RECAP: RULES? WHAT RULES? based on Colossians 2:16-23
Jesus Christ has come to set us free. But that does not mean that we ignore all rules. If there were no rules, things would descend into utter chaos (what would happen if there were no such things as stop signs, stop lights, or rules of the road?). But not all rules are meant to be followed. Jesus was identified as a rule breaker, one who disrupted the status quo, yet was the sinless, perfect lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. the truth is we should not be free from the rules of God, but only from the rules of humanity. How do we know which rules we should follow? We can look to Paul’s counsel to Colossae as a guide:
- Judgement free. The Judaizers in their midst judged the church based on what they ate and drank. The word for judgment here in Greek is katakrineo, which is the word for condemnation. It literally means to rule against once and for all. But in Christ, there is no condemnation, for the law of the Spirit overrides the law of sin (Romans 8:1-2). Christ operates from the sphere of grace, that all can be redeemed. We don’t have to believe the lie that you must be good enough and follow religious customs to please God. The Judaizers believed that you had to adhere to true orthodoxy, including in the keeping of kosher laws, festivals, new moons, and sabbaths, exactly by the letter, or else God would not honor you. But the truth is God wants a heart that follows after him. Man looks to the outside; God looks at the heart. Isaiah 29:13 says, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they worship me in vain, their teachings are but rules taught by men.” God is more concerned with our hearts!
- Pride free. The proto-gnostics among the Colossians taught that true spirituality could only be achieved through strict asceticism. There was no other way, in their view, to go “beyond” the trappings of the material and flesh. But this led to an overwhelming sense of pride, that those who practiced this lifestyle were better than everyone else. It was fed by the lie that we are only valued if we are the best. But the truth of God is that we are disqualified without humility. God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. When we are filled with pride or encouraged to be filled with pride, we are becoming what we think others want us to become instead of who God created us to be. We are meant for so much more than what the world wants us to settle for!
- Idolatry free. The mystery cult in Colossae wanted the church to worship angels. At its core, the lie was that we need something more than Jesus, for God is not enough. The liar tells us that we only need a little bit of Jesus, going through the ritual without a heart relationship, and still living for everything else. But God will not suffer a rival and will have no other gods before him. Do we believe that in Jesus we can find everything we need? All we need really is to be connected to the head and allow Jesus to be the answer to it all. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and everything else will be taken care of!
- World free. Paul told the church they had died to the basic principles of the world. Yet culture still tries to get us to conform. They tell lies such as “you do not need holiness; only acceptance.” But without holiness, no one will see the Lord. God tells us that we need to be holy as he is holy, which means set apart from the world. The world tells us the lie that we must embrace the movement of culture if we want success. Colossae still had a population that held to ancient Greek religion, including the Dionysius cult. They expected the residents to get drunk and eat the meat offered to Dionysius through an orgy. They put pressure on the church to follow the rules. We hear things today like “it’s not that bad,” “we can live for God later,” or “it’s perfectly normal today,” and even “you won’t grow your church unless you embrace the new movement of culture.” But Scripture is very clear, by the mouth of Jesus, as well as Peter, Paul, James, and John that we are supposed to be separate from the world, and that loving the world puts us at odds with God. We don’t need to embrace the world, but we need to embrace the cross. If we follow the rule of Jesus, we will thrive.
Many voices speak at us, trying to get us to follow their way. Let us drown out all other voices and only embrace the voice of Jesus, for he alone will direct our path!
Questions for Reflection
1) What set of rules outside of God do you feel the most pressure to embrace?
2) Does God rule your heart?
3) Do we feel like we are exactly who Christ created us to be? Or do we find ourselves being swayed by our peers?
4) Do you believe that Jesus is all you need? What do you need to surrender?
5) Do you strive for holiness? Can you live apart from the world system?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the series in the book of Colossians with the sermon titled, “Get It Off!,” based on Colossians 3:1-11. Even though we are free in Christ, we put ourselves back into shackles by certain lifestyle choices. What should a person of faith stay away from? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for October 18 – 24
October 18: Matthew 6:1-18 What are the practices of faithful living?
October 19: Matthew 6:19-34 What is the focus of faithful living?
October 20: Matthew 7:1-14 What are the signs of faithful living?
October 21: Matthew 7:15-23 What are the warning signs we need to pay attention to?
October 22: James 2:14-26 What are the signs of faithful living? What are warning signs of unfaithful living?
October 23: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 What do we need to get rid of? Why?
October 24: Philippians 2:1-5 What should we get rid of? Why?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, October 19–Outreach Team @ 7 pm
Thursday, October 20–Leadership Team @ 7 pm
Saturday, October 22–Men’s Fellowship Chicken BBQ
Sunday, October 23–Chili/Soup Cook-Off & Council Meeting
Sunday, October 24–Chasing the Lions Bible Study at Scott & Heather’s house (5509 Sagefield Dr, Rockingham), 4 pm
Monday, October 25–Pastoral Epistles Bible Study @ 7 pm
Saturday, October 29 — Men’s Fellowship breakfast @ Thomas House in Dayton, 7:15 am.
Saturday, October 29–Fall Festival Outreach from 10 am to 1 pm
November 4 – 5–Beaver Creek Cares weekend
November 13–Crestmen leading worship service
If you are a newer attendee at Beaver Creek, please call the office or leave in the offering plate your birth date so we do not miss anyone!
Beaver Creek Cares
For Beaver Creek Cares, we once again will be taking a collection for Strength in Peers. The list of items is attached to this email. We also will be this year putting together treat boxes for our college students. More information will be coming on Sunday!
New this year are exam care packages for our college students. Beginning Sunday, during the chili cookoff, there will be a table in the basement filled with index cards of specific items (such as cup of ramen). Please take the card, purchase the specified item, and return it with the index card by Friday, November 4 of Beaver Creek Cares. We will purchase any missing items during the Operation Christmas Child shopping Friday evening. Let us bless our six college students!
Outreach team will release a tentative schedule next week.
Bible Study Opportunities!
The Chasing the Lion Bible Study will continue on Sunday, October 23 @ 4 pm @ Scott & Heather’s house (5509 Sagefield Dr, Rockingham). This study meets every Sunday at 4 pm.
Pastor Ryan will also continue the study on the books of 1 and 2 Timothy. Paul shared his heart with Timothy and gave him instructions for himself and the church after he was gone. Most of these letters are reflected even today. How can we live our faith? I encourage you to dig deeper into these two short books! We will meet on Mondays in the church library from 7 pm – 8 pm.
Take advantage of one of these two Bible studies today! If you would like to participate in the Timothy Bible study, please email Pastor Ryan or call the office.
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
We are still in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Council Meeting & Chili Cook-Off
Our next council meeting is Sunday, October 23 after the chili cook-off right after service. The packets for the council meeting are available in the narthex.
For the cook-off, we will have three categories this year. We will have the Chili category, the Soup category, and the Sweets category. We will award medals to the first three in each category at the end of the council meeting. Come for great food, friendly competition, and vote on next year’s budget and the slate of church leaders!
Fall Festival & Beaver Creek Cares–Candy Request
Our outreach team is planning a fall festival for the church and community. Fall Festival will be Saturday, October 29 from 10 am to 1 pm. Beaver Creek Cares will be November 4-5.
For both, we will need individually wrapped fun-sized pieces of candy (Halloween style) for both the kids for Fall Festival and for the teachers for the appreciation gifts during Beaver Creek Cares. You can bring the candy to the narthex. We need lots and lots of candy!
Fall Festival will take place Saturday, October 29 from 10 am to 1 pm. This will be a community-based outreach to reach children and young families in our areas. We will have several different activities:
Carnival games (with candy prizes)
Food (hot dogs, chips, drinks, popcorn)
We are also working on a bounce house and a hayride!
Many hands make light work. We will need three different sets of volunteers for the event:
Saturday morning to help with set-up (arrive around 8:30 am)
Saturday to help with the event
Saturday early afternoon with clean up (arrive around 1 pm)
There is a more detailed sign-up list in the narthex. Please sign up where you can help. We also need volunteers to help pass out flyers once they are ready. Let us come together and let the families in our community know Beaver Creek cares!
Also, there are flyers in the narthex. Please take as many as you would like, and especially pass them out to families with children. We need to get the word out about the event! I have also attached a copy of the flyer to this email.
If you would like to take a road to pass out flyers, please email me or call the office to let us know! We really could use as much help as we can get in spreading the word!
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
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
What do you want to see at Beaver Creek? What are some ideas you have for the long-term growth of our congregation? Any outrageous outreach ideas? Please either email Pastor Ryan or write them down and place them in the brown suggestion box in the narthex. Dream big!
The Christian Education Team is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to the Christian Education Team and let them know.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
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 on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
Sandy Bennington (health)–also, condolences to Sandy and the entire Bennington family for John’s passing this morning. Prayers of comfort and peace.
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Tori Jackson (peace)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Dan Rhodes (surgery)
Lottie Ritchie (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (various)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Stephanie Thurston family (Stephanie passed away last week)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church