RECAP–The crafty three–based on 1 John 2:15-17
How did a church as strong as Ephesus lose their first love? In part, it was a result of the pressure of persecution by Rome. Another contributing factor was the theological threat of the Gnostics. But the biggest reason–they began to love the world. The world is the system that sets itself up against God, encouraging us to follow our own affections and attitudes, a heart that does not include God in its center. The world is hostile toward God, and those who are friends with the world become enemies of God (James 4:4).
How did a church so on fire for God love the world? It is through the slow fade of compromise. There is a real devil fighting for our soul. One of the tools he uses is culture. If you want to see the slow fade of culture, we only need to look at the messages being sent to our youth today. That which was never biblically or culturally acceptable when many of us were children are now commonplace today. Today society questions the very word of God, challenging us to be independent and cut ourselves off from anyone who is a spiritual authority. Then culture and Satan exploit our very vulnerabilities, which is what leads to compromise. Satan does not attack our strong convictions; he attacks us at our weak spots. What are the vulnerabilities he exploits? The crafty three:
1) Lust of the flesh. This is literally a strong desire, an obsession to fill the needs of the flesh. We all desire to be loved, wanted, feel valuable, important, like we belong or we matter. We don’t want to be alone, different, or feel unloved. And so the lust of the flesh encourages us to fill that hole with things (food, drugs, alcohol, etc.) or people (sex, pornography, etc.). Culture reinforces the message: if you are not satisfying your needs, something is wrong with you, or you will have to settle for what’s left. How do you boil a frog? You put it in room temperature water, and slowly turn up the heat! If we play with fire, we will end up burned.
2) Lust of the eyes. The vulnerability exploited is the need for security and safety or control. And so we see and want because we need these material things to fill the need for security. But what happens when we are insecure? We try to meet the need by any means necessary instead of turning to God, trusting God to meet the need. Therefore, we turn to the world for the solution. But in the end, anything the world gives us leaves us empty and dry.
3) The pride of life. This plays on our vulnerability of legacy, importance, and self-love. We all want to feel good about ourselves, and so we focus on our accomplishments or everything that we have. But when we are in a place of pride, we don’t see our real need. Likewise, if our world comes crashing down, there is nothing underneath our feet.
We want to protect these vulnerabilities. Satan uses these three ways to ensnare us and love the world. Love in this passage is agape, the same word used to describe God’s unconditional love for us! In other words, when we give into these three and love the world, we are sacrificing or crucifying ourselves–not on behalf of the welfare of others like God, but to take on what the world wants to give us. The world does not care about us. Don’t sacrifice yourself, your relationship with God, your future, common sense, trusted relationship, or your character for the world. The world and its desires will pass away, but God will never pass away (1 John 2:17).
No one falls overnight. No one loses their love for God instantaneously. It is a slow fade, compromise over time. Guard your hearts and your vulnerabilities. Instead of indulging the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and pride of life, fill yourselves with God and the things of God. Find your love in the one who gave His very life for you.
Questions for reflection
1) What does it mean to indulge the lust of the flesh? Why is it so dangerous?
2) What does it mean to indulge the lust of the eyes? Why is it so dangerous?
3) Why is the pride of life-crippling for a believer?
4) Why are some of the inadvertent ways we love the world?
Pastor Ryan will conclude the In the Light series with the sermon titled, “False Lights” based on 1 John 2:18-27 and 4:1-6. Why is a substitute light dangerous? How can we not fall prey to it? And what does it have to do with end times? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for February 9 – 15
February 9: John 12:20-36 How is the way of Jesus in conflict with human worldviews?
February 10: John 12:37-50 What robbed the people from the spiritual blessing of Jesus?
February 11: John 13:1-17 How is the washing of feet counter to loving the world?
February 12: John 13:18-30 What did Satan inspire Judas to do? How can Satan influence us?
February 13: John 13:31-38 How can fear of the world alter our actions on the truth of God?
February 14: John 14:1-14 What is the true core of the gospel message?
February 15: John 14:15-31 What role does the Holy Spirit play in keeping us in the light?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, February 10–Worship Team Meeting @ 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 14–Congregational Business Meeting @ 12 pm
Tuesday, February 16–Sunday Night Live Planning Meeting @ 7:30 pm
Wednesday, February 17–Ministry Team Meeting @ 6:30 pm
Thursday, February 18–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 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. Reports are available in the narthex of the church AND in the church office. If you would like to pick a packet up, just swing by the church office while it is open.
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 in to the office, or send Pastor Ryan an email/text with your favorite hymns. SO FAR, I have only received 9 submissions. I really would love for everyone to make their submission by February 28th!
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)
Sam Carr (health)
Janet Good (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Shannon Hollen (health)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Mary Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (health)
Mark Milstead (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Chris Shirk (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Stanley Suter (health)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB