite hymns. We will spend 10 Sundays looking at our top ten favorite hymns. But we want your input! Please either put your hymns on a piece of paper and place it in the brown box in the narthex, call it into the office, or send Pastor Ryan an email/text with your favorite hymns.
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.
Four Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Mail your tithe into the church office **PLEASE NOTE: We have had several days of no mail, and also some reports of mail being stolen on our street.
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Those in our community being negatively impacted by COVID and economic impacts. Several have seen layoffs in recent weeks.
Mary Batterman (health)
Bouchery family (loss)
Sam Carr (health)
Craig Eckard (COVID)
Janet Good (health)
Lee Harlow (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Shannon Hollen (health)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Mary Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (health)
Mark Milstead (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Ashley & Andrea (COVID)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Chris Shirk (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Stanley Suter (health)
Mary & Joe Whitmore (health)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB